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As many of you know, I ran for public office to serve and play a role in “right sizing” our state government. In these tough economic times, I asked to be on the Appropriations committee so that our district had a say in what programs the state will fund with your tax dollars. Over the past week, some important steps have been taken to “right size” our budget and get our state back on track.

This week, I was proud to introduce my first bill, House Bill 4225, which is part of a package of three bills to eliminate the prevailing wage for contracts funded by the state of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Education, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. In 1997, Ohio introduced similar legislation and saved hundreds of millions of dollars on school contracting alone. If passed, this legislation will be a big step in the right direction of providing true competitive bidding and maximizing taxpayer dollars for state-funded projects.

Additionally, this past week, I joined Representative Dave Agema in signing a letter, urging the Department of Human Services (DHS) to stop abusing state funds by providing Bridge Cards (food assistance) to college students who don’t need the extra assistance. The department responded, informing us they have agreed to stop offering this program. The funds we appropriate to the food assistance program must be reserved for families who are in true need—those who truly have no means of providing food for themselves and their children.

I am also looking forward to this upcoming week, when the governor presents his budget proposal Thursday, Feb. 17. The mood in Lansing is very positive and my colleagues and I are very eager to get the budget balanced by our target date of June 1. I will be sure to include some of the highlights of this proposal in my next correspondence.

I’d also like to thank everyone who came out to my first two district office hours. I appreciate hearing your concerns and ideas on how to improve our state and I plan to hold these office hours all over the district. To receive these updates, please subscribe to my newsletter by sending an e-mail to petermacgregor@house.mi.gov with “Subscribe” in the subject line.

Thank you again for your trust in me and the opportunity to serve you.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.