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Michigan Legislative Update

Week of July 20, 2016

By Judy Augenstein

Many Republican legislators are in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention. Our own Attorney General Bill Schuette gave a speech on the opening day of the event.  Our Lt. Governor has also been attending the event.  Next week our Democratic leadership and other democrats will be attending the Democratic National Convention.  

The lst Congressional District race is a very, very important race for us and our issues.  Senator Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba is running against former Jason Allen on the Republican ticket and Lon Johnson, former Democratic Party Chair is running against Kalkaska Sheriff Jerry Cannon on the Democratic ticket.  The primary for the 1st District has proven to be a tough, bitter and nasty campaign.  Please vote for Senator Tom Casperson as he not only supports our issues, but leads on many of them and has been our voice in Lansing.  We now have the opportunity to support him to be our voice in Washington.  If you live in the lst Congressional District it is important to vote for Tom and to encourage/convince 10 friends and family members to vote for Tom.

This week Governor Rick Snyder shifted leadership in the agency at the heart of the Flint water crisis, naming Heida Grether to head the Department of Environmental Quality.  DEQ Interim Director Keith Creagh is returning to his post as director of the Department of Natural Resources.  He became interim director after Snyder asked former DEQ Director Dan Wyant to resign in the wake of the Flint water crisis. 

Ms. Grether is currently deputy director of the Michigan Agency for Energy, where she led state efforts to comply with new federal carbon rules.  But, the bulk of her career was spent working for the oil company BP, mostly as a lobbyist as its state government affairs director.  She helped head up the company's response to the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico and eventually rose to general manager of Gulf Coast External Affairs for the company.  She holds a master's degree in natural resource economics and policy and a bachelor's degree in political science and public administration, both from MSU.

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