Senator Dave Hildenbrand
 
 
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Sen. Dave Hildenbrand's Legislative Update
 
MAY 2018
 
Senator Hildenbrand sponsors school safety funding bill

Parents want to know their child will be safe and secure in school. Senator Hildenbrand recently sponsored legislation that would add $18.65 million in immediate funding for school safety.

Senate Bill 601 offers $15 million for competitive grants for schools that need to make safety improvements and purchase technology and equipment.

Another $3 million in funding provides for a school safety communications system. The statewide instant notification app would be available to all Michigan schools to allow faster coordinated response time and ensure greater management of an on-going incident for all on-site staff and first responders.

The bill also includes an additional $650,000 to increase awareness of the OK2SAY program and add staff. This Michigan school safety program encourages students, school employees and others to confidentially “say something if you see something.”

The legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Appropriations.

Senator Hildenbrand supports bill to allow 30-day grace period for affixing license tabs

A new law will give some peace of mind to drivers who renew their vehicle registration online or by mail a little too close to the deadline.

Public Act 64 of 2018 provides a 30-day grace window to apply license plate tabs for motorists who haven’t yet received their tabs in the mail. The law doesn’t extend the time a driver has to register or renew the registration but allows drivers some flexibility in case processing or mailing delays prevent the tab from arriving in time. The secretary of state’s office notes that most law enforcement agencies can verify electronically if the vehicle plate has been renewed or is expired.

The new law takes effect June 12, 2018.

Senator Hildenbrand Welcomes State Champion Lowell High School Wrestling Team

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Senator Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell) and Representative Thomas Albert (R-Lowell) welcomed the 2017-18 Lowell Red Arrow Wrestling Team to the State Capitol in Lansing, with Coach R.J. Boudro. The team was recognized in both the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives for their outstanding season in which they claimed their 5th consecutive Division II State Championship, which has only been done 3 times.

New laws ban possession of ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system or freeze files until a sum of money — or ransom — is paid. Some high profile ransomware attacks have targeted hospitals, businesses and utilities.

While Michigan has laws that prohibit the hacking and unauthorized use of computer systems, I recently supported an effort to strengthen the law by prohibiting even the possession or distribution of the software. Under Public Acts 95 and 96 of 2018, violators will be guilty of a felony punishable by up to three years in prison. The tougher penalties will help deter and prevent the growth of this cybercrime.

The new laws take effect July 1, 2018.

Taxpayers can check state refund status

Taxpayers can check on the status of their state income tax refund online at www.michigan.gov/wheresmyrefund. E-filers can check two weeks from the date the return was accepted while paper filers can check from six to eight weeks after postmarking.

To ensure privacy and security, taxpayers need to provide their Social Security number, tax year, filing status and Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or Total Household Resources (THR). The AGI is located on line 10 of the MI-1040; THR is found on line 33 of the MI-1040CR.

The Department of Treasury reports that in 2017, 3.7 million individual tax returns provided nearly $2 billion in refunds.

Michigan fishing guide available

Download images to view this graphicMichigan’s 2018 fishing license season kicked off on April 1 and includes some new regulation changes. Anglers can find information on licenses, seasons, general regulations and county exceptions, and more in the 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide. The guide is available where fishing licenses are sold or online at www.michigan.gov/dnrdigests. The online version is always up to date and available to download.

Anglers can buy their fishing license in person at a local license retailer or online at www.mdnr-elicense.com. The annual fee for a resident all-species fishing license is $26; an annual senior license is available for $11 for residents 65 or older.

State Income Tax Refunds Must Be Claimed Within Four Years

Michigan taxpayers who missed the Wednesday, April 18, state income tax filing deadline have options for filing a late return, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury (Treasury).

“Late filers should file all income tax returns that are due,” said Deputy Treasurer Glenn White, head of Treasury’s Tax Administration Group. “If a taxpayer owes tax and cannot make full payment, Treasury will work with them on payment options. We want to help taxpayers avoid interest charges and late payment penalties.”

Treasury recommends past-due tax filers to consider:
  • Filing a return to claim an outstanding refund. Taxpayers risk losing their state income tax refund if they don’t file a return four years from the date due of the original return. Go to www.mifastfile.org to learn more about e-filing.
  • Filing a return to avoid interest and penalties. File past due returns and pay now to limit interest charges and late payment penalties. Failure to pay could affect a taxpayer’s credit score and the ability to obtain loans.
  • Paying as much owed tax as possible. If taxpayers owe but can’t pay in full, they should pay as much as they can when they file their tax return. Payments can be made using Michigan’s e-Payments service. When mailing checks, carefully follow tax form instructions. Treasury will work with taxpayers who cannot pay the full amount of tax they owe.
Taxpayers who receive a final tax bill and are unable to pay the entire amount owed can consider:
  • Requesting a penalty waiver. Penalty may be waived on an assessment if a taxpayer can show reasonable cause for their failure to pay on time. Reasonable cause includes serious illness, a fire or natural disaster, or criminal acts against you. Documentation should be submitted to substantiate the reason for a penalty waiver request.
  • Making monthly payments through an installment agreement. For Installment Agreements lasting for 24 months or less, taxpayers must complete, sign and return the Installment Agreement (Form 990). The agreement requires a proposed payment amount that will be reviewed for approval by Treasury.
  • Filing an Offer in Compromise application. An Offer in Compromise is a request by a taxpayer for the Michigan Department of Treasury to compromise an assessed tax liability for less than the full amount. For more information or an application, visit www.michigan.gov/oic.
The last three options for final tax bills should be filed separately from the state income tax return.

To learn more about Michigan’s income tax, go to www.michigan.gov/incometax or call Treasury’s Income Tax Information Line at 517-636-4486. Taxpayer inquires can also be made online.

Free Dental Services Provided at Calvin College
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School Groups Visit the State Capitol
School Groups
Almost every week, I have the privilege of welcoming students from the Grand Rapids area to the Michigan capitol building. During their visit, I always try to welcome them and take a quick photo. To see these pictures, please visit this page on my website.
 
 

Contact Senator Hildenbrand’s Office

Senator Dave Hildenbrand
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Toll-Free: (866) 305-2129 or (517) 373-1801

www.SenatorDaveHildenbrand.com

Email: SenDHildenbrand@senate.michigan.gov.

Please include name, address, and phone number.

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The purpose of this E-Newsletter is to provide a timely update of Senator Hildenbrand's activity at the State Capitol to the residents and organizations of the 29th Senate District. Electronic newsletters will only be sent out on a monthly basis. You will not be inundated with e-mails.