State Senator Patrick Colbeck’s Newsletter
Senator Patrick Colbeck

Dear Friends,

In this issue of my e-newsletter we’ve assembled quite a bit of information on recent issues we’ve been tackling in Lansing on your behalf. My team and I have also included information about what is happening in the 7th Senate District including a few events and activities that may be of interest to you. 

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

IN THIS ISSUE

 

Upcoming Events

Fallen Soldiers Memorial Day Service – May 26
District 7 Office Hours
 

Good News

Southbound I-275 Closure Expected to Begin in May
Ford Motor Company Adds 500 New Jobs at Livonia Transmission Plant
Plymouth-Canton Educational Park Student Chefs are #1 in the State
Text-to-911 Technology Now Available to Western Wayne Communities
City of Plymouth Clerk’s Office Accepting Applications for Election Workers
 

District Happenings

Southbound I-275 Closure Expected to Begin in May
Voter Registration Deadline for State Primaries
Railroad Crossings in Plymouth and Plymouth Township
Unemployment Insurance Agency Offering Employer Seminars
New Business Highlights
Job Openings
 

Legislative Topics

Senate Education Committee Passes Sen. Colbeck’s Common Core Repeal Bill
Sen. Colbeck Calls for Input on State Board of Education’s Proposed LGBTQ Guidelines
Sen. Colbeck’s DPCS Medicaid Pilot Moves One Step Closer to Incorporation in FY17 Michigan Budget

UPCOMING EVENTS

Fallen Soldiers Memorial Day Service – May 26

The 22nd Annual Memorial Day Service to honor Michigan’s Fallen Soldiers will be held on Thursday, May 26 in the Michigan Capitol’s Senate Chamber.

All Michigan families of fallen soldiers are invited to attend. Please contact Joanne DeHetre at (517) 373-7350 or jdehetre@senate.michigan.gov for more information.

We are currently seeking businesses and organizations that would consider sponsoring the event. Proceeds will help us provide breakfast for the families of our fallen soldiers and cover the cost of program materials.

District 7 Office Hours

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 District Manager, Penny Crider, at (517) 373-5713 or toll-free at (866) 262-7307, or via email at pcrider@senate.michigan.gov, to arrange a time that is convenient for you.

Northville
Date: Monday, May 2nd
Time: 6p.m – 7p.m.
Location: Northville District Library
212 W. Cady St., Northville

Livonia
Date: Friday, May 20th
Time: 11a.m-12p.m
Location: Senior Center
15218 Farmington Rd., Livonia

GOOD NEWS

Students from Plymouth and Canton Visit Lansing

Senator Colbeck welcomes students and parents from Plymouth Christian Academy

During the month of April, Senator Colbeck proudly welcomed several schools from Plymouth and Canton to the State Capitol, including Smith School Troop #40277, Bentley Elementary, Eriksson Elementary, and Plymouth Christian Academy. Students were able to tour the Capitol building and Michigan’s historical museum. These tours provided historical and contemporary information on the history of Michigan and the legislative process. 

Ford Motor Company Adds 500 New Jobs at Livonia Transmission Plant

With recent approval from the Michigan Strategic Fund, Ford Motor Company will make a $1.4 billion capital investment and add 500 new jobs in its Livonia Transmission Plant, refitting the expansive factory along Plymouth Road in the Detroit suburb to manufacture a new 10-speed rear-wheel drive transmission. A recent press release from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation stated that the Michigan Strategic Fund also approved an exemption from the personal property tax for the automaker valued at $27.3 million over 15 years.

Plymouth-Canton Educational Park Student Chefs are #1 in the State

Photo courtesy of Hometown Life

The Plymouth-Canton Educational Park competitive culinary team took first place in the Michigan ProStart® Competition, hosted by the Michigan Restaurant Association. The food items prepared by the students were quite complex, including between seven and 11 components or recipes. For example, one student created nine components for the dessert, which included white chocolate, strawberries and passion fruit; the other chefs created a meal of scallops and braised beef.

The school’s management team took second place in the competition, by developing a practical restaurant concept, which included a blueprint of the facility, menu, staffing, marketing, costs, recipes, etc. – everything that goes into the opening of a new restaurant.

Students on the winning culinary team will each receive $49,000 in scholarships, while members of the management team will receive $24,000 each in scholarships. Learn more in this Hometown Life article.

Text-to-911 Technology Now Available to Western Wayne Communities

The Conference of Western Wayne (which includes the cities of Belleville, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, Inkster, Livonia, Northville, Plymouth, Romulus, Wayne and Westland, as well as Canton, Huron, Northville, Plymouth, Redford, Sumpter and Van Buren townships) announced that a new Text-to-911 service is now available to its communities as part of its “Call if you can, text if you can’t” public safety message. Text-to-911 is an important service that offers citizens who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, a new way to contact emergency services.  Other situations in which a citizen might benefit from text-to-911 service could include domestic violence, kidnapping and other instances where victims need a way to call for help without drawing attention from a criminal while a crime is being committed.

Currently, the rest of Wayne County does not have text-to-911 service, although some neighboring counties such as Oakland and Macomb have fully implemented text-to-911.  If the texter is in an area that does not support text-to-911, they will receive a “bounce-back” message informing them 911 is not available via text. 

City of Plymouth Clerk’s Office Accepting Applications for Election Workers

The City of Plymouth Clerk’s Office is currently accepting applications for election workers for upcoming elections. This is a paid position and applications can be obtained at the Clerk’s office. Requirements are that applicants be a registered voter and 18 years of age. Individuals under the age of 18 would be able to work if their application is acceptable and if they work at the precincts under the supervision of another election worker. Every election worker is required to attend a class at least every two years.

DISTRICT HAPPENINGS

Southbound I-275 Closure Expected to Begin in May

The Southbound I-275 highway closure between I-96/I-696/M-5 interchange and 5 Mile Road is expected to begin on May 2nd. This portion of highway is expected to re-open in July.

The southbound I-275 closure will require eastbound I-96 traffic to continue onto I-696 to southbound M-10 (Lodge Freeway) to southbound M-39 (Southfield Freeway), then westbound I-96 back to southbound I-275.

Maps showing the detour route are available at the I-275 project website: www.revive275.com. Up-to-date closure information will be available on the MI Drive website and app: www.michigan.gov/drive.

Voter Registration Deadline for State Primaries

State primary elections are coming up soon! Voters must be registered by July 5 to vote in the August 2 primary elections.

The deadline to register to vote in the November 8 general election is October 11.

Railroad Crossings in Plymouth and Plymouth Township

The City of Plymouth has received several concerns from area residents related to trains blocking railroad crossings in Plymouth, Plymouth Township and Canton Township.  A recent email from the City Manager’s Office stated that Plymouth unfortunately has no control over the operations of the federally regulated CSX Railroad.  In addition, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) does not have regulations that address blocked crossings. However, the FRA has contacted CSX and informed them that the City was receiving complaints concerning the blocked crossings. 

The Plymouth City Manager’s Office encourages concerned residents to make direct contact with CSX Railroad related to a blocked crossing by calling 877-TELL-CSX (877-835-5297).  Individuals can also file a complaint with the Federal Railroad Administration at www.fra.dot.gov and/or by email at FRA.Legal@dot.gov, or by calling 800-724-5040.  Residents can also contact the Michigan Railroad Association by sending an email to mra@michiganrailroadassociation.com

Unemployment Insurance Agency Offering Employer Seminars

The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is featuring its annual free seminars to acquaint employers with the unemployment insurance system in Michigan. Seminars will be held in locations (including Ann Arbor, Brighton, Detroit, and Flint) around the state beginning May 5, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For more information, see this UIA Seminar Information Sheet.

New Business Highlights

Canton

Once Upon A Child opened a new store at 1759 N. Canton Center Rd. The Canton Chamber of Commerce held a grand re-opening ribbon cutting for the store on April 23.

Livonia

So Savvy Hair Salon celebrates its grand opening with the Livonia Chamber of Commerce and the Livonia Community at an April 29 ribbon cutting ceremony.

Northville

Team Rehabilitation Physical Therapy’s new Northville location enjoyed a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Northville Chamber of Commerce on April 26.

Plymouth

Dance New York was welcomed into Plymouth with a ribbon cutting ceremony put on by the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce in April.

Job Openings

As of today, April 29, there are 32,600 jobs available within the 7th district. Click on the “Jobs Near You” button at www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com for a current listing of job openings. 

LEGISLATIVE TOPICS

Senate Education Committee Passes Sen. Colbeck’s Common Core Repeal Bill
WMU Autism Center of Excellence

Cody Prested presents testimony on Common Core in the April 26 Senate Education Committee Meeting

Senator Colbeck continued his push to make Michigan a Top Ten state for education by urging repeal of Common Core in Michigan during testimony before the Senate Education Committee on April 26.

The committee passed Senate Bill 826, sponsored by Sen. Colbeck. The measure would repeal the Common Core Standards in Michigan and replace them with the Massachusetts pre-Common Core standards.

The April 26 hearing featured testimony from Dr. Sandra Stotsky in support of SB 826. Stotsky is a former dissenting member of the Common Core Validation Committee and led the development of the Massachusetts pre-Common Core standards that helped establish that state as the nation’s top performing education system.

“Massachusetts pre-Common Core standards in ELA, mathematics, science, and history/social science are the only sets of K-12 state standards in the country with empirical evidence to support their effectiveness,” Stotsky said. “They are also among the few sets of K-12 standards thoroughly vetted by high school teachers and academic experts in the subject areas they address.”

Joining Stotsky in support of the bill were many parents, teachers, and students dedicated to stopping the Common Core experiment in Michigan, including second grader Cody Prested of Livonia, who expressed concerns over the emphasis on testing at such a young age.

The bill now resides on the Senate floor awaiting consideration by the full Senate.

Senator Colbeck provided this testimony on SB 826 in the April 19 Senate Education Committee meeting:

Sen. Colbeck Calls for Input on State Board of Education’s Proposed LGBTQ Guidelines

On February 23, the State Board of Education released proposed guidance on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students. This proposed statement and guidance is publicly available at this Michigan Government webpage

Senator Colbeck invites people to submit feedback on these guidelines directly to the MDE at everyvoicecountsmi.org. The department will accept comments on this website through May 11, 2016. Comments can also be sent to Kim Kovalchick of the MDE at the following address:

Kim Kovalchick, Supervisor
Michigan Department of Education
Coordinated School Health & Safety Programs Unit
P.O. Box 30008
Lansing, MI 48909

“Now is the time for concerned Michigan citizens to speak out on these proposed guidelines,” said Sen. Colbeck. “I have serious concerns that these policy guidelines will fail to result in a safe and secure learning environment. I believe that they will distract teachers from their core mission of teaching and helping children become proficient in areas such as reading, science, math, and history.”

The State Board of Education is expected to vote on the guidelines at either its May 10 or June 14 meeting. Members of the public are welcome to testify during the public comment portions of State Board of Education Meetings. For meeting times and location, contact the State Board of Education at (517) 373-3902. 

Sen. Colbeck’s DPCS Medicaid Pilot Moves One Step Closer to Incorporation in FY17 Michigan Budget

Senator Colbeck, Dr. John Blanchard, and Dr. Chad Savage present testimony on the DPCS Medicaid Pilot in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Health and Human Services

Senator Colbeck offered testimony on his proposed Direct Primary Care Services (DPCS) Medicaid pilot program in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Health and Human Services hearing on April 12. He was joined in his testimony Dr. John Blanchard of Premier Private Physicians and Dr. Chad Savage of YourChoice Direct Care, who shared the benefits of DPCS and their own personal experiences as DPCS physicians in Michigan.

“The costs savings for the state from the DPCS program would be tremendous,” said Sen. Colbeck. “DPCS care models have resulted in health care cost savings of 20 percent or more. If these results are realized for the entire Michigan Medicaid population, taxpayers would save $3.4 billion annually.”

Medicaid represents the single largest item in the Michigan budget at $17.5 billion. More than 2.4 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents are enrolled in Medicaid. The proposed DPCS Medicaid pilot would encourage 2,400 Medicaid enrollees to sign up to have their primary care services provided by a DPCS provider under contract with a Managed Care Organization.

All other services such as hospitalization or other catastrophic care needs would continue to be provided by the Managed Care Organization.

The pilot program was incorporated into the current version of the Senate and House Health and Human Services Subcommittee budgets, which members unanimously passed out of committee on April 12. The budgets were also passed out of each chamber’s full Appropriations Committee. For more information on Sen. Colbeck’s work in this field, visit his DPCS Medicaid Pilot webpage at www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com.

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

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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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