Michigan capitol building
Michigan Senate / www.senate.michigan.gov

A divided Michigan Senate has voted to reduce state fees assessed on homeowners with wave-reducing breakwalls in the Great Lakes. The Republican sponsor of a bill approved Wednesday says it would protect people from government "overreach" and cut payments that can reach $1,000 a year.

A Democratic opponent says existing fees are reasonable because the bottomlands are owned by the public and permanent structures in the water can negatively impact aquatic ecosystems and neighboring shoreline property.

Snyder urges Congress to protect young immigrants

Sep 5, 2017

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is urging Congress to act quickly to authorize and clarify the status of immigrants brought into the country illegally as children since President Donald Trump is phasing out a program that protects them from deportation. The Republican governor said Tuesday many people are "working toward success" under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and Congress should act "for the certainty of their future." 

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow says Michigan is facing such a shortage of skilled tradespeople that Congress should provide federal matching funds to help community colleges and businesses provide training to more students. 

Michigan has declared a state of energy emergency to address fuel supply problems resulting from Harvey. Gov. Rick Snyder's office says he issued an executive order Thursday. It allows the suspension of some vapor pressure regulations for petroleum products being trucked in some areas across the state. Snyder says his executive order "will help ensure there are no artificial shortages of fuel impacting the state's residents or visitors." 

Prior to hosting a town hall Thursday evening at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, I sat down with Representative Justin Amash and asked him these questions: 

Do you support President Donald Trump's corporate tax cut plan? 

Rep. Amash: “Corporate taxes should be cut, individual taxes should be cut, our current tax code has a lot of corporate welfare in it, where some companies get a lot of benefits, and other companies don’t, so we should try to level the playing field and keep taxes low for as many people as possible.”

Daniel Boothe

Family, friends and fellow lawmakers gathered in Grand Rapids to honor the life and mourn the passing of former U.S. Representative Vern Ehlers at the Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. Ehlers served as the representative of Michigan's Third District for nearly two decades, from 1993 until January 2011. Prior to his career in Congress, Ehlers served four terms as a Kent County Board Commissioner, spent two years serving in Michigan’s House and eight years in the state Senate. 

Gov. Rick Snyder has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags to be lowered to half-staff on Thursday on all state buildings and within the state Capitol complex in honor of late former U.S. Rep. Vern Ehlers. A service in Ehler's honor will be held Thursday at 3 p.m. at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. He died Aug. 15.

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga hosts town hall in Muskegon

Aug 24, 2017

U.S. Representative Bill Huizenga hosted a town hall Wednesday evening in Muskegon, answering a number of questions from a somewhat contentious crowd. Addressing a mostly full auditorium at Orchard View High School, Congressman Bill Huizenga answered a number of questions for roughly an hour and half. The majority of the questions focused mainly on Huizenga’s support of repealing the Affordable Care Act, and his support of President Donald Trump on a number of issues.

West Michigan Republican congressman are denouncing President Donald Trump for his remarks during a Tuesday news conference at Trump Tower for his reverting back to blaming "both sides" for the violence between white supremacists and counterdemonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia.

After serving 8 years as Grand Rapids City Manager, Greg Sundstrom announced he will be retiring at the end of this year. Sundstrom penned an official letter to Mayor Rosalynn Bliss saying he would not seek a new contract after his current one expires on December 31st. While the contract as city manager is on a year by year basis, Sundstrom’s 8 years of service makes him the City’s third-longest serving City Manager. He says seeing Grand Rapids through the recession is what he is most proud of during his tenure.