Lauwers summer reading contest can help local students stay sharp for fall classes

State Rep. Dan Lauwers today announced he is sponsoring a summer reading contest for local elementary school students to help them retain and improve their reading skills during the next few months. Elementary school students in the 81st House District are eligible, and are encouraged to read early and often.  Students or parents can submit…

House panel approves Glardon measure to exempt disabled veterans from property taxes

The House Tax Policy Committee this morning unanimously approved legislation introduced by Rep. Ben Glardon to help disabled veterans in Michigan by exempting them from paying property taxes on their principal residence. House Bill 4110, introduced by Glardon, allows all honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. armed forces or National Guard who are totally and…

Pettalia Announces Local Office Hours

Residents can meet with state Rep. Peter Pettalia to talk about state government concerns or problems during office hours scheduled in Alpena on June 7. “I encourage people to stop in to share any concerns, ideas or thoughts that can help our region,” said Pettalia, R-Presque Isle. “Office hours differ from town-hall meetings in that…

Lauwers thanks feds for being ‘voice of reason’ on school mascot issue

State Rep. Dan Lauwers today commended the U.S. Department of Education for dismissing a complaint by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights that could have ended the use of American Indian images and mascots at state public schools. Lauwers introduced legislation that would have saved funding for the targeted schools if the complaint had been…

Genetski welcomes complaint dismissal

The U.S. Department of Education’s dismissal of a complaint to end the use of American Indian images as some Michigan high school mascots came as welcome news to state Rep. Bob Genetski, who helped lead the effort to have the matter withdrawn and require the state to pay expenses for making the change. “I am…

House approves Shirkey bill to help adoptees find loving homes in Michigan

The Michigan House today overwhelmingly approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Mike Shirkey to help give at-risk Michigan children a chance at a brighter future by improving the state’s adoption system. House Bill 4646, part of a bipartisan package, would make Michigan adoption law more similar to other states that allow for out-of-court consent, making it easier…

Kesto hails transportation grants for road, bridge improvements

Lawmaker: Money will help create jobs in Oakland County State Rep. Klint Kesto today said funding for state transportation economic development grants announced by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will provide new jobs and smoother commutes for Oakland County. The grants, totaling nearly $1.4 million, will result in $28.4 million in private investment in…

Lawmakers host town hall meeting with veterans

State Rep. Rick Outman and state Sen. Judy Emmons discussed important issues affecting veterans during a recent town hall meeting at Montcalm Community College. Outman, an Army veteran, said the meeting was productive and informative. “It was rewarding to sit and talk with these men and women who served their country in uniform and find…

Rep. Wayne Schmidt announces local office hours

State Rep. Wayne Schmidt today announced office hours that will take place throughout the 104th District. Schmidt is inviting residents to attend office hours to discuss issues of local and state concern.  The lawmaker will have office hours on Monday, June 10, at the following times and locations: 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. – Traverse City…

Bridge Card fraud package approved by state Senate

Retailers would face a steeper penalty for committing Bridge Card fraud under legislation approved today by the state Senate. House Bills 4360 and 4361, sponsored by state Reps. Roger Victory and Gail Haines, penalize retailers who abuse the state’s welfare system by allowing individuals to purchase liquor and lottery tickets with their Bridge Cards.  Under…

Michigan House approves direct placement adoption package

The Michigan House of Representatives today approved a package of bills aimed at making the direct placement adoption process easier in the state of Michigan. Rep. Kenneth Kurtz, chairman of the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee, is the sponsor of House Bill 4648, which would help ensure that a birth mother won’t lose custody…

Rep. LaFontaine encourages residents to enjoy Free Fishing Weekend

State Rep. Andrea LaFontaine is encouraging local residents to take advantage of “Michigan’s Summer Free Fishing Weekend” on June 8 and 9 by heading to their favorite lake, river or stream and enjoying all that Pure Michigan has to offer. During the weekend, all residents and out-of-state visitors will be able to fish without purchasing…