Lansing – Michigan Senate Democrats continued to voice their support of Michigan workers protesting at the Capitol today and decried the Michigan House of Representatives' passage of so-called Right to Work legislation. The Senate passed Senate Bill 116 and House Bill 4003 late last Thursday, and the bills were finalized and approved by the House today. These bills now go to Governor Snyder for his signature into law, a move that he has already publicly stated is a foregone conclusion.
LANSING”In the wake of growing concerns regarding the threat of legal synthetic drugs such as K-2, Spice or Bath Salts, Senator Glenn Anderson voted yesterday to pass a bicameral four-bill package addressing these drugs and taking action to ban them. Most importantly, the legislation provided the state with much-needed flexibility in scheduling controlled substances to prevent manufacturers and sellers of these synthetic drugs from using loopholes to stay ahead of the law. This legislation will strengthen local efforts to ban the dangerous drugs from local retailers.
I am pleased to support the Department of Transportation budget recently passed by the Senate. It was one of the few bright spots in this year's budget, as it was one of only a handful of departments to receive an increase in these lean times. Overall, the budget received a $137.9 million increase over last year, allocating more money to pay for vital road projects and improve our state's infrastructure.
LANSING”A great deal of coverage has been in the media as of late due to a number of very high profile crimes that are believed to be connected to synthetic drugs such as K-2, Spice or Bath Salts. Today, two bills of a four bill package addressing these drugs passed out of committee in the House. The following information is to provide an update on legislative action to deal with this growing problem in our state.
Lansing –Senate Democrats' staunch opposition to education cuts was again overridden by the Senate Republicans today as they passed House Bill 5372, the omnibus budget bill for School Aid, Higher Education and Community Colleges. The bill was the final piece to the 2013 Budget plan that completes legislative Republicans' worst two-year budget cycle in recent history, cutting schools as much as $470 per pupil, stealing nearly $2 billion from the School Aid Fund, and reducing higher education funding by upwards of 15%.
Senate Democrats sharply criticized the general omnibus budget passed by Republicans today for continuing their misplaced priorities that favor politics over progress for the people of Michigan.
LANSING—State Senator Glenn Anderson offered an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2013 Corrections Budget conference report today that would prevent the closure or repurposing of the Ryan Correctional Facility in Detroit and avoid the unnecessary transfer of Wayne County corrections jobs to the west side of the state. Anderson's amendment was offered in the Corrections Budget conference committee hearing this afternoon, but was defeated 4-2 along party lines.
LANSING—- The Department of Corrections announced to the public today that they were planning to close the Ryan Correctional Facility in Detroit and reopen a prison in Muskegon. The surprise move was announced to the Michigan Corrections Organization membership today as well. Senator Glenn S. Anderson (D-Westland), the Democratic Vice-Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Corrections in Michigan was critical of the decision.
LIVONIA—State Senator Glenn Anderson proudly joined employees of Infineon, representatives of Senators Levin and Stabenow and other local and state officials for a groundbreaking today at the site of what will be an expanded LEED Silver Certified facility in Livonia. The facility will allow Infineon to more than double its operation in Southeast Michigan.
Senate Democrats were quick to point out that a Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System reform pushed through by Senate Republicans today will actually cost Michigan money. The GOP plan to move all new school hires to a 401k plan will cost the state billions of dollars in retirement costs to pay for school employees who remain under the old system. The state Office of Retirement Systems estimates that the plan as passed today could cost the state an additional $2-3 billion over the next two decades. The nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency also estimates the new system will add additional costs approaching $300 million annually.