Mount Vernon Assembly prepares for federal balanced budget amendmentNearly 100 legislators from 32 states recently gathered at the former home of George Washington for the historic and bipartisan Mount Vernon Assembly to discuss the process for states to propose a federal balanced budget amendment (BBA) to the U.S. Constitution.
Twenty-one states have already passed a petition to hold a convention of the states on the balanced budget amendment. A total of 34 are needed to require Congress to issue the call to convention. If proposed by the convention, the BBA would still need to be ratified by 38 states before taking effect.
I was honored to participate in the assembly as the sponsor of Senate Joint Resolution V, Michigan's official petition for a convention on the BBA. The resolution has passed the Michigan Senate and is currently awaiting action in the House.
Founding fathers like George Washington designed the Constitution to protect individual freedom by placing checks and balances on the size and power of the federal government.
Perhaps the greatest threat to our freedom and way of life today is the uncontrolled and unprecedented deficit spending and growth in the national debt at the federal level.
Because both parties in Washington, D.C. have failed to bring fiscal sanity and responsibility to the federal budget, it is up to the states to act and Article V of the Constitution empowers us to do so by proposing real solutions like the BBA.
Legislation helps veterans and Michigan's economyOur servicemen and women have made great sacrifices to protect our nation. They face unique challenges following years of military service or deployment overseas, so it's important that we assist in their transition back into civilian life.
Senate Bill 671, sponsored by Sen. John Moolenaar (R - Midland) and Senate Bill 672 which I sponsored would require the state to waive the initial license or registration fee for honorably discharged veterans in certain fields or occupations, including security professionals, barbers, accountants and builders, among many others.
The legislation will not only help veterans, it will benefit our economy by encouraging these highly-trained individuals to live, work and start a business right here in Michigan.
The bills recently passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support and are now awaiting action in the House.
Special license plate to promote breast cancer control programBreast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in Michigan. Early detection is crucial to survival.
That's why I supported legislation that would create a special "Pink Ribbon" license plate to raise money for breast and cervical cancer screening. Revenue raised through the sale of the license plate would help fund the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program within the Michigan Department of Community Health.
The program provides access to cancer screening, follow-up care and treatment services to low-income women.
Winter home heating season has arrivedAs the temperature plummets, utility costs rise resulting in some households struggling to pay their bills. The Michigan Public Service Commission urges customers to first contact their utility company if they are unable to pay their bill on time, before receiving a shut-off notice.
Seniors and low-income customers may be eligible for the Winter Protection Plan, a program to protect against service shut-off and high utility payments between Nov. 1 and March 31. Contact the gas or electric company to apply. Other assistance programs are available for shut-off protection including the State Emergency Relief program and active duty military assistance.
For more information on these programs, weatherization tips and a link to the Michigan Energy Assistance Directory, go to www.michigan.gov/mpsc and type in the keywords Be Winter Wise.
Student artwork celebrating Michigan on display!Students of Mrs. Johnstone, Mrs. Salgat and Mrs. Urbaniak from Pinconning Central Elementary recently submitted art depicting Thanksgiving and the four seasons of Michigan for display in my Lansing office. The displays are part of my "Kids of the 31st!" program which highlights the talent and positive behavior of youth throughout my Senate district. Many thanks to these dedicated teachers and their talented students!
At Your ServiceAs always, if I can ever be of assistance, please visit www.statesenatormikegreen.com or call toll-free at 1-866-305-2131.
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