Meekhof comments on water test results in Ottawa Co.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof

LANSING— Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, today issued the following statement regarding water test results at a school in his district:

“I was surprised and concerned to learn of the results of water tests at Robinson Elementary School in Grand Haven,” said Meekhof.  “I know the school switched to bottled water shortly after test results were confirmed and parents at the school have been made aware of the situation.”

“This information is the result of a proactive effort on the part of the legislature and the state to test drinking wells for the presence of PFAs.  Citizens deserve to have access to safe drinking water.  This statewide testing will help ensure drinking water is safe and provide alternative water sources for sites impacted by the presence of PFAs,” said Meekhof.

“I have been in regular contact with the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the test results at Robinson Elementary and will continue to monitor the situation,” said Meekhof.

To date, the legislature has appropriated over $50 million to assess and mitigate the impact of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) on drinking water in Michigan.  Statewide testing of public water systems and schools that rely on well water is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

Test results may be viewed online via

Senate Majority Leader-elect Arlan Meekhof Announces Key Leadership Posts

LANSING, Mich. – Newly elected Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof announced Wednesday the appointment of two key leadership positions for the next legislative session, as well as Chairs and committee members for a formal transition process.

First, Senator Meekhof (R-West Olive) announced that Senator Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell) will be the new Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, taking over for the current Chair, Senator Roger Kahn (R-Saginaw), after the new legislative session begins in January.

“I’m very proud that my first committee chair announcement is the appointment of Senator Dave Hildenbrand to lead the Appropriations Committee,” said Meekhof. “Dave has the experience, leadership and common sense we need to build on the great work of current Chairman Kahn, and to work closely with the Governor and the House to balance the budget, control spending and protect Michigan’s hard-working taxpayers.”

Senator Meekhof also announced today that his current Chief of Staff, Bob DeVries, will serve as Chief of Staff to the Senate Majority Leader. In this role DeVries will oversee all Senate staff operations and manage the Majority Leader’s office.

“As my current Chief of Staff, Bob has had a tremendous hand in helping me both manage my Senate Office and my role as Floor Leader,” added Meekhof. “As a result, he’s had the opportunity to work closely with Senate leadership and Senator Richardville’s team for the last four years. I’m confident his transition will be seamless, and that he’ll play a significant role in helping to manage and coordinate the largest Senate caucus in 60 years.”

DeVries has a B.S. in Political Science from Grand Valley State University and a J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley School of Law.  He has worked for Senator Meekhof for eight years.

Finally, Senator Meekhof announced a transition process consisting of the appointment of two committees.

“I have asked Senator Jim Marleau (R-Lake Orion) to Chair the Committee on Committees and Senator Dave Robertson (R-Grand Blanc) to Chair the Policy Development Committee.  I trust these two Senators to help me lead our new caucus into the new term,” Meekhof said.

The Transition Committees will be comprised of the following senators:

Committee on Committees
• Senator Jim Marleau, Chair (R-Lake Orion)
• Senator Darwin Booher (R-Evart)
• Senator-elect Jim Stamas (R-Midland)
• Senator-elect Mike Shirkey (R-Clark Lake)

Policy Development Committee
• Senator Dave Robertson, Chair (R-Grand Blanc)
• Senator Goeff Hansen (R-Hart)
• Senator-elect Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City)
• Senator-elect Margaret O'Brien (R-Portage)

“I am excited about the energy, ideas and commitment this newly elected caucus will bring to the legislative process,” concluded Meekhof. “While we still have to deal with some tough issues in Lame Duck, I know that the recently elected caucus is also ready to hit the ground running in 2015. We’ll have an outstanding team, and I look forward to providing further announcements in the coming days and weeks.”


Arlan Meekhof elected Senate Majority Leader

LANSING—Sen. Arlan Meekhof was unanimously elected by the Senate Republican caucus on Thursday to be the next Michigan Senate Majority Leader.

“I am honored and humbled to have earned the trust of my colleagues to serve as the leader of this amazing caucus of talented men and women,” said Senate Majority Leader-elect Meekhof, R-West Olive. “I am excited to begin this new role as we continue moving Michigan forward.

“I also want the residents of the 30th District to know that despite my new responsibilities, I will remain focused on working hard for the people of West Michigan.”

Meekhof was elected on Tuesday to a second term as state senator for the 30th Senate District. He currently serves as Senate Majority Floor Leader and will begin his tenure as Senate Majority Leader when the next Legislature takes office in January.

Prior to becoming a senator, Meekhof served four years in the Michigan House of Representatives in the 89th District from 2007-2010.

Arlan has lived in Olive Township with his wife Barb for nearly 30 years. They have three adult children and four grandchildren.

“As leader, I look forward to ensuring our caucus efforts will continue to be dedicated to improving our great state,” Meekhof said. “We have achieved much during the past four years, but the job isn’t done. We must continue to make Michigan competitive for new jobs and investment, ensure our students get a quality education that prepares them for success and reduce the burden of government on Michigan families and small businesses.”


Meekhof welcomes local pastor to state Capitol

LANSING—Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, welcomed the Rev. Don Van Slyke (right) to the Michigan Capitol on Thursday. Van Slyke is the pastor of Hudsonville Reformed Church in Hudsonville and delivered the invocation before Senate session. Also pictured is Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton.


Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of Meekhof photos, visit Click on Photowire under the Media Center tab.

Meekhof: $1.5 million approved to fix local roads in West Michigan

LANSING—State Sen. Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, announced two new road projects in West Michigan totaling $1.53 million.  This funding comes as part of the Priority Road Investment Program that was passed earlier this year by the Legislature.  

“I’m happy to see our community receive these funds to help repair our vital roadways,” said Meekhof. “These extra dollars will benefit our district’s transportation needs immediately while we try to find a long-term fix for Michigan’s crumbling roadways.”

Infrastructure improvements within the 30th District include $1.33 million allocated to make improvements to M-104 between Lake Avenue to the east and 124th Avenue to the west and $200,000 for repairs to Ottawa Beach Road between 106th Avenue to the east and 144th Avenue to the west.

The total statewide amount allocated for the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Priority Road Investment Program is $114,942,610.   This amount is part of more than $700 million extra general fund dollars allocated to fix Michigan roads.


Senate approves Meekhof’s Pure Michigan Trails legislation

LANSING—Legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof to encourage use of Michigan’s growing network of multi-use land and water trails was unanimously approved on Wednesday by the Senate.

“Michigan is blessed with wonderful water resources, and this package will help highlight the unique nature of water-based trails and how they add to our outdoor recreation options,” said Meekhof, R-West Olive. “By designating these trails as Pure Michigan water trails, we can help to open the door for residents and tourists to these great trail opportunities.

“In doing so, the Pure Michigan Trail initiative will help support Michigan tourism jobs and improve local economies by attracting more visitors to Michigan’s great outdoors.”

Meekhof sponsored Senate Bill 874 and co-sponsored the other four bills to update the current Michigan Trailways designation process to reflect recent recommendations from the Trailways Advisory Council. 

Senate Bills 873-877 would also allow for the designation of “Pure Michigan Trail Towns” that support multi-use trails and develop a process for the state to create and update a broad database of trail maps.

“Like many Michigan residents, I enjoy spending time on our lakes and in the outdoors. It is part of what I love about living and working in Michigan,” Meekhof said. “I am proud to be part of an effort to effectively use existing resources to promote the entire system of trails we have to offer Michigan families and out-of-state visitors.

“With more trails being added every year by both local communities and nonprofits – toward a goal of creating an integrated, statewide trail network – this legislation would keep trail maps updated and make them available for everyone to access on their smartphone or online.”

The other bills in the package were sponsored by Sens. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart; Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba; Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell; and John Moolenaar, R-Midland.

SBs 873-877 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.


Meekhof, local officials and business leaders attend bill signing for personal property tax reform

LANSING — Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, (left) joins Michigan local officials, law enforcement and business leaders as Gov. Rick Snyder signs legislation to provide more stable local government revenue for essential services including police and fire protection as the punitive, job-killing personal property tax is phased out.


Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of Meekhof photos, visit Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

Meekhof supports balanced budget amendment

LANSING—The Michigan Legislature on Wednesday approved a joint resolution, co-sponsored by Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof, to officially petition Congress to call a constitutional convention for a federal balanced budget amendment.

“The debt burden America is leaving our grandchildren is shameful,” said Meekhof, R-Olive Township. “The national debt is currently $17.5 trillion, which is more than $55,000 per person. Yet, even though our staggering debt is more than our entire gross national product and expanding faster than the economy, leaders in Washington refuse to stop abusing the nation’s credit. A balanced budget amendment will force them to live within our means.”

Senate Joint Resolution V officially petitions Congress to take the necessary steps toward passing a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment would require an annual federal budget in which spending does not exceed existing revenues.

“Unlike the inaction in Washington D.C., leaders in Michigan made the tough choices and improved government efficiency to finally structurally balance the state’s budget – taking the state from a $1.5 billion deficit in 2011 to annual surpluses,” Meekhof said. “As a result of addressing our budget challenge, Michigan now has an economy that is creating jobs and a budget that enables us to invest more in key priorities, such as roads and education.”

Twenty-two states have already approved the resolution. Once adopted by 12 more states, it becomes binding on Congress. Any balanced budget amendment proposed by the convention would still have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states before taking effect.

“Every year, Michigan families, job providers and local governments balance their budgets and it’s time for the federal government to do the same,” said Meekhof. “Borrowing from China is not a plan; it’s a gimmick that is leaving an enormous burden for future generations. A balanced budget amendment will force Congress to cut up the national credit card; prioritize how it spends taxpayer dollars; and look at ways to reduce the size, scope and cost of the federal government.”


Meekhof announces new Senate committee

Meekhof announces new Senate committee

Lansing—Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive; Sen. Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township; Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton; and Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor gathered at the Capitol on Thursday to announce a new Senate committee. They were joined by teachers from across Michigan and other interested parties.

The Michigan Senate Compliance and Accountability Committee has been created to examine the implementation and application of laws passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder. This committee will also focus on instances in which the rights of individuals are being affected due to laws being violated or potentially misinterpreted.

Meekhof offered the following statement on the establishment of the committee:

“Due to legislation passed in 2012, workers in Michigan have a choice: join a union or don’t; membership cannot be a condition of employment. When the law was signed, some employees were under pre-existing contracts that contained union security clauses. Provisions were made for these contracts. The legislation also granted employees the right to opt out of union membership. Not granting these rights to any employee would be a direct violation of Michigan law.

“The first potential violation that will be addressed by the committee will be a group of at least seven teachers from various areas who have encountered stonewalling or intimidation when they exercised their right to opt of their Michigan Education Association membership. It has been alleged that this group of teachers was told they could not leave the union because it was not during the “August window.”

“Previously, the MEA has used the August window to limit the ability of their members to opt out of their union except during the month of August. These teachers were not bound by a union security clause, and impeding them from leaving the union was a violation of the Freedom to Work Act. The teachers in question have also allegedly been strong-armed with threats and intimidation, such as being told they would face forced collection of dues and adverse reflection on their credit scores. We have the responsibility to make certain our laws are being enforced and a duty to ensure the rights of citizens are not being infringed. This is why this committee has been established.

“Allowing tactics like those being employed by the MEA to stand sends the wrong message to Michigan workers. It sends the wrong message to Michigan job providers. It sends the wrong message to workers or businesses looking to locate in Michigan.

“Teachers and workers have every right to perform their jobs without intimidation and without onerous and illegal tactics that force them to become, or remain, members of a union.”


Meekhof displays student art at Capitol office

LANSING—Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive, stands with a display of student artwork in his Lansing office. Meekhof established a program with Wendy Lemus, art teacher at Allendale Elementary School, to showcase local artwork in his office.

These pictures were created by kindergarteners Jaiden Cook and Kiersten Zaiser, first-graders Meckenzie Connelly, Avrie Jones, Ashton Fuller and Nina Abrahantes and second-graders Brandon Bredeweg and Sierra Weener.

Note: For a print-quality version of this and other Meekhof photos, click the image or click the Photowire tab, above.