Senate passes resolution urging Social Security changes for the terminally ill

For Immediate Release
Sept. 27, 2012

Contact: Ryan Mitchell
517-373-1777

Senate passes resolution urging Social Security changes for the terminally ill

LANSING, Mich.— The state Senate today passed a resolution urging Congress to change Social Security eligibility rules on behalf of the terminally ill.

Senate Resolution 134, authored by Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, asks Congress to adjust existing rules for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. If the changes recommended in the resolution are adopted, terminally ill patients could be considered disabled under SSDI if physically unable to work and would not be subject to the standard five-month waiting period for SSI benefits.  The changes would only apply to individuals who have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses if the diagnosis includes an estimated life expectancy of six months or less.

Green gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor Thursday advocating the resolution, saying that it is about government working more efficiently for those legitimately in need of assistance from funds they’ve essentially been paying into over the years.

“I introduced this resolution in honor of Tina Moyer. Tina was diagnosed with cancer in late 2011 and passed away 11 weeks later,” said Green. “The rapid progression of her disease made it impossible for her to work.

“Under current rules, she wasn’t considered disabled and wasn’t given proper aid due to a five- month waiting period. This resolution will make the system more efficient in people’s final days so they receive the help they so desperately need.”

Although Moyer had paid federal income and Social Security taxes her entire adult life, existing rules prevented her from receiving disability benefits or supplemental income benefits that would have helped alleviate the financial burden of mounting medical bills. Sadly, she was approved for SSI benefits but passed away before the end of the waiting period.

Tina and her husband, Brian, had moved to Wyoming four years ago for work because of tough times in Michigan. On a recent trip to Mayville, Brian returned Tina’s remains to a local cemetery near where they used to live. His mission now is to fight what he calls “The Good Fight” for changes in benefit rules so that others facing a life-ending illness are not met with the same obstacles during their greatest time of need.

The resolution will now be sent to the president of the U.S. Senate, speaker of the U.S. House, and members of Michigan’s congressional delegation.

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Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of this and other photos of Green, as well as full video of Green’s speech, visit his website at www.statesenatormikegreen.com.

http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5417&District=31

Green announces September office hours in Bay City

For Immediate Release
Sept. 18, 2012

Contact: Ryan Mitchell
517-373-1777

Green announces September office hours in Bay City

LANSING, Mich.—Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, announced that September office hours have been scheduled for the 31st Senate District.

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.

The next scheduled meeting hours will be on Monday, September 24 at the Pere Marquette Depot, 1904 Room, 1000 Adams St., Bay City, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

For more information or 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.

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http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5398&District=31

Green testifies before Senate Finance Committee

For Immediate Release
Sept. 12, 2012

Contact: Ryan Mitchell
517-373-1777

Green testifies before Senate Finance Committee

LANSING, Mich.— Sen. Mike Green testified before the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday in support of his bill to protect certain land donated to conservation efforts from a sudden increase in property taxes.

In 2006, Public Act 446 was enacted to exempt transfers of conservation easements and qualified conservation contributions from tax hikes. However, a 2009 attorney general opinion found that the law failed to protect those initiated by a deceased person’s will.

Senate Bill 805 would expressly exempt from tax increases land donated through a will.

“Lands so generously donated for conservation efforts play a critical role in preserving Michigan’s natural resources and wildlife and providing public access to the outdoors,” said Green, R-Mayville. “Through this legislation, we can protect the final wishes of those who contribute to these efforts and continue our conservation legacy for generations to come.”

SB805 heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of this and other photos of Green, visit his website at www.statesenatormikegreen.com and click the Photowire link.

http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5397&District=31

Crime Victims’ Right to Know legislation passes Senate

For Immediate Release
Sept. 13, 2012

Contact: Ryan Mitchell
517-373-1777

Crime Victims’ Right to Know legislation passes Senate

LANSING, Mich.— Crime victims’ rights would be strengthened in Michigan under legislation passed by the state Senate on Thursday with strong bipartisan support, announced state Sen. Mike Green. The bill expands the focus of the William Van Regenmorter Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 1985.

Introduced by Green Senate Bill 1211 would strengthen the rights of crime victims by allowing them to present exhibits when testifying at parole or commutation hearings in order to more effectively portray the impact of the crime on their lives. Victims whose cases are dropped by prosecutors as part of a plea deal would also be granted victim status before parole boards.

In addition to current parole hearing notifications, the bill would further require that victims be notified when a prisoner has applied for reprieve, commutation or pardon; when the prisoner has absconded while on bail or other release; or has died while in custody. Perhaps the most significant change is that notifications regarding escapes and absconding would have to take place within 24 hours. Current state law does not provide for a specific timeframe for notifying the victims.

Green, R-Mayville, said the legislation was inspired by the personal story of a resident in his district who was savagely attacked at a gas station by her estranged husband several years ago. Although the attacker was convicted and imprisoned, the victim and her family struggled to get information from state agencies on his later applications for medical commutation and his rumored passing.

“Innocent victims should have access to the status of their attacker’s incarceration, period. Through this legislation, they will be empowered with more tools and information to benefit their personal security and daily peace of mind,” said Green. “This measure builds upon Michigan’s legacy as a leader in crime victims’ rights by making them even stronger.”

Attorney General Bill Schuette proposed the changes as part of the comprehensive public safety plan he unveiled earlier this year.

“If a crime victim’s perpetrator is on the run from authorities, they have the right to know so they can plan for their own safety,” said Schuette. “If their perpetrator dies, they deserve to know so they can sleep more soundly at night. Thank you to Sen. Green and his colleagues in the Senate for advancing this important measure to defend crime victims’ rights.”

In 1985, the state of Michigan led the nation by enacting the William Van Regenmorter Crime Victims’ Rights Act for victims of crime and juvenile offenses. The law was named after its sponsor, a longtime legislator and champion of crime victims’ rights. In 1988, Michigan voters also approved adding crime victims’ rights language to the state constitution.
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5391&District=31