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Legislative Action Report April 24, 2017

Michigan Legislative Action Report, by Linda Pepper, Monday April 24, 2017 Bill Passed by Senate OPPOSE: SB 245 repeals a ban on switchblade knives was passed by the Senate, 36 to 1 in favor, and has been sent to the House Judiciary Committee. Bills Introduced in Senate SUPPORT: SB 281 expands political speech regulation has been introduced by Steve Bieda (D). It would impose Michigan campaign finance regulatory regime on entities under Section 527 of the federal tax code (called super-PAC’s). It was referred to the Elections & Government Reform Committee. SB 292 was introduced by Rick Jones (R) and would ban new underwater pipelines in Great Lakes waters. Existing pipelines would have 90 da

Report on Dr. Abdul-el-Sayed Presentation at the Grand Traverse Resort Monday, April 17, 2017

Report on Dr. Abdul-el-Sayed Presentation at the Grand Traverse Resort Monday, April 17, 2017 At 30, Abdul became the youngest health official of a major American city when he was brought home by Mayor Mike Duggan to rebuild Detroit's Health Department after it was privatized during the city's bankruptcy. As Health Director, he was responsible for the health and safety of over 670,000 Detroiters, working tirelessly to ensure government accountability and transparency, promote health, and reduce cross-generational poverty. Dr. Abdul-el-Sayed began by asking the gathering of about 150 people what concerns they have in the upcoming race for governor in Michigan. Responses covered preserving and

Op Ed: Why I Support Planned Parenthood

Why I Support Planned Parenthood by Keli McIntosh, R.N., C.N.C., D.N. Anyone who knows me understands I am not pro-abortion. However, having worked as a nurse for 50 years has shown me that the playing field for women is not an even one. We, as a society, need to do all we can to help women take control over what happens to their bodies. Most of Planned Parenthood's work centers on such activities. I hope you will take a moment to read why I have chosen the slogan "Life Without Love Is No Gift," on the sign that I carry when marching to defend Planned Parenthood. My daughter's face opened with a broad smile when I asked, “Interested in pumpkin cinnamon donuts?” It was the fall of her first

Legislative Action Report Monday April 16, 2017

Legislative Action Report Monday April 16, 2017 From Michigan Resistance: Michigan Resistance has a weekly action report that is sent by email each Monday. You can sign up for the email at Michigan Resistance. This week they are recommending calls to legislators to oppose deleting financial support for Pathways to Potential (high schools students who need extra work to succeed in jobs), Homeless shelter and Senior Home services such as Meals on Wheels. Also, they support shutting down “Line 5” across the Straits of Mackinac. On the Federal level, they want to encourage calls to Paul Ryan for an independent investigation into ties to Russia by the Trump campaign/presidency. They oppose cuts t

Report on Bergman Town Hall, Gaylord Michigan

Thursday, April 20, 2017 Jack Bergman got off on the wrong foot with the crowd of 300 or so, that included an outsize display of police presence and many members of the GT Dems and TC Indivisibles, at his Town Hall last night in Gaylord by having a minister attempt to pray before the Representative took questions. The poor fellow was drowned out with chants of ‘separation of church and state!” and ‘this ain’t no church!’ The gentleman from Gaylord who introduced the Representative, attempting to lecture the crowd on the etiquette of Town Halls, set fire to the raucous crowd who gave no quarter, alternately cheering to questions asked, or robustly booing, shaking red construction paper to s

Save Our Schools

Save Our Schools Public schools serve many purposes: educating citizens to ensure a well-functioning democracy; teaching life skills; making one nation out of a country of immigrants; preparing students for employment; and providing students with the means to a richer life through education in the liberal arts and sciences. Over the years public schools have performed these tasks well, making America a wealthy nation and a stable democracy. There are thousands of public schools in America that serve as sources of civic pride, and millions of Americans who attribute their success in life to their experiences — and their teachers — in these schools. But now this vital institution is under atta

Woman2Woman, Are You Ready to Run Event

Woman2Woman, Are You Ready to Run Event April 11, 2017 Leah McCallum, Regional Director for Sen. Gary Peters kicked off the ‘Are You Ready to Run?’ event held Tuesday evening at the Workshop Brewery 221 Garland St, Warehouse District, in Traverse City, to a full house of both women and men interested in learning what it takes to run for appointed boards, township offices, city councils, and elected partisan positions. Tiyi (Antoinette) Schippers an artist/musician, teacher, activist, organizer, and twice elected city council member from Cadillac shared that from participating in the peace vigil in front of the Nixon Whitehouse at age 14 to The Women's March in Washington in January, she has

Legislative Action Report

Legislative Action Report, Monday April 10, 2017 The Michigan Senate is in recess until Wednesday April 19th and the House is in recess until Tuesday April 18th. Until they return there will be limited action on bills. However, the Michigan Legislature site is reporting on bills that have been “electronically reproduced”. Some also are designated as PA or Public Act (Signed Bills) with immediate effect and are now law in the State of Michigan. Bills that I believe are worth noting, even though they are assigned to committees currently: HB 4436 and 4437 have been introduced to allow a graduated state income tax and implement it. They are referred to the Tax Policy committee. As of yet, no an

Up North Pride Event at GT Dems Monthly Potluck

Report on Up North Pride Event at March GT Dems Monthly Potluck There were lots of smiling, interested and YOUNG faces piling up outside of Little Fleet's door for the March monthly GT Dems Potluck. At least 100 people showed up to share the camaraderie, drinks and good food; AND to hear about the status of the LGBT community and learn what we, as allies and friends can do to support them. Marta Turnbull gave a short presentation from Up North Pride, a grassroots organization of individuals who have actively and successfully engaged the TC community in LGBT issues. In Traverse City, the LGBT community is legally protected regarding gender identity, sexual orientation, employment and housing

Give health insurance to everybody

Paul Ryan recently said that people should be free to decide for themselves how much health insurance coverage they need. He wasn’t just talking about choosing a deductible. His definition of “freedom” includes the freedom to live without adequate health insurance if you can’t afford it. This is nonsense; everyone needs full health insurance coverage. It’s partly a moral issue — I can’t find the Bible verse that says, “let the sick die.” But it’s also an economic issue. As Cosmo (from Moonstruck) would say, it costs money because it saves money. When people go without health insurance they don’t get wellness checks, and when they start to exhibit signs of disease they often don’t see a docto

Legislative Report

Legislative Action Report, Monday April 3, 2017 The Michigan Senate is in recess until Wednesday April 19th and the House is in recess until Tuesday April 18th. Until they return there will be limited action on bills. I believe that their staff will still be answering phone the next 2 weeks and the calls will be reported to the legislators when they return. Remember that the Michigan legislators are not used to a lot of interest in their business so our calls are impactful. Michigan Resistance is still asking for help on State House Bill 4163 which is an attack on teachers' rights. It's trying to place new limits on teachers' rights to negotiate contracts with their employers. This is an a

Coffee Hour with Michigan Senator Wayne Schmidt,

Monday, April 3, 2017, 4:30 pm at the TC Pie Company Senator Wayne Schmidt was met with a surprise crowd of Grand Traverse County citizens at the Traverse City Pie Co. on Monday afternoon eager to hear his positions on a number of issues that concerned them. Generally speaking, the Senator’s responses were often vague or noncommittal except in regard to the effort to solve the problem of gerrymandering of Michigan’s political districts by an independent, non-partisan redistricting commission. He went on record opposing this effort saying there is no such thing as non-partisan districting. When confronted with the disingenuousness of his statement, he grudgingly conceded that, “well, yah,

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