COLUMN: Public deserves more openness, transparency from state officials

As a new state representative, I’m asking people to put their trust in me, and I want them to be able to hold me accountable. A major barrier, however, is Michigan’s status as one of just two states in which the governor, lieutenant governor and the Legislature are exempt from having to disclose records to…

Rep. Roberts seeks input from local residents

State Rep. Brett Roberts, of Charlotte, invites people to meet with him during office hours this month in Brooklyn. “My goal is to connect with the people I represent and hear what matters most to them,” Roberts said. “Talking to residents from our district and listening to the problems they face helps me better represent…

Rep. Afendoulis to host coffee hour event on Feb. 10

State Rep. Chris Afendoulis welcomes residents to join him at 8-9:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, for coffee hours in the East Grand Rapids Community Center to discuss key state government issues. The community center is located at 750 Lakeside Drive SE in Grand Rapids. “Coffee hours are a great opportunity to meet with and…

Representative García invites local residents to Feb. 6 office hours

State Representative Daniela R. García of Holland is inviting Ottawa County residents to join her for in-district office hours scheduled in Hudsonville, Zeeland and Holland on Monday, Feb. 6. “Office hours haven been an invaluable platform for me to listen to my fellow Ottawa County residents,” García said. “Feedback is critical for me to be…

Rep. Hughes sponsors Go Red Day resolution

State Rep. Holly Hughes of Montague was the main sponsor of a resolution to bring awareness to women’s health issues related to heart disease and stroke on Thursday. The Go Red For Women measure was unanimously approved by the state House of Representatives, encouraging everyone to wear red on Friday, Feb. 3. Hughes (center) was…

Legislation would give local school districts flexibility in setting calendar

State Representative Daniela R. García of Holland introduced legislation today to establish better schedule flexibility for local school districts. “The needs of the students and families of the district call for this legislation, allowing the administration to set an annual calendar well in advance of the upcoming school year,” García said. “If we’re truly focusing…

Rep. Howrylak introduces bill to reduce taxes for retirees, seniors

Rep. Martin Howrylak of Troy introduced legislation today that seeks to significantly lower the tax burden for retirees. “I came to Lansing with the desire to provide taxpayers in Troy and Clawson and across the state with tax relief,” Howrylak said. “The retirement income tax exclusion was eliminated several years ago and my goal is…

Rep. Hernandez introduces legislation to reduce unnecessary restrictions on charities

State Rep. Shane Hernandez has introduced legislation to clarify Michigan law and protect local charities from unnecessary harassment. Hernandez, R-Port Huron, sponsored a bill to allow charitable organizations to continue longstanding practices of collecting money in public roadways under strict guidelines. “What we’re attempting to do is simply remove laws from the books which are…

Rep. Lucido bill seeks additional civil asset forfeiture reform

Legislation would catalog property until a conviction Legislation submitted today by state Rep. Peter Lucido of Shelby Township would require a criminal conviction before the process of civil asset forfeiture could begin. As written, the bill would require law enforcement agencies to catalog the property suspected of being related to criminal activity and, once a…

State champion Bronson girls’ volleyball team honored at Capitol

State Rep. Eric Leutheuser of Hillsdale hosted 19 state champions today, honoring the Bronson High School volleyball team and coach Jean LaClair with a signed tribute and a guided tour at the state Capitol. Bronson captured the 2016 Class C state championship in November, winning six of seven games in the state semifinals and finals…

Rep. Griffin’s bill promotes investment in broadband internet

State Rep. Beth Griffin has introduced a bill to promote investment in broadband equipment, which could result in more high-speed internet service to underserved and rural areas of the state. Griffin, of Mattawan, serves as vice chair of the House Communications and Technology Committee, and said the legislation incentivizes businesses to invest in equipment necessary…

Rep. Bizon: Step up to support heart health for women

State Rep. Dr. John Bizon of Battle Creek encouraged support today for efforts aimed at improving heart health, particularly among women. The first step? Wear red on Friday – National Wear Red Day – to show support for research related to cardiovascular health. Bizon co-sponsored a resolution approved by the Michigan House to declare Feb….