Governor signs Pagel bill to streamline village election process

Bill transfers some election responsibilities to county officials Gov. Rick Snyder today signed into law a bill introduced by state Rep. Dave Pagel that consolidates the election process by transferring duties in village elections. Public Act 52 of 2013 is part of a three-bill package that reassigns the duties of local canvassing boards to the…

Kesto legislation brings more transparency to election process

Bill requires disclosure of felonies when filing to run State Rep. Klint Kesto today introduced legislation that requires candidates filing paperwork seeking political office to disclose any felony convictions within 10 years of the filing date on their affidavit of candidacy. The measure will bring more transparency to the filing process, said Kesto, R-Commerce Township….

Rep. Joel Johnson announces June office hours

State Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare, today announced his district office hours for June 24 and 28. The representative is meeting with Osceola and Clare counties residents on the last Monday of the month and will be in Arenac and Gladwin counties the last Friday of the month. “Meeting with constituents is one of the most…

Potvin announces June office hours

State Rep. Philip Potvin today announced he will host office hours this month at the Hanover Township Hall in Wexford County. Potvin invites residents to meet with him on Monday, June 17 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm at the Hanover Township Hall in the village of Buckley located at 203 N. Second St. “Meeting with…

Graves announces June office hours

State Rep. Joe Graves today announced he will host office hours this month at four locations in the 51st House District. Graves invites local residents to meet with him to discuss state or local issues on the following dates: Monday, June 17 from 9 to 10 a.m. at Biggby, 235 N. Leroy St., Fenton; Friday,…

Capitol Notes: June 2013

In May, I gave an update on the 2013-2014 fiscal year budget after it passed the Michigan House of Representatives. The budget was then sent to conference committee so differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget could be reconciled. For the third year in a row, the Legislature has passed a balanced…

Rep. O’Brien lauds success of local mental health courts

State Rep. Margaret O’Brien has been busy at work on one of her core legislative issues this spring: mental health courts.  She had the opportunity this week to testify on the matter before her colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee, and was joined by a local resident with a wealth of experience on the issue,…

Federal sequester cuts an insult to veterans, survivors

We have all heard much about the federal government’s failure to achieve needed budget cuts and the automatic across-the-board cuts that were initiated as a result of Congress’ inability to make a decision. We have come to know these forced budget cuts as sequestration. The news media has reported the most outrageous consequences from sequestration….

Victory announces local office hours for June

State Rep. Roger Victory today announced he is sponsoring office hours in his district on June 15 and 21 The session taking place Saturday, June 15 is from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at New Beginnings Restaurant, located at 25 68th Ave. in Coopersville. The first session on Friday, June 21 will take place from 9…

Rep. LaFontaine announces summer reading contest

State Rep. Andrea LaFontaine today announced she will again sponsor the 32nd District summer reading contest for local students.  The Columbus Township lawmaker has hosted the contest in the past, and is hoping for strong reader participation again this year. “Summer is finally here, and I encourage local students to take advantage of some free…

Senate panel approves Kurtz legislation to assist funeral directors, grieving families

The Senate Regulatory Reform Committee on Thursday approved four bills sponsored by state Rep. Kenneth Kurtz to help funeral directors and grieving Michigan families. House Bills 4303, 4329 and 4330 would allow Midwest funeral directors to cross state lines to participate in the removal, document signing, and transportation process.  Michigan funeral directors would be allowed…

Pagel introduces measure to help nursing home residents

Bill allows seniors to keep tax exemption while home is for sale State Rep. Dave Pagel today introduced legislation making it easier for people living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities to continue receiving the principal residence tax exemption (PRE) on their primary home. House Bill 4810 removes the phrase “is not for sale” from…

Potvin testifies before Senate Education Committee

This week state Rep. Phil Potvin (left) testified before the Senate Education Committee in support of SB 374 introduced by Sen. Judy Emmons. Potvin testified with (from left to right) Cadillac Area Public Schools Superintendent Jo Spry, Mike Outman, a principal in the Cadillac school district and Rep. Rick Outman. SB 374 establishes a new student…

Qualified Forest Program for timber harvesting and management was signed into law

Legislation to encourage owners of the 11 million acres of private forestlands in Michigan to join the state’s Qualified Forest Program for timber harvesting and management was signed into law today. The nine-bill package, which includes a measure sponsored by Rep. Frank Foster, R-Petoskey, updates the program’s property tax incentives and offers educational and technical…