Green Media Advisory: Senator to discuss 2012 legislative priorities at Bay City Lions’ meeting Feb. 1

 

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, is set to address members of the Bay City Lions’ Club on Wednesday, Feb.1.

The meeting will be held at the King Fish Restaurant, 1019 N. Water St. in Bay City. Green will speak at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Green is expected to talk about his legislative priorities for 2012. Members of the press are encouraged to attend.

For more information, contact Green’s office toll free at 866-305-2131 or at his website www.statesenatormikegreen.com.

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Sen. Green offers free tax preparation guides to district residents

LANSING, Mich.—The latest edition of the Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide is now available, and state Sen. Mike Green said residents can get their free copy by visiting his website or by contacting his office.

The guide, which is a reference for the 2011 tax year, is designed to help residents prepare their tax forms.

“It is important for people to make sure they are filing their tax forms correctly,” said Green, R-Mayville. “This free guide provides the most up-to-date information, and I hope residents of the 31st Senate District find it useful.”

The booklet contains information on Michigan’s taxes and tax credits. Included is a year-long taxpayer’s calendar with reference to important tax dates and filing deadlines. Also inside are copies of the most commonly used tax forms, as well as addresses and phone numbers for obtaining state agency tax information assistance.

Free copies of the tax guides are available for residents of the 31st Senate District on Green’s website at: www.statesenatormikegreen.com. Anyone without Internet access can obtain a free copy by contacting Green’s office at 517-373-1777.
 

Green opposes expanding lottery sales online

LANSING, Mich.— State Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, issued the following statement in response to recent testimony by state lottery officials in the House Regulatory Reform Committee on the possibility of online lottery ticket sales:

“Expanding lottery ticket sales to the Internet creates a slippery slope that I firmly oppose.

“Making it easier for folks to lose money to the lottery online when so many families are struggling is a bad idea. There’s also the potential that local businesses, which create the majority of jobs, will lose sales. That would be bad for our economy.

“Online lottery sales would benefit government coffers at the expense of Main Street, and runs contrary to what we’re trying to do in Michigan: making it easier to do business here and getting government out of the way.

“I am prepared to introduce legislation to prohibit online lottery sales and I encourage my colleagues to join me in opposition.”

Bill lowering state income tax introduced in MI Senate

LANSING, Mich.—Legislation that would incrementally lower the personal income tax on Michigan residents was introduced in the state Senate this week, said co-sponsor Sen. Mike Green.

Senate Bill 906 would reduce the personal income tax rate back to 3.9 percent by lowering the rate 0.1 percent each year beginning Jan. 1, 2014 until the desired rate is reached.

“This bill is about making good on promises to Michigan taxpayers,” said Green, R-Mayville. “During the budget crisis of 2007, a terrible decision was made to raise the personal income tax, and I am proud to support this measure to lower the rate back to where it was. Despite our improving economy, times are still tough and the costs of living continue to rise. It is only fair to the hardworking people of Michigan so they can keep more of what they’ve earned.”

The personal income tax was temporarily raised to 4.35 percent in 2007 to help balance the state budget, but with the clear understanding that it would eventually be rolled back to a rate of 3.9 percent. SB 906 is needed because current tax law provides only for a one-time rollback to 4.25 percent on Jan. 1, 2013.

SB 906 was sent to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.

Senate approves Green bill to reform DEQ regulations, expedite cleanup efforts

LANSING, Mich.—Legislation sponsored by state Sen. Mike Green to reform the regulatory process within the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) was approved by the Michigan Senate on Tuesday, the lawmaker said.

Senate Bill 533 removes certain rule-making authorities from the DEQ and prohibits the department from creating new regulations not specified under existing law, as both apply to leaking underground storage tanks.

“Jobs remain job one. This DEQ reform promotes both economic development and environmental protection,” said Green, R-Mayville. “By getting rid of unnecessary rules and regulations within the DEQ, we can more quickly and effectively clean up these contaminated sites so they can be redeveloped to create jobs.”

Green said that Michigan has a strong statute governing the cleanups but that constant rule changes by the department over the past decade have delayed rehabilitation efforts, causing further damage to the polluted sites and obstructing new development projects.

SB 533 was passed as part of a broad legislative package, SBs 529-533, to revise procedures for cleanup of leaking underground storage tanks. The bills also introduce common-sense approaches to the cleanup regulatory process by requiring the use of measures that are site-specific and risk-based.

The legislation is now before the House of Representatives for its consideration.

Green bill keeps creditors’ hands off kids’ college savings

LANSING, Mich.—Advanced tuition payment accounts and other college savings funds established for a child beneficiary would be protected from creditors under legislation introduced by state Sen. Mike Green.

“The ability of a child to afford college shouldn’t be punished because someone else’s financial situation changes,” said Green, R-Mayville. “This legislation will protect college funds set aside for a child against liens, court judgments and other court actions initiated by a creditor, at a time when a lot of folks are struggling to make ends meet.”

In most cases the funds are already given protection in bankruptcy proceedings under federal law. Twenty-five states currently provide protections for college savings accounts.

Senate Bill 895 would shield trusts, funds, accounts and advanced tuition payment contracts established under the Michigan Education Trust (MET) Act, the Michigan Education Savings Program Act, or sections 529 and 530 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Green said that providing protections for college savings will not enable the sponsors to use the accounts as shelters from the consequences of irresponsible financial decisions.

“It’s already illegal to use an account for fraudulent purposes like that,” said Green. “And with restrictions on how much can be contributed annually to these accounts and what the funds can be spent on, they’re not vehicles that somebody can use to hide assets.

“On the other hand, imagine a bill collector being able to raid an account that a sponsor set up during a student’s infancy. Fifteen years or so pass and the child starts weighing options for college.  If the sponsor has fallen on hard times and has some bad debts, those college savings are fair game. My legislation will put an end to that practice.”

SB 895 will be referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

Enjoy Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend Feb. 18 and 19

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone the annual Winter Free Fishing Weekend is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 18 and Sunday, Feb. 19. On that weekend, everyone – residents and non-residents alike – can fish without a license, though all other fishing regulations still apply.
Michigan has been celebrating Winter Free Fishing Weekend annually since 1994 as a way to promote awareness of the state's vast aquatic resources. With more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, 36,000 miles of rivers and 11,000 inland lakes, Michigan and fishing are a natural match.

"Michigan offers some of the finest freshwater fishing in the world, including during the winter months," said DNR Director Rodney Stokes. "Fishing is an inexpensive activity anyone can pursue – as an individual or as a family. We encourage you to get out this February and experience it for yourself, for free!"

To encourage involvement in Free Fishing Weekends, organized activities are being scheduled in communities across the state. These activities are coordinated by a variety of organizations including: constituent groups, schools, local and state parks, businesses and others.

There’s still plenty of time to plan your own local Free Fishing Weekend event, or find one occurring in your community. Visit the newly revamped website www.michigan.gov/freefishing for all things related to this unique weekend; including where you can find help on event planning and promotion and where you can identify events in your area or register an official event.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

Media Advisory: Senator Green to appear at pro-life events to celebrate life and memorialize the unborn children lost due to abortion, in conjunction with the anniversary of the January 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Who: State Sen. Mike Green, chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittees on Agriculture, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Quality.

What: Senator Green to appear at pro-life events to celebrate life and memorialize the unborn children lost due to abortion, in conjunction with the anniversary of the January 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

When: Sunday January 22

Where: Huron Co. Right to Life Memorial Event
County Courthouse Steps
250 E. Huron Ave , Bad Axe
1:30 p.m.

Tuscola County Right to Life Memorial Event
County Courthouse Steps
207 East Grant Street , Caro
3:30 p.m.

Bay County Right to Life Memorial Event
Bay City Evangelical Church
604 S. Woodbridge Street, Bay City
6 p.m.

Sen. Green: President’s Keystone Pipeline decision says no to Michigan jobs

LANSING—State Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, is disappointed with the Obama administration’s recent decision not to support the Keystone Pipeline.

Green co-sponsored a resolution last year urging approval of the project.

“The Obama administration’s recent rejection of the Keystone Pipeline decision is a smack in the face of Michigan workers and job creators,” said Green.

The TransCanada Keystone Coast Expansion pipeline project has been awaiting a presidential permit since 2008.   The pipeline would result in more importation of oil derived from Canadian oil sands.

“As we continue to face high gas prices and challenging economic times, President Obama has said no to energy independence, thousands of new jobs for Michigan and millions of dollars in investment in infrastructure. Building the keystone pipeline would strengthen U.S. ties with a strategic partner in Canada, reduce dependence on unstable governments, and improve our national security.  But the most significant benefit would be for Michigan workers, union and non-union alike.”

“President Obama campaigned on energy independence and creating jobs.  He had an opportunity to do both and in my opinion broke his promise to the American people.”

Sen. Green responds to State of the the 2012 State address

LANSING–After listening to Gov. Rick Snyder’s annual State of the State address Wednesday night, Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, issued the following statement:

“Governor Snyder delivered another decisive State of the State address that focused on our need for continuing the reforms begun last year. I thought it was appropriate that the governor also recounted the achievements of 2011, because they were a direct result of these reforms.

“These successes include an unemployment rate that continues to fall. It is now at 9.3 percent, the first time it’s been below 10 percent in three years. The state’s bond outlook has been upgraded to positive. Private sector jobs are being created in Michigan faster than the national average. And Bloomberg ranked Michigan as second in the nation for economic health.

“Of course, there is still much more work to be done. Bold ideas he talked about tonight that I strongly support include scaling back unnecessary regulations, reforming government to make it more accountable and responsive to taxpayers, addressing the job-killing personal property tax, and responsibly investing in our neglected infrastructure. These initiatives and the governor’s focus on the automotive, agriculture and tourism industries in Michigan are right on, as they are all very important to the economy of the Bay and Thumb regions.

“I especially appreciated his call for the Legislature to complete work on Senate Bill 414, which I sponsored. This measure would extend insurance coverage for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders, which affect so many Michigan families. It’s time for the Senate and House to act.

“I look forward to partnering with Governor Snyder and my Senate and House colleagues to pass SB 414 and other legislation that improves the quality of life for all Michigan residents and positions our state to continue attracting and creating more well-paying jobs.

“If we continue these bold reforms, this relentless positive action that he discussed, we can all be confident that Michigan’s best days are ahead of us.”

Editor’s note: Audio remarks from Green will be available for broadcast from the Senate Majority Audiowire at: www.senate.michigan.gov/podcasts.asp?District=31.