Green announces public hearing on ballast water reform

LANSING, Mich. – A public hearing on ballast water regulatory reform legislation has been scheduled for May 6 at the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority, announced state Sen. Mike Green.

“Michigan law regulating the discharge of ballast water by commercial shipping vessels has been out of sync with that of other Great Lakes states, nearby Canadian provinces and federal rules because it imposes a completely separate standard for Michigan ports,” said Green, R–Mayville.

“Although we have more ports than any other state in the nation, the statute fails to protect the Great Lakes from invasive species as vessels have simply chosen to use ports elsewhere. This has also cost Michigan workers good-paying jobs and has destroyed economic opportunities for Michigan businesses and farmers.”

The U.S. Coast Guard recently adopted a standard that requires all ocean-going shipping vessels to treat ballast water prior to discharge in ways proven to prevent the introduction of invasive species. Green has introduced Senate Bill 266 to bring Michigan law in line with that standard.

“SB 266 will make Michigan more economically competitive with other states and Canada by permitting ships in our ports if they meet the federal standard,” Green said. “Most importantly, it will help prevent the introduction of new invasive species into our waters.”

The bill is supported by leaders in business, agriculture, the commercial shipping industry and local government who say the move will open up Michigan ports for business.

“For Michigan to compete in the new global economy, we must give our industries the ability to export their products to the rest of the world,” said John Jamian, executive director of Port Detroit. “If this bill passes, it will allow Port Detroit to do exactly that, by offering Michigan companies direct access to the most cost efficient and environmentally friendly transport option available.”  

Monday’s testimony-only hearing by the Senate Natural Resources Committee will focus on the economic impact of current state law and the need for SB 266.

Who:
Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes; and
The general public.

What:
Public Hearing on SB 266

When:
Monday, May 6
1 p.m.

Where:
Port Detroit
2nd Floor
130 East Atwater
Detroit 

 

Green applauds DHS call for stronger welfare limits on lottery winners

Nearly one year after the “Lottery Match” legislative package was signed into law, the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) presented a report showing that more than 500 welfare cases involving high-value lottery winners have been closed as a result of the reforms.

“The reforms are working,” said Sen. Mike Green, R–Mayville.

Green sponsored a bill in the package requiring that lottery winnings be included in assets when determining eligibility for benefits from the Family Independence Program and the Food Assistance Program.

“But the report also highlighted that our work isn’t finished,” Green added.

According to the DHS report, loopholes exist in other welfare programs that allow major lottery winners to continue receiving benefits. Those programs include the Child Development and Care Program and certain Medicaid programs like Healthy Kids, Group 2 Pregnant Women, Transitional Medical Assistance Plus (TMA-Plus) and the Refugee Medical Assistance Program. The report called for more changes in state and federal law to close those loopholes.

“With the match system, we can now identify substantial winnings, but the loopholes that allow lottery winners to continue to collect various benefits need to be closed through amendment of state and federal law and policy,” said Maura Corrigan, DHS director.

Green commented that the report, which was called for in the legislative package, proves the reforms were effective and justifies more ambitious reforms this session.

“The ‘Lottery Match’ legislation was an excellent start to safeguarding benefits for those truly in need of temporary assistance,” Green said. “Despite the closure of 565 cases, more than 2,000 cases involving lottery winners remain open because of these loopholes.

“One of my top priorities this year will be to see these reforms strengthened to the extent possible in state law, so that limited resources are focused on families, children and the disabled who sincerely need a helping hand.”

Green said that legislation is currently being developed and should be introduced shortly.

http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5828&District=31

 

Photo Advisory: Cass City Elementary School art on display in Capitol office

Sen. Mike Green’s office is the new home to an inspiring art collection from the students of Cass City Elementary School.

“These fine works of art created by the talented students at Cass City Elementary will impress visitors to my Capitol office,” said Green, R-Mayville. “I’m grateful for their hard work and proud to show off their talent to state leaders, district constituents and my fellow legislators.”

The art consists of works by students in second through fifth grades from teacher Rebecca Walker’s classes at Cass City Elementary and will be displayed in the senator’s office through April. Green invites anyone who would like to view the pieces to stop by and take a look.

Any school or teacher in the 31st Senate District interested in submitting student art for display may contact Green’s office toll free at (886) 305-2131 or by visiting his website at www.statesenatormikegreen.com.

Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of this and other Green photos, select the image or visit StateSenatorMikeGreen.com and click the Photowire link.