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Dear Friends,

To better serve the people of the 30th Senate District, I am offering this “Week in Review.” I hope you will find it informative about what is happening in Lansing.

I encourage you to contact me with any state issue. You may call 517-373-6920 or email [email protected]. Also, please check out my Facebook page. Let me know if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Working for you,
Roger Victory
State Senator

Committee Update:

Judgeships and high-tech car burglaries

The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety last week took testimony and passed Senate Bill 1047 to allow the circuit courts in Allegan and Kalamazoo counties to add an additional judge.

Every two years, the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) releases the Judicial Resource Recommendations report based on its review of the needs of Michigan’s judiciary. However, the 2021 report wasn’t released over concerns the data would provide unreliable metrics due to the court closures and backups because of the COVID-19 pandemic. SCAO is providing updated numbers in situations where additional judges may be necessary. Both the 9th and 48th circuit courts have seen their caseloads increase to the point where they need an additional judge on the bench.

SB 1047 would allow the 48th Circuit Court in Allegan County to add a third judge and allow the 9th Circuit Court in Kalamazoo County to add a sixth judge. If the circuits add the judgeships, the new positions would become effective on Jan. 1, 2025. To provide better election staggering of the judges, the 9th Circuit Court term would be for eight years, while the 48th Circuit Court term would be for six years.

The committee also took testimony on Senate Bill 870, which would add “pro-pads” to the list of tools used for burglary. Originally used at dealerships and locksmiths, these devices are being used in an increasing number of car thefts because they allow thieves to by-pass the ignition system to start the car without a key. Cars can be stolen in under two minutes using this device.

SB 870 would add computers and other technological devices capable of programming a key code for a motor vehicle to the list of items considered “burglar tools.”

Click here to watch the committee meeting. The discussion on SB 870 begins at 1:01:30 into the video.

Bill would name a state official native grain

The Senate Agriculture Committee last week discussed Senate Bill 802, which would designate manoomin, or wild rice, as the official native grain of Michigan.

Once plentiful in Michigan, manoomin is a grain-producing grass native to the Great Lakes and portions of Canada. Wild rice cultivation and harvest have been central to the region for thousands of years and are culturally significant to the tribes of the Great Lakes.

Growing in shallow, calm water, wild rice plants are sensitive to disturbance during any part of their life cycle. Naming wild rice as Michigan’s state grain would bring statewide recognition to the ecological, cultural and economic value of native wild rice to our state.

Click here to watch the committee meeting, which begins :35 into the video.

Legislative Update:

Senate approves my gas tax suspension bill

The Michigan Senate last week approved my legislation to suspend the state’s tax on gasoline and diesel fuels for three months to provide relief to Michigan drivers.

While state government is seeing historic budget surpluses, Michigan family budgets are being stretched thin as the good people of our state struggle with increased costs due to high inflation and record-high gas and diesel prices.

The May Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference revised state revenue projections up nearly $3 billion for the current fiscal year and up over $2 billion for next year. That is $5 billion more than the previous surplus estimate.

Senate Bill 1029 would suspend the state’s 27.2 cents per gallon excise tax on gasoline and diesel fuel from June 15 to Sept. 15. It would also provide $300 million for local governments to cover revenue lost during the gas tax pause. SBs 972-974 would suspend the state’s 6% sales and use taxes on motor fuel for the same time period.

According to AAA, on May 19, the average per gallon for regular gasoline in Michigan was $4.58 and the average diesel price was $5.27. Both prices were the highest recorded average prices in state history, until today’s $4.61 per gallon price for gas broke that record.

This gas tax relief package would provide over $800 million in critical relief to virtually everyone in Michigan — including families and workers trying to make ends meet, businesses facing higher transportation costs, farmers growing the food we need to feed our families, and tourists and vacationing families who support Michigan’s tourism industry.

We can responsibly afford to cover the state’s expenses using the surplus while helping Michiganders who are suffering under the increased cost of living. I hope our governor will join with us this time to provide the hardworking folks of Michigan this important and immediate relief.

District Update:

Memorial Day ceremony

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day. Prior to the holiday, the Senate last week celebrated its 27th Annual Memorial Day Service honoring the Michigan men and women who died in military service to our country.

Several senators who are veterans and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II spoke and participated in the event, and the keynote speaker was retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Doug Slocum. Slocum served for 35 years as a fighter pilot, known by the call sign “Odie,” and most recently as commanding general of the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County. The Kalamazoo Pipe Band also played during the ceremony.

Click here to watch a recording of the outdoor ceremony.

Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the state Senate. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Please feel free to forward this on to others who may be interested in receiving the 30th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Roger Victory
4100 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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