In this issue:
Balanced Budget Amendment resolution advancingA Michigan Senate committee heard testimony this week on legislation I introduced calling for a federal balanced budget amendment.
Senate Joint Resolution V officially petitions Congress for a convention of the states to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment would require the adoption of federal budgets in which spending does not exceed revenue except during national emergencies. Michigan’s Constitution already requires this of the state budget.
Since every American family must prioritize its needs, live within its means and balance its budget, so should Congress. Because Congress has failed for decades to end political gridlock and get its fiscal house in order, it is time for the states to act.
Nineteen states have already approved the resolution. Once adopted by 15 more, it becomes binding on Congress. Any amendment proposed by the convention would still have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states before taking effect.
The resolution is expected to be sent to the full Senate next week.
Legislation gives priority to Michigan job creatorsI recently co-sponsored legislation giving Michigan businesses reasonable priority on state contracts when possible.
Michigan's job creators and workers are the lifeblood of our economy, and it is only fair they should get this priority. Recently, a Michigan company lost out on a state contract because their bid on a $250,000 contract was only $574 more than an Indiana company. As a result, our tax dollars supported jobs in another state.
Senate Bill 517 would mirror the policies of neighboring states Ohio and Indiana by giving up to a 5 percent preference. It has been referred to the Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee.
Youth cigarette sales targetedAlmost all tobacco use begins in childhood and adolescence. In fact, according to a report by the U.S. surgeon general, nearly 90 percent of adults who smoke daily began smoking by the age of 18.
I recently voted for Senate Bill 311 to increase the penalties for providing tobacco to minors and for minors who use tobacco products. Under the bill, fines would increase to $100 for a first violation and up to $500 for a second or subsequent violation. The current penalty of $50 has not been raised in more than 20 years.
It’s my hope that more stringent penalties will help deter youth smoking and discourage the illegal sale of tobacco to minors.
ORV rules relaxed under billOff-road vehicle (ORV) recreation is a great way to experience outdoor fun and adventure! In fact, Michigan offers nearly 3,700 miles of designated ORV trails and routes as well as designated ORV scramble areas.
The governor has signed into law legislation I supported to encourage this rugged sport’s popularity in Michigan. Under the bills:
Community service participation proposed for welfare benefitsI recently supported Senate Bill 276 to allow the state to require some public assistance recipients to participate in community service as part of their family self-sufficiency plan.
Currently, those receiving assistance through the Family Independence Program (FIP) must engage in a work participation program that may include paid employment, job training, GED preparation or unpaid work assignments. Under the bill, community service would also be identified as a potential activity.
I think it’s a positive step for people benefitting from public assistance to give back to the community that is lending them a helping hand.
Recent invocators from the 31st Senate District have included Rev. Lee Wenskay of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Pigeon, Pastor Daniel Hester of the People’s Baptist Church in Bay City, Father Nicholas Coffaro of St. Anne Catholic Church and School in Linwood, and Pastor Lyle Ohman of Juniata Baptist Church in Vassar.
October office hours in VassarDistrict office hours provide residents with the opportunity to meet with me and my staff to address issues related to state government. No appointment is necessary.
The next scheduled hours will be on Friday, October 25 at the Vassar City Hall, Council Room, 287 E. Huron Ave, Vassar, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
For more information or to contact me, please visit www.statesenatormikegreen.com or call toll-free 1-866-305-2131.
At your service,
Fall travel guide now available
What could top a Pure Michigan summer? Maybe a Pure Michigan autumn!
From outdoor adventures and scenic drives to farm-to-table restaurants, the official Michigan Fall Travel Guide covers it all. Take a look at the digital version here or contact my office to receive a print copy.
Also, as you travel Michigan's roadways this fall, be sure to keep an eye out for the Adopt-A-Highway volunteers working to keep Pure Michigan beautiful during the final litter pick-up along state highways scheduled for Sept. 21 to 29.