Week in review: Awesome duck, part 2

Categories: Blog Features,In Case You Missed It

As the second of three weeks in Lame Duck session comes to a close, let’s recap what House Republicans have done for Michigan

House puts low-income heating needs first

Legislation sponsored by Rep. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, allocates federal dollars—upfront—for weatherization so agencies can better protect the state’s low-income families from Michigan’s unpredictable elements, especially through the winter months.

The bill requires the timely allocation of federal funding to the state’s energy assistance programs so agencies aren’t scrambling to provide services due to unpredictable fluctuations in need and funding throughout the year. Upfront and consistent funding will help low-income residents lower their bills and make it easier for agencies to help Michigan families.

Bill bars bidders from property auctions

A measure sponsored by Rep. John Walsh, R-Livonia, was approved by the House this week requiring proof of sound property tax standing for sale of foreclosed homes. Sales can be canceled if buyers are not in good standing with the county’s blight code, too.

Foreclosure auctions are becoming revolving doors. Properties are auctioned off, foreclosed on, auctioned again and foreclosed again. It’s a cycle we must break if we’re serious about reviving Michigan’s blighted communities.

–Rep. John Walsh

The legislation encourages bids from well-intentioned buyers and protects county administrations from those trying to game the system. At the end of the day, the bill improves communities by reducing annual foreclosure rates and eliminating blight.

Spirited ‘pedal pub’ bills power through House

Legislation sponsored by Rep. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, was approved permitting ‘pedal pubs’ in Michigan. With the proven ability to promote tourism and drive local businesses, ‘pedal pubs’ are multi-traveler, pedal-powered vehicles on which passengers—not drivers—are allowed to consume alcohol.

Originating in the Netherlands, the vehicles are becoming popular in Traverse City, Marquette, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids as a means of transportation to and from alcohol-related events. Entrepreneurs offer sightseeing tours and pub crawls via ‘pedal pubs,’ which could prove beneficial to Michigan’s nationally renowned craft beer industry among other tourist attractions.