Lawmaker present for all votes in 2011 State Rep. Peter MacGregor posted a perfect voting record for the 2011 legislative year, never missing any of 619 roll call votes taken during the first year of his first term. “Voters in the 73rd District sent me to Lansing to represent them, and being present for all legislative votes is part of my job,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “I look forward to continuing to work to revitalize Michigan in 2012 and am honored to have the opportunity to serve as a voice for our community in Lansing.” Since the beginning of the year, lawmakers have balanced the state budget, reduced red tape, cut over $1 billion in spending, and cracked down on waste, fraud and abuse in the welfare system. The nonpartisan website www.michiganvotes.org compiles the voting histories of lawmakers in Michigan House and Senate.
State Rep. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, recently coordinated presentations on cyber safety for sixth- through eighth-grade students at East and North Rockford middle schools. The presentations, customized through the Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative (CSI), inform students about common Internet predator techniques and appropriate responses to cyber bullying. Students are cautioned about revealing personal information on social networking sites. They also are taught not to share inappropriate material via cell phones, while learning about the long-term consequences that can result. The presentation incorporates several videos to drive home the importance of being responsible online. “It’s important that our children understand the dangers of the Internet,” MacGregor said. “When I learned of the CSI program, I knew Rockford students could benefit from the important information, and I’m pleased that we were able to coordinate this great opportunity for them. Thanks to the Michigan CSI, Rockford students will be safer on the Internet this year.” The Michigan CSI program was piloted in 2007 by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office. Since the program’s launch, it has been presented to more than 640,000 students in Michigan. For additional information, along with handouts and resources, visit the Michigan CSI website at www.michigan.gov/csi.
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.
Michigan’s economic health second-best in nation Sen. Jansen says Bloomberg study shows reforms are working A national evaluation of the states released by Bloomberg ranked Michigan second-best in economic health. State Sen. Mark C. Jansen, R-Gaines Township, said Michigan’s high standing is the result of reforms taken to turn the state around. “The reforms we have made are working,” said Jansen, chairman of the Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee. “Bloomberg is one of the world’s top business and financial information services. Their report confirms that the work lawmakers have put in this year is beginning to pay off.” The Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States considered indicators such as personal income, tax revenue, employment and housing prices in its analysis, placing Michigan second only to North Dakota, a state in the midst of an oil boom. One of the year’s most significant pieces of legislation was Public Act 152, sponsored by Jansen and signed into law in September. The law will save half a billion dollars in taxpayer money for the costs of public employee benefits by limiting the amount a public employer can spend toward health care and increasing employees’ contribution toward the costs. The act also will address long-term budget instability and strengthen local governments and school districts. “This measure provides much-needed tax relief and helps us stretch our tax dollars,” Jansen said. “These funds can now be used to pay for more local services or be used to hire more police officers.” Jansen also cited the replacement of the ineffective Michigan Business Tax, the passing of a structurally sound state budget in record time and the slashing of bureaucratic red tape as other factors contributing to the high ranking by Bloomberg. “While we still have a long way to go, Senate Republicans are making good on our promises,” Jansen said. “We are delivering substantial reforms to reduce unnecessary regulations, improve the economic climate to create jobs and improve the quality of life for Michigan families. I am pleased the state economy is getting healthier and experts are recognizing it.” The Bloomberg study follows the Fitch Ratings agency upgrade to Michigan’s bond rating outlook last summer.
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.