In this issue:
Propane shortage updateAccording to the Michigan Propane Gas Association (MPGA), more people heat their homes with propane in Michigan than in any other state.
Many consumers in Michigan are facing propane and heating oil shortages or delayed deliveries this winter due to a variety of factors. To address the problem, the governor declared a State of Energy Emergency in December for propane. On January 10th, he issued Executive Order 2014-1 extending the previous order to the end of January and expanding it to include heating oil.
The declaration suspends state and federal regulations relating to hours-of-service for motor carriers and drivers transporting heating oil and propane within Michigan, allowing for faster delivery periods and more frequent resupplies during the life-threatening cold temperatures and inclement conditions we’re experiencing.
In addition to increases in local and regional weather-based demand for propane and heating oil, other factors contributing to the shortage include higher economic demand prior to winter, pipeline disruptions, increased exports into the world market, and delivery delays due to equipment breakdowns and hazardous road conditions.
Supply companies have offered a variety of tips for consumers to conserve their fuel supply and expedite deliveries safely:
Michigan aims to lead mobility revolution worldwideLegislation I supported was recently signed into law allowing the testing of automated vehicles in the state and permitting the testing to occur on public roadways if the vehicles are fully insured, plated and manned by qualified human operators.
The new law will open the door to Michigan becoming the leader of the automated vehicle industry of the future. Forbes Magazine has written that the economic impact alone of autonomous vehicles will be in the trillions of dollars.
According to the Center for Automotive Research, the auto industry supports 513,000 jobs in Michigan. Nearly 18 percent of the nation's auto jobs are located in our state. Autonomous vehicles provide one opportunity of many for Michigan to strengthen its legacy as the automotive capital of the world in the years ahead.
Student Safety Act provides safer learning environmentsEvery parent wants to know their child is safe in school.
Senate legislation recently signed into law will help prevent potential tragic events by creating a 24-hour, 365-days-per-year confidential student tip line and website. The OK-2-SAY hotline will allow students to phone, email or text a message to law enforcement about planned violence in their school.
According to the U.S. Secret Service, in eight out of every 10 school violence incidents, someone other than the attacker knew about the plan but didn't report it, often out of fear. By protecting the confidentiality of the reporter's identity, the OK-2-SAY program will give students the confidence to step forward.
The program is modeled on a Colorado initiative put in place after the Columbine High School tragedy.
Bills would include America's heritage in school curriculumAs the future of our great nation, our kids need to have a good understanding of America's system of government and founding ideals.
I recently supported Senate Bills 120, 121 and 423 to encourage grade-level instruction on our founding documents, including those on America's representative form of limited government, the Bill of Rights, the free-market economic system and patriotism. The legislation would not allow the censoring of religious references in these historical documents.
The legislative package would also encourage public schools to observe one week each school year as Patriot Week. The purpose of Patriot Week is to promote an understanding of American history and America's first principles, and honor the sacrifices of the veterans and military service members who protect these principles.
February office hours in Reese
February office hours have been scheduled for the 31st Senate District for Friday, February 21, from 11 am until 1 pm in the council chambers at the Reese Municipal Building, 2073 Gates Street, Reese.
District office hours provide my constituents with an opportunity to meet with me or my staff to address issues related to state government. No appointment is necessary.
If you are unable to attend, please feel free to visit www.statesenatormikegreen.com or call toll-free at 1-866-305-2131 if I can ever be of assistance.
At your service,
PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT GUIDE
Do you think your property tax assessment is incorrect? If so, you may appeal the assessment. First, a few reminders may be helpful. "Taxable value" (TV) is the value used to calculate your property taxes. Annual growth in taxable value is capped at the rate of inflation, or 5 percent, whichever is less.
It is important to remember that your property taxes are no longer based on the State Equalized Value (SEV) but on the taxable value as established on the date of purchase. Changes to your home's assessed value will reduce your taxes only if it is an amount lower than the taxable value.
Please review my Property Tax Assessment Guide for information on understanding and, if necessary, appealing your property tax assessment to your local Board of Review and subsequently the Michigan Tax Tribunal.