Rep. Lasinski’s Capitol and Community Updates 5-5-17

Friday, May 5, 2017

Hello Friend,

Welcome to my latest e-newsletter. Spring has sprung, and in Lansing that means it’s budget season. As always, you can find updates from my Lansing work and our community below, and please feel free to contact my office if you have any questions, concerns or ideas about legislation. You can contact me and my staff at (517) 373-0828, by email at DonnaLasinski@house.mi.gov or by visiting my website at RepLasinski.com.

Coffee Hour

Please join me for my next coffee hour to discuss what’s happening in Lansing and in Washtenaw County:

Monday, May 15, from 6-7 p.m.

Dexter District Library Meeting Room

3255 Alpine St. in Dexter

Don’t worry if you can’t make it — this email list will keep you up-to-date on future coffee hours. And of course, always feel free to call or email my office to ask questions or voice an opinion.

What To Do In HD 52

May in Manchester

Manchester has some fun events coming up this month! The annual canoe race is always a blast and will take place this year on Sunday, May 21.

Later that week, on Thursday, May 25, check out the Manchester Community Business Expo to explore local businesses, non-profits and the regular farmers market.

For more info on those and other events in the Manchester area, click here: http://www.manchestermi.org/spring-and-summer-events/

Legislative Update

Budget

This week, the House of Representatives passed both the general “omnibus” budget and the education budget, also known as the “school bus.” After many of the amendments my colleagues on both sides of the aisle introduced to improve the budget bills were rejected, I voted no on each of these bills.

At a time when our roads and infrastructure are crumbling before our eyes and our local governments are continuing to struggle, the House proposed budget leaves $283 million in available funding unspent, and places an additional $265.5 million into the rainy day fund. These set aside funds could be spent investing in our roads and infrastructure, or on strengthening our schools. I know that here in Washtenaw County, we want safe, passable roads and bridges. We want our local governments to be able to continue the vital services they provide to our communities. That’s why I voted no on the bill.

The school funding bill also fell short of what our communities, and our students, deserve. I could not, in good conscience, vote for the bill knowing that it decreased funding for every school in western Washtenaw County by thousands of dollars, while increasing the funding for a single cyber school over $200,000, compared to the governor’s Executive Recommendation. Our school districts are academically high-performing schools that bring our communities together for Friday night football games, performances and family events. This bill does not do justice to the hard work occurring in our district’s schools.  As the budget process continues, I will be working to ensure that the backbones of our community – our local school districts – are funded appropriately.

Both budget bills now move to committee for negotiations with the governor and Senate and House leadership. I will continue to work hard to see our communities priorities reflected in the final budget.

Watch my floor speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TATu7IDZ2jg.*

Helpful Resources

1,4-dioxane

As you likely know, the plume of the industrial solvent, 1,4-dioxane, continues to linger and spread in an area of Scio Township and Ann Arbor. On Oct. 27, 2016, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) instated emergency rules to establish 1,4-dioxane standards across the state. The rules were set to expire six months after that date, but the DEQ has requested, and the governor has supported, reaffirming the emergency rules. These set the drinking water criterion of 7.2 parts per billion (ppb) in groundwater. If you live in the area of the plume and would like to have your well tested, I encourage you to explore the following resources:

http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/environmental_health/card/1-4-dioxane-fact-sheet-2016

http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/environmental_health/card/related_links.html

Protecting Our Pollinators

Are you wondering how you can help support pollinators, which are critical to our crops and ecosystems? Michigan State University Extension has many resources for folks to use to when planning gardens, lawns, etc. To check out those resources, go to http://msue.anr.msu.edu/topic/info/pollinators_and_pollination.

I hope you’ve found this information useful. Please contact my office if we can be of any assistance