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Michigan Legislative Update

Week of January 4, 2017

By Judy Augenstein

The 2017-18 Legislature will commence session on Wednesday, January 11 at noon.  The Senate was not up for re-election so all current 38 members will remain the same.  The 43 "newbie" House members will be sworn in and the re-elected 67 members will be sworn into office for two more years.

Moving crews are in the process of moving the 38 senators to their new and controversial offices in the "Capitol View" Building on Townsend Street, directly south of the Capitol Building.  Four years ago former Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville sealed the deal to move into the $70 million dollar to $134 dollar building.  The Senate is purchasing 7 floors of the building as a lobbying firm is located on the 8th floor and building owner, Boji Group, is located on the 9th floor.  Richardville stated that security and asbestos concerns was why he wanted to move out of the 57 year old Farnum Building.  Repairs to the building were quoted as being around $26 million for the Farnum Building also known as the Senate Office Building.

Governor Rick Snyder is considering implementing some sort of small levy on water as one way to raise $4 billion a year to repair the state's sagging infrastructure.  That could include a levy on sewer systems, local water bills and a variety of other uses of water that the administration will "brain storm", as he puts it. The governor's Infrastructure Commission forecasted a multi-year proposal funded at $4 billion a year to refurbish not only the roads, but the sewer drainage system in the state, the expansion of broadband, the lead pipe water problem and similar issues.  The Governor conceded he does not plan to start with raising $4 billion each year immediately, but rather start small and get bigger.

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