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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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Happy New Year!

The end of 2015 saw progress on many fronts. Following is information on just a few of the initiatives I was working on as we closed out the year. I hope you enjoy this quick look back at the end of 2015.

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LEGISLATIVE TOPICS

Restricting Fireworks

In 2011, we passed legislation attempting to provide residents additional opportunities to celebrate using fireworks while still maintaining local control over that use. However, since that time both local officials and residents have been complaining that the new rules are hard to enforce and the fireworks are disruptive to both people and pets.

To address these issues, I recently introduced legislation that will give more control over the regulation of fireworks back to local governments by allowing them to restrict the use of fireworks every day of the year except Independence Day if they so choose. It is a compromise that will help address the concerns about the unrestrained use of fireworks throughout the year.

Protecting Americans at Home

As terrorists ramp up their destructive efforts both here and abroad, there has been an increased focus on protecting our citizens from harm. As part of that effort, I have introduced a resolution calling on Governor Rick Snyder to continue his opposition to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Michigan until the state is sufficiently assured that the Federal government is properly vetting the refugees against any terrorists infiltrating the US through the resettlement program.

We are not seeking a ban on resettling refugees in Michigan, but a rather pause in the process until we are certain that the process for vetting them is sufficient to protect our citizens. For those who are truly seeking refuge from a dangerous situation, there are other options available to us right now including Safe Zones in their own countries and nearby countries. For those who are looking for a better life in America and wish to assimilate into our ‘Great Melting Pot’, we welcome their immigration through the resettlement process once it has been proven safe.

The resolution notes that the President has issued an executive order increasing the intake of refugees from Syria to 10,000 and seeks to resettle Syrians in communities across the United States.

However, terrorists loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham in Syria—commonly known as ISIS—have recently expanded their campaign from the war-torn streets of Syria to all nations, including the most recent attack in San Bernardino, California.

By increasing the intake of refugees, the President has given individuals who have adopted the teachings and ideology of ISIS a clear path into the United States. FBI Director James Comey, admits that "there are certain gaps… in the information available to us" when speaking about the process by which refugees are screened to prevent the resettlement of individuals with ties to ISIS.

As the frequency and severity of ISIS attacks increase, measures are needed to protect the citizens of Michigan and the United States. Governor Snyder was correct in suspending the Syrian resettlement program in Michigan in the wake of ISIS's attacks on Paris. Suspending this program has made our state more secure and efforts must continue to be made to ensure our security.

We appreciate how the Governor has taken the lead not only in Michigan but across the nation on the need to protect our citizens from a resettlement process that even leading members of the President’s administration have admitted is riddled with information gaps. Ultimately, the security of our state is a partnership between the Governor and the Legislature. My fellow legislators and I look forward to continuing that partnership in a fiscally responsible and secure manner that promotes the most honorable values of Michigan citizens.

The full text of the resolution can be found here: Syrian Refugee Resolution.

Religious Liberty Rally Held in Lansing

On Wednesday, December 2, I joined with other legislators, pastors, church groups and concerned citizens at the steps of the Capitol for a rally in support of religious liberty.

The rally was organized by Salt and Light Global in part to seek support for a resolution calling on the governor, attorney general, and other government officials to uphold and protect the fundamental rights of religious people.

I spoke to those gathered about the importance of remaining vigilant about the rights to free speech and religion, saying:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech. That is the First Amendment found in our United States Constitution and the reason why we are all gathered here today.

“Many of us are led to believe that religious persecution is something that only happens overseas. I regret to inform you that many of us have been lulled to sleep resting upon the assurance of our First Amendment.  

“The fact is that our religious freedom and freedom of speech are both under assault in America … before our very own sleepy eyes. 

“I am here to tell you that there are over 1200 documented — documented cases — of religious persecution in America over just the past decade. These are only the documented cases.  You can find them listed at www.religioushostilities.org.

“It is time to wake up. It is time to take a stand to defend our religious liberty,” said Colbeck. “Thomas Jefferson put it this way: ‘Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?’”  

Speakers at the rally highlighted several examples of religious intolerance in Michigan.

A video of Colbeck’s entire speech can be found at www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com or by clicking this link: Senator Colbeck Speaks at Religious Liberty Rally.

 
 

DISTRICT HAPPENINGS

Christmas at the Livonia Senior Center

On Friday, December 18, Senator Colbeck had the opportunity to visit with Livonia-area senior citizens at their Holidays/Christmas Party, held at the Civic Park Senior Center in Livonia. For information on upcoming events, visit Livonia Senior Center.

 
 

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:

Canton
Date: Monday January 11th
Time: 6-7 p.m.
Location: Township Hall Room A
1150 S. Canton Center Rd., Canton  

Livonia
Date: Friday January 15th
Time: 11-12p.m.
Location: Senior Center 15218 Farmington Rd., Livonia  

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

Students from Livonia and Canton Visit Lansing

For the first half of December, Senator Colbeck proudly welcomed several schools from Livonia and Canton to the state Capitol including Kennedy Elementary School, Grand River Academy, Webster Elementary School, Canton Charter Academy and Cass Elementary School. 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.

Senator Colbeck with students from Canton Charter Academy in Canton, MI.

Livonia Schools Participate in Technology Demonstration at the State Capitol

On December 2nd, out of thousands of Michigan schools, forty K-12 student teams were chosen to demonstrate how technology can enhance teaching and learning at this year's Student Technology Showcase. Two Livonia schools, Grandview Elementary School and Clarenceville Middle School, both participated in the event. The showcase is a day-long event held in the state Capitol building to allow lawmakers, business leaders and other citizens to see first-hand how technology is used in classrooms across Michigan. Senator Colbeck stopped by to view the presentations and was impressed by the student’s achievements. Grandview Elementary even received a grant for $10,000 worth of computer equipment from Code.org.

Senator Colbeck with students from Grandview Elementary in Livonia, MI.

Students from Clarenceville Middle School in Livonia, MI.

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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