State Dept. of Agriculture & Rural Development Encourages Hunters to Have Deer Tested for Bovine TB

Lansing – Today, the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) announced an incentives program to encourage more Michigan hunters to have their deer tested for bovine Tuberculosis (TB). Bovine TB is a contagious bacterial disease of cattle that can affect other mammals, including humans. In 1994, a unique strain of bovine TB was identified in Michigan’s free-ranging deer.

“Under this new program, if a wild free-ranging white-tailed deer harvested during the 2011 hunt is turned in for bovine TB testing, and it cultures positive, the hunter may apply for a $200 incentive,” said MDARD Director Keith Creagh.  “MDARD recently announced 57 counties in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula achieved bovine TB free status; but there is still a pocket of bovine TB in deer that can be transmitted to cattle. This new incentive program is one tool in our toolbox to help refine the footprint of the disease and protect Michigan’s $9.2 billion dollar beef and dairy industries.”

“Some of the best hunting in the state is in Northeastern Lower Michigan,” said State Senator John Moolenaar (R-Midland).  “Our wildlife enthusiasts can show they care about TB eradication, and at the same time, Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will reward them for removing disease from the landscape.”

“I encourage landowners, hunt clubs and people who hunt on public land to aid in eradicating bovine TB by hunting in Northeastern Lower Michigan. Our efforts over the past decade have helped pinpoint areas where bovine TB is more commonly found in the deer herd,” said Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Rodney Stokes. “Most deer infected with bovine TB look and act like normal deer, so testing in the laboratory is the only way to confirm TB infection which is why it’s so important to turn heads in for testing.”

Under the Incentives Program:

  • Hunters must take the deer to a DNR check station. They can have the antlers removed, but the head is submitted for testing.
  • DNR collects the heads from all the check stations and transports them to the Wildlife Disease Laboratory at Michigan State University’s (MSU) Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health.
  • If the deer is confirmed to be TB infected, the hunter will receive routine test notification from the DNR laboratory which will include an Incentives Program contact number.
  • Notified hunters should contact MDARD with their confirmation code. A form will be mailed to the hunter’s address for them to fill out and mail back for payment.
  • Upon receipt of the completed form, hunters will be mailed $200 for each TB positive deer harvested.

Visit the Emerging Diseases website for an all-positives map and additional information, including an advertisement about the incentives program; or to join the Michigan Animal Health Listserv: www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases.
 

Green legislation would prevent lottery winners from receiving public assistance

LANSING – State Sen. Mike Green introduced legislation Wednesday that would require Michigan lottery officials to share the names of winners with various government departments, which would then have to immediately remove the winners from all public assistance programs.

Green’s reform was prompted by news reports last spring regarding a Bay County man who was still using food stamps nearly a year after winning a jackpot on “Make Me Rich.” The lottery winner admitted to using a Bridge Card at area stores and claimed state officials gave him the green light to do so.

“Because of a federal loophole, lottery winners who receive lump-sum payouts are not required to treat those winnings as income when they apply for food assistance,” said Green, R-Mayville. “This is an insult to those Michigan families who are struggling and need a helping hand, as well as to taxpayers who expect their hard-earned dollars to be spent responsibly. This legislation puts an end to this fleecing of the taxpayers.”

Under Green’s legislation, Senate Bill 712, the Department of Human Services (DHS) would be required to apply an asset test to those seeking food assistance to verify that their household has no more than $5,000 in countable assets. Money received from lottery or other gambling winnings would go toward this income total whether received in a lump-sum payment or on a monthly payout basis.

A companion measure, Senate Bill 711, would require the Michigan Lottery to submit a winner’s Social Security number to DHS and Medicaid officials within seven days.

“I sponsored this legislation to help ensure that tax dollars are spent wisely and effectively,” Green said. “Making this reform will help make sure that the state’s limited food assistance resources go to those who truly need it.”

The bills have been referred to the Senate Families, Seniors and Human Services Committee for consideration.

Green votes for inmate cell phone ban

LANSING – Michigan veterans could benefit from legislation approved by the state Senate on Tuesday that would prohibit prisoners from possessing or using cell phones, said Sen. Mike Green.

“Allowing prisoners to use cell phones is a threat to the safety of guards and the general public,” said Green, R-Mayville. “Cell phones can be used to plan escapes and traffic drugs. I supported this reform to ensure safety by getting these phones out of the hands of convicted felons.”

Senate Bill 551 would prohibit a prisoner from possessing or using a cellular telephone or wireless device in a prison or correctional facility. Senate Bill 552 would enact the cell phone ban for inmates in jails and also prohibit an individual from selling, giving or furnishing a cell phone to a prisoner in a jail.

“In addition to protecting public safety, these measures will also benefit our veterans,” Green said. “Instead of just disposing of the confiscated cell phones, this legislation would require that the devices be donated to Soldiers Incorporated, which provides valuable services to our veterans.”

The cell phone or other wireless device would be donated only if it is still serviceable and no longer needed for purposes of a criminal prosecution. If enacted into law, violations would be a felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment, a maximum fine of $1,000 or both.

The bills have been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
 

Green votes to ban partial birth abortions in Michigan

LANSING, Mich.—The state Senate approved legislation on Wednesday to ban “partial birth” abortions in Michigan, said Sen. Mike Green, who voted for the measures.

“I strongly believe that the barbaric act of so-called ‘partial birth’ abortion should be stopped. This bill reinforces the already existing federal ban to make sure it ends in Michigan,” said Green, R-Mayville. “There is no greater gift than the gift of life. Each and every person should be cherished and protected and this helps do that.”

Senate Bill 160 would outlaw the practice of partial birth abortion in Michigan, unless determined necessary to save the life of the mother. The bill was modeled after the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The companion Senate Bill 161 would establish sentencing guidelines for performing or assisting in a partial birth abortion. Individuals convicted of the new felony would face two years in prison.

Both measures have been sent to the state House of Representatives for further consideration.

Media Advisory: Sen. Green, Gov. Snyder to attend Bay AreaOn the Go! event

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, and Gov. Rick Snyder will attend the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce “Bay Area… On the Go!” event on Thursday, Sept. 22.

According to the chamber, the event offers attendees a wealth of information about what makes living and working in the Bay Area so great, including its many quality lifestyle offerings and exciting economic development opportunities.

Green will join Snyder for a brief media availability following the event.

When: Thursday, Sept. 22
            Noon
           
Where: Doubletree Hotel Conference Center
1 Wenonah Park Place
Bay City, MI 48708
 

Sen. Green applauds Gov. Snyders focus on autism

LANSING, Mich.―Sen. Mike Green today applauded Gov. Rick Snyder for addressing autism in his special message on the health and wellness of Michigan residents.

“Governor Snyder highlighted a real problem facing Michigan families and children,” said Green, R-Mayville. “Autism disorders are more commonly diagnosed in children than cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined, yet 15,000 kids with autism in our state struggle to get even basic medical treatment.”

Green introduced Senate Bill 414 in June 2011 to include coverage for the treatment of autism in Michigan health insurance plans. The legislation is part of a package of bills aimed at improving the early diagnosis and treatment of the entire range of autism spectrum disorders. Green has worked closely on the measures with Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, a bipartisan group of legislators and a coalition including business leaders and autism advocates.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Green said. “I applaud Governor Snyder for focusing on this issue. Providing early and proper treatment will improve the quality of life and independence of those diagnosed with autism and reduces their need for long-term services and full-time care, which are often funded by taxpayers.”

According to research, the appropriate treatment of autistic disorders results in 50 percent of patients recovering typical functionality. For diagnosed children, other states have demonstrated this reduces their need for K-12 special education services, potentially saving public schools an estimated $200,000 per child over the course of their academic career.

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

 

Note: For a print-quality digital photograph of Senator Green, please visit http://www.MISenateGOP.com/Photowire2/31/03032011Greenfloor3_tn.jpg.

 

Sen. Green announces two Sept. 19 district office hours for Bay County residents

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mike Green will hold constituent office hours in Bay County on Monday, Sept. 19.

Details are as follows:

Monday, Sept. 19
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Pinconning Municipal Building
208 Manitou St.
Pinconning

Monday, Sept. 19
2:30 – 4 p.m.
Pere Marquette Depot, 1904 Room
1000 Adams St. 
Bay City

District office hours provide residents with the opportunity to meet with the senator or a member of his staff to address issues related to state government. No appointment is necessary.

To contact Green, please visit www.statesenatormikegreen.com or call toll-free at 1-866-305-2131. The 31st Senate District includes the counties of Arenac, Bay, Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola.

Green: Education reforms would empower parents, expand education options

 

LANSING – Legislation introduced Wednesday in the Michigan Senate would lift the arbitrary cap on charter schools and enable parents to pursue the education choices that work best for their children, said Sen. Mike Green.

The seven-bill proposal, which includes Senate Bills 618 – 624, is known as the Parent Empowerment Education Reform package.

“A quality education is critical to preparing students to successfully compete in a global, 21st century economy,” said Green, R-Mayville. “These reforms are focused on what is in the best interests of parents and students, empowering them to make the educational choices that best fit their needs.

“The legislation also expands opportunity for local districts and teachers to drive innovation in their schools and to take part in the expanded opportunities.”

In addition to removing the cap on university-authorized charter schools and special high school academies, the bills would:

  • End restrictions on where Schools of Excellence could locate;
  • Increase opportunities for cyber charter schools;
  • Empower a majority of parents or teachers at a school to petition their district to convert the school to a charter;
  • Expand dual-enrollment opportunities for high-achieving students and the ability of districts to provide services to part-time, non-public students;
  • Permit school districts to contract for instructional services when appropriate; and
  • Include all districts in Michigan in schools of choice, requiring districts to admit students who apply if space is available after local students are served.

“I believe these reforms will help to ensure that every student has access to a good education, regardless of where they live,” Green said. “We have to do better with limited resources and measure success on results, not on how much money we spend. Success will require the involvement of students, parents, teachers and local leadership. I believe these bills take important steps in this direction.”

The legislation has been referred to the Senate Education Committee for consideration.
 

Sen. Green announces September district office hours for Tuscola County

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mike Green will hold constituent office hours in Tuscola County on Friday, Sept. 16, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Cass City Municipal Building located at 6506 Main St.

District office hours provide residents with the opportunity to meet with the senator or a member of his staff to address issues related to state government. No appointment is necessary.

To contact Green, please visit www.StateSenatorMikeGreen.com or call toll-free at 1-866-305-2131. The 31st Senate District includes the counties of Arenac, Bay, Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola.

I-75 bridge work begins Thursday in Bay County

From the Michigan Department of Transportation:

COUNTY:  Bay

HIGHWAY:   I-75
    
CLOSEST CITY:  Pinconning
  
STARTING DATE:  Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011  
 
ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE:  Early April 2012

PROJECT:   Bridge work on I-75, including approach work and repairs on four bridges over the Saganing River and Whitefeather Road.       

TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS: One lane will be open in each location across the bridges with traffic maintained using median crossovers.

CUSTOMER BENEFIT: This $3.4 million project will increase motorist safety for years to come by improving the overall condition of the bridges.