VerHeulen reluctantly moving forward on health care exchange implementation

State Rep. Rob VerHeulen today voted with other members of the House Appropriations Committee to appropriate a grant from the federal government that will fund the technology to start up a federal government-mandated health care exchange in Michigan. VerHeulen, a freshman member of the Legislature, says this choice was made after a lengthy cost-benefit analysis…

Forlini: It’s better to be in driver’s seat on health care exchange

Lawmaker comments on budget committee’s action   State Rep. Anthony Forlini, R-Harrison Township, chair of the House Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, today issued the following statement regarding the House Appropriation Committee’s approval of a health care exchange partnership with the federal government: “Two weeks ago I roughed up the presenters of the state…

House declares cancer awareness month

March 2013 is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in the state of Michigan after state lawmakers this week approved House Resolution 35, sponsored by Rep. Frank Foster, R-Petoskey. “The governor has said that to build a stronger Michigan, we must build a healthier Michigan and battling cancer is a top concern for everybody,” Foster said. “The…

Pagel schedules in-district office hours

No appointment needed to meet with lawmaker State Rep. Dave Pagel will meet with residents of the 78th House District during office hours on Saturday, March 2 in Berrien Springs. Pagel, R-Oronoko Township, will sponsor office hours at Hopper’s Family Restaurant, 9675 U.S. Highway 31 in Berrien Springs from 10 a.m. to noon. People with…

Innovative approach at Jackson County’s Enterprise Group discussed in House committee

  Bill Rayl, senior vice president of the Enterprise Group of Jackson Inc. and executive director of the Jackson Area Manufacturing Association, this afternoon testified before the House Committee on Michigan Competitiveness on developing economic competitiveness through collaboration.  State Rep. Mike Shirkey, committee chair, invited Rayl to speak about the innovative programs available at the…

Rep. Farrington raises questions over EITC proposal

State Rep. Jeff Farrington today raised some concerns over a recent plan being pushed by Democrats in the House and Senate to raise the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).  Currently Michigan covers 6 percent of the federal tax credit, which is more than 31 other states currently offer. “Democrats have yet to answer the tough…

Kurtz bills to assist funeral directors in providing services

State Rep. Kenneth Kurtz today announced legislation that would 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 the same rights in other states that have…

Grant money awarded in Genesee County to eliminate blighted properties

State Rep. Joseph Graves today announced that Genesee County will be receiving nearly $4 million as part of a statewide blight elimination project. A total of 34 municipal, township and county entities statewide will share in $15 million in funding to help eliminate blight in their communities. “Abandoned homes and properties throughout our communities are…

Rep. McCready announces March office hours

State Rep. Mike McCready today announced he is sponsoring open office hours in the 40th District in March. McCready encourages those interested in discussing state or local issues to take advantage of this opportunity and come meet with him during one of these sessions. The first session will take place on Monday, March 11, from…

Rep. Howrylak announces district office hours

Rep. Martin Howrylak will hold in-district office hours to give residents of the 41st District the opportunity to meet with him locally. “I want residents to think of me as their eyes and ears in Lansing,” said Howrylak, R-Troy.  “It is important that I know the concerns of my constituents in order to represent them…

House bill protects local conservation programs

Local conservation district boards have been protecting Michigan’s natural resources and farmlands through grassroots programs and professional support for 80 years and legislation introduced by Rep. Peter Pettalia is aimed to keep it that way. The House last week approved House Bill 4132, which remedies a rare technical glitch discovered in Midland County when the…

District receives grant money to eliminate blight

State Rep. Peter Pettalia today announced that several local municipalities have been awarded nearly $75,000 to eliminate blight. In the 106th District, the City of Onaway will receive $14,000, the City of East Tawas will receive $23,000, and Northeast Michigan Affordable Housing will receive $36,750. “Tough economic times coupled with questionable foreclosures have left many…