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Serving the good people of Ottawa County is very important to me, and I encourage you to contact me with any state issue. You may email [email protected] or call (517) 373-6920. 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

Fiscal responsibility bill approved by Senate

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The Michigan Senate recently approved my legislation to maintain fiscal responsibility in the state budget and limit the amount of new debt.

This reform would re-establish necessary checks and balances when it comes to how we prioritize the use of taxpayer dollars. Michigan is currently spending over $200 million each year on transportation bond payments, but the governor has decided to add even more to our state debt by issuing $3.5 billion in bonds — which will cost Michigan families more than $5 billion to pay off.

Hardworking folks in Ottawa County and across our great state want an affordable, long-term plan that actually fixes the roads, not billions of dollars in more debt.

Senate Bill 716 would require the State Transportation Commission to notify the Legislature of its intent to issue over $100 million in transportation bonds at least 30 days before authorizing the bonds. The bill would then give the Legislature the ability to reject those bonds within 30 days. It would still allow the commission to issue up to $100 million in transportation bonds using the current process to protect the state’s ability to respond quickly to an infrastructure emergency.

The commission can currently issue bonds with no legislative input — regardless of how much debt they pass on to future generations. This measure is about giving the Legislature — which represents the Michigan people — a voice in large transportation bonding decisions.

Update on high-water erosion bill

The good news is that the Michigan Senate approved my legislation to allow homeowners to take immediate action stop their homes from falling into the Great Lakes due to historically high lake levels. The bill is currently in the House Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Committee.

Senate Bill 714 would allow homeowners to install temporary erosion control protections without first seeking a permit from Michigan's Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) if certain historic high-water levels are reached.

Under the bill, homeowners would be required to use state-approved materials and licensed contractors to do the work and would need to either remove the structure or apply for a permit for a permanent structure within 78 weeks.

My hope is that the department and the Legislature can quickly find a solution that helps protect shoreline property owners in crisis situations, like so many in Ottawa County.

March is National Reading Month

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Reading is one of the most important things you can do to be successful in school and in life.

My fellow members of the Senate Agriculture Committee recently received copies of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture 2020 Book of the Year from Rebecca Park of the Michigan Farm Bureau.

“Full of Beans: Henry Ford Grows a Car” by Peggy Thomas is a nonfiction children’s book that describes Henry Ford’s fascination with the soybean. Ford was raised on a Michigan farm and sought to help farmers find a new market following the Great Depression. One eventual result was a prototype car made of soy plastic.

This wonderful book tells the true story of the role agriculture played in the life of one of Michigan’s most famous leaders, and I look forward to sharing it with Ottawa County students this month for National Reading Month.

Recognized by Michigan FFA

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This week, I was recognized by Michigan FFA Association State President Haili Gusa on behalf of the Michigan FFA for my strong support of the agricultural industry and our future leaders.

I am always impressed by the knowledge, dedication and leadership of FFA members. It was wonderful to meet these outstanding students and an honor to be recognized by the Michigan FFA, which does great work developing future leaders and supporting Michigan agriculture.

The Michigan FFA consists of 8,000 members from 118 chapters and held its 92nd State FFA Convention this week on the campus of Michigan State University.

2020 hunting and fishing licenses on sale now

Most 2020 hunting and fishing licenses and permits went on sale March 1, which is the start of the new license year. Although 2019 fishing licenses, base/small game licenses and ORV permits are valid through March 31, the new 2020 versions of these licenses and permits can be purchased March 1.

Outdoor enthusiasts can order the new licenses online at www.MDNR-eLicense.com or by visiting a retailer that sells DNR licenses. For license sales questions, email [email protected] or call 517-284-6057. Season guides and digests will be posted on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/dnr as they become available.

March coffee hours and town hall

Our goal is to provide the good people of Ottawa County with chances to meet with me in person. We’ve had a great response to these coffee hours, and we’ll continue to hold them each month throughout the district.

In addition to the four coffee hours this month, I will be holding a town hall meeting on Monday, March 23. The town hall starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Spring Lake District Library, located at 123 E. Exchange St. in Spring Lake.

At both the town hall and the coffee hours, I will be available to answer questions, provide information and assistance, and take suggestions on issues affecting our community and our state.

Here are the dates and times for the March coffee hours:

Monday, March 16 from 9 – 10 a.m. at deBoer’s Bakery, 380 W. 16th St. in Holland.

Friday, March 20 from 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. at Pine Street Cafe, 401 Pine St. in Ferrysburg.

Saturday, March 21 from 8 – 9 a.m. at Sprinkles Donut Shop, 6450 28th Ave. in Hudsonville.

Monday, March 23 from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. at Murphy’s Family Restaurant, 4963 Lake Michigan Drive in Allendale.

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Senate approves road improvement policy reforms

I recently supported important infrastructure policy reforms that would maximize road funding efficiency to ensure we use our tax dollars effectively, improve the ability of our local and state road agencies to better meet our growing infrastructure needs, protect Michigan taxpayers from waste, and ensure our roads are built to last.

Federal transportation dollars often come with burdensome requirements that can cost local agencies substantial time and money — resources better used to fix the roads. By allowing local road agencies to swap federal funds for state funds, we can help local agencies save up to 30% on their projects.

The Senate Republican road policy reforms would:

Maximize the use of federal transportation funding that the state receives;
Improve the current road warranty program to provide better value;
Require the state to study the feasibility of tolls on Michigan bridges or roadways;
Improve collaboration between the state and local roads agencies by extending local asset management horizons and ensuring Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) continues to supply long-range plans;
Require MDOT to develop a road construction inflation index to measure changes in cost within the highway construction industry annually; and
Establish a local road agency grant program to assist local agencies in funding technical engineering assistance.

SBs 515-520 and 522 have been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Free taxpayer guides available

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Any Michigan resident who hasn’t already filed their taxes and would like current information can download a free taxpayer’s guide from my website or contact my office for a printed copy.

The Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide is a reference for the 2019 tax year and is designed to help you prepare your state tax returns. Although not a substitute for state tax instruction booklets, the guide contains information on the state individual income tax and details about 2020 Michigan property taxes and various tax credits, such as the homestead property tax credit and the home heating credit.

Taxpayers can view and download the state forms and instructions for the 2019 tax year at www.michigan.gov/taxes, and you can e-file your state returns at www.mifastfile.org.

Michigan's 30th Senate District

The 30th State Senate District includes all of Ottawa county.

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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

 
Visit my website at: SenatorRogerVictory.com