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.”