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Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senate District 7 Legislative Update
Canton Township, Livonia city, Northville city, Northville Township, Plymouth city, Plymouth Township, and Wayne city.
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Dear Friends,

In this issue of my e-newsletter I’ve assembled information on some of the most recent issues we’ve tackled in Lansing in order to help keep you informed about what is happening in your Capitol.

Should you ever have any questions about my work in the district or in Lansing, please contact my office at 517-373-7350 or by email at senpcolbeck@senate.michigan.gov, or visit with me at one of my monthly office hours in the district.

Best Regards,

Patrick Colbeck
State Senator

LEGISLATIVE TOPICS

Colbeck Submits Suggested Revisions to Proposed Social Studies Standards

In response to a request from the Michigan Department of Education for feedback from the public and stakeholders on the department’s proposed Social Studies Standards, I along with 17 other members of the Michigan House and Senate sent a letter to the members of the State Board of Education highlighting several areas where we had concerns.

As elected officials, we hear from our constituents on a variety of issues and do our best to be responsive to their concerns. Many of you have contacted us with questions and concerns about the proposed Social Studies Standards, so I spent considerable time analyzing the proposed standards in depth. As a result of this analysis, I did indeed find some areas where there is cause for concern. We’ve shared those concerns with the Board of Education members and are hopeful they will give serious weight to our suggestions.

Our standards should be based on accuracy, political neutrality and age-appropriate educational value. In total, 15 unique issues were identified and accompanied by suggested revisions. A copy of the proposed standards and my suggested revisions can be found online in their entirety at Social Studies Standards.

Road Funding Debate: Colbeck challenges the assertion that tax hikes are necessary to repair the roads

Senator Colbeck Road Funding Debate

On Tuesday, October 21, I had the opportunity to debate with Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing) about how the state can repair and upgrade its crumbling roads without raising taxes. We spoke before a packed room at the state Capitol.

I would like to thank Senator Hertel for stepping up to the plate and accepting my public debate challenge. I believe we were able to highlight some key differences in problem solving approaches between the traditional methods in Lansing and more pragmatic methods based on my engineering background that respect taxpayers by looking beyond tax or fee increases. During the debate which can be viewed in its entirety online at Roads Debate, I explained that I believe there is a path to fixing the roads that does not include a tax hike.

I began the debate by laying out my three goals for the discussion: 1) to obtain agreement on the problem we are trying to solve, 2) to obtain agreement on the list of options available to fix the roads, and 3) to obtain agreement on how best to fix the roads.

While many of my fellow legislators see the problem as how to raise $1.2 billion in funds for the roads, I see the problem as how to best fix the roads faster than they degrade. My approach opens the door to solutions that decrease our dependency upon new revenue by simply building higher quality roads that last longer.

Progress was made during the debate when we agreed that the goal should be to fix the crumbling roads and not just increase spending by $1.2 billion, and agreed that there are ways to increase spending that don’t involve tax increases. This acknowledgement bodes well for other problems involving budget shortfalls since tax or fee increases seem to always be the default solution in government circles.

Where we differed was on the best way to fix the roads.

I believe that solution to our roads dilemma is quite simple and can be executed quickly if the Senate Majority Leader and Speaker wish to do so. Both chambers have previously passed road plans that featured leveraging $700M in existing funds. Our current budget already appropriates an additional $400M of existing funds to roads so we would only need to find $300M in additional funds. With $700M in existing revenue in hand, all we need to add is a focus upon building higher quality roads. We should have no opposition to building higher quality roads. A summary of the solution can be viewed online at Roads Solution.

So, if we simply dedicate $700M of existing funds and build roads that last, we can fix roads faster than they degrade…WITHOUT raising taxes.

 
 

DISTRICT HAPPENINGS

World Record for the most Rosie the Riveters broken at Willow Run Airport

On Saturday, October 24 Michigan regained the record for the most Rosies! A year and a half ago we established the record at 776. That record was recently broken in California with 1085. Our Rosies set about taking the record back and they did – demolishing the California record with a gathering of 2096! 2096 is an unofficial count – Guinness will view the video and the photos along with other documentation – they will also look closely for any participants not correctly dressed. Guinness is expected to let us know in 2-3 weeks what the actual count is that they approve for the record. But any way you look at it, our Rosies demolished that record!

Freedom Center Gala

The Freedom Center held its Annual Gala and Fund Raiser on Thursday, October 22. The event featured an inspirational speech from VIP guest Chuck Gaidica of WDIV and Oak Pointe Church. The Freedom Center is a privately funded hospitality center for members of our Armed Forces traveling through Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) that provides active duty and retired members and their families a quiet place to relax and grab a snack in between flights. In November, the Freedom Center will expand operations beyond the MacNamara Terminal to also include the North Terminal.

Freedom Center Gala
 
 

OFFICE HOURS

WMU Autism Center of Excellence

Senator Colbeck meets regularly with constituents in the district on Mondays and Fridays and at his office in Lansing Tuesdays through Thursdays. If you would like to schedule a meeting with the Senator, please contact Penny at (517) 373-5713 or toll-free at (866) 262-7307 to arrange a time that is convenient for you.

Upcoming Office Hours:

Plymouth
Date: Monday, November 2, 2015
Time: 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Location: Friends Board Room Plymouth District Library
223 S. Main St., Plymouth MI 48170

Livonia
Date: Friday – November 20, 2015
Time: 11:00 a.m.-Noon
Location: Livonia Civic Park Senior Center
Address: 15218 Farmington Road, Livonia

Wayne
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015
Time: 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Location: City of Wayne Library
3737 South Wayne Rd., Wayne, MI

CONSTITUENT CORNER

Veterans History Project

The Library of Congress has a Veterans History Project that aims to record the histories, oral and written, of those who have served in our Nation’s military services.

Joe Neussendorfer, a member of American Legion, Livonia Post 32 and long-time member of the Michigan Oral History Association, is working to encourage all of Livonia and surrounding community service organizations to undertake such projects at their respective Posts and Chapters.

He has extensive experience in working on written and oral histories and is willing to assist any service organization that needs technical guidance or historical guidance on a time available basis at no cost.

For information on how your Post or Chapter can set up a Veterans History Project contact Mr. Neussendorfer at (248) 909-0824 or email at: Joseph.neussendor@ alumni.kettering.edu.

OUR DISTRICT

Michigan’s 7th Senate District

The 7th Senate District

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

Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter!

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Please feel free to forward this on to others who may be interested in receiving the 7th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

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

Phone: (517) 373-7350

Email: SenPColbeck@senate.michigan.gov
Please include name, address, and phone number.

Visit my website at: www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com

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