Rep. Iden: 2017 improved business climate, quality of life for Kalamazoo County

Categories: Iden News,News

In 2017, I supported many policies at your state Capitol to improve lives throughout our county and all across Michigan.

I voted for a state budget that keeps government accountable for all tax dollars and invests in priorities important to families. The budget – covering a fiscal year that began on October 1st, 2017 — includes record funding for K-12 schools, additional funding for at-risk students, increased funds for much needed road repairs, and a $700,000 amendment which I sponsored to fight opioid abuse in Kalamazoo County through a program administered by Kalamazoo Community Mental Health. The program could have a widespread impact across the state on efforts to help control the opioid epidemic that is gripping many of our communities.

As chair of the House Regulatory Reform Committee, I am focused on improving Michigan’s business climate without compromising public safety. Our committee advanced legislation to reduce bureaucracy for thousands of businesses. Michigan’s economic comeback continues as we eliminate unnecessary regulations and keep supporting our job seekers.

All of these measures are designed to continue to move Michigan forward. This year, we have increased funding for skilled trade programs, such as welders, mechanics, electricians, builders, technicians and others. The House also recently passed legislation to expand professional skills instruction in high schools, making students more aware of potential career opportunities at an earlier age. This is a critical step in addressing the shortage in our workforce. Excitingly, this year Michigan featured its lowest unemployment rate in 17 years!

I was the primary sponsor of critical legislation impacting our infrastructure that was signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2017. Public Act 132 of 2017 helps expand the state’s efforts to boost cybersecurity efforts by allowing volunteers – working through a state program — to provide cyber-defense services to nonprofits, private businesses, educational organizations and other private and governmental entities. Public Act 133 of 2017 focuses on energy savings and efficiency by allowing community colleges to finance energy conservation and operational improvements through the use of lease-purchase agreements.

I am proud that it has been another successful year in Lansing and I look forward to representing our community into the new year.

Your input is crucial to shaping legislation in Lansing. My office may be reached by calling 517-373-1774 or via email at BrandtIden@house.mi.gov.

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(Rep. Brandt Iden of Oshtemo represents the 61st District in the Michigan House.)