February office hours to be held in Bay CityOffice hours in the 31st Senate District have been scheduled for February!
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, February 15, at Pere Marquette, 1904 Room, 1000 Adams Street, Bay City from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
2013 Michigan Taxpayer Guide now availableWith tax season upon us, I am pleased to provide you with convenient access on my website to the newly-released 2013 Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide, state and federal tax forms, and a list of e-file providers.
You can find these valuable tax resources by visiting www.statesenatormikegreen.com, and selecting the guide icon on the homepage or through the Self Service Links. Printed forms and publications are also available free of charge by contacting my office toll-free at 1-866-305-2131.
Digital proof of insurance measure introduced“License and registration, please.” That phrase is familiar to any driver who’s been pulled over by law enforcement for a traffic violation.
I recently introduced legislation that could make that experience go a little smoother for some drivers. Senate Bill 91 requires law enforcement to accept digital versions of a proof of insurance as evidence that a driver’s vehicle is insured. The digital proof could be displayed on an electronic device, such as a smartphone, laptop or tablet device.
We live in an electronic age. Most insurance companies provide proofs electronically. This bill is just one small step to bring government up to speed with the times and technology we live in. For the convenience of Michigan drivers, it will ensure that they can provide a digital proof and avoid being unnecessarily ticketed and fined when their vehicle is properly insured.
New Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency to serve our heroesMichigan is home to more than 650,000 military veterans. Starting March 20, a single agency will make it easier for our veterans to access benefits and services.
The newly-created Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, within the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, consolidates veteran services functions throughout state government into one office to better connect veterans to programs involving health care, education and employment. The agency will also continue to support the operations of Michigan’s two State Veterans Homes in Grand Rapids and Marquette.
Erin’s Law will help protect childrenSenate legislation recently signed into law strengthens protections against the sexual abuse of children.
In many cases, abused children are afraid to come forward. Erin’s Law will help protect children by educating and encouraging them to speak up and by making sure parents, teachers and others have the training to spot warning signs. It also allows school boards to adopt policies addressing child sexual abuse and creates a one-time Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children to come up with guidelines for school policies. Parents can review any related educational material and choose to have their child opt out if they wish.
Public Acts 593-595 of 2012 are named Erin's Law after a child sexual abuse survivor who has made it her mission to ensure kids have the age-appropriate education to recognize and talk about abuse.
Conservation Corps supports jobs and resource stewardshipThe Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps program was recently reinstated through legislation I cosponsored to expand job training and hands-on work experience opportunities in conservation projects for young adults aged 17-27.
The revived program will operate as a public-private partnership by community colleges and universities, businesses and nonprofit organizations without the need for state taxpayer dollars.
Under the reform, students can acquire practical skills and field-based training in activities such as wildlife enhancement, trail restoration, surveying and restoration of sites while helping to conserve and develop Michigan’s unique natural and recreational resources.
Visit Bay City State Recreation Area for the 20th annual Winter Festival!Michigan’s annual Winter Festival Free Fishing Weekend will be held this year on February 16 and 17. You can enjoy it close to home at the Bay City State Recreation Area!
On Saturday, Feb. 16, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., the park will kick off the festival at 9 a.m. with its annual Youth Ice Fishing Clinic, followed by an ice fishing derby at 9:30 a.m. Other activities for all ages will be held throughout the day, including morning bird hikes and a bird feeding workshop, a “snowball” tournament, live wildlife presentation, Snow Snake Clinic and tournament, ice crystal treasure dig, snowshoe hikes out to the beaver lodge, and an evening owl-calling hike. Participants will be eligible for many prizes and trophies.
While no fishing license is required during the weekend, all fishing regulations still apply and a Recreation Passport is required for entry to the park. For more information, visit the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center page at www.michigan.gov/saginawbayvc or call 989-667-0717.
Safe hunting is no accidentMichigan’s 2012 hunting season was the safest in the last several years. In five years, hunting incidents have been reduced by half from 32 incidents with 2 fatalities in 2007 to 15 incidents with 1 fatality in 2012.
Law enforcement officials credit the hunter orange law, safe firearm handling and hunter education as important factors in having a safe season. For information on hunter education, visit www.michigan.gov/huntereducation.
At your serviceAs always, please feel free to contact me at any time regarding an issue facing our state or should you need assistance with a state agency 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