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Senator Patrick Colbeck

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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As we begin a new year in the Legislature, I put together a list of action items I hope to tackle in 2016. My 2016 To Do List includes the following:

- Ensure the public safety of all of our citizens
- Protect the unalienable rights of all of our citizens including our religious liberty
- Protect the unborn and care for those who carry the unborn
- Promote electric choice as a means of lowering costs and improving quality
- Provide quality educational opportunities for students of all economic backgrounds
- Promote Direct Primary Care Services as a means of lowering the cost of healthcare and improving access to quality healthcare
- Promote improved service quality for our veterans awaiting benefits
- Promote accurate social studies and science standards in our classrooms
- Promote ways to lower the cost and improve the quality of a college education
- Reform our criminal justice system to promote rehabilitation not warehousing
- Promote higher quality road construction that reduces total life cycle costs
- Promote policies that encourage job growth
- Promote ways to lower the cost of government and allow taxpayers to keep more money in their wallets
- Make sure that our Michigan government policies promote the well-being of ALL of our citizens and not simply the well-being of special interests

Looks like I picked a bad year to go easy on caffeine. :)

If you have other ideas about things that the Legislature should address, please contact me at senpcolbeck@senate.michigan.gov.

Sincerely,

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LEGISLATIVE TOPICS

How to Help DPS without Hurting Other Schools

There are approximately 47,000 students in the Detroit Public Schools who are struggling to get access to a quality education. The reasons for this struggle are varied and complex, but one of the critical issues is the DPS debt. Governor Snyder is committed to find a way to retire $515M of DPS debt. It is vital that these debt obligations be met. It is equally important, however, that these debt obligations be met without impacting the finances of other school districts in our state.

We need a solution that does not dip into the School Aid Fund (SAF) to provide targeted aid to Detroit. Dipping into the SAF would simply increase the likelihood of other school districts joining Detroit in the insurmountable debt category. In order to find a solution that does not hurt other school districts, it is time to take a serious look at non-government funding sources.

Recently, decades of mismanagement by the City of Detroit were resolved via a bailout that featured overwhelming generosity from non-government sources interested in preserving the financially troubled Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). It was an example of government officials looking beyond tax increases to solve a problem. Do you share my belief that the students in Detroit are infinitely more valuable than the DIA? Given the proper environment, the students in Detroit will create works of art and commerce more gratifying than anything currently hanging on a wall in the DIA.

So let’s find a way to promote this environment.

What if there was a way to help the students and still hold the bureaucracy responsible for mismanagement accountable? It turns out there is a way.

What if instead of allocating funds directly to bureaucrats in school districts, school funds would be deposited directly into student-specific Educational Savings Accounts (ESA)? The accounts would operate much like today’s Michigan Education Savings Plan for higher education but would be eligible for educational services at all levels. By doing so, parents, not bureaucrats, would direct how that money is spent.

Furthermore, student-specific ESA’s open the door to 3rd party contributors with a vested interest in the success of an individual student. Examples of such contributors include prospective employers struggling to find qualified workers, philanthropic foundation grants, or consumer loyal program participants interested in directing their loyalty awards to a specific student or group of students.

In order to erase Detroit’s debt, only $1,500 per student per year needs to be added to these accounts over the next 10 years. Many Detroit schools are already operating with 3rd party contributions of well over $5,000 per year per student in exchange for work-study arrangements. Loyalty programs are an $80B market nationwide. Foundations stepped in with over $300M to bail out the City of Detroit.

The state simply needs to implement a mechanism for these organizations to contribute in a way that is specific to an individual student. The best way to do this is an Educational Savings Account.

It is important to note that that ESA’s would help solve funding issues well beyond DPS. Do you think that DPS is the only school district seeking additional funding? What about students struggling with the high cost of college education? ESA’s provide a way to address these issues too…without raising taxes.

The ‘Power' of Freedom

In 2016, Michigan will be center stage for yet another battle between those who advocate for more government control and those who advocate on behalf of freedom. The subject of this latest battle? Electricity.

There are “power”ful advocates (pun intended) in Lansing pushing for increased state regulation in response to increased regulation by the federal government. I believe it is in the best interests of Michigan citizens to promote a free market competition.

Why do I believe this? There are many reasons, but it starts with the following observation. Between 1997 and 2014, of the 48 contiguous states and Washington D.C., the increase in average electricity price in the 14 competitive states was 40.9 percent, compared to 59.9 percent in the 35 monopoly states. Five of the six states with the lowest percentages were choice states. (SOURCE: U.S. Energy Information Administration.) Competition constrains the growth in electricity rates.

The 19 percent difference in the rate of price increases may not seem like much, but that is 19 percent of the growth in an $8 billion market that is going to the pockets of utilities, not to your pockets. That’s 19 percent that goes toward full-color pamphlets on energy savings. That’s 19 percent that goes toward reports comparing your energy consumption with your neighbors’. That’s 19 percent that goes toward TV ads promoting a virtual corporate monopoly for services upon which everyone depends.

Electric choice is about much more than the cost of electricity, though. The issue touches on many concerns faced by families in Michigan.

Concerned about unrestricted growth of household expenses? Electric choice is the answer. Household budgets are being stretched. Let’s shrink one of our nearly universal expenses.

Concerned about poor customer service? Electric choice is the answer. Monopolies breed arrogance. Competition breeds excellence.

Concerned about smart meters? Electric choice is the answer. Consumers can seek out utilities that don’t charge them more for sticking with analog meters.

Concerned about reliability? Electric choice is the answer. Michigan consumers experienced four times the number of outages as the citizens of the choice-driven Illinois market. (SOURCE: “Improving Michigan’s Electric Utility Industry,” Gary Wolfram, Ph.D.)

Concerned about more money for schools? Electric choice is the answer. More than 40 percent of Michigan school districts take advantage of competitive energy sources to lower their operating costs.

Concerned about the environment? Electric choice is the answer. With a competitive energy market, you could choose what energy source you prefer in much the same way that our competitive auto market allows you to choose to drive an electric or hybrid car.

Concerned about incentivizing businesses to set up shop in Michigan? Electric choice is the answer. Lower energy costs result in lower operating expenses, which frees up more resources for growing businesses and the number of job opportunities for our citizens.

In summary, if you want a brighter future for Michigan, electric choice is the answer.

DISTRICT HAPPENINGS

Snow Day for Veterans

Welcome New Businesses!

The 7th Senate District continues to grow as new and expanded businesses set up shop in our communities. I’d like to take a moment to welcome just a few of these new businesses that I or my staff had the pleasure of visiting during their grand opening events:

1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria
29484 W. Seven Mile Rd., Livonia

IRodgers Hair Co.
28855 Plymouth Rd., Livonia

My Mechanics Place
35655 Plymouth Rd., Livonia

Allure Medical Spa
37595 Seven Mile Rd., Livonia

Grand Opening of the new Kroger’s store at 5 Mile & Haggerty Rd. in Plymouth.

CW Ball Bearing groundbreaking on Technology Drive in Northville.

Happy 96th Birthday to Northville Resident Irvin Nadolny!

On January 14, Northville resident Irvin Nadolny celebrated his 96th birthday. Mr. Nadolny, who has been an avid bowler since 1950, still bowls in the Thursday afternoon league at Livonia’s Woodland Lanes. He currently carries a 147 average and recently registered a 214 game. Happy Birthday Mr. Nadolny, you are an inspiration to us all!

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:

Livonia
Date: Friday February 19th
Time: 11-12p.m.
Location: Senior Center
15218 Farmington Rd., Livonia  

Northville
Date: Monday February 29th
Time: 6-7p.m.
Location: Northville District Library
212 W. Cady St., Northville

Plymouth
Date: Monday March 7th
Time: 6-7p.m.
Location: Plymouth District Library
223 S. Main St., Plymouth  

Livonia
Date: Friday March 18th
Time: 11-12p.m.
Location: Senior Center
15218 Farmington Rd., Livonia

CONSTITUENT CORNER

Direct Primary Care Forum to be held in Lansing

If you have an interest in how Direct Primary Care Services (DPCS) could save money and improve the quality of care in Michigan, we invite you to a free breakfast forum to be held in the Capitol in Lansing on January 26 from 7:30am-9:30am. The forum is being hosted by Senator Patrick Colbeck and Representative Lana Theis and will include presentations by several doctors who are currently practicing DPCS in the state.

If you are unable to join us in Lansing, the event will be televised on Senate TV beginning at 8am on Michigan Senate TV.

Deadline approaching to register to vote in Michigan’s Presidential Primary

Those wishing to vote in Michigan’s presidential primary election on March 8 have until February 8 to register to vote if they are not already registered. To verify that you are registered or for instructions on registering, visit the Secretary of State’s website at Registering to Vote.

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.

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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
Please include name, address, and phone number.

Visit my website at: www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com

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