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Senator Patrick Colbeck’s Newsletter
 

SERVING THE STATE SENATE 7TH DISTRICT

Headlines from this edition:

- State Budget Signed into law July 14th
- Direct Primary Care Medicaid pilot project sees approval
- Amazon’s new Livonia facility
- Michigan’s proposed Law Enforcement Memorial
- Fireworks legislation workgroup announced
- Lyme disease on the rise in Michigan
- Plymouth Library solar eclipse events

STATE BUDGET SIGNED INTO LAW

Unlike many of the other states you may have read about in the news that have recently experienced government shutdowns and other major budgetary problems (to read, click HERE & HERE), Michigan quietly signed a balanced state budget into law on July 14th with little drama or fanfare.

The state budget was divided into two Omnibus spending bills – a General Omnibus bill (HB 4323) and an Education Omnibus bill (HB 4313). Each of these bills reflected a rollup of the budgets from individual state departments.

Sen. Colbeck voted in support of the General Omnibus budget bill. It includes full funding for the Direct Primary Care (DPC) Medicaid Pilot which offers the opportunity to reduce funding in future budgets by up to $3.5B, all while improving the quality of care. Not only is it the Senator’s belief that such a shift would provide our Medicaid population with better, higher quality medical care, it would also free up additional funds to address other pressing issues like building better quality, longer lasting roads. You can read more about his case for Medicaid block grants and the use of Direct Primary Care in a recent story provided to Forbes by clicking HERE.

Sen. Colbeck voted in opposition to the Education Omnibus budget bill. The Education Omnibus bill featured several significant provisions which he opposed, because: 1) it diverts funds from the School Aid Fund to Community Colleges, 2) it allows universities to increase tuition rates by twice the amount of inflation without penalty, and at a time when universities and community colleges in our state are infringing upon the free speech rights of students, and 3) it creates a new precedent whereby students in high school are provided with a higher amount per pupil than other students, thereby valuing some students over others.

AMAZON’S NEW LIVONIA FACILITY

Amazon Facility Tour

Senator Colbeck recently toured Amazon’s new fulfillment center in Livonia. The 1 million square-foot center is being constructed at 39000 Amrhein Road, and will eventually service both Michigan and much of the Midwest. Amazon specifically cited the quality of western Wayne County’s workforce in selecting Livonia as the location for the facility. Those interested in applying to work at the center can do so through amazon.com/livoniajobs.

Michigan’s economic turnaround has been strong since the time of Michigan’s last recession and “lost decade”, and unemployment has improved significantly and is now below 4% (a 17 year low). You can read more about Michigan’s changing employment picture HERE.

MICHIGAN LAW ENFORCEMENT MEMORIAL

MICHIGAN LAW ENFORCEMENT MEMORIAL

Senator Colbeck was proud to have recently joined fellow Catholic Central alumni, Michigan State Police Troopers, and other friends to support the construction of a new law enforcement memorial for Michigan.

As Vice-Chair of the subcommittee on State Police and Military Affairs, Sen. Colbeck is reminded on a daily basis of the importance of our law enforcement who have fallen in the line of duty. The state will provide appropriation matching funds at a rate of two for one for the memorial, as long as the money is raised before October 1st of 2018. Sen. Colbeck is drawing attention to the proposed memorial to help raise awareness that Michigan is one of the last states in the country that does not yet have such a place of honor for its fallen law enforcement.

The monument is still $900K short of the funding needed to complete the memorial. Once the necessary funds have been raised, the memorial would be built in Lansing near the veterans memorial in front of the Michigan Supreme Court. The memorial design features a walkway lined with 8 x 4 glass panes etched with the names of every fallen officer. You can learn more about the memorial by clicking HERE.

LEGISLATIVE WORKGROUP ON FIREWORKS
TO BEGIN IN AUGUST

Our office continued to receive many calls related to fireworks over the course of the 4th of July, and we appreciated hearing from everyone and for their feedback. Callers’ views varied, with some asking for a complete ban on fireworks in Michigan, others calling for stricter penalties, others calling for a return to the pre-2011 law, and others calling for additional restrictions. In the legislature, a myriad of bills have also been introduced that represent these diversified and sometimes conflicting viewpoints on how to best address the matter, including SB 351 introduced by Sen. Colbeck. This legislation would allow local communities to once again have better control over how fireworks are used in their unique neighborhoods.

Because so many competing bills existed, none were able to individually get enough support to be voted out of a committee. As a result, a legislative workgroup is being put together to seek compromise in the area, but it must minimally be an improvement in the eyes of voters over today’s unacceptable status quo. Sen. Colbeck believes his bill best fits what he is hearing from the majority of the people in the 7th District, and we will be advocating for its premise to be included in what will hopefully be a compromise solution that can be signed into law.

You can read more about Sen. Colbeck’s legislation in our most recent legislative update mailer, which can be found either by clicking HERE or on the picture below.

Publications

LYME DISEASE

Before 2017 was halfway over it began being reported that there were already more cases of Lyme disease in Michigan this year than in all of last year. So far, 279 cases have been reported, compared to 233 in 2016. Although all reported cases still need to be eventually confirmed, Michigan scientists within both government and at the university level have made it clear that ticks continue their unwelcome rise in our state and appear to be causing more disease.

Both the Department of Natural Resources and our state health organizations have posted information on the internet where you can learn more. Our office is also working with the departments to make sure the most up to date information will be made available now that the threat of the tick population in Michigan has changed. You can view the current information here:

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/emergingdiseases/resize_307382_7.pdf
http://www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases/0,4579,7-186-81018_25890---,00.html
http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10370_12150_12220-26945--,00.html

Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria species Borrelia burgdorferi. The disease is spread to humans through the bite of infected ticks and can cause serious long-term illness. Detection, diagnosis, and treatment can vary considerably from individual to individual, and the best course of action is to take some of the precautions listed in the articles to minimize the chances of initial infection.

PLYMOUTH LIBRARY HOSTS SOLAR ECLISPE ACTIVITIES

DISCUSSES NEED FOR ‘SAFETY FIRST’

While Michigan does not lay enough within the path of this year’s solar eclipse to be able to view a “total eclipse”, many experts are calling for a still very memorable 80% eclipse well worth watching. Viewing an eclipse safely is the first rule for watching, and the Plymouth Public Library will be hosting several eclipse related events.

Eclipse

The Plymouth District Library has a number of events planned to safely celebrate the upcoming solar eclipse on August 21. The eclipse will be the first visible solar eclipse in the contiguous United States in nearly forty years. There are free eclipse safety glasses available for pick up at the front desk of the library. Please also note:

Library staffers will be at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, Aug. 12 from 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. There will be fun, hands-on activities for all ages. Eclipse viewing glasses will be available that day at the market as well.

The library will host a group viewing of the eclipse on August 21 from 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. at Plymouth Township Park. All ages should plan to come to the 4 Seasons Pavilion to pick up free safety glasses (while supplies last) and enjoy some eclipse activities. Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket.

Full information will be posted at plymouthlibrary.org soon, and in the meantime you can read more about Plymouth’s 150th year celebration HERE.

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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
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Visit my website at: www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com
 
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