Green resolution calls for flood insurance reform

 

LANSING―Sen. Mike Green has introduced a resolution calling on Congress to eliminate the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and allow states to collaborate on more affordable insurance options.

“Michigan homeowners have paid five times more in premiums to the NFIP program than they have received in claims for the last 30 years,” said Green, R-Mayville. “We’re subsidizing higher risk areas of the country without any accountability for how rates are set.

“This resolution calls for major reforms that would give Michigan residents the option to purchase insurance at fair and affordable rates.”

The resolution specifically outlines how the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has increased the area covered in floodplain maps with little explanation regarding the risk. This action resulted in a mandate for more property owners and businesses to purchase flood insurance through the program.

“More and more, Michigan is being asked to pay what should be someone else’s insurance bill. This is a major expense that a lot of folks don’t necessarily need and can’t afford,” Green said.

In the resolution, Green also calls for support of a bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Candice Miller that would eliminate the NFIP program and permit individual states to collaborate on flood insurance more suitable to the specific risks for their residents.

“There is a legitimate need for flood insurance in many areas, but this federal program has failed and should end,” said Green. “My resolution calls on Congress to produce a solution that meets needs while being fair to Michigan property owners.”

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

Green to lead Michigan Sportsmens Caucus

LANSING―State Sen. Mike Green will serve as the Senate chairman of the bipartisan Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, the lawmaker announced Thursday. He replaces outgoing chair, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville.

“Michigan’s natural resources offer endless recreational opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds,” said Green, R-Mayville. “Sportsmen and women are among the greatest custodians of these resources and they serve as leaders of conservation and preservation efforts.

“As chairman of the caucus, I will work with my fellow legislators to advance the rights of Michigan residents to affordably hunt, fish and enjoy all that Michigan’s outdoors have to offer. We’ll also focus on key efforts to preserve and protect our natural resources and environment for generations to come.”

The Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus is a bipartisan, bicameral group of state legislators who come together in support of sportsmen’s rights and to promote Michigan’s great outdoors. The caucus achieves its goals through bipartisan legislation, educational programs, conservation initiatives and charitable donations.

According to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Michigan ranks third in the nation for the number of hunters. Hunting and fishing contributes more than $3 billion to the state’s economy and supports thousands of jobs for Michigan residents.

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

Green urges votes to help Michigan state parks earn trees and bragging rights

News from the Department of Natural Resources:

The Department of Natural Resources reports that Michigan currently ranks first in the Odwalla juice company’s national Plant a Tree program, but Texas and Pennsylvania are coming on strong in second and third place. With $100,000 worth of free trees for state parks available this year, every vote counts. If you’ve already voted for Michigan by planting a tree at www.odwalla.com/plantatree, thank you! There is one vote allowed per e-mail address. If you haven’t yet voted, please consider doing so today, and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do the same. It’s easy, and every tree planted (or vote cast) means $1 toward the purchase of trees to help restore the areas of our state parks hardest hit by the emerald ash borer and other exotic forest pests.

For two years running, Michigan has captured the top spot in the Odwalla competition but, with a smaller funding pool this year, other states are getting serious about their outreach efforts. There is just over $40,000 worth of free trees still available for planting – or voting – in the contest. Please take a minute to do something meaningful and long-lasting for Michigan’s great outdoor spaces. Visit http://www.odwalla.com/plantatree and vote today (through Aug. 31). Let’s make Michigan number one three years in a row!

Free fishing weekend set for June 11-12

 

LANSING—State Sen. Mike Green is reminding residents that this year’s free fishing weekend is set for June 11-12, providing a great opportunity to relax with family and friends while enjoying Michigan’s fresh water resources.

“I encourage everyone, from the most experienced anglers to those new to fishing, to take advantage of this great opportunity to experience Michigan’s outdoors,” said Green, R-Mayville. “This annual event is the perfect time for residents and visitors to enjoy fishing our many lakes and rivers.”

During the weekend, all fishing license fees will be waived, but all fishing regulations still apply.

Michigan offers some of the finest freshwater fishing in the world, with more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes and 36,350 miles of rivers and streams.

For more information on Free Fishing Weekend, including a list of activities across the state, visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing.
 

State to fund Liberty and Independence bridges

LANSING ― Bay City is set to receive $500,000 from the Michigan Department of Transportation during Fiscal Year 2012 for the operation and maintenance of the Liberty and Independence draw bridges, announced state Sen. Mike Green.

“These bridges are a part of major road and shipping thoroughfares and they’re critical to driving economic growth and tourism in this region and throughout Michigan,” said Green, R–Mayville. “While the entire region benefits, Bay City has shouldered the full cost of keeping them open. The state will rightly take responsibility for their maintenance and operation in this year’s budget.”

Green said he was pleased to be able to secure the commitment after Bay City Mayor Chris Shannon advocated strongly for the city on the issue. He said that while this is a step in the right direction, a more permanent solution is still needed.

“The state already maintains the Lafayette and Veterans Memorial bridges under Public Act 51, so it only makes sense that the long-term goal should be getting Liberty and Independence included as well,” said Green. “I have strong support in the Senate to get this done and state Representative Brunner is committed to working on it in the House as well.”

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

Green bill extends insurance coverage to autism

LANSING―Autism spectrum disorders would be covered by health insurance plans in Michigan under legislation introduced on Wednesday by state Sen. Mike Green.

“Autism disorders are more commonly diagnosed in children than cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined,” said Green, R-Mayville. “One in every 110 kids is diagnosed with autism, yet 80 percent of them don’t get adequate treatment because it’s excluded from coverage.”

According to research, the early diagnosis and treatment of autistic disorders results in 50 percent of patients recovering typical functions, helping them to have full lives. Other states have demonstrated that early intervention also reduces the need for K-12 special education services, saving an estimated $200,000 per child.

“This bill benefits families and individuals dealing with the challenge of autism, getting them the help and medical support that they desperately need,” Green said. “Proper treatment early-on will improve their quality of life and independence, lowering the requirement for long-term services and full-time care, a more expensive option often funded by taxpayer dollars.”

The measure has been co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of senators.

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

Sen. Green: U.S. must increase oil supply to reduce gas prices

LANSING—A resolution urging Congress and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to adopt a new U.S.-Canada pipeline as part of a greater plan to increase Canadian oil importation was recently introduced in the Michigan Senate, said state Sen. Mike Green, who co-sponsored the resolution.

“As we head into another summer of high gas prices, it’s time our political leaders in Washington do what’s necessary to alleviate the burden at the pump for Michigan families,” said Green, R-Mayville. “This resolution calls on the federal government to work with our Canadian friends to tap their vast resources in order to reduce our dependence on the Middle East.” 

Senate Resolution 57, sponsored by Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, encourages President Barack Obama and Congress to support continued and increased importation of oil derived from Canadian oil sands.  It also urges the U.S. secretary of state to approve the TransCanada Keystone Coast Expansion pipeline project that has been awaiting a presidential permit since 2008.  The result of these actions would reduce dependence on unstable governments, improve our national security, and strengthen ties with an important ally.

Green said working with our allies to the north not only reduces dependence on oil from potential adversaries in the Persian Gulf Region and elsewhere, but will likely also boost Michigan’s economy over time.

“Utilizing Canada’s rich oil sands to power America will reduce our gas prices at the pump,” said Green. “Building the pipeline will attract millions of dollars in investments in the U.S. and create thousands of jobs here, while strengthening our ties with a strategic partner in Canada. This partnership will, over time, direct capital back into our economy through sales of Michigan made goods and services. It’s a win-win.”

The resolution was referred to the Senate Energy and Technology Committee for consideration.