Mental Health bill package passes Senate, moves to governor’s desk

Offenders with mental illnesses could get needed treatment without incarceration under legislation overwhelmingly approved by the Michigan Senate today that will save taxpayer dollars and give participants hope for a better future, announced state Rep. Margaret O’Brien. House Bills 4694-97 statutorily creates mental health courts throughout Michigan.  O’Brien, who authored HB 4697, said the legislation…

New deadlines on voting topics makes for an easier election process

The Michigan Senate approved a package of bills to simplify the process of submitting local ballot questions by coordinating the filing deadlines, state Rep. Dave Pagel announced. The bill package, including House Bills 4393-4397, set new filing deadlines for school boards, municipal boards, governing bodies of incorporating units and metropolitan councils. HB 4393, sponsored by…

Daley opposes campaign finance changes, believes more reform needed

State Rep. Kevin Daley today announced he voted against legislation that raises contribution limits on political campaigns.             “Campaign finance laws are meant to protect the right of citizens to have a say and an influence on political campaigns,” said Rep. Daley, R-Lum. “I don’t think these bills accomplish that. Some argue this legislation provides…

House approves measures to ensure transparency and scope of Obamacare

The Michigan House today approved much-needed transparency legislation to require Michigan health insurers to provide written notice of any premium changes attributed to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), state Rep. Mike Shirkey announced. House Bill 4816, introduced by Shirkey, requires the financial impact of Obamacare on people’s health care premiums, positive or negative, to…

Rep. Kesto hosts forum on how to start and run a business

State Rep. Klint Kesto will host a forum featuring a representative of the Michigan Small Business Association to discuss how to start and successfully run a business. Kesto, R-Commerce Township, whose family owns a small business, invites interested residents to join him at the forum on Monday, Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. at the Commerce…

House panel approves measure to protect access to home phone service

The House Energy and Technology Committee today approved legislation to develop a new policy framework for Internet Protocol networks while maintaining people’s access to effective phone service, state Rep. Dan Lauwers announced. Lauwers voted in favor of Senate Bill 636, which makes it easier for phone companies to invest in more efficient ways of communication…

Rep. Yonker invites residents meet for office hours in December

State Rep. Ken Yonker invites residents to meet with him for office hours in December. The representative will be available to talk to residents about their thoughts and concerns on Monday, Dec. 16 from 2-3:30 p.m. at Mr. Burger located at 1750 44th St. SE in Kentwood. “Monthly office hours allow me to be able…

Howrylak town hall will focus on recognizing and preventing human trafficking

State Rep. Martin Howrylak will host a special town hall providing residents with information to help them recognize and prevent human trafficking in the state of Michigan. The event will be held at 6:30 pm on Monday, Dec. 16 at the Troy Public Library, 510 West Big Beaver Road. The event is free to any…

Capitol Notes: December 2013

Our children are our state’s most valuable resource, and we must do all we can to protect them. For that reason, I introduced House Bill 4867 in June, which redefines “vulnerable victims” for sentencing guideline purposes. The description of this bill sounds complicated, but the idea behind it is much more straightforward. In 2009, an…