Meekhof testifies before Indiana state Senate committee

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof

LANSING—Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, today testified before an Indiana state senate committee in support of Indiana’s House Bill 1019 to repeal prevailing wage.

House Bill 1019 passed the Indiana House of Representatives on February 23, 2015 by a vote of 55-41.  The legislation then made its way to the Indiana Senate where it was referred to the Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee.

Meekhof traveled to Indiana in support of the legislation to emphasize the importance of taking similar action in Michigan.  In January, Meekhof sponsored Senate Bill 1 to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law.  Current law requires all construction firms deployed to a government worksite to pay employees union scale wages costing taxpayers, schools and local communities more money.

“Legislation to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law was introduced at the start of the new session, but has seen little action,” said Meekhof.  “I want to clarify that while there are first priorities there are also top priorities and Senate Bill 1 is still very much a top priority for me.”

“I hope my testimony was helpful to my Indiana Senate colleagues and I look forward to seeing the Indiana General Assembly send their bill to the governor.  Just as I look forward to bringing Senate Bill 1 up for a vote in the Michigan Senate,” said Meekhof.

“Since my days as a township official, I have viewed prevailing wages laws as an unnecessary burden on our schools and local communities,” said Meekhof.  “It does not make sense that our taxpayers should have to pay more for improvements to our school and municipal buildings.  The extra cost of prevailing wage laws siphons money away from other community priorities.”

Legislation introduced in the Michigan Senate to repeal the prevailing wage law consists of Senate Bills 1, 2 and 3. Senators Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, and Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, sponsored the other bills in the package to complete the repeal of prevailing wage laws.

“The Senate has made commonsense legislation a priority.  It simply does not make sense that state government requires taxpayer-funded building projects cost more than other construction. Repealing the prevailing wage law eliminates a burdensome requirement that has no place in a growing and competitive economy,” said Meekhof.

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Gov. Snyder appoints Holland native to Michigan Strategic Fund board of directors

LANSING—Senator Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, commended the Governor for adopting his recommendation of Larry Koops to the Michigan Strategic Fund board of directors this week.

“I am confident in the Governor’s decision to appoint Larry to MSF board of directors and look forward to the great work Larry, and the other appointees, will do as they work to promote economic development and job creation in Michigan,” Meekhof said.

Koops has more than 30 years of experience in commercial and retail banking through his work as the community president of Lakeshore Market for Fifth Third Bank. Prior to his workplace experience, Koops earned a bachelor’s degree from Hope College and master’s degree from Western Michigan University. Koop currently resides in Holland, Michigan.

Koops will serve a term on the board of directors expiring at the pleasure of the governor.

Meekhof issues statement regarding senate agenda

LANSING— Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, issued the following statement today regarding progress on the Senate Republican agenda:

“A few months ago Senate Republicans set out to craft a dynamic and evolving agenda focused on making government work for our citizens.   We believe in commonsense, and that is not all that common in government.

We identified our goals as the goals of our constituents: stimulate job creation and growth; hold government accountable; improve education; and, promote policies that improve the quality of life for all Michiganders.

So far this quarter we passed legislation to further encourage strong relationships between community colleges and employers by providing greater funding for special employee training agreements in the form of Senate Bills 69, 70 and 71.  We want college students to have more than just a degree, we want them to have a job.

Our commitment to the success of our young people is evident in funding for third grade reading programs and promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM curriculum.

We have eliminated over $500 million from current year spending in order to balance the budget, identify priorities and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently and effectively.  One of those spending priorities includes additional funding to ensure processing of rape kits and prosecution of those heinous crimes.

The majority of legislation that has come before the Senate passed with bipartisan support, including Senate Bill 108 to extend support for district libraries.  Bipartisan resolutions to urge the federal government to take action and protect our Great Lakes and our waterways from invasive Asian Carp have also been introduced.

Hard work and public input at the committee level helped to bring about practical solutions and sound public policy in the form of 38 bills passed by the Senate in the first three months of session.  Concerns raised by our constituents about the tax appeals process resulted in the passage of Senate Bill 100 that ends the requirement that a citizen pay a disputed tax bill upfront before the issue is fully resolved.

For the next several weeks my colleagues and I will focus our attention on completion of the Fiscal Year 2016 budget well ahead of the October 1 deadline.  Budgets have made it through the initial steps of the committee process and will soon be before the full senate for consideration.

I look forward to working with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and my colleagues in the House to create a commonsense plan for Michigan.”