View Senator Patrick Colbeck’s newsletter in your browser
 
Senator Patrick Colbeck’s Newsletter
 

SERVING THE STATE SENATE 7TH DISTRICT

HEADLINES FROM THIS EDITION

- September 11th – in remembrance
- Ballot proposals voted upon in Lansing
- Livonia Ford plant public meeting held
- EpiPen medicine shortage
- New sexual assault hotline available
- Free document shredding and tire disposal in Livonia
- Home heating and other electric credits available
- Retiring flags properly
- September district hours

SEPTEMBER 11th – IN REMEMBRANCE

This year marks a hallowed 17th anniversary of the September 11 attacks that killed nearly 3000 people. Though many years have passed, both the people who perished and the events that transpired that day shall not be forgotten.

Download images to view this graphic

The evil that so ferociously struck our nation has not gone away, but through the Grace of God and the brave dedication of those in service to our country no further foreign attacks of this magnitude have since touched upon our soil. May we forever remember the sacrifices made on that day and stay steadfast in our vigilance against those who wish to do us harm.

SEN. COLBECK VOTES ‘NO’ ON LEGISLATIVE ADOPTION OF BALLOT PROPOSALS

Last week the Michigan legislature addressed whether or not they would vote to approve two initiatives that had the opportunity to go onto the general election ballot. One of these initiatives proposed an increase to our minimum wage while the other created a state mandate upon employers to offer a certain measure of sick leave for their employees. You can read more about ballot proposals by clicking HERE.

To put these votes in context, initiative petitions associated with pending ballot proposals such as those voted upon by the legislature can procedurally be acted upon first by the legislature. If the legislature chooses to, and if it has enough votes, it can directly “pass” the ballot proposals and put them into law. By doing so, the measures would be “adopted” and no longer need to go onto the ballot. By contrast, if the legislature chose not to vote on the proposals they would instead automatically go onto the general election ballot.

This matters because when voters approve a measure, it requires three-quarters of each chamber to modify the resulting statute in the future. If the legislature approves the measure, only a simple majority is required to modify the statute. This vote threshold for changes to the proposed statutes is at the heart of the votes taken by the Senate and House.

Senator Colbeck believed strongly that whether or not the measures became law should have been based on robust public debate and the merit of the policy issues. He therefore felt it was best that they go before voters to make that determination. As such, he voted “no” when the question was put before him on whether or not the legislature should instead directly adopt them. You can read the press release containing his no vote explanation by clicking HERE, or watch his floor speech HERE.

Despite Senator Colbeck’s “no” vote, both measures passed out of the Senate on a 24-13 vote. Because the House also voted for passage, both proposals were officially adopted and will no longer be going onto the general election ballot this fall. While they have essentially become law, it is widely expected that additional legislation will be introduced soon to augment them before they go into effect. There is concern particularly among those receiving tipped wages that the laws will lead to an eventual reduction in real wages.

It is important in debating the measures to read the entire laws that were put into place, and not just the “short summary” that often fails to provide full details. You can read the full text on the prevailing wage measure HERE, and full text on the sick time measure HERE.

Senator Colbeck believes that both measures will hurt the job prospects of the very people the initiatives are theoretically supposed to help.

LIVONIA FORD PLANT PUBLIC MEETING HELD

As highlighted in our last newsletter, the MI Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) held a public meeting in Livonia on August 20th to review Ford Motor Company’s response activity plan for a chemical spill that has affected some of the homeowners around the Livonia Transmission Plant. A map of the area can be found on pages 20-21 of this document (please note, this is a large file which may take a longer time to load).

It is believed at this time that the contamination came from trichloroethylene, a solvent used at the plant as a parts degreaser until the 1980s. That chemical breaks down into hazardous vinyl chloride, which according to Ford was found in groundwater at the plant while doing upgrades, and a “plume” has now left Ford’s property.

According to the Conceptual Site Model discussed at the meeting, those within 100 feet of the plume should soon be receiving letters discussing how testing will be conducted (many may have already received this letter). In addition, DEQ is requiring Ford to do additional groundwater sampling to track the plume, and additional homes could be tested depending on the results. Two additional points of information released after the meeting can be found HERE and HERE.

We have heard that some people would like testing at their home that currently live in the affected neighborhood but outside of the 100 foot buffer line. For those that are interested our office is committed to making sure such homeowner requested testing is completed. Those with such a desire should first contact Brandon Alger of the DEQ, and carbon copy our office:

Brandon Alger, Project Manager, DEQ, Remediation and Redevelopment Division, at 586-753-3826 or by email: algerb@michigan.gov.

As always our office can be contacted a variety of ways by clicking HERE.

EPIPEN MEDICINE SHORTAGE

Our office received several phone calls from people who were struggling to obtain enough EpiPen medicine as the school year started. A useful article on the problem can be found here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/epipen-shortage-hits-back-to-school-season-1535202001

Due to the intermittent availability of these and related products, Mylan is recommending patients call their Customer Relations team (800-796-9526) for assistance in locating pharmacies which may have product available.

Although each person’s insurance may vary, the ones we reached out to in trying to assist constituents also have procedures in place to cover product versions that may not otherwise normally be paid for. These apply when a member has run out of all other options. For that reason people should call Mylan first, and document if they cannot be assisted. Checks and balances are in place to make sure bad actors do not attempt to hoard the product for black market resale.

In communicating with the FDA we learned they have also recently approved of a generic to help alleviate this problem in the future. It will be a few more months before it is available, but will soon help to alleviate the problem going forward. Should you still experience problems after reaching out to both Mylan and your insurance company please contact our office for assistance.

CONFIDENTIAL SEXUAL ASSAULT LINE NOW AVAILABLE

A new confidential sexual assault hotline is now open, and victims of sexual assault have an important resource to help in the healing process. The confidential, 24-hour sexual assault hotline — 1-855-VOICES4 — is now up and running to provide for both support and referrals.

The hotline is staffed by professional crisis counselors with specialized training in crisis intervention, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, victim’s rights, health options and Michigan law. Counselors can connect victims with sexual assault programs that offer additional counseling, advocacy and support as well as other services such as Crime Victims Compensation and MI-VINE (Michigan Victim Information and Notification Everyday, an electronic victim notification service).

You can find out more by clicking HERE.

LIVONIA DOCUMENT SHREDDING & TIRE DISPOSAL

The City of Livonia will be conducting a Document Shredding & Tire Recycling event on Saturday, September 15th from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Livonia DPW Yard (South of Schoolcraft, west side of Farmington Road).

This event is your opportunity to securely dispose of documents and recycle old tires. Up to 10 tires and 5 orange recycle bin size boxes of documents may be brought for disposal.

It is important to note, we have been informed that this is for LIVONIA RESIDENTS ONLY. For further information please contact the city by clicking HERE.

HOME HEATING AND OTHER ELECTRIC CREDITS AVAILABLE

The Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) reminds qualified homeowners or renters that they can apply by Sept. 30 to receive the state’s Home Heating Credit. The Home Heating Credit helps Michigan residents who are low-income, deaf, disabled or blind, senior citizens, or disabled veterans to pay their energy bills. More than 304,000 Michigan households qualified last year. This Home Heating Credit checklist will help to determine if an applicant qualifies for funding.

Sen. Colbeck would also like to remind constituents that those who receive poor service availability from the utilities (such as frequent brownouts) can apply to get a credit from the utilities as well. MPSC Administrative Rules 460.701- 460.752 specify the service quality standards to which the utilities must adhere, and Part 4 of the rules state that customers may be entitled to credits on their bills under certain circumstances. Customers who believe they qualify for such a credit should contact their utility and mention these specific rule references. Qualifying residential customers are entitled to a credit of either $25.00 or their monthly customer charge, whichever is greater.

Sen. Colbeck will be introducing legislation to expand on these rules to offer better compensation in circumstances of extreme poor service. People living in Plymouth and those attempting to retain their analog meters have both experienced extremely poor customer service, which DTE has apologized in part for: http://newsletters.misenategop.com/w/xilMW5OwWZB21ivVYk9IiQ

Customers should first contact the utility in attempting to receive service reliability credits. For those who believe they may qualify by for the Home Heating Credit, form MI-1040CR-7 may be obtained from the Department of Treasury’s website – michigan.gov/taxes – or by calling 517-636-4486.

PROPERLY RETIRING FLAGS

As we remember September 11, we proudly fly our flags and show our loyalty and respect. All flown flags will eventually show signs of excessive wear and eventually need to be retired. Although time is running out for collection this year, Advanced Disposal has asked us to make readers from the 7th District aware of their free flag retirement program.

Anyone can dispose of their own flag properly. The VFW makes the following recommendations:

VFW Flag Disposal
1. The flag should be folded in its customary manner.
2. It is important that the fire be fairly large and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the flag.
3. Place the flag on the fire.
4. The individual(s) can come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection.
5. After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.
6. Please contact your local VFW Post if you'd like assistance or more information on proper flag disposal or etiquette.

DISTRICT HOURS

Don’t have time to drive to Lansing? Please click HERE to find out when and where Sen. Colbeck will be holding nearby district “office hours” that you can attend. We hope to see you there!

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

www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com

Screenshot

SHARE THIS NEWSLETTER

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
 

Do not hesitate to contact our office 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. They may also sign up for it at our website.

To unsubscribe, please click HERE.