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Michigan Legislative Update

Week of September 8, 2015

by Judy Augenstein

The Legislature returns to Lansing this week to resume normal session days and to continue work towards a compromise on the ever present road funding debacle.   The Oversight and Ethics Committee Chaired by Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan began hearings today regarding the Rep. Todd Courser, R-Lapeer and Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell scandal.  The purpose is to identify possible violations of House policy, state law or misuse of state monies.  Speaker Kevin Cotter, R-Mt Pleasant wants the committee to deliberate fairly and thoroughly.  The scandal has side-tracked important state issues that need to be addressed, such as road funding.

Despite the continued decline in Michigan's unemployment rate, a new Labor Day report from the Michigan League of Public Policy finds that the economic recovery so many are celebrating overlooks some startling statistics about the real condition of working families in the state.  The report states that many Michigan workers have simply given up looking for work or have left the state to pursue employment elsewhere. Many employed in the state have had to take part time or low wage jobs and are still struggling to make ends meet.

We are leaving tomorrow for Escanaba to attend the Logging Congress and hope to see you there. At least 10 Michigan legislators will be attending the event along with staff to U S Senator Gary Peters and U S Senator Debbie Stabenow.  Legislators will be attending the Thursday evening reception, the Friday morning breakfast with a "face off" discussion between the legislative panel and the industry panel.  Our political guests will be escorted around the Expo rt with a GLTPA director so they can view as much of the show as possible.  A Fish Dinner and bonfire will complete the day for our legislators.  So---you should have plenty opportunities to quiz our politicians about your concerns.

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