Senator Mike Green
   
 

In this E-news

    The Lone Wolverine Exhibit Tour continues throughout the Thumb
  • State budget points Michigan in the right direction
  • Consumers to pay less taxes under Senate-passed bill
  • Ag disaster relief legislation to become law
  • Senate passes concussion awareness bill
  • Pistol definition legislation headed to the governor
  • New law ends loophole on synthetic drugs

The Lone Wolverine Exhibit Tour continues throughout the Thumb

The Lone Wolverine Exhibit traveling tour will arrive in Bad Axe on Friday, June 22 at the Huron County Building, 250 E. Huron Avenue. The display will be unveiled during a 1 p.m. ceremony. Everyone is welcome to attend!

I will be joined in the ceremony by Jeff Ford, "the wolverine guy" who tracked the mysterious creature in the Thumb for over 6 years until its death, and by Huron County Commissioner Clark Elftman whose idea for the locally-traveling exhibit has grown into a statewide tour over the next year.

"Pretty lady," as the wolverine is affectionately known, will be on display in Bad Axe from Monday through Friday during normal county business hours, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., until July 6, when it will move to the Tuscola County Courthouse in Caro. After its Thumb tour is complete, the exhibit will visit DNR facilities throughout the state.

State budget points Michigan in the right direction

I am pleased to report that we have completed work on a balanced budget that protects and invests in critical services, such as public safety and education, and holds government accountable for every tax dollar spent.

Our plan strengthens Michigan's financial standing by paying down debt, forcing the state to live within its means, and beefing up reserves in the rainy day fund. This responsible approach to budgeting, along with earlier reforms, sends a clear message that we are working hard to create an economic climate for job growth.

Government efficiency and a growing economy have allowed us to more fully fund some of our top priorities, including:

  • Increasing school aid funding by $200 million and boosting the minimum foundation allowance by $120 per student.
  • Adding funds to hire 180 state troopers to help keep our communities safe.
  • Providing $90 million in state income tax relief for all hardworking Michigan families.
  • Capping tuition increases at public colleges and universities to make college more affordable.
As we move forward, I want you to know I will continue working to make sure your tax dollars are spent wisely and efficiently.

Consumers to pay less taxes under Senate-passed bill

Consumers could soon get a sales tax break on the purchase of a car or boat!

I recently supported legislation that would end double taxation on used boats and vehicles. Senate Bill 126 excludes taxation on the trade-in values of used cars and boats when it's applied to the purchase of a new or used car or boat. Senate Bill 127 creates a six-year phase-in for the program, with a $2,500 exemption beginning in 2012 and increasing an additional $2,500 every year until 2018 when it will be uncapped entirely.

Michigan is the only Great Lakes state and one of only six states nationwide that double taxes consumers on vehicle trade-in purchases. The "sales tax on the difference" reform could mean sizable savings for Michigan consumers, and that's good news for anyone considering a new purchase.

The legislation awaits action in the House.

Ag disaster relief legislation to become law

Legislation providing financial relief to Michigan's fruit farmers, who were devastated by this winter's early thaw and subsequent frost damage, is headed to the governor for his signature.

Approved by both the Senate and House, House Bill 5717 is designed to bridge the gap for an industry that is the backbone of the Michigan economy by providing relief to affected farmers in the form of low interest loans.

The scale of the loss is staggering, estimated to be at least 58 percent of this year's expected fruit sales, or $209.8 million. Apples, grapes, peaches, sweet cherries, tart cherries and asparagus are the most affected.

A video highlighting the economic and financial damage is available at my website.

Senate passes concussion awareness bill

When a young athlete steps onto the playing field or the court, parents need to know that their child's health comes first.

The Senate recently passed legislation that requires youth sports organizations, including schools, to adopt a concussion awareness program. The program would help everyone involved-kids, coaches, parents and volunteers-recognize these injuries when they occur and put in place guidelines for when a young athlete can play again.

Under Senate Bill 1122, a young athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion must be immediately removed from physical activity. The athlete could not return until he or she receives written clearance to play from a health professional.

The number of children suffering sports-related concussions is rising, and I am glad we are addressing this serious health issue.

Pistol definition legislation headed to the governor

The definition of a pistol will be changed from a firearm with an overall length of 30 inches or less to one of 26 inches or less, according to legislation I sponsored which recently passed the Senate, 36-2, and the House unanimously.

The three bill package, Senate Bills 760-762, is needed to clear up confusion among firearm manufacturers, retailers, law enforcement, and gun owners, due to the fact that Michigan's statutory definition conflicts with the one used in federal law and by most other states.

The change will make it easier for firearms makers, retailers and buyers to do lawful business in this state, especially as it relates to youth hunting firearms and sporting rifles. Hunting and recreational shooting contribute a lot to our economy and this legislation will have a positive impact on that industry.

Federal and state requirements for background checks at the point of purchase will not change, nor will laws concerning concealed pistol license holders who lawfully purchased, registered or carried a firearm as a pistol under the old definition.

The bills are now awaiting the governor's signature.

New law ends loophole on synthetic drugs

Governor Snyder recently signed legislation which I supported to close a loophole in state law that manufacturers of synthetic drugs have exploited in order to continue selling their dangerous substances. Senate Bill 1082 targets synthetic drugs similar to K2 and bath salts, which were previously banned but have had their chemicals altered to skirt previous bans.

These dangerous, addictive drugs are toxic, and ingesting them can cause extreme paranoia and hallucinations. Many of the users are teenagers who do not fully recognize the risks involved.

It is imperative that we give local law enforcement the tools they need to get these products off our streets as quickly as possible.

Should you have any questions on these or any other issues or need assistance with a state agency, feel free to visit my website at www.statesenatormikegreen.com or call toll-free at (866) 305-2131.

Sincerely,

Mike Green
State Senator