Hansen continues technology tour of area schoolsI'm beginning the New Year by continuing my technology tour of visits to area classrooms in the district. It remains exciting to see how new technology is allowing educators to customize instruction and prepare students for jobs in our global economy.
Senate approves Hansen bill enabling police agencies to recoup costsThe Senate recently approved a measure that would help law enforcement agencies recover more money to aid in the prosecution of certain crimes. Senate Bill 729 would expand the list of criminal offenses for which cost recovery may be ordered by the court.
The bill would enable law enforcement agencies to recover investigative costs associated with violations or attempted violations of retail fraud—specifically shoplifting. The legislation also would allow for cost recovery for the arrest and transportation of those who fail to appear for their scheduled court appearance.
I introduced the bill after the Fruitport Township Police Department approached me regarding increasing incidents of retail fraud at the Lakes Mall and the many businesses that surround the mall.
SB 729 has been referred to the House Criminal Justice Committee.
Bill designed to help our children succeed signed by the GovernorLegislation I authored, Senate Bill 312, was recently signed into law and is now Public Act 210 of 2013. This last hurdle clarifies the requirements of Michigan Promise Zone scholarship programs throughout the state. Specifically, my bill will strengthen these scholarship programs, such as the Muskegon Promise Zone, and help them generate the money necessary to fund the scholarships and be used for eligible students towards a post-secondary education.
Sen. Hansen welcomes local high school students to State CapitolLast month, I welcomed two students from my district, Nick from North Muskegon and Olivia from Newaygo who were guests for the State of the State Address. They were among many bright students who entered a student essay contest. I was delighted they could join me and see the address in person!
Fiscal Year 2015 State Budget RecommendationJob growth, homes sales, state population, and consumer confidence are on the rise. Michigan is on a better track, but we still have more work to do. We need to continue building on our recent successes to deliver real results for Michigan residents. As the state's economic turnaround continues, I remain focused on creating an environment that will continue to drive job creation and economic opportunities for hard-working Michigan taxpayers.
I look forward to ensuring that we deliver a balanced state budget months before the start of the new fiscal year that begins October 1. In reviewing the Governor's budget recommendations, I was particularly pleased with proposals that will enhance investment in core areas that will enhance job growth, student achievement, stronger communities, increased public health and safety and provide tax relief for low to middle income families.
Specifically, it was encouraging that this budget proposal is seeking increased investment in the following areas that will directly benefit the residents of Muskegon, Oceana, Newaygo and Mason counties –
Educating our Children
Hansen bill now preserves funding for our state's Area Agencies on Aging.Senate Bill 642 was also recently signed by the Governor and is now Public Act 209 of 2013. My bill ensures that proceeds from unclaimed property held by BCBSM as a mutual disability insurer will continue to be directed to the Senior Care Respite Fund.
This fund distributes funds to Area Agencies on Aging across the state. The fund allows family caregivers a break in their care giving responsibilities, often extending the family’s ability to provide care and avoiding nursing home admission. They provide supervision, socialization, and assistance to persons with cognitive or physical impairments during the absence of the caregiver.
Michigan Health and Wellness Commission ReportThe Michigan Mental Health and Wellness Commission, created by Executive Order 2013-6, recently released a report with 59 recommendations geared towards improving access to, and quality of, mental health services.
The commission was composed of the Lieutenant Governor along with the director of the Department of Community Health (DCH) and a member from each legislative caucus. In addressing the status of persons with a mental illness, developmental disability, or substance use disorder, the commission identified the three major goals of their investigation to be: 1) increasing the number of opportunities for "independence and self-determination"; 2) better access to quality and consistent care; and 3) measuring and evaluating outcomes.
Their findings were initially reported to a joint meeting of the House and Senate Health Policy Committees on January 21, 2014. Please feel free to access the link above.
Michigan Taxpayer Guides2014 Michigan Taxpayer’s Guides are now available for constituents in my district (a reference for tax year 2013). You can access this guide at the link below or contact my office for a hard copy. firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-373-1635 http://www.senatorgoeffhansen.com/publications/
Highlights from Senator Hansen’s Recent ScheduleI continue to be honored to represent the constituents of the 34th district. I've had the opportunity to recently visit with many different groups and participate in various district events taking place in our communities.
Last Friday, I followed the fine example of former Muskegon Mayor Steve Warmington and dug out snow-covered fire hydrants in Muskegon. I share a personal sense of responsibility for the safety of the constituents in my district and hope others will do the same to give firefighters critical access to fire hydrants.
Go Red for Women - Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the US, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Recently, I joined Go Red For Women - American Heart Association in their awareness campaign against heart disease.
I also had a chance to visit with some incredibly talented and hardworking folks at West Michigan Grinding & Machine in Muskegon. This important job provider understands the value of craftsmanship and continues to invest in quality skilled labor. This is a key to remaining competitive in our global economy!
Recently, I stopped by Barber Steel in Rothbury and had a chance to speak with skilled workers who shared their knowledge of Michigan’s steel industry.
Michigan Taxpayer's Guide 2014: a reference for tax year 2013
This booklet contains information for the 2013 tax year on Michigan property taxes, homestead property tax credits, farmland and open space tax relief, the home heating credit program, and individual income taxes. The information contained in this booklet may ease the burden of filling out state tax forms and may even save some taxpayers money. However, this booklet is not designed to provide line-by-line instructions for filling out state income tax forms. That information is provided by the Michigan Department of Treasury in the income tax instruction booklets that include tax forms.
Senator Goeff Hansen