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Senator Patrick Colbeck’s Newsletter
 

Legislative UPDATE

Fall Session Seeing Many Important Issues Being Considered

Capitol Building

In this edition:

- Fall Legislation
- Women on the Homefront
- District News & Constituent Corner

The state Senate’s agenda for the Fall saw many important issues coming to the forefront. Two areas of particular interest that are seeing renewed debate include SB 437 & SB 438, that deal with some of the commercials you may have seen on TV related to electricity, and also SB 627 & SB 628 regarding an expansion of the use of “public-private partnerships”. You can read this legislation and applicable analysis at legislature.mi.gov.

Energy Reform Legislation

SB 437 & SB 438 would change how Michigan’s electric market would work in a variety of profound ways.  At their core, the bills deal with whether our current energy market, which for most customers is a closed monopoly, will continue in its current form or if the law will make it even more difficult for those who wish to use alternate electric suppliers. Senator Colbeck will continue to advocate for consumer benefits such as cost reductions, reliability, true choice regarding smart meters, and allowing consumers to select their energy source(s). Consumers should have a choice between solar, wind, coal, nuclear and other energy sources, but their rates then need to reflect the un-subsidized market price for their preferred energy source(s).

In keeping with the senator’s standard practice, when he is opposed to legislation with major policy implications he will typically work on alternative amendments or legislation focused upon achieving improved public policy. Senator Colbeck plans to introduce energy related legislation on November 9th for consideration as an alternative to some of the provisions of this package. New versions of SB 437 and 438 will likely be debated on the Senate floor in mid-November. Please follow the Senator Patrick Colbeck Facebook page for latest developments.

“Public-Private Partnership” Legislation

Public-Private Partnerships (aka P3’s) can be beneficial in limited situations, such as when private organizations volunteer to keep sections of governmental roadways clean. More often than not, though, P3’s can be harmful especially in cases where taxpayer dollars are being used as a financial “backstop” for risky financial investments that would not otherwise have merit for private sector investment. The public benefit for such investments must be weighed very carefully by duly elected representatives of the public interest before pursuing such projects. In this light, any expansion of “public-private partnership” law needs to be explored carefully or it may create consequences that are not in the best interests of the general public.

For example, SB 627 & SB 628 would look to expand the scope of P3 activities within the state to include toll roads. Sen. Colbeck believes that the merit of toll roads should be explored separately before we pursue an expansion of these P3 provisions in law. As a strong believer in the accountability of elected officials, our office would not be able to support any legislation that could create a “blank check” for governmental departments to enter into such agreements on their own, without legislative oversight and approval. In this light, Sen. Colbeck is currently opposed to SB 627 & SB 628 and believes that the legislature should maintain oversight responsibility for such projects.

Drone Regulation Legislation Moves Out Of The Senate

Drones

Legislation that dealt with the regulation of unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly referred to as “drones”, was recently voted out of the Senate. This technology holds great promise for our state, and the Senator will be working with his colleagues in the House to ensure protections for personal property rights, particularly in the immediate airspace around peoples’ homes. You can read his press release on the issue here, and also view a video of his floor-speech: http://www.senatorpatrickcolbeck.com/speeches/

Women On the Home Front

Women on the Home Front

The Yankee Air Museum, Eastern Michigan University, and the American Rosie the Riveter Association have partnered together to capture Oral History interviews of former “Women Home Front Workers” who worked during the Second World War. For more information on the Veteran's History project, please visit: http://www.loc.gov/vets/

If you are a female who worked on the home front during World War II and are interested in being interviewed as part of this project please contact Julie Osborne at Julie.Osborne@YankeeAirMuseum.org, or call 734-483-4030 x237.

District News & Constituent Corner

Perrinville School

For those who may have missed it (and it was hard to miss!), the Greenmead Historical Park in Livonia recently acquired a one-room brick schoolhouse that was built in 1937 by Henry Ford. “Perrinville School” will be preserved and sold for $1 by Livonia Public Schools to the city of Livonia under a cooperative agreement being worked out by the two entities.

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OUR DISTRICT

Michigan’s 7th Senate District
 

The 7th Senate District includes Canton Township, Livonia city, Northville city, Northville Township, Plymouth city, Plymouth Township, and Wayne city.

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Senator Patrick Colbeck

1020 Farnum Bldg. P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Phone: (517) 373-7350

Email: SenPColbeck@senate.michigan.gov
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Visit my website at: www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com
 
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