Welcome to my latest E-newsletter! It continues to be an honor to represent you and our community in the state Legislature.
Budget Supplemental Passed
I’m pleased to report that on Wednesday night the House passed two supplemental budget bills to restore some of the $947 million in line-item vetoes. Although I believe the Legislature took much too long to complete this supplemental, this legislation will restore desperately needed funding to important priorities across the state – including a funding increase for public charter schools, isolated school districts and early literacy programs. I was proud to vote yes on this bipartisan legislation. The next stop for these bills is the Senate where my hope is they pass swiftly to get this money flowing back into these programs. If passed by the Senate, they will move on to the governor.
November Small Business of the Month
If you’re from Eaton County, you know Jersey Giant Subs has been a community staple for decades. That’s why we honored owner Britt Slocum and his staff with HD 71’s Small Business of the Month for November. Family owned and operated since 1979, Jersey Giant is committed to thriving in the Michigan market by expanding their locations, understanding their customers and living up to their expectations.
November Teacher of the Month
One of the top concerns I hear at my weekly coffee hours and at the doors is education and protections our public school teachers, which inspired us to honor a great educator each month. This month for HD 71’s Teacher of the Month, I had the privilege of honored Grand Ledge Public Schools teacher, Lori Bucholz. It’s clear based on the nominations our office received throughout the month that Lori is a favorite among her students and the entire Grand Ledge community. Congratulations, Lori!
Where I’ve been in District 71
Last week I attended a Charlotte City Council meeting to present a tribute to their longtime city manager, Gregg Guetschow, for his 40 years of service to communities, villages and cities throughout Michigan. Gregg has contributed mightily to the improvement of the City of Charlotte and remains a reliable resource for all local government leaders in the area.
I also spent some time over Thanksgiving weekend stuffing a cop car with Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich and a number of other great police officers within the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office. They spent the day filling cars around the county with much-needed groceries to fill food pantries, including the one run by St. Gerard Church. I love the hard work our police officers display on and off duty for the people of our county.
The highlight of this week was having the privilege to honor one of the last 11 remaining survivors of the USS Indianapolis, Dick Thelen, with a commemorative tribute alongside Congresswoman Slotkin, Mayor Schor, and Reps. Hope and Anthony. Dick was only 18 when the ship went down and spent five days in the middle of the ocean before being rescued. Many of his close friends aboard the ship did not make it back. Dick’s positive nature has always made an impact on our community. He is both a true patriot and a hero. Also attending the ceremony was my awesome nephew, Zachary, who came home for a few weeks of leave yesterday. He’s currently on active duty in the Air Force and has been overseas for four years. He was able to hear firsthand about the bravery of a fellow brother in arms.
The following day I attended the monthly breakfast with veterans at Delta Retirement Center. Every month they get together to support each other and tell the occasional story. This breakfast served as a reminder of the sacrifice veterans have made for each of us and our country. If you get a chance, listen to their stories.
How I Voted This Week
I voted ‘yes’ on the following bills this week on the House floor:
HB 4306 – Amends the Revised Judicature Act to require a notice of foreclosure by advertisement to include certain additional information
HB 4816 – Creates the Regional Event Center Financing Act which would allow municipalities to create an event center financing program and levy assessments on transient facilities.
HBs 5241–5213 – Eliminates the life insurance company reserve requirements exemption and default to the more limited exemption in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) valuation manual. It would also add requirements for the proper regulation and recognition of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) to act as the group-wide supervisor for financial conglomerates that exceed a threshold of international activity and size.
SBs 152 & 154 – Contains supplemental appropriation adjustments to restore a number of vetoed items and funding transfers.
I voted ‘no on the following bills this week on the House floor:
HB 4120 – Allows a county road commission for a county with a population of less than 100,000 to enter into a contract or agreement for the purchase of real or personal property.
HB 4687 – Allows the baiting of elk and deer during the open hunting seasons for elk and deer and to allow the feeding of elk and deer year-round.
To get more detail about any of these bills or to easily track their progress, visit www.legislature.mi.gov.
Upcoming Coffee & Happy Hours
- Friday, Dec. 13 from 8-9 a.m. at Fay’s Evelyn Bay Coffee in Charlotte
Other Upcoming Events in Eaton County
The 48th Annual Night Lights Christmas Parade is going on tonight at 7 p.m. on Bridge Street in Grand Ledge. The parade full of lots of lights and plenty of music will start at the Grand Ledge Fire Department before making its way down Bridge Street. Santa and Mrs. Claus will make their appearance at the end of the parade, trading in their red sleigh for a red fire truck!
State Representative Angela Witwer
71st House District