Representative Jeff Irwin announces staff and priorities for upcoming Legislative Session

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

ANN ARBOR – State Representative Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) is preparing for the upcoming legislative session and has requested several bills for immediate introduction at the start of the 96th Legislature.

"Michigan is facing the double challenge of scarce budget resources and deepening need." Irwin said, "That’s why the first bills I introduce will focus on our State's most pressing issues, offering solutions that provide tangible investments in Michigan that will grow our economy and improve our environment simultaneously.”

Specifically, Irwin will champion energy efficiency projects in Michigan homes and businesses.Irwin will re-introduce PACE legislation that offers financing options to homeowners.“These investments not only pay for themselves over a short timeframe; but every project provides jobs, savings to homeowners, reduces pollution and raises property values.”

Additionally, Irwin will introduce legislation to secure federal funds to invest in Michigan’s rail infrastructure, maximizing economic development opportunities along the I-94 corridor.

“I am excited to start working with Governor Snyder and my fellow Legislators to improve Michigan’s economy by making lasting investments in a more connected and more sustainable Michigan.”

“As we focus on ways to build our economy in Michigan, we can’t afford to lose sight of our best economic development tool, education.”Irwin concluded, “If leadership in energy, life sciences and technology is our goal; we have to first ensure that we focus on the basic elements of success: broad access to great teachers and culture of knowledge and learning.”

Irwin also announced that he has hired two experienced legislative staff, Sarah Schillio and Lonnie Scott.Schillio has worked previously for Representative Lee Gonzales and Scott is the former staffer for Representative Alma Wheeler Smith.Both have extensive legislative and budget experience.

“Sarah and Lonnie will serve the residents of the 53rd district with distinction,” Irwin said. “Their knowledge and ability to navigate the legislative process will allow our office to genuinely hit the ground running.I am excited to be working with a great team.”

Irwin officially took office January 1st and has already spent time in Lansing getting a head start on the issues.Official legislative business will begin after the official swearing in on January 12th.

You can stay updated on this and other legislative information by signing up to receive Representative Irwin's e-newsletter at www.jeffirwin.housedems.com