MacGregor proclaims recent Bloomberg report as positive news for Michigan’s recovery Michigan ranked second on national economic report State Rep. Peter MacGregor recently hailed a new report that shows Michigan has the second-best economic record in the nation. The Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of the States report recently placed Michigan’s recovery second only to North Dakota in terms of economic health, based on the criteria of tax collections, personal income, employment, home prices, mortgage foreclosures and the stock prices of public companies. “We have been working hard to revitalize our economy and show the country that Michigan is open for business, and this rating shows this work is paying off,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “Michigan is coming up in the rankings, which is incredibly encouraging since many of the significant job creation initiatives don’t even go into effect until next year.” MacGregor said Michigan must continue to implement reforms to help the economy flourish and job creation to continue. “This is great news for our state and the reform is far from over—meaning more positive news is coming for Michigan,” MacGregor said.
City will be grouped with Cedar Springs, Sparta, Walker and Grandville by BETH ALTENA For the last ten years the City of Rockford has sat in the center of the 73rd House of Representatives District, served by Pete MacGregor, Tom Pearce and Doug Hart. Census figures prompted a Republican-designed shift of political districts, which, unless ruled improper by a judge, will have Rockford in the 74th District rather than the 73rd, paired with the communities of Cedar Springs, Sparta, Algoma Township, Solon, Tyrone, Kent City, Sparta, Algoma Grandville and Walker. Currently Rockford is in the 73rd District, with Pete MacGregor as State Representative. Although MacGregor lives a stone’s throw away from the City of Rockford’s eastern boundary, as a resident of Cannon Township, he will no longer represent Rockford if reelected in November 2012. “It is based on populations and very stringent and redistricting guidelines,” said MacGregor. Currently, according to the most recent census figures, his district represents over 100,000 residents. Representatives are supposed to represent about 89,000 residents. “It is because Kent County has experienced tremendous growth. The City of Grand Rapids and the Village of Sparta are about the only two areas who have not grown. Every other area has gained population.” Redistricting takes place every ten years following census figures, and the party in power draws the lines. It is typical, even expected, the minority party to cry foul and make accusations of germandering—the practice of designing political districts to favor a particular party. This year’s process is no exception. MacGregor said the redistricting begins in the legislature and then goes to the governor. Once the governor signs off on the new district boundaries, typically the minority party will challenge the legality of the new districts. Ultimately the case could be put forth to the Supreme Court, and if determined to be unacceptable, a judge could choose the challenger’s plan. This is unlikely, MacGregor believes. The entire process has to be completed decided by November 1, this year. “I will be campaigning in the new district next year,” MacGregor noted. He said he was “devastated” when he saw the new district because he feels strong ties to Rockford because of its proximity, his history working with local leaders, because his kids go […]
MacGregor votes on sound, balanced budget four months ahead of schedule Just five months into the 96th Legislature, Michigan legislators delivered a properly balanced budget to Gov. Snyder based on real numbers. State Rep. Peter MacGregor voted in favor of the historic budget, which includes the $1.1 billion in spending reductions needed to get Michigan on solid financial footing. “We have done one of the things we came here to do: balance a sound budget with efficiencies, outcomes, best practices, debt reduction with no gimmicks—four months ahead of schedule,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “For the first time in decades, the budget has been determined in enough time for those relying on funding to plan ahead for the upcoming year, with our schools only having to see a 1.4% reduction.” The fiscal year 2012 budget minimizes school funding reductions, encourages local governments and schools districts to become more efficient, and gives municipalities, schools and universities ample time to balance their own budgets. House Bills 4325 and 4526, which encompass the state budget, was approved by the state House and will now be sent to the governor for his consideration. Highlights include: • The K-12 budget reduction is effectively reduced to less than $100 per pupil this year for schools that implement best practices. It represents a 1.4 percent decrease in funding; • A total of $256 million will be put into a rainy day fund to allow the state to plan for the years ahead with an assurance of further stability; • An additional $30 million on top of the already-agreed amount—$15 million to counties and $15 million to cities, townships and villages—will help struggling local governments meet their financial obligations; and • The budget moves Michigan closer to regaining AAA bond rating status. Getting back to AAA status means the state will save millions of dollars on interest in borrowing costs.
Lawmaker applauds effort to help residents become self-sufficient The Michigan House recently approved legislation continuing a 48-month limit on welfare benefits for able-bodied adults. House Bills 4409 and 4410 limit assistance to able-bodied individuals to 48 months, provides penalties for not meeting work and education requirements, and ensures illegal immigrants do not receive benefits. “Changing our welfare system from a hand out to a hand up is part of the ‘real change’ I was hoping to be a part of when I ran for office,” said Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford. “By passing these reforms, we’re providing the limited assistance they may need to become financially self-sufficient, while protecting our limited resources for those who truly need them.” Senior citizens, pregnant mothers, domestic violence victims, adults who are physically or mentally incapacitated, and adults with a disabled child at home from the time limit are exempt from the reforms. The legislation also would also allow welfare recipients to work 11 hours more per week, earning up to an additional $4,000 per year.
Governor’s proposal is a proposal—budgeting is a process by PETER MACGREGOR State Representative 73rd District Since the Governor unveiled some of his ideas and his budget proposal, my office phone and e-mail inbox has been flooded with ideas, encouragement, concerns, misconceptions and sometimes outright misinformation from constituents about what will happen in this upcoming budget. I want to stress that the Governor’s proposal is just that—a proposal. There is a budgeting process that will now occur and is quickly occurring as the Governor has asked us to pass a budget three months earlier than constitutionally required. Most of you have greater day-to-day obligations and priorities than to concern yourself with how the state budget process works, so I wanted to briefly explain what will be happening between now and June 1. A total budget dollar amount is determined for a year in advance (because we have to budget a year in advance) by a revenue estimate from the non-partisan fiscal office. This total amount is then given to the Governor, who provides his proposal to the legislature, broken down by department. The leadership in both the House and Senate review the Governor’s proposal, as well as take that total dollar amount, break it up into the various budgets for each department, and give the budget chairman “target numbers” for their respective budgets. Some of these target numbers are different than what the Governor has determined to spend on each department. However, the total amount is the same. Each budget chairman then compares the Governor’s recommendation line by line with the priorities of their district, their caucus and the various groups that the budget may affect. Changes may or may not be made, depending on the department and each budget passes out of its respective appropriations subcommittee, then full appropriations committee, then the full chamber in both the House and Senate. Where differences arise between the House and Senate, a conference committee comes together to negotiate the differences, and final approval from each chamber occurs before all the budgets are sent to be signed into law by the Governor. In the past, each department budget was sent individually with line items “rolled down” so that an explanation and dollar amount for each item is easily accessible. […]