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Senator Patrick Colbeck’s Newsletter
 

SERVING THE STATE SENATE 7TH DISTRICT

HEADLINES FROM THIS EDITION

- Upcoming ballot proposals: 18-1, 18-2, 18-3
- October is cybersecurity awareness month
- Wireless Radiation: Hidden Risks
- Canton public school recognized for excellence
- Updated Michigan unclaimed property website
- Area I-275 rest stop to be closed
- Livonia fire safety event
- Proposed Wayne County “bullet bill”
- October in-district office hours

UPCOMING BALLOT PROPOSALS

Read the actual language before you vote

If you are like me, whenever you hear that a legislator voted on a bill without reading it you cringe. Well, when it comes to the November 6th ballot, you are the legislator. Your direct vote will determine whether or not one or more of the three ballot proposals before voters will become law. These ballot proposals are referred to as Proposal 18-1, Proposal 18-2, and Proposal 18-3.

While many people think that the ballot proposal description on the ballot is what they are voting on, the reality is that this description is only a short summary of the actual language which would be put into law. I encourage you to go beyond a review of the summary language on the ballot and read the actual language of the legislation you are being asked to vote on.

For proposal 18-1, you can read the official ballot wording (summary only) by clicking HERE. You can also read the FULL language by clicking HERE.

For proposal 18-2, you can read the official ballot wording (summary only) by clicking HERE. You can also read the FULL language by clicking HERE.

For proposal 18-3, you can read the official ballot wording (summary only) by clicking HERE. You can also read the FULL language by clicking HERE.

If you know what precinct you vote at you can see a sample ballot before you arrive at the polls. If you are unsure of your precinct please check with your local clerk’s office.

Official voting instructions (poll hours, identification requirements, etc.) can be found by clicking HERE.

OCTOBER IS CYBERSECURITY AWARENESS MONTH

Given the recent data breaches and privacy missteps at both Facebook and Google, it is a good time for people to remember how important it is to keep their data safe, either by taking more proactive steps to safeguard their data or in some cases by choosing not to share data with third parties. Many tips can be found by clicking HERE to review resources provided in our past e-newsletter on the subject from last year.

Sen. Colbeck continues to make this an important issue at the state level, but has unfortunately continued to find Michigan's security efforts lacking.

The Senator is working with the Michigan State Police, Michigan Public Service Commission, and Michigan Agency for Energy to harden our state’s cybersecurity and electrical grid. He has asked for a hearing on his resolution, SR 183, in order to bring more public attention to the issue. Technological advances can frequently move faster than our ability to keep up with their vulnerabilities, and the public needs to be made more aware of the problem so that they can demand better protection from both companies and their government.

WIRELESS RADIATION: HIDDEN RISKS

Wireless radiation comes from many sources including smart meters, cell phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi routers, and so-called “small cells” associated with fifth generation (5G) wireless technology. The Senator first spoke out on this subject when SB 637 was being considered on the floor of the MI Senate. You can hear his No Vote Explanation HERE. As an aerospace engineer who has designed cabling systems for the International Space Station and a Certified Microsoft Small Business Specialist, Sen. Colbeck is no stranger to wireless technology and the benefits that it brings to our daily lives. As a state senator, however, it is imperative that he also consider the risks inherent in policies which promote the unfettered deployment of this technology.

When it comes to wireless technology, these risks fall into three categories: adverse health impacts, personal data security, and national security. According to a recent $25M study initiated by the FDA, there is “clear evidence” that these adverse health impacts include cancer. Furthermore, there are thousands of studies which reveal additional adverse health impacts from cell phones and related wireless technology including DNA replication impairment, cardiovascular interference, diabetes & much more. When it comes to personal data security, the 7th Federal Circuit Court recently ruled that smart meter data is subject to the 4th Amendment although they unfortunately went on to say that it was reasonable for the government to collect such data on individuals. Lastly, this technology significantly increases our national security risk as exemplified by a recent discovery of a pencil tip-sized microchip installed on motherboards fabricated in China which enable agents with malicious intent to intercept or modify communications on networks connected to these microchips. These are all serious risks which must be considered by public policy makers.

What can you do to mitigate some of these risks?

1) Opt-out of smart meters for your electrical utility service. While Sen. Colbeck is supportive of legislation that would enhance consumer protections regarding smart meters, under current law consumers must “opt-out” of smart meters by paying a 1-time fee and ongoing “reading” fee.
2) Replace Wi-Fi routers with Ethernet cables wherever practical. Ethernet cables are higher speed and more secure while not transmitting harmful wireless radiation. If it is impractical to remove a Wi-Fi router, at least put it on a timer so that transmissions are disabled while you sleep.
3) Use speakerphone or air bud headsets when communicating on your cell phone.

Regrettably, a discussion of these risks is currently being drowned out by proponents of legislation which focus exclusively on perceived benefits. The following false arguments pervade the public policy discussion on such matters:

1) Wireless Radiation Levels Are Safe: Proponents claim 5G radiation is within Federal Communications Commission (FCC) human exposure limits. What they fail to mention is that the FCC human exposure limits are orders of magnitude higher than the levels at which adverse health impacts are observed. As previously mentioned, these health impacts are severe and include death by cancer. The FCC's recent steps to take away local control in this area lends credence to the claim that the FCC is a captive agency. In this light, having the FCC define allowable radiation levels is like having the tobacco industry regulate how many packs of cigarettes are safe to smoke each day.
2) "Small Cells": Because 5G transmits at frequencies higher than traditional cell towers (24-90 GHz), many more cells are required. Higher frequencies have difficulty penetrating solid materials such as building walls. Rather than 1 cell every 1-2 miles as with 1G thru 4G technology, 5G will require one cell every 2-10 homes. The term "small cell" is a marketing term. They are not small and neither are their transmission levels.
3) Enables Rural Broadband: People in legislators' districts are being told that 5G will provide rural areas with high speed internet access. It is clear that pending legislation before the Michigan legislature on this topic would not impact rural broadband access as some claim, but that hasn’t stopped the claims from being made. Fiber optic cables can provide secure high speed access without the health risks.

Sen. Colbeck recently issued a briefing called Wireless Radiation Policy Guidance which has received national and international recognition due to its attempt to shape discussions on this complex subject in layman’s terms. You can read more about Sen. Colbeck’s efforts to bring proper balance to public policy regarding newer technologies by clicking HERE. The brief includes reasonable recommendations for policies that state governments and the federal government should pursue.

The bottom line is that our policy makers need to seek policies that balance the benefits of wireless systems with a discussion of the risks.

CANTON PUBLIC SCHOOL RECOGNIZED FOR EXCELLENCE

The U.S. Department of Education has designated thirteen exemplary, high-performing Michigan schools as part of their 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools recognition celebration. This year the list includes the 7th District’s own Canton Charter Academy. Each year roughly 300 schools are honored nationwide.

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Congratulations to Canton Charter Academy! For more information on the National Blue Ribbon School program please visit: http://www.ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools

UPDATED MICHIGAN UNCLAIMED PROPERTY WEBSITE

Finding lost or abandoned property in Michigan is now easier with the roll-out of the state’s newly updated “unclaimed property” website. What is unclaimed property? The state’s Department of Treasury has millions of dollars in lost or forgotten assets, ranging from dormant bank accounts to uncashed checks, old safe deposit box contents, and similar potentially lost treasures. Because these properties were considered abandoned and unclaimed by the organization entrusted with them, they are then turned over to the state as required by law. The Michigan Department of Treasury is the custodian of these assets and returns them to their owners (or the owners' heirs) when they are rightfully claimed.

The new website enables individuals, businesses and other entities to better search and file property claims electronically. The website is available by visiting www.michigan.gov/unclaimedproperty.

“The state of Michigan has returned more than $400 million in unclaimed property to rightful owners or their heirs over the last four years,” said Deputy State Treasurer Ann Good, who oversees Treasury’s Financial and Administrative Services programs. “This new website upgrades the taxpayer service experience, making it possible to file claims electronically and easily check on previously filed claims.”

I-275 REST STOP TO BE CLOSED

Area drivers will want to know that a Canton area rest stop on I-275 will be permanently closing before the end of the year and will eventually see the building demolished. There has been some confusion because the rest stop is often referred to as the “Westland Rest Stop”, but it is actually located in Canton (along the northbound portion of I-275 at mile marker 23, between the Michigan Avenue and Ford Road exits).

The outdated rest stop is now considered unnecessary and will not be rebuilt, saving the state between $1 - $1.5 million dollars. The state currently has 78 rest stops, and is focused on improving rest stops in areas where more alternatives for weary travelers don’t as readily exist.

LIVONIA FIRE SAFETY EVENT

The Livonia Fire Department and the State of Michigan Fire Marshal are participating in a home fire safety and disaster prevention event this Thursday, October 11th in Livonia. The event, held in the wake of Fire Prevention Week, also comes as Michigan experiences one of its worst fire death periods in history. To date, we are at 88 fire deaths in the state. Please help spread the word and come to learn more about home safety and disaster prevention.

You can register for the event by clicking HERE.

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You can read more about Michigan’s Fire Marshal, and find other resources like prevention tips and fire maps by clicking HERE.

PROPOSED WAYNE COUNTY “BULLET BILL”

Last month saw questions raised regarding a potential new "bullet bill" that would affect Wayne County residents. Senator Colbeck said the proposed bill, sometimes referred to as a potential ordinance, has to his knowledge not been introduced in the legislature and would almost assuredly be considered illegal should any real attempts be made to pass such a law in Wayne County. He is therefore advising area residents that there are no changes coming to the way they are currently purchasing ammunition.

“This proposal, which among other things is being reported to forbid any purchases not made through law enforcement, is an attempt to bypass the Second Amendment,” said Colbeck. “I believe it is highly unlikely that such an ordinance could pass, and even if it did, it would most assuredly be struck down by the courts. For firearm owners in Wayne County who are rightfully concerned about the proposal I don’t believe there is a realistic chance for it becoming law and it will incur my vocal opposition if it is brought up for a vote.”

OCTOBER IN-DISTRICT HOURS

Senator Colbeck will be holding office hours in-district later this month.  To view when he will next be holding them within the 7th District please check out our website for the most recent information by clicking HERE.

LOOKING FOR MORE INFORMATION ON YOUR STATE GOVERNMENT? VISIT OUR WEBSITE

www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com

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THE MICHIGAN STATE SENATE
7th DISTRICT

Michigan’s 7th Senate District
 

The 7th State Senate District proudly serves the following areas: Canton Township, city of Livonia, city or Northville & Northville Township, city of Plymouth & Plymouth Township, and the City of Wayne.

Senator Patrick Colbeck
201 Townsend St., Suite #3400
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536
Phone: (517) 373-7350

Email: SenPColbeck@senate.michigan.gov
Please include name, address, and phone number.
Our website: www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com
 

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