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My Town: Rep. Afendoulis to lead criminal law reform work group

My Town: Rep. Afendoulis to lead criminal law reform work group

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State Rep. Chris Afendoulis today announced he will co-chair a House workgroup tasked with reforming Michigan’s criminal laws.  Afendoulis will co-chair the workgroup with Rep. Kurt Heise, R-Plymouth.

 “I look forward to working with Rep. Heise and my other colleagues to bring common-sense reforms and improve consistency within Michigan criminal law,” said Afendoulis, R-Grand Rapids Township. “It’s time to focus on identifying and repealing unnecessary criminal statutes and burdens currently in state law that result in over-criminalization and over-penalization of Michigan citizens.

“Too many good people are being unfairly punished by laws that were written to serve the 19th century and not the needs of the modern Michigan family. It is well past time to change this.”

Sable Homes president talks to state leaders about need for skilled trades talent

Sable Homes president talks to state leaders about need for skilled trades talent

 

LANSING, Mich.- Members of the Home Builders Association of Michigan (HBAM) testified in the State House Friday to urge the legislature to find ways to increase the number of workers entering the skilled trades.

“The lack of workers going into the skilled trades is the biggest factor impacting the growth of Michigan’s home building industry,” said John Bitely, president of Sable Homes in Rockford. “The shortage of labor is resulting in construction delays and increased labor costs, and it’s dragging on our state.”

Bitely cited several Michigan laws that make it difficult for home builders to hire young workers and encourage them to look at careers in the construction industry.

My Town: Grand Rapids Township lawmaker opens new office

My Town: Grand Rapids Township lawmaker opens new office

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State Rep. Chris Afendoulis announced the opening of his Lansing office, along with important contact information for residents to reach out to him.

Afendoulis will continue to utilize former Rep. MacGregor’s toll free phone number at 1-855-347-8073 to ensure a smooth transition for residents in the 73rd District. He can also be reached at his Lansing office at (517) 373-0218, via email at ChrisAfendoulis@house.mi.gov, and by mail at P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909-7514.

“It is important to me that the hard-working taxpayers who sent me to Lansing know I’m here to serve them,” said Afendoulis, R-Grand Rapids Township. “I encourage people to reach out to my office with their thoughts and concerns so that my staff and I can be of assistance at any time.”

Congressman Justin Amash rejects Boehner for speaker

Congressman Justin Amash rejects Boehner for speaker

WASHINGTON (Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press) – U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of west Michigan — once again — joined the move to dump House Speaker John Boehner as his party's leader in the chamber.

It didn't work: Boehner, R-Ohio, was elected to his third two-year term as House speaker but it didn't come without a a spirited challenge by his critics, including Amash, who joined 27 members who rejected either Boehner or Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi as speaker.

Boehner was elected with 216 of 408 votes cast in the 435-member chamber. Pelosi, the former speaker, received 164 Democratic votes. The rest of the votes were split among more than a dozen other names.

Amash was the only one of nine Republican members of Michigan's 14-member delegation to the House to vote against Boehner, a position he announced Tuesday morning on social media.

John Inhulsen assumes post as Chairman of the Kent County GOP

John Inhulsen assumes post as Chairman of the Kent County GOP

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KENT COUNTY, Mich. (Kent GOP)-- John Inhulsen, an attorney at Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC, was unanimously elected as the next Chairman of the Kent GOP in December, officially taking office over the weekend.

Inhulsen, an East Grand Rapids resident, has been an active fundraiser as the Kent GOP’s Finance Chairman over the last two years.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to lead the Kent GOP. I consider it an incredible honor to follow in the footsteps of Gerald R. Ford Sr., Peter Secchia, Terri Lynn Land and Betsy DeVos in being the Chairman of one of the largest county parties in the nation.”

My Town: Thirteen local lawmakers post perfect voting record for 2014

My Town: Thirteen local lawmakers post perfect voting record for 2014

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mark Jansen tops the list of West Michigan lawmakers who missed the most votes this year, according to the Missed Votes Report compiled by Jack McHugh, editor of MichiganVotes.org.

Jansen missed 46 votes between January and December of this year. The District 28 Republican represents a large portion of Kent County, including Ada, Algoma, Alpine, Cannon, Courtland, Grand Rapids and Plainfield townships, as well as East Grand Rapids, Rockford, Walker and Wyoming.

State Rep. Jon Bumstead, who represents Newaygo, Lake and Oceana counties, had the most missed votes among West Michigan lawmakers in the House, with 21 this year.  

Three senators and three representatives missed 50 or more votes this year.  The top offenders were Rep. John Olumba of Detroit, with 233 missed votes, and Sen. Bert Johnson of Detroit, with 187 missed votes.

My Town: Senator from Lowell picked to help balance Mich. budget

My Town: Senator from Lowell picked to help balance Mich. budget

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LANSING, Mich.—Senate Majority Leader-elect Arlan Meekhof announced Wednesday that Sen. Dave Hildenbrand is his pick to serve as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee for the legislative session that will begin Jan. 1, 2015.

“I’m very proud that my first committee chair announcement is the appointment of Senator Dave Hildenbrand to lead the Appropriations Committee,” said Meekhof, R-West Olive. “Dave has the experience, leadership and common sense we need to build on the great work of current Chairman Kahn, and to work closely with the governor and the House to balance the budget, control spending and protect Michigan’s hard-working taxpayers.”