Green bill extends foreclosure prevention program

LANSING―The 90-day foreclosure prevention program set to expire July 5 would be extended by two years under legislation introduced by Sen. Mike Green.

“Michigan has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation and one of the highest foreclosure rates as well,” said Green, R-Mayville. “Many Michigan families are finding it difficult to make ends meet and stay in their homes.

“The foreclosure prevention program encourages cooperation between lenders and homeowners. It helps people remain in their homes while benefiting lenders by getting mortgages current again.”

Under the program, mortgage lenders are required to provide homeowners with written notice of a potential foreclosure before proceedings begin. The notice includes contact information for a lender representative who can make mortgage modifications, as well as a list of independent housing counselors available to assist the homeowner.

Assisted by a counselor, homeowners could then request a meeting with their lender, resulting in a 90 day period for negotiating a mortgage modification, if applicable. Borrowers who do not take the steps required under the program would still be subject to foreclosure proceedings.

“Unnecessary foreclosures negatively impact the whole community by depressing property values and contributing to the deterioration of the local neighborhood,” Green said. “This program helps to avoid that without increasing costs on homeowners who are meeting their obligations.”

Senate Bill 398 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions for consideration.

For more information or to contact Sen. Green, please visit www.statesenatormikegreen.com.
 

Green invites local veterans to Senates Annual Memorial Day Service

LANSING—The Michigan Senate will hold its 17th Annual Memorial Day Service in the Senate chamber Thursday, May 26, announced state Sen. Mike Green.

“Memorial Day brings us all together to honor and remember those brave men and women of our armed services who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and way of life,” said Green, R-Mayville. “As soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen continue to stand in harm’s way for our sake, I am especially honored to be a part of the Senate’s service.  I encourage local veterans to join us as we remember Michigan’s fallen heroes.”

Lawmakers will honor soldiers from their districts who gave their lives in service to the nation during the past year. Families who lost loved ones will also be recognized by the Senate.

Local veterans interested in attending the May 26 ceremony, scheduled for 10 a.m., should RSVP to Sen. John Pappageorge, who is coordinating the event, by calling his office toll free at 1-877-SEN-13TH. Veterans who plan on attending should check in at Pappageorge’s office, located in room S-2 on the first floor of the Capitol.

Green also invited district veterans for a reception in his Lansing office from 12 – 1 p.m. Veterans may confirm their attendance at the reception by calling Green’s office toll free at 1-866-305-2131.
 

Green votes to eliminate Michigan Business Tax; plan protects majority of pensions from taxes

LANSING — State Sen. Mike Green voted today to eliminate the Michigan Business Tax and replace it with a flat, corporate income tax. The legislation included major changes to the original proposal to apply the income tax to pensions.

Green issued the following statement after the vote:

“Our number one job is jobs. We need to bring good-paying jobs back to Michigan for our kids and our grandkids.

“The business tax reforms passed today are needed to turn this state around and get it headed in the right direction. The legislation will bring much-needed relief to job providers throughout the state.

“While I supported an amendment to remove the pension tax changes from the legislation, the final plan did include major changes to the governor’s proposal. Seniors who live on Social Security, our military retirees and a large majority of senior citizens, including those with modest pensions, will see no change under the bill.

“The legislation passed by the Senate today will help bring jobs back to the state and will protect the modest incomes of our senior citizens.”

MDOT to invest $109 million in 2011 Bay Region program

The Michigan Department of Transportation's (MDOT) 2011-2015 Five Year Transportation Program will bring $109 million in transportation improvements to the MDOT Bay Region this year. The Bay Region includes 13 counties in the Saginaw Bay area: Arenac, Bay, Clare, Genesee, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Lapeer, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac, and Tuscola.

"The Bay Region contains many important tourist and international trade routes. Despite fewer resources, MDOT will continue to work on infrastructure and service improvements," said MDOT Bay Region Engineer Robert Ranck Jr. "Safety investments will serve motorists by improving the pavement and bridge condition, extending the life of the roadways throughout the region, and improving traffic mobility for years to come."

The 2011 rehabilitation and reconstruction work will provide approximately $59.6 million in road and bridge investments, including work on the Pere Marquette rail trail from Mystic Lake to Farwell in Clare County. This project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

MDOT also will invest $25 million in work continued from the 2010 construction season, including two carry-over ARRA projects: I-75 from Squaconning to Hotchkiss roads and M-84 from Delta to Euclid roads in Bay County. Another $18.4 million will be invested in Capital Preventive Maintenance projects in order to keep a significant number of roads and bridges in good condition through minor, preventive repair work.

Some major projects planned for 2011 include:

  • I-675 at Warren Avenue, Saginaw County, includes interchange ramp construction, bridge removal and replacement, and deck replacement work on Veterans Memorial Parkway.
  • I-75 from Crane Road to Squaconning Creek and work over Goetz Drain, Saginaw and Bay counties, includes reconstruction and culvert work.
  • I-75 from Linwood Road to north of Pinconning Road, Bay County, includes resurfacing and bridge rehabilitation.
  • I-75, Genesee County, includes bridge work from I-69 to the Genesee/Saginaw county line.
  • I-69, Genesee and Lapeer counties, includes bridge work.
  • US-127 Business Route (BR)/M-61, Clare County, includes mill and resurfacing from south of M-61 to County Farm Road, and intersection improvements.
  • US-127 BR (Mission Street), Mt. Pleasant, Clare County, resurfacing.

MDOT also is dedicated $6.2 million to road repair projects, including Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) infrastructure development.

"Utilizing new technologies like ITS devices will provide motorists with important real-time information and improve traffic flow," Ranck said.

Although all ITS devices are not yet functional, MDOT expects to have a statewide operations center working by mid-May and to have ITS message boards along I-75 displaying current construction and incident reports. Overall ITS systems, including message boards on US-10 and US-127, are scheduled to display real-time travel information by the end of the 2011 construction season.

Crews are currently installing electronic message signs on southbound US-127, just north of the MDOT Welcome Center in Clare County, and eastbound US-10, just east of the Bay City Road interchange in Bay County. ITS components already are in place on I-75 at the north and south junctions of I-475 in Genesee County, including electronic message signs, three communications towers and electronic vehicle speed detectors; and on I-75 near I-675 in Saginaw and Bay counties, including seven closed circuit television cameras and three electronic message signs. Eventually, 65 miles of freeway in the MDOT Bay Region will be monitored using ITS.

For up-to-date information on MDOT projects, go to the list of statewide lane closures at: www.michigan.gov/drive. Follow MDOT at www.twitter.com/MichiganDOT or www.facebook.com/MichiganDOT.