Rep. Lasinski’s Capitol and Community Updates 6-16-17

Friday, June 16, 2017

Hello Friend,

Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! The Michigan House and Senate are still working on the state budget, with the goal of finalizing it in the next couple of weeks, but many other things have been happening in Lansing in the meantime.

Keep reading below to find out more and to learn about resources and things to do in our community. As always, 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 Hours

I will be hosting our first Town Hall about parks and recreation in the 52nd House District. We’ll discuss the impacts of our local parks and trails on our communities, as well as the recreational opportunities that are available throughout the district. Panelists will include Ginny Trocchio of the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, Jeff Hardcastle of the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative, and Tyler Klifman of Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. Here are the details:

Thursday, June 26 6-7:30 pm

Chelsea District Library

McKune Room

221 S. Main St. in Chelsea  

What To Do In HD 52

This week kicked off the Saline Summer Music Series! Check out this free, outdoor concert series in Downtown Saline. There are different kinds of music throughout the summer, plus activities for kids. Check the schedule here: http://www.salinemainstreet.org/about-us/promotion-team/summer-music-series/

If you’re looking for fun this weekend, the Dexter Historical Society and Museum offers Gordon Hall Days: A Country Fair on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There’ll be tours of Gordon Hall, games, snacks, photo ops and even a pie auction. Contact my office to learn more.

Legislative Update

Teacher Retirement Changes

This week, both the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives took up legislation to change future public school employees’ retirement options. Senate Bill 401 and House Bill 4647 allow new public school employees only to enter into a less generous hybrid pension plan or a more lucrative defined contribution plan.

This legislation not only ignores the state’s unfunded legacy pension liability, it also shifts costs from state-negotiated and state-managed retirement plans into classroom budgets. Once again, we are shortchanging our students by taking money out of classrooms. I believe that, as legislators, we should focus on improving our roads and working to create jobs – not “fixing” an already funded retirement plan. I voted against HB 4647, which passed 55-52. 

Making Michigan a Leader in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

On Thursday, I joined state Sens. Rebekah Warren and Hoon-Yung Hopgood, and state Rep. Jon Hoadley to introduce legislation that would increase our renewable energy standard to 50 percent by 2035 and increase our energy efficiency standard to 2 percent energy savings per year starting in 2022. My bill specifically addressed doubling our investments in energy efficiency, because it’s simple – the cheapest electricity is the electricity we don’t use. Together, these bills would build upon the energy laws passed last year and make Michigan a leader in cleaner energy, while reining in our high electricity costs, better protecting our environment and public health and spurring job creation.

Helpful Resources

Trying to maintain a garden or lawn but not blessed with a green thumb? Try calling the MSU Extension Garden Hotline to ask questions about your garden, lawn and landscaping. Advanced Master Gardeners may be able to provide you with some helpful answers! Call toll-free: (888) MSUE-4MI (888-678-3464).

Want to avoid some of the construction that seems to be everywhere during the summer? Check out the Washtenaw County Road Commission’s interactive map of projects: http://www.wcroads.org/road-work-construction/projects/

For more about roads and infrastructure projects in our community, read the WCRC’s “Roads in Review” publication: http://www.wcroads.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/RIR_SpringSummer17_Draft7.pdf

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