No related posts. From Sunday to Tuesday, U.S. and Costa Rican officials confiscated a ton of cocaine transported in two drug boats in the Pacific Ocean, authorities reported.Six people were arrested during the operation, including four Costa Ricans, two Mexicans and a Colombian, Costa Rica’s anti-drug police director, Mario Boraschi, said.Boraschi said that on Sunday, U.S. patrol boats stopped a ship flying the Costa Rica flag that had 500 kilograms of cocaine on board. Two Costa Ricans and two Mexicans were arrested.On Tuesday, some 180 miles from the central Pacific port city of Puntarenas, officials stopped a second boat with 500 kg of cocaine on board. Three Costa Ricans and a Colombian man were arrested on the second boat.Boraschi said the arrests were made thanks to a joint patrol operation by the United States and Costa Rica that used a radar system to track drug boats in the area.“We are waiting [for the suspects] to arrive at the port to initiate criminal proceedings against them,” Boraschi said.According to an official report released this week, Costa Rica has seized 3.2 tons of cocaine already this year.Like other Central American countries, Costa Rica is an important transit route for cocaine that is shipped from South America to consumers in the U.S. An estimated 90 percent of all cocaine destined for the U.S. market passes through Central America. Facebook Comments
Obama’s spending plan would boost spending on domestic and military programs and seek to raise taxes by $2 trillion by raising levies on the wealthy, corporations and smokers.Republicans have attacked Obama’s proposed tax increases and the fact that under Obama’s spending plans, the budget will never reach balance. A GOP budget which cleared Congress last month seeks to balance the government’s books over the next decade. It would cut spending on domestic programs and government benefits like Medicaid and food stamps.Democrats have charged that the GOP budget only balances on paper because Republican lawmakers will balk at approving the follow-up legislation to enact the painful cuts needed to achieve balance without raising taxes.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Comments Share FILE – In this May 19, 2015, file photo, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, accompanied by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, speaks during a Financial Stability Oversight Council meeting at the Treasury Department in Washington. The Treasury Department releases federal budget data for May on Wednesday, June 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. budget deficit for May dropped sharply from the level a year ago but much of the improvement reflected a calendar quirk.In its monthly budget report, the Treasury Department said Wednesday that the May deficit dropped to $82.4 billion, down from a deficit of $130 billion in May 2014. But last year’s deficit was inflated because June 1 fell on a Saturday, requiring the government to mail out $35 billion in June benefit payments in May of last year. For the first eight months of this budget year, which began Oct. 1, the deficit totals $365.2 billion, down 16.3 percent from the same period last year. This year’s deficit improvement has been helped by a stronger economy, which has pushed up tax receipts by 8.6 percent.The revenue increase pushed receipts to $2.1 trillion for the period October through May. Outlays were up at a slower pace, rising 4 percent to $2.47 trillion.The government has run a deficit in May for 60 of the past 61 years. The May deficit followed a $156.7 billion surplus in April, when a flood of tax payments pushed government receipts to an all-time monthly high.The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting that the deficit for the full year will total $486 billion, little changed from last year’s deficit of $483.4 billion.The 2014 deficit was down from $680.2 billion in 2013. Before then, the U.S. had recorded four straight years of annual deficits topping $1 trillion. That reflected the impact of a severe financial crisis and the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.In the budget plan President Barack Obama unveiled for 2016, his final full year in office, the president is seeking authorization from Congress to spend $4 trillion and is projecting a deficit of $474 billion. Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Four benefits of having a wireless security system Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H A perusal of this year’s winners’ lists at the World Airline Awards reveals a distinct lack of US carriers. So how did America’s airlines actually stack up against the best of the rest at global aviation’s most prestigious awards? By all accounts, not well. Of the 23 international categories up for grabs at the awards, which garnered the opinions of more than 18 million air travelers, none were bestowed upon US carriers – as was the case in 2011 and in 2010. Even Air Canada won Best Airline North America for the third consecutive year. In the coveted Airline of the Year award, the highest placed US airline was ‘British-born’ low-cost carrier Virgin America, which was ranked 26th. Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines were the next best placed US carriers in 49th and 51st positions respectively, while the highest ranked full-service international carrier was Delta Air Lines in 57th place. Perhaps even more concerning for US commercial aviation than passenger satisfaction is a domestic tax and regulatory system, which according to airline trade association, Airlines for America (A4A), has made it increasingly difficult to be “sustainably profitable and compete globally”. Calling on the Senate to support a National Airline Policy to keep American airlines competitive with foreign carriers, A4A president and chief executive Nicholas E. Calio said the United States faced “the very real risk of U.S. airlines increasingly shifting to feeding foreign airlines at our gateways, rather than expanding their flying of lucrative international routes”. With some US carriers having already reduced capacity to certain international markets – the most profitable part of the business and a subsidizer of many domestic routes – Mr Calio said a further loss of ground to foreign competitors would “take a toll on the larger economy”.“Airlines enable their local businesses to export goods, connect their residents to the world for business and leisure travel – and, importantly, create good-paying jobs.” US carriers are losing ground to their international counterparts (Image AP)
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-02-04 Tory Barringer Share Equity Loans Recaps 2012 Successes in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing “”Equity Loans LLC””:http://www.equityloansllc.com/20/home.htm, a Georgia-based lender with operations in more than 30 states, reported major growth in 2012, both in loan volume and in operations.[IMAGE]According to a company release, Equity Loans saw a 50 percent increase in loan production last year, setting a new record.[COLUMN_BREAK]In addition, the company opened 17 new branch locations and expanded its Atlanta headquarters, adding nearly 5,000 square feet of office space and becoming Perimeter Town Center’s largest current tenant.Equity Loans also made a number of additions to its team in 2012, including four new executives and eight new hires at director and manager levels.””Equity Loans has experienced incredible growth in the past year–in terms of employees, production and branch locations–and we expect to capitalize on that momentum as the mortgage industry continues its recovery in 2013,”” said Equity Loans CEO Kunjan Patel. “”As we expand our footprints in the industry, we remain committed to recruiting the most talented, experienced professionals to support our growth.”” February 4, 2013 448 Views
Philadelphia Eagles’ Zach Ertz (86) is overthrown as Arizona Cardinals’ Rashad Johnson (26) defends during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 24-20. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling It can be challenging getting ready for an offense that, quite frankly, is fairly unique. All defenses have experience facing off against an offense in a hurry-up situation, but the idea that they’ll have to face it for a full 60 minutes is not exactly normal.But more than their pace, which is certainly faster than most, the thing that may matter most is how little the Eagles huddle and substitute. It’s not so much that they quickly run one play after the next, rather they get to the line of scrimmage quickly and decide what play they are going to run. If the Eagles don’t substitute the Cardinals cannot, which can put a strain on players who may have to fill different roles than they are used to.Head coach Bruce Arians said the Eagles don’t run a fast break offense all the time, but will run it during the game.To prepare for that, Bettcher said his defense has faced a scout team running in tempo with how the Eagles’ offense works this week.“From a first to a second down, second to third down, third back to a first down, we try to script it so as much of that — we don’t huddle on defense right now, so we’re not huddling during the week and we won’t huddle on Sunday,” he said. “Just like they won’t huddle. We don’t practice an offense that looks at cards in the huddle, breaks it and comes to the line. There’s four to five with cards over there showing the look teams what we need, and they’re trying to run it as fast at us as we can. “The tempo has been great and those guys have done a great job this week.”It remains to be seen how effective the Cardinals were at mimicking the Eagles. Though they can have a great understanding of what their opponent wants to do, there is no substitute for the experience Philadelphia has in its own offense.Likewise, there is also no substitute for the kind of experience the Cardinals have against this offense..“Those guys play pretty fast, but we played Philly two of the last three years, so we have a pretty good familiarity with how fast and how the pace of the game is going to go,” cornerback Patrick Peterson said. “I believe after the first 15 plays of the game, everything is settled down, they really get into play calling because in the West Coast offense such as Chip’s, they script the first 15 plays so everybody’s on the same page, might be a little bit faster.“But after that, I think the game will settle down. They probably snap the ball now, average seconds between 12 to 15, so it’s not as fast as everyone thinks. It’s just not getting in the huddle and that’s what makes it look really fast.”Safety Tony Jefferson offered a similar sentiment, saying the Eagles line up quickly but then take time to read the defense before running a play. “At the same it’s no huddle, but you still have time,” he said. Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Results are rather mixed, as the Eagles won 10 games in 2013 and 2014, making the playoffs once, and at 6-7 this season are very much alive to win the NFC East.But whether anyone thinks the up-tempo offense is a viable style of football is mostly irrelevant, because either way, defenses have to prepare for it.“Obviously with the tempo, communication is going to be important, that’s where it starts, everybody’s got to be on the same page,” Arizona defensive coordinator James Bettcher said. “Then it comes down to fundamentals, being lined up, getting your eyes in the right spot, making sure that the guy next to you, you’re on the same when you’re working together in coverage.“Those will be the things early on in the game that we’ll have to make sure we manage well on the field.”This will not be the Cardinals’ first look at Philadelphia’s scheme, as the teams faced off each of the last two seasons, so the pace will not come as much of a surprise.Like Bettcher, safety Tyrann Mathieu said communication and getting lined up is important, with him saying it’s half the battle.“I think a lot of their big plays, explosive plays come from guys not communicating, out of position,” he said. “So it’s going to be a big challenge for us to get lined up and have two feet in the ground when the ball is snapped.” Comments Share TEMPE, Ariz. — When the Philadelphia Eagles brought in Chip Kelly to be their head coach, the belief was he would install the same fast-paced, up-tempo offense his Oregon Ducks ran.It took a little while, as the Eagles ranked 12th in the NFL in plays run per game in 2013 at 65.4, but improved to first last season at 70.7 and are second in 2015 at 69.1 per game.Many wondered if an NFL team could with with that kind of pace, as it can lead to less time of possession and more work for Philadelphia’s defense.
Categories: News 27Jun Walsh bill signed to expedite rape kit evidence results Joined Snyder, Schuette for state police crime lab tourLansing, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill this week sponsored by state Rep. John Walsh, R-Livonia, to set up an appropriate process and timeline for the analysis of rape kits after a tour of the Michigan State Police Forensic Science Laboratory. An astounding discovery of more than 11,000 unprocessed evidence kits in Wayne County prompted the need for reform. Walsh said rape victims should never suffer prolonged investigations and deserve proper research and communication from law enforcement. From left: Herb R. Tanner, Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan; Mary Morrow, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Sexual Assault Kit Project Director; state Rep. John Walsh, R-Livonia; and Gov. Rick Snyder.###
State Rep. Aric Nesbitt this week announced he has been named chair of the House Energy Policy Committee, in addition to his new role as majority floor leader.Nesbitt served as chair of the House Energy and Technology Committee last term, which has now been divided into two committees: Energy Policy, and Communications and Technology. In his State of the State address on Jan. 20, the governor announced he will deliver a special message on energy policy in March, which Nesbitt says should help shed light on where Michigan stands in comparison to other states on energy independence.“Ensuring that Michigan residents and small businesses have access to reliable energy is a top priority when it comes to strengthening our economy and building prosperous communities throughout the state,” said Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “As chair, I will continue to focus on how we can create an ‘all of the above’ energy approach, emphasizing the need to have clean, affordable energy available to Michigan’s hard-working families.”Nesbitt was also a member of the House Energy and Technology Committee during his first term, serving as chair of the Natural Gas Subcommittee.Nesbitt can be reached at (517) 373-0839, via email at AricNesbitt@house.mi.gov, and by mail at P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909. Categories: News 22Jan Nesbitt to chair House Energy Policy Committee
08Jan Rep. Maturen posts perfect voting record in 2015 Categories: Maturen News,News As 2015 comes to a close, Rep. Dave Maturen is ending his first year a state representative with a flawless voting record.“Voting is one of the most vital parts of this position, and I take that responsibility very seriously,” said Rep. Maturen, R-Vicksburg. “When I’m here for every vote, it means that all of our neighbors in the district are here for every vote, too.”In addition to a perfect voting record for all 504 roll-call votes cast in the state House in 2015, Rep. Maturen serves as a member of the House Committees on Energy Policy, Local Government, Transportation and Infrastructure, and as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Tax Policy.In 2015, Rep. Maturen introduced four bills and four resolutions. Of the four bills, three were three were signed into Michigan’s law books by Gov. Rick Snyder. Among the four resolutions is a measure urging the Department of Defense to locate a potential missile defense initiative at Fort Custer.Looking forward, Rep. Maturen said that his legislative efforts will be focused primarily on measures regarding Michigan’s energy structure and real-estate tax policies.“We worked extremely hard throughout 2015, but there’s still plenty more that we can do,” Rep. Maturen said. “We’ve got a lot on our plates, but I’m confident that we can enact sensible policy that creates an even better Michigan.”Residents with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Rep. Maturen’s office by phone at 517-373-1787 or by email at DavidMaturen@house.mi.gov.###
Categories: News 02Sep Rep. Price invites 89th District residents to September office hours State Rep. Amanda Price, R-Park Township, is continuing her monthly office hour commitment to 89th District residents with scheduled September events in Spring Lake, Grand Haven and Park Township.“These office hours are crucial to representing our home district in Lansing,” said Rep. Price. “I hope to talk with area residents about their thoughts on state government to do the best I can in being their representative.”The office hours are:Friday, Sept. 9, 11 a.m. to Noon at the Spring Lake District Library, 123 E. Exchange St., Spring LakeFriday, Sept. 16, 2-3 p.m. a.m. at Coffee Grounds, 41 Washington Ave. No. 180, Grand HavenMonday, Sept. 19, 11 a.m. to Noon at the Park Township Hall, 52 152nd, HollandNo appointment is necessary. Anyone unable to attend the office hour events can contact Rep. Price’s Lansing office at 517-373-0838. The representative also can be reached by email at email@example.com or by mail at N-1193 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909.
State Rep. Tom Hooker, R-Byron Center, has introduced legislation Tuesday to increase the tax on beer to five cents per 12-ounce serving.“This is to help fund health and treatment programs associated with the consumption of alcohol, as well as lead to a decrease in crimes tied to alcohol,” said Rep. Hooker. “With fewer state General Fund dollars dedicated today than 20 years ago toward prevention, treatment and legal programs involving alcohol abuse, we need to address this growing problem. The people who choose to consume beer should help with a solution to this issue, just as people who smoke have helped fund health programs associated with smoking.”The Michigan Alcohol Policy Promoting Health and Safety, a Perry-based organization advocating for laws and policies that reduce the illegal and harmful use of alcohol, supports the legislation. The organization emphasized that tax on beer has been unchanged since 1966.“I want to thank Rep. Hooker for his leadership on this issue,” said Mike Tobias, executive director of Michigan Alcohol Policy Promoting Health and Safety. “He’s known as one of the most conservative anti-tax lawmakers, but he understands this is a critical issue and is good public policy. He knows this is the right thing to do.”House Bill 5873 is specific for beer sales only, not wine or alcohol spirits. Categories: News 14Sep Rep. Hooker submits bill for first beer tax increase since 1966
State Rep. Mary Whiteford, of Casco Township, joined her colleagues today in unveiling the Michigan House Republican 2017-18 Action Plan.Whiteford stated that one of her major priorities this legislative term is increasing broadband internet access to families in rural areas throughout Michigan, including those in Allegan County. The Action Plan states that the House is working to eliminate the disadvantages that many people have because of limited broadband access by extending internet services to rural areas, such as those in Allegan County.“Many residents in our community do not have access to reliable, high-speed broadband internet, or any internet at all for that matter. In 2017, people need fast connections in order to conduct business, complete school work and stay connected with loved ones,” said Whiteford.Whiteford also maintains that auto insurance reforms, skilled trades training opportunities and reducing business regulations should be major priorities this term.“We need to create an economic environment that’s friendly to job creation and business growth and we need to work toward auto-insurance reforms that are efficient and fair to drivers,” said Whiteford. “At the end of the day it comes down to making Michigan a better place to live, work and raise a family.”The Action Plan also includes other priorities such as forcing the state government to live within its means, putting more money in the classroom, and fixing roads and bridges.The action plan can be accessed online at gophouse.org/best-way-forward/. Categories: Whiteford News 16Feb Rep. Whiteford: families and future are priorities in House Action Plan
A resolution introduced by state Rep. Hank Vaupel, of Fowlerville, to remove age limitations currently placed on judges was approved today by the House Judiciary Committee.Currently, the Michigan Constitution requires state justices and judges to retire after they turn 70. Vaupel’s resolution proposes a constitutional amendment to eliminate the mandatory retirement age.“This legislation is long overdue. It doesn’t make sense to force good, competent judges to stop serving simply because they’ve reached a certain arbitrary age,” Vaupel said. “The restriction is causing the loss of knowledge and experience exhibited by judges who have years of experience serving on the bench.”Vaupel said when the language was first added to the Michigan Constitution in 1955, the average life expectancy for Americans was just 70 years old. The life expectancy in the U.S. today is much higher.“An age restriction is not needed to protect the public from judges who are unfit to preside because there are already adequate measures in place to accomplish that goal,” Vaupel said, noting that the Judicial Tenure Commission investigates and recommends the removal of judges for cause.House Joint Resolution G now moves to the full House for consideration. If approved by two-thirds of the House and Senate, the measure would be placed on the ballot for voters to consider.### Categories: Vaupel News 25Apr House panel approves Vaupel resolution eliminating age limits on judges
State Rep. Bronna Kahle of Clinton introduced House Resolution 84 to observe May 4, 2017 as Anti-Bullying Day in Michigan. The resolution encourages citizens to “aid in bringing awareness and taking preventative action to affect societal attitudes toward bullying and its prevalence in society.”“Bullying within and outside school walls negatively affects the lives of countless students. They should be able to learn freely and without fear of harassment in any physical, verbal, written, or electronic form,” Rep. Kahle said. “I encourage everyone to join me and stand against bullying.”Rep. Kahle was joined by two community members in support of the resolution, Haley Petrowski and Steve Barkway. Petrowski, an Adrian College student and Lenawee County Fair Queen, is a strong advocate against bullying and Barkway is a Lenawee County radio personality from WLEN-FM.The resolution passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.PHOTO INFORMATION: Rep. Kahle was joined by Steve Barkway and Haley Petrowski of Lenawee County. 05May Rep. Kahle introduces anti-bullying resolution Categories: Kahle News
Categories: Bellino News 03Nov Reps. Bellino, Sheppard will continue fight to lower auto insurance rates State Reps. Joe Bellino and Jason Sheppard said they would continue the fight to bring lower auto insurance rates for all Michigan drivers.Bellino and Sheppard both voted in favor of House Bill 5013, which would guarantee lower rates for all drivers in Michigan – the state with the highest car insurance rates in the nation. The bill would have offered personal injury coverage options, fought fraud and abuse and addressed medical costs.The bill fell short in a vote late Thursday.“Instead of empowering the powerless, the exact opposite happened,” said Sheppard, of Temperance. “People will continue to suffer under the current no-fault insurance system. This fight is not over. I will continue to fight for lower auto insurance rates.”Michigan’s costs are so high largely because it’s the only state mandating unlimited lifetime health care coverage through car insurance. The House plan allowed those currently using the coverage to keep it, and those who want it in the future to continue buying it – while providing more affordable options.“Lansing proved today that special interests still controls daily-business,” said Bellino, of Monroe. “I am disappointed in how the vote ended up going. Not one special interest liked this bill. It’s because the bill was for the people – not them.”The bill remains in the House.
14Feb Rep. VanderWall encourages residents to take advantage of Free Fishing Weekend Categories: VanderWall News Rep. Curt VanderWall is encouraging everyone to take advantage of the state’s winter Free Fishing Weekend on Feb. 17 and 18.This weekend, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will waive the regular recreation passport fees and allow residents and out-of-state visitors to fish without a license. This weekend gives anglers the ability to introduce their sport to friends and family who have never experienced winter fishing, showing them how much fun a Pure Michigan winter can be.“Fishing is a great way to spend time with family and friends in the great outdoors,” VanderWall said. “Michigan has some of the best fishing anywhere and I urge everyone to take advantage of Free Fishing Weekend.”Fishing license fees will be waived for the two days, although all fishing regulations will still apply. For more information visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing, or contact Rep. VanderWall’s office at (517) 373-0825 or CurtVanderWall@house.mi.gov.
Categories: News 17Apr Rep. LaFave: Time to end practice of deer sterilization in Michigan State Rep. Beau LaFave today voted against legislation restricting deer sterilization programs in Michigan, calling instead for an immediate and permanent ban on the practice.“As an avid hunter and conservationist, I can’t in good conscience vote for a bill that allows humans to continue experimenting with the reproductive activity of wild game animals,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain. “Studies have shown non-lethal sterilization programs to be an ineffective method of controlling deer overpopulation. We must put an end to the practice immediately and make sure there’s no place for it in the future.”Ann Arbor is currently the only municipality in Michigan conducting a deer sterilization program. At the city’s request, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources issued a special research permit allowing a contractor to dart and capture female deer, which are then sterilized and returned to the city.The legislation, House Bill 5321, was introduced and referred to the House Natural Resources Committee – on which LaFave serves as vice chair – as a complete ban on sterilization and would have halted Ann Arbor’s program immediately. However, the bill was amended by a special subcommittee appointed to consider the issue, whichLaFave was not a part of. The latest version allows Ann Arbor to continue its experiment until 2020 and opens the door for other municipalities to conduct sterilization programs after 2022.“This isn’t a real solution,” LaFave said. “It just puts a Band-Aid on the problem until 2022.”LaFave said he introduced an amendment to place an immediate ban on sterilization programs, and was disappointed not to receive enough support.“I have heard from dozens of Upper Peninsula residents who are frustrated the DNR allowed Ann Arbor to do this at all – and I agree,” LaFave said. “It’s bad public policy to allow people to mess with the natural reproduction cycles of these animals. I cannot support any plan that allows it to continue.”###
State Rep. Jim Lilly takes part in a bill-signing ceremony with Gov. Rick Snyder in May. The legislation, which prevents recounts that are extremely unlikely to impact the results of an election, was Lilly’s first bill signed into law. The bill originally passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support with a vote of 98 to 10.State Rep. Jim Lilly’s plan to prevent frivolous recounts that are extremely unlikely to impact the results of an election in Michigan was recently signed into law.Lilly, of Park Township, said the events that transpired in Michigan following the 2016 presidential election inspired his legislation.“Jill Stein, who lost by more than two million votes, exploited Michigan election law to impede our election process and cause a pointless but costly legal battle,” Lilly said.House Bill 5012, now Public Act 128 of 2018, clarifies that candidates claiming to be “aggrieved” for the purpose of seeking a recount must be able to demonstrate that they had a reasonable chance of winning the election.“This is a smart reform that improves the integrity of our election system and protects Michigan taxpayers from footing the bill for political games,” Lilly said. “Everyone has the right to request a recount under the new law, but the process won’t proceed if the candidate has no realistic chance of winning the election.”### 10May Rep. Lilly plan to limit senseless election recounts signed into law Categories: Lilly News
12Jun Rep. Cox: State budget plan respects taxpayers, improves roads and will make Michigan’s economy even healthier Record-high resources will help struggling schools get better and allow good schools to flourish. More than a quarter of the overall budget proposal goes to K-12 schools, with $14.8 billion establishing a new record for investment – including the largest annual per-student increase in 15 years, ranging from $120 to $240 per student. Early literacy and support for academically at-risk students are priorities. Smart financial planning. The new budget pays down debt and puts more money into the state’s main savings account, key steps that will continue to reduce the burden on Michigan’s hard-working taxpayers in the future. Health care. Community mental health funding will increase by more than $65 million statewide so residents can live happier, more independent lives. Also supporting the House CARES initiative, about $15 million will be invested in a range of programs including increased access to health care, services to military veterans, problem-solving courts and crime victims’ rights programs. More resources also will be dedicated to battling the opioid abuse crisis. Community safety. The plan funds training of 155 new Michigan State Police troopers – putting our trooper strength at its highest level in 18 years. Road repairs. The new plan accelerates the timeline for desperately needed improvements, spending $4 billion overall on road repairs next budget year – a record-high investment up about $1 billion in state money alone from just a few years ago. Projects must be done on time and on budget, with strengthened warranties to ensure quality. “Taxpayers and drivers demand and deserve better roads, and more help is on the way,” said Cox, who has led efforts to speed Michigan’s road improvement plan. Categories: Cox News,News School safety. Overall budget plans will dedicate roughly $60 million to upgrading school security across Michigan. The OK2SAY confidential tip reporting program will be expanded. The legislation is House Bill 5579 and Senate Bill 848. Workforce development. Michigan students will have more opportunities to train for high-demand jobs and higher wages through a $100 million program Gov. Rick Snyder has named the Marshall Plan for Talent. It’s part of the strategy to continue Michigan’s economic comeback, which has seen unemployment drop from 14.6 percent in June 2009 to 4.7 percent this spring. Rep. Laura Cox today announced final House approval of a new state budget that will save taxpayers money while improving Michigan’s economic future, schools and roads.“We have made Michigan a better place to work, live and raise a family over the past several years – and this new budget will help continue our state’s positive momentum well into the future,” said Cox, chair of the House Appropriations Committee. “We are focused on what’s most important to Michigan families – better and safer schools, repairing roads, and an even healthier economy where people have more opportunities to improve their own lives through better jobs and careers.“Throughout this process, we have worked to make Michigan’s state government more efficient, effective and accountable. We treat our hard-working taxpayers with the respect they deserve by delivering a new budget that demands results, pays down debt and does not grow state government.”The plan for the budget year beginning Oct. 1 focuses on:Savings for taxpayers. While investing more in top priorities, overall spending is less in the next budget than in the current year. A prison will be closed and budgets for several state departments will decline as state government becomes more efficient and eliminates waste. Campus safety. Universities will be held accountable to better protect students. This plan includes provisions to raise standards for handling sexual assault complaints at universities. ###
Legislator proud of increased broadband efforts, drone plansState Rep. Michele Hoitenga, chair of the House Communications and Technology Committee, today stressed the importance of key issues addressed during the first six months of the year that improve the way of living for Michiganders.Hoitenga, of Manton, has consistently fought for improved broadband for residents across the state and high-speed internet capability in underserved or unserved areas. Her continued commitment gives rural portions of Michigan a better chance to attract businesses, jobs and residents while sustaining a healthy local economy.“It’s simply essential in today’s growing, technological world,” Hoitenga said of expanded, high-quality internet access. “The more that gap is widening between city and rural in terms of broadband, the more our rural communities will continue to be left behind. It’s a priority for me to not allow that to happen.”Hoitenga co-sponsored legislation signed into law in April capping certain permitting costs for county rights-of-way work. House Bill 5097, which had passed through committee and is now Public Act 97 of 2018, helps to streamline future broadband expansion projects while eliminating unnecessary government red tape.In May, Hoitenga held a hearing for House Bill 5670, sponsored by state Rep. Mary Whiteford of Casco Township. The proposal establishes a concrete broadband investment plan â€“ including a development fund within the state treasury and a team tasked with identifying areas in Michigan that are unserved or underserved and develop policies to award grants.“It’s important to discuss ideas and drive discussion so we can get things done for the people of Michigan,” said Hoitenga. “The problem we run into is many rural areas are deemed to be ‘low-density,’ with too few people for a provider to see the worth in extending coverage. I want to eliminate that notion and meet this problem head-on through open dialogue. We aren’t there yet, but I enjoyed the back and forth relating to this issue with opinions from true experts. It shows we, as a committee, understand the magnitude of what rural Michigan is facing.”Hoitenga also sponsored legislation and provided input for the committee on new state laws for drones.One plan makes illegal activity carried out with the use of a drone, such as dropping contraband, weapons, cell phones or other items onto correctional facility property for inmates, the same as an individual breaking the law without unmanned aircraft as an aid. Resources for acceptable use at a state level are notably thin, and Hoitenga’s other proposal within the legislative package aims to expand and centralize available information on the growing industry. The bill tasks the existing Michigan Aeronautics Commission with providing education to various departments, the public, law enforcement and other entities.The two bills, along with other drone proposals, advanced on an overwhelming House vote in March and currently are under consideration in the Senate Transportation Committee.“This industry has taken off rapidly and government has been slow to react in evaluating its role,” Hoitenga said. “The Federal Aviation Administration estimates that as many as 7 million drones could be active nationwide by 2020. As technology continues to leap forward, we must look at measures that lead to acceptable use while protecting state and public safety interests.” Categories: Hoitenga News,News 09Jul Rep. Hoitenga highlights progress made by House Communications and Technology Committee
No appointment is necessary to attend coffee hours. Anyone unable to attend during the scheduled times may contact Rep. VanderWall at his office at (517) 373-0825 or CurtVanderWall@house.mi.gov.### State Rep. Curt VanderWall of Ludington invites residents to join him for October coffee hours.“Holding coffee hours every month provides an opportunity to inform the community on what is going on in Lansing and answer their questions regarding state government,” VanderWall said. “I encourage all residents to attend my coffee hours.”Rep. VanderWall will be available at the following times and locations:Monday, Oct. 159 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Leelanau County Board of Commissioners Room, 8527 E. Government Center Drive in Suttons Bay;11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Benzie County Board of Commissioners Room, 448 Court Place in Beulah;4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Manistee County Board of Commissioners Room, 415 Third St. in Manistee; and6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. at Scottville City Hall, 105 Main St. in Scottville. Categories: VanderWall News 04Oct Rep. VanderWall announces October coffee hours