January office hours to be held in CaroOffice hours in the 31st Senate District have been scheduled for January!
The in-district meeting provides residents with an excellent opportunity to meet with me or a member of my staff to address issues related to state government. No appointment is necessary and the public is welcome to attend.
The next scheduled hours will be on Friday, January 18 at the Purdy County Building, 125 W. Lincoln St., Caro, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Tax reform to spur job growthTo continue Michigan's economic progress, we have to remove outdated barriers to job creation and economic growth, barriers such as the personal property tax (PPT) on business machinery and equipment. The PPT is a "job-killing" tax because it is an assessment on equipment investments made to startup new businesses or expand existing ones.
I recently voted to phase out the industrial PPT over 10 years beginning in 2013 and to immediately exempt small businesses with equipment valued under $40,000. The approved plan protects communities from any revenue loss for local emergency millages such as police, fire or ambulance services, and for school debt, special and vocational education millages. Non-essential service millages will be reimbursed up to 80 percent.
Our state lost nearly half of its manufacturing jobs from 2000-2010. With Michigan being one of only two Great Lakes states with a PPT, eliminating the tax in a responsible way is a "job-creating" move that makes Michigan more economically-competitive.
Crime victims' rights strengthenedA new law will help restore peace of mind to the victims of violent crime.
PA 564 of 2012 (SB 1211), which I introduced, allows crime victims to present evidence and exhibits when testifying at parole or commutation hearings in order to show the impact of the crime on their lives. In addition, the victim must be notified when a prisoner has applied for reprieve, commutation or pardon, or has died while in custody.
Most importantly, the victim must now be notified within 24 hours if a prisoner escapes from custody, so they can take steps to protect their safety and security.
College saving plans receive protection from creditorsAnother bill I sponsored that was signed into law protects college savings plans established for a child beneficiary from bill collectors.
PA 553 of 2012 (SB 895) shields the plans from creditors if the plan sponsor falls on hard times that lead to bad debts. Michigan now joins 25 other states that provide college savings accounts with such protection.
If you are interested in college saving options available to parents, grandparents and others who wish to provide for a child's higher education, visit www.SETwithMET.com and www.misaves.com. With this new law, you can be assured that the child's opportunity created by your investment will be protected regardless of changing financial circumstances.
New law safeguards women's healthIf a woman undergoes an abortion procedure, she should be assured that proper safety and medical protocols are being followed. Today, most providers performing surgical abortions are governed by fewer regulations than those doing endoscopic procedures or even hemorrhoid removal.
I supported a bill to ensure abortion facilities meet basic standards of care by requiring:
Kelsey's Law protects young driversYoung, inexperienced drivers under 20 years old make up the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes.
I supported legislation which recently became law prohibiting young drivers - those with a Level 1 or 2 graduated license - from using cell phones while behind the wheel. The law is a primary offense, meaning a driver can be pulled over and ticketed for this alone. The ticket carries a fine but no license points.
The bill was named Kelsey's Law in honor of a young driver who was killed in a car accident while talking on her cell phone.
Winter home heating season is in full swingSome folks may have difficulty paying for utilities and be in need of home heating assistance this winter. If you or someone you know is in such need, a number of programs are available to eligible consumers.
Customers should first contact their utility provider to explain the financial situation, preferably prior to receiving a shutoff notice if possible, and then check out the assistance options available to them. One special program, The Winter Protection Plan, protects eligible seniors and low-income customers from service shutoffs and high utility bills between Nov. 1 and March 31. Participants pay an affordable amount during this time and spread the balance between April and November.
Other programs designed to prevent shutoffs include State Emergency Relief, and medical emergency and active duty military shutoff protection. For information on these and other assistance options, visit the Be Winterwise website and contact your utility provider.
At your serviceAs always, please feel free to contact me at any time should you need assistance by calling toll free (866) 305-2131 or by visiting my website.
In This E-News
Senator Mike Green
Toll Free: (866) 305-2131 or (517) 373-1777