Why not use your smartphone to show proof of auto insurance?

LANSING– Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Sens. Mike Green and Joe Hune today announced new legislation that would allow Michigan motorists to use smartphones and other electronic devices to show their vehicle registration and valid auto insurance instead of having to present a paper certificate.

“We should take advantage of the latest technology to provide more convenience for Michigan motorists,” said Johnson, who supports the legislation. “Let’s let people skip the paper slip and allow them to show proof of auto insurance with a smartphone.”

Already a number of other states allow people to present electronic proof of insurance when they are pulled over by law enforcement officers by showing the insurance certificate on their smartphone or another device.

The legislation, which was introduced today, also would allow Secretary of State offices to accept electronic proof of insurance when people renew their vehicle registrations.

“Many insurance companies already offer electronic insurance certificates to their customers,” said Green, R-Mayville, who is sponsoring Senate Bill 391. “It’s time we allow Michigan drivers to use an electronic certificate to prove they have valid insurance.”

The bills have been referred to the Senate Transportation Committee.

“Twenty-first century technology today offers us convenience that was unimaginable just a few years ago,” said Hune, R- Hamburg, who is sponsoring Senate Bill 392. “Michigan should join the many other states that already allow electronic insurance verification.”

Many Michigan motorists may access electronic versions of their vehicle registration at ExpressSOS.com at no cost.

Allowing the use of electronic insurance certificates would help Michigan motorists avoid costly No Proof of Insurance tickets if they were properly insured but forgot to put the paper slip in their vehicle or if the certificate didn’t arrive in the mail.


Sgt. Travis Mills keynote speaker at Senate’s 19th Annual Memorial Day Service

LANSING, MI—Vassar native Army Sgt. Travis Mills, a special guest of state Sen. Mike Green, was the keynote speaker at the 19th Annual Memorial Day Service in the Michigan Senate Thursday.

The ceremony is held to remember and honor Michigan residents who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation while serving in the armed forces during the previous year.

Sgt. Mills spoke about the importance of unity and why it is important we remember and honor the fallen on Memorial Day.

“Sergeant Mills’ speech was thoughtful and straight from the heart,” said Green, R-Mayville. “It’s not every day we get a true American hero to come speak to the chamber. I am humbled by the service this man has rendered for his country and by the enormous sacrifices he and many others made.”
Mills also met privately with Governor Snyder prior to the ceremony and was given special recognition by the House of Representatives.


Green vet bill passes Senate

A bill to establish a state sales tax exemption for the proceeds of fundraisers held by local veterans’ posts for active duty military personnel or veterans in need passed the Michigan Senate on Tuesday.

Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, introduced Senate Bill 209 after a fundraiser organized by the Richville American Legion post for Sgt. Travis Mills was subjected to the tax.

“Michigan ranks last in the nation for the per capita benefits received by its veterans, even though we have the 11th highest veteran population,” Green said. “Local veterans posts fill in the gaps and keep a lot of military folks, past and present, from falling through the cracks. This bill will ensure that not a penny of proceeds intended for heroes like Sergeant Mills ends up in state coffers.”

Current state law offers a limited sales tax exemption only to 501(c)(3) nonprofit groups. Local veterans’ posts affiliated with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and AmVets are 501(c)(19) organizations and do not qualify for that exemption.

If signed into law, SB 209 will exempt up to $25,000 of the proceeds of such fundraisers from the sales tax. The exemption would apply to the sale of tangible goods — such as dinner tickets, baked goods or auctioned items — used to raise money for specified beneficiaries. Veterans posts will still pay sales tax on items they purchase and on the proceeds of other types of fundraisers and retail activity.

The measure passed the senate with broad bipartisan support and now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.



Green announces May office hours in Reese

Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, announced that May 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 Friday, May 17 at the Reese Municipal Building, 2073 Gates Street, Reese, 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.



Marlette student art on display in Capitol office

Sen. Mike Green announced that an impressive art collection from the Marlette Elementary School students of fine arts teacher Sarah Opperman is now on display in his Capitol office.

The collection is based on a lighthouse and lakeshore theme that is particularly appropriate to Michigan considering it has more lighthouses and freshwater shoreline than any other state in the nation. The art will be on display for legislators, constituents and other state leaders during the month of May.

Sen. Green, R-Mayville, invites individuals to visit his office and view the art during regular business hours. Green regularly displays student art as part of his “Kids of the 31st!” program that highlights the talent and positive behavior of youth in the district.

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.

Local American Legion commander testifies in support of vet bill before Senate committee

Tim Adams, commander of the Alvin F. Miller American Legion Post in Richville, is pictured with Sen. Mike Green testifying before the Senate Finance Committee in support of Senate Bill 209. Introduced by Green, R-Mayville, SB 209 will establish a state sales tax exemption for fundraisers held by local veterans’ posts that benefit an active duty member of the military or a veteran. Green introduced the bill after a fundraiser organized by the Richville post for Sgt. Travis Mills was subjected to the tax.

Green co-sponsors Michigan Healthcare Transparency Act

Sen. Mike Green signed on to co-sponsor the Michigan Healthcare Transparency Act introduced in the Michigan Senate on Wednesday.

According to studies, the lack of price transparency is a leading cause of rising health care costs, showing variances of up to 700 percent for similar services among different health care providers in the same area. These variances result in higher expenses for employers, workers and insurance companies.

Senate Bill 333, introduced by Sen. Jim Marleu, R-Lake Orion, would create the Michigan Healthcare Transparency Act which would seek to bring transparency to Michigan’s health care market by creating a public price and quality transparency database commonly known as an all-payer claims database.

“Health care costs are out of control,” said Green, R-Mayville. “This common-sense measure will give all health care and insurance consumers the information they need in order to shop around.

“When you go to the grocery store, you can see price tags and product quality before you buy. In healthcare, you often don’t know the cost until you get the bill. This information in the hands of consumers can help cut down on exorbitant medical costs and make medicine more affordable for all Michiganders.”

The public database would be a tool for consumers and employers to make more informed health care choices. The database would indicate where cost shifts are occurring and which providers have good value for outcome, and it would create more competition and better prices and quality.

SB 333 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy.


Sgt. Travis Mills to address Michigan Senate

State Sen. Mike Green on Thursday announced Vassar native Army Sgt. Travis Mills will be the keynote speaker at the 19th annual Memorial Service in the Michigan Senate.

The ceremony is held every year to remember and honor Michigan residents who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation while serving in the armed forces during the previous year. This year’s service is scheduled for Thursday, May 23 at 10 a.m. in the Senate chamber of the Capitol in Lansing.

“The Senate Memorial Service is a somber and humbling event,” said Green, R-Mayville. “I can think of no one better to lead us in honoring and remembering his fallen colleagues than Sergeant Mills. He inspires in all of us the utmost pride in the men and women who serve our nation, past and present.”

The service begins with the Senate coming into session, followed by the presentation of colors and a bagpipe processional entrance. Veterans post flag bearers from all around the state then march into the chamber with their local colors.

After the singing of the national anthem, the keynote speaker – usually a veteran or a family member of a fallen military service member – begins his or her remarks. The speech is followed by the calling of the name of every soldier, sailor, airman and marine from Michigan who gave their life during the previous twelve months. A flag is placed for each one in a memorial basket as their name is called. “Taps” is played after all names have been called. The Michigan National Guard Honor Guard then escorts the flags out of the chamber. The ceremony is concluded by the bagpipes playing “Amazing Grace” during a processional exit of all veterans groups in attendance.

The ceremony is open to the public. However, space in the Senate gallery is very limited. Individuals unable to attend may view the event live on the Internet at www.senate.michigan.gov.

Local veterans posts interested in participating can sign up by contacting the office of Sen. John Pappageorge, a retired Army colonel who organizes the event, at (517) 373-2523 or senjpappageorge@senate.michigan.gov.