Senate Republicans announce fall agenda

LANSING-Legislation to help spur job growth is at the top of the Senate Republican fall agenda unveiled on Wednesday, said Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive.

The agenda has four goals: spurring job creation, strengthening education, protecting the rights of citizens and continuing government reform.

“Senate Republicans remain dedicated to getting Michigan’s economy back on the right track and the best way to do that is to help our state become a more attractive place to job providers,” Meekhof said. “Our fall agenda reaffirms our commitment to make jobs for Michigan residents our top priority.”

To help spur job creation, the Senate will take up measures to:

  • Reform the state’s personal property tax, which discourages business investment and expansion;
  • Streamline the regulatory process to cut through bureaucratic red tape; and
  • Rebuild our roads and bridges in order to improve access to all areas in Michigan.

The Senate also plans to make government more accountable, clarify the current medical marijuana law, pass legislation to protect seniors, reform insurance, and end lifetime benefits for legislators.

Action has already been taken on a package of bills to restore the American dream by increasing penalties for those who prey upon homeowners in vulnerable financial situations.

“I look forward to continuing our efforts to help stabilize and improve Michigan’s economy,” Meekhof said. “Working together we can help lead our state to a brighter and more prosperous future.”

Partial birth abortion ban garners Senate approval

LANSING — Every day of his life Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof is thankful his birth mother chose adoption rather than having an abortion. That is why Meekhof and colleague Sen. Goeff Hansen sponsored legislation to outlaw partial birth abortion in Michigan.

Senate Bills 160 and 161, which would ban partial birth abortions, were approved Wednesday by the Michigan Senate.

“This issue is particularly important to me because I was adopted as a baby,” said Meekhof, R-West Olive. “Life is precious and it must be defended. I believe one of our duties as senators is to do everything we can to protect life.”

Senate Bill 160, sponsored by Meekhof, would outlaw the practice of partial birth abortion in Michigan, unless determined necessary to save the life of the mother. The bill was modeled after the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hansen’s measure, SB 161, would establish sentencing guidelines for performing or assisting in a partial birth abortion. Individuals convicted of the new felony would face two years in prison.

“These measures will empower our local police departments, county prosecutors, and the Michigan attorney general to enforce this law,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “Moreover, my bill establishes penalties for the individuals who perform or help perform these heinous procedures.”

Meekhof and Hansen say enacting a state ban is vitally necessary because the FBI and U.S. attorneys in charge of enforcing federal law do not have the resources to spend on enforcing the federal partial birth abortion ban.

“Enacting these proposed laws will help ensure that partial birth abortion remains illegal in Michigan regardless of what Congress or the president may do,” Hansen said. “As a father and grandfather, I strongly encourage my colleagues in the House to approve these life-protecting measures.”

SBs 160 and 161 now advance to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
 

State Senate poised to approve partial birth abortion ban

LANSING — The Michigan Senate is expected to approve legislation this week to ban partial birth abortions, said sponsors Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof and Sen. Goeff Hansen. A Wednesday vote is expected on Senate Bills 160 and 161.

“Partial birth abortion is a barbaric act that we need to stop,” said Meekhof, R-West Olive. “I’m proud to sponsor this measure because I believe every life is precious. I look forward to seeing this bill become law.”

SB 160, sponsored by Meekhof, would outlaw the practice of partial birth abortion in Michigan, unless determined necessary to save the life of the mother. The bill was modeled after the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hansen’s measure, SB 161, would establish sentencing guidelines for performing or assisting in a partial birth abortion. Individuals convicted of the new felony would face two years in prison.

“Every life, born or unborn, is sacred and deserves to be protected,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “There should be penalties for performing or helping perform partial birth abortions. My bill will help ensure that people who conduct these gruesome procedures face consequences for their actions.”

After Senate approval, both proposals will go to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

Sen. Meekhof honors local School of Excellence

Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, presented Eagle Crest Charter Academy Principal Daniel Harris with a special tribute on Friday honoring the school for achieving status as a “School of Excellence.” The CMU-authorized academy earned the distinction this summer as a result of consistently outstanding performance on the MEAP test. The school in located in Holland and offers grades K-8.

Meekhof, along with dignitaries from CMU, congratulated everyone at the academy for a job well done at an all-school assembly on Sept. 9.

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Editor’s note: The above photograph of Meekhof and Harris is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire at:

http://www.MISenateGOP.com/senators/photowire.asp?District=30

Sen. Meekhof welcomes local reverend to Capitol

 

Sept. 7, 2011 — Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, welcomed the Rev. Tyler Wagenmaker of Beaverdam Christian Reformed Church in Hudsonville to the state Capitol Wednesday. Wagenmaker led members of the Michigan Senate during the invocation and afterward joined Meekhof on the Senate floor for session.

Editor’s note: The above photograph of Sen. Meekhof and Rev. Wagenmaker is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire at: http://www.MISenateGOP.com/senators/photowire.asp?District=30.