Howrylak to insurers: mental health is as important as physical health

State Rep. Martin Howrylak today introduced a measure preventing insurers from discriminating between coverage provided for mental illness and physical illness. His proposal will amend the Nonprofit Health Care Corporation Reform Act and the Insurance Code Act to require insurers to offer the same coverage for mental health services as traditional medical care. “There should…

Rep. Bellino secures funding for women’s recovery home in Monroe

Rep. Joe Bellino this week successfully secured final legislative approval of special funding for a women’s addiction recovery home in Monroe. The new Michigan state budget plan includes $100,000 to assist construction projects at Paula’s House, a facility for women who are homeless and have substance abuse problems. “It’s a place to help them get…

Rep. Alexander casts vote for fiscally responsible state budget

Jackson County schools receiving top per-student allowance   State Rep. Julie Alexander on Tuesday voted to approve the budget for the coming fiscal year, moving a fiscally conservative budget that addresses key issues that are important to hard-working taxpayers. Alexander, of Hanover, said the new spending blueprint improves Michigan’s economic outlook and gives students more…

Johnson introduces legislation to modernize drain project notification process

State Rep. Steve Johnson has introduced legislation that would make various changes to the way landowners are notified of drainage projects taking place on or near their property. Currently, a notice is required to be mailed to landowners when drainage projects are proposed in their drainage district. This notice includes information about a meeting where…

Representative García announces summer reading program

State Representative Daniela R. García announced the start of her summer reading program throughout the community.  The summer reading program encourages children to read over the summer months and win a chance to join Rep. Garcìa in Lansing for a day with their family. “Spending a little bit of time reading over the summer is…

State Legislature votes for Rep. Alexander plan to help teachers

Legislation part of bipartisan package focused on career development The state Legislature on Tuesday approved state Rep. Julie Alexander’s bill to provide teachers with more professional development opportunities by engaging with area employers and post-secondary training centers. “Each teacher’s professional development can be a key element of education in the classroom, especially when it has…

Rep. VanderWall amends online gaming bill to help fund schools

House gives approval to plan, sends it to Senate   The Michigan House has approved a plan to regulate online gaming, including an amendment submitted by state Rep. Curt VanderWall to direct 5 percent of revenue from gaming to the School Aid Fund. VanderWall, of Ludington, supported the measure, which will allow online gambling only…

Rendon plan expanding skilled trades instruction approved

Legislation to be named in honor of late state school superintendent The state Legislature on Tuesday approved state Rep. Daire Rendon’s landmark plan to create age-appropriate skilled trades learning programs for each grade level in Michigan’s school districts. The bill calls for the state Department of Education to develop skilled trade instruction for the state’s…

Runestad plan helps families look out for loved ones in nursing homes

Measure would allow installation of resident-approved cameras   State Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, introduced legislation Tuesday allowing residents to approve the installation of cameras in their private nursing home rooms. Under the legislation a facility could not refuse to allow a family and the resident this option. “Families are looking for more ways to…

Northern Michigan representatives unveil additional protections for Great Lakes

Plan improves pipeline safety, increases accountability Three northern Michigan representatives have introduced a plan to better protect the Great Lakes by strengthening pipeline safety standards in the Straits of Mackinac. State Reps. Lee Chatfield, Sue Allor and Triston Cole said the comprehensive plan ensures vessels and utility companies operating in the Straits are accountable to…