2018 seemed to be a year of political turmoil, with the national media stirring up division, a contentious election season, and vigorous debates on legislation and policy issues. In Michigan, despite the challenging political climate, we achieved important results for you in order to expand opportunities for each individual to use their God-given talents and bless their families and community.
As your State Representative, my goal is to take our Lenawee values to Lansing and get the job done for you. This year we dedicated record funding to repair our roads, including directing additional resources throughout the year, and prioritizing the completion of projects on time and on budget, with strong warranties.
We are taking steps to protect our record investment in school funding, nearly $15 billion, and ensure the increases are delivered as promised. I’m thankful to have played a role in continuing to close the funding gap for our Lenawee County schools, and I will continue to fight for our student’s education.
We are all concerned about threats toward schools, so we enhanced school safety measures. The plan adds another $25 million in school safety grants, which will help more schools make needed security improvements. This investment supports a comprehensive approach including the creation of a statewide school safety commission and a previously approved expansion of the OK2SAY confidential school safety reporting program.
All children deserve a chance to grow up in a safe environment, at school and at home. That’s why our most recent budget plan adds money to hire 175 additional child protective services workers for Michigan.
We advanced initiatives to improve our quality of life in Lenawee County, including dedicating resources for rural broadband and protecting “Meals on Wheels”. Additionally, we enhanced efforts to clean up our environment, confront PFAS contamination, protect the Great Lakes, and respond immediately to environmental emergencies.
Michigan’s unemployment rate is under 4 percent and our economy is growing, so preparing young people for careers is a key focus. My legislation to expand skilled trades instruction in high schools was signed into law. This change will allow licensed professionals with proven expertise in their field to teach in our schools. Bringing more real-world experience into our schools can only be beneficial for students seeking their career path in life.
Identity theft is becoming a significant threat, so I passed legislation to improve procedures to protect citizens’ tax filings to prevent refunds from being stolen. Many of our fellow citizens are genuinely suffering, so we expanded access to treatment for opioid addiction and strengthened mental health care.
Thankfully, while supporting these priorities, we took steps to reduce state government debt and boosted the state’s rainy-day fund to more than $1 billion.
Bottom line, Lenawee County is a wonderful place to live because we work together to support one another and build a better future. We work together to improve economic opportunities, support our priorities while remaining fiscally responsible, and help the vulnerable in our community.
Thank you for your service to your family, friends, and community, and providing me with the advice and perspective to represent you in the State House. In 2019, I look forward to continue working with you and for you.
(Rep. Bronna Kahle represents the 57th District in the Michigan House.)