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Michigan Legislative Update

Week of January 22, 2015

by Judy Augenstein

Saying the state would create a "river of opportunity" to get struggling people back into the mainstream of life, Governor Rick Snyder, during his fifth State of the State address, said the state would change its focus in terms of delivering services, which will include combining two of the state's largest departments into one.

Snyder encouraged voters to support the transportation proposal that will be on the ballot in May, and which would reform transportation taxes and increase the sales tax, saying Michigan motorists pay an average $132 more in car repairs than do motorists in other states. 

Snyder said the state would put a renewed focus on making Michigan the state that can best supply skilled trades workers to business.  Snyder will also announce a new energy agency as part of a special message he will deliver in the spring. 

The Legislature resumed its normal session days this week. Committee memberships have been set and hearings on legislation will begin soon.  Senator Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba was re-named chair of the Senate Natural Resources, Environment & Tourism Committee as well as the Senate Transportation Committee.  Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, R- Columbus Township will remain chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and Rep. Pete Pettalia, R-Presque Isle has been named chair of the House Transportation Committee, Pettalia was formerly a member of the committee.

Names and contact information for the new House and Senate along with new committee chairs and memberships can be found at

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