*** Media Advisory *** Sen. Colbeck to hold July office hours in Livonia

Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

Who:

Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton; District Manager Penny Crider; and the general public

 

What:

Office hours

 

When and where:

Friday, July 28

11 a.m. – noon

Livonia Civic Park Senior Center

15218 Farmington Road

Livonia

 

Brief:

State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, and District Manager Penny Crider will hold monthly office hours for July in Livonia on Friday, July 28, from 11 a.m. until noon. The office hours will be held at the Livonia Civic Park Senior Center and will be open to the public.

Sen. Colbeck will be on hand to answer questions and respond to concerns any residents of his district may have. No appointment is necessary.

“I encourage anyone who needs help, has questions, or wants to express a viewpoint to stop by,” Sen. Colbeck said. “I’m looking forward to continuing a regular series of office hours throughout the district and hearing directly from constituents about state and pocketbook issues.”

Sen. Colbeck represents the 7th Senate District, which encompasses the cities of Livonia, Northville, Plymouth and Wayne, as well as the townships of Canton, Northville and Plymouth.

For more information or to contact Sen. Colbeck, please visit www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com or call 517-373-5713.

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Strong measures signed into law to punish those who perform Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

LANSING, Mich. — State Senator Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, spoke to his legislation that was signed into law today that would cause doctors to permanently lose their medical license for committing the crime commonly known as “Female Genital Mutilation”, or FGM.

“I’m very pleased to see these laws go onto the books and for things to have moved as quickly as they did,” said Colbeck.  “There is sadly only so much we can do to restore the damaged psyche of these young girls who were forced to live this nightmare, but we’re determined to do all we can to make sure this type of butchery won’t happen again.”

Colbeck’s legislation, SB 410, was part of a larger package of bills that also now specifically prohibits female genital mutilation under state law, creates criminal penalties for offenders, and extends criminal and civil statutes of limitations. News stories now report that over 100 young girls could have had this procedure forced upon them in Michigan, going back over several years.

As a legal term, FGM includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the genitals of minor aged females for non-medical reasons.  The procedures can lead to psychological problems, as well as to problems urinating and can complicate childbirth later in life.  FGM is sometimes also done in order to make sexual intercourse uncomfortable, and some aspects can never be reversed.

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Colbeck: Governor’s veto of ‘Choose Life’ license plate disgraceful

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Rick Snyder has formally vetoed SB 163, citing a “Choose Life” message as being “too divisive”.  If signed into law, Michigan would have joined more than half of the other states in the country that already allow their drivers to purchase a license plate that contains a simple “Choose Life” message while fundraising for life-affirming charitable purposes.

“I find Governor Snyder’s veto of our ‘Choose Life’ license plate legislation utterly disgraceful,”said Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton. “Every year, 26,000 babies in a mother’s womb are killed.  Many of the decisions to kill these babies in the womb are based upon women despairing over having insufficient support or resources to raise their child.  SB 163 would have helped provide those resources.  Furthermore, SB 163 would have also provided charitable assistance for suicide prevention programs. Looking just at our veterans alone, there are over 8,000 veterans tragically committing suicide every year.  Prenatal care, suicide prevention, adoption services; these are not divisive issues. A simple ‘Choose Life’ message is not divisive unless one somehow asserts that ‘Choose Death’ is a worthy cause.  It is not…and certainly not for the 65 Representatives, 25 Senators, and the many people of principle who supported this simple but important piece of legislation.”

The “Choose Life” plate would have joined a wide variety of fundraising plates that the Secretary of State currently offers. No tax dollars would have gone into the fund created for the plate, and charitable proceeds would have gone to support the work of a wide variety of life preserving programs.

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***Media Advisory*** Colbeck to hold June office hours in Plymouth

Who:
Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton; District Manager Penny Crider; and the general public

What:
Office hours

When and where:
Thursday, June 29
6 – 7 p.m.
Plymouth District Library
Board room
223 S. Main St.
Plymouth

Brief:
State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, and District Manager Penny Crider will hold monthly office hours for June in Plymouth on Thursday, June 29, from 6 until 7 p.m. The office hours will be held at the Plymouth District Library and will be open to the public.

Sen. Colbeck will be on hand to answer questions and respond to concerns any residents of his district may have. No appointment is necessary.

“I encourage anyone who needs help, has questions, or wants to express a viewpoint to stop by,” Sen. Colbeck said. “I’m looking forward to continuing a regular series of office hours throughout the district and hearing directly from constituents about state and pocketbook issues.”

Sen. Colbeck represents the 7th Senate District, which encompasses the cities of Livonia, Northville, Plymouth and Wayne, as well as the townships of Canton, Northville and Plymouth.

For more information or to contact Sen. Colbeck, please visit www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com or call 517-373-5713.

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Sen. Colbeck, Senate vote to reform school retirement system, place state on path to drive retirement system liabilities down to zero

Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, joined his colleagues Thursday in voting for Senate Bill 401, legislation that would reform the public school retirement system.

The passed reforms honor previous retirement obligations, provide school employees with long-term stability and provide taxpayers with peace of mind that future generations will not be saddled with a growing unfunded liability burden.

The bill is focused upon the benefits promised to new school employees and not retirees or current school employees. The bill would not change the pensions of current employees or retired school employees currently enrolled in a defined benefit plan. It would increase the employer match by 1 percent of salary for current employees who were already enrolled in a defined contribution plan.

The bill stipulates that all newly hired school employees would be enrolled into a 401(k) plan, with the option of opting out of that and instead participating in a new hybrid pension plan. Under the 401(k) plan, the employer would contribute 4 percent of salary, with the state also matching up to 3 percent of salary from employee contributions. This 401(k) plan would provide the same benefits provided to all state employees, including legislators and their staff, dating all the way back to 1997.

“These reforms will finally put the state on a path toward $0 in retirement system liability and will align the retirement compensation of newly hired school employees with that of 83 percent of private sector employees,” Sen. Colbeck said. “Pension reform is one of those public policy issues that only gets worse and more difficult to solve the longer we wait. The true beneficiaries of SB 401 will be the students of today who will not be saddled with an ever-increasing debt from yet another public pension system.”

Despite billions of dollars directed toward the current school employee pension system out of the School Aid Fund each year, the pension system is still $29 billion underfunded. As more school employees go into 401(k)-style plans, this taxpayer liability will get closer to $0 as the state attempts to direct 100 percent of the School Aid Fund into being focused on the classroom.

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Sen. Colbeck to serve on health care panels, advance legislative agenda in Washington, D.C.

Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, announced on Thursday that he would be participating in two important health care symposiums over the weekend in Washington, D.C. Dr. Thomas Price, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, will be featured at a conference, as will former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and other health care reform experts.

“When I talk to people in the district about health care, they’re continually shocked at how much government-mandated bureaucracy and bloated administrative levels cost all of us in our health care system,” Sen. Colbeck said. “Many laws that have been passed under faulty premises that they would save money actually cost us more, and are simply now being used by entrenched special interests to increase their profits at our expense.

“While we can do much to address this in Michigan if we have the will to, much can also only be done at the federal level, and I intend to use this opportunity to push hard while I am down in D.C. for the results we need to be able to see back here at home.”

Topics at the conferences include allowing for the expansion of Direct Primary Care, especially as it relates to new options for tax-free health savings accounts. The senator is the author of Senate Concurrent Resolution 10, which advocates for those and other needed health care changes.

Sen. Colbeck will also be pushing for reforming so-called “certificate of need” programs, which drive up health care costs by stifling competition and limiting needed medical technology in rural and other underserved areas.

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Senate panel approves legislation to strip licenses from doctors who perform Female Genital Mutilation

Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday regarding his legislation that would permanently strip doctors of their medical licenses for committing the crime commonly known as “Female Genital Mutilation” (FGM).

The legislation passed 5-0 out of committee.

“Any doctor who performs this procedure is not a doctor in my mind,” Sen. Colbeck said.  “They’re a butcher, and not fit to be called a physician. We’re going to add many more penalties, but we need to make sure no one ever sees them as a patient again.”

Tragic events that occurred earlier this year in Livonia, where little girls as young as 6 years old were mutilated by a local physician, have led to the introduction of several measures to combat the problem. Several news stories now report that as many as 100 young girls could have had this procedure forced upon them in Michigan over the past several years.

As a legal term, FGM includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the genitals of minor aged females for non-medical reasons. The procedures can lead to psychological problems and problems urinating and can complicate childbirth later in life. FGM is sometimes also done in order to make sexual intercourse uncomfortable, and some aspects of the procedure can never be reversed.

The legislation, SB 410 and HB 4639, now moves to the Senate floor for further consideration.

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Sen. Colbeck discusses free speech legislation at panel discussion

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, discussed his recently introduced legislation related to First Amendment protections on Thursday as part of his role on a panel discussion regarding free speech issues on college campuses.

Other panel members for the forum included Jim Manley of the Goldwater Institute; Stanley Kurtz, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center; and Deion Kathawa with the Detroit News.

“I consistently hear from constituents that as society becomes more polarized they want to see a level of civility interjected into our public policy discussions, but when we look at what we are teaching our young people attending school they are being taught it is not only acceptable but encouraged to silence the voices and opinions of others,” Sen. Colbeck said. “The right to free speech at our universities and colleges is particularly important because it is there that many of our younger citizens first start to realize the true importance of both their individual voice and the ability to learn from the differences of others. That is why this legislation is so essential.”

Sen. Colbeck, sponsor of Senate Bills 349 and 350, discussed his bills and said they highlighted needed changes because most universities were doing little, if anything, to rectify the problem, and for those that did get involved, their policies were more akin to “freedom from speech” instead of “freedom of speech.”

Sen. Colbeck said many campuses are relegating the ability to voice opinions only to limited, so-called “free speech zones,” or creating so-called “safe zones” where certain groups are free to discuss certain topics but those of other opinions are not allowed. Sen. Colbeck’s legislation is designed in part to ensure that school policy does not attempt to play favorites, and it allows for equal access and opportunities for those expressing divergent opinions on issues.

SBs 349 and SB 350 have received a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Legislation promoting veteran employment heads to Senate floor

Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation that would fulfill a promise made to veterans 12 years ago was voted out of the Senate Elections and Government Reform Committee on Thursday.

The legislation, Senate Bill 177, is sponsored by Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton) and is designed to ensure that businesses that are veteran owned or have demonstrated a commitment to hiring veterans are given preference when bidding for state contracts.

“One of the many sacrifices made by our veterans and their families when they serve us is that their private sector career may be stunted,” Sen. Colbeck said. “While our veterans were defending our freedom, they were often not able to advance up the corporate ladder or sometimes simply take advantage of job opportunities when they occurred.

“The best way to mitigate the risk of homeless veterans is to ensure that they have access to jobs. SB 177 clearly demonstrates that veteran employment is a priority for the state of Michigan.”

SB 177 is designed to rectify the state’s failure to honor a commitment to ensure that 5 percent of the state’s expenditures would go to service-disabled veterans. The legislation would replace a cap on veteran incentives for service-disabled, veteran-owned businesses with a minimum threshold that is extended to veteran-owned businesses and the number of veterans employed.

The legislation also would increase transparency within the procurement process regarding contract expectations and vendor profiles and would further establish significant penalties for false claims regarding bidder employment profiles.

In addition to the senator, Greg Stachura with the Veteran Owned Business Roundtable testified in support of the bill. The roundtable played a prominent role in the expansion of the number of veterans who could qualify under the legislation.

Stachura discussed how the promise made to veterans 12 years ago in the original 2005 legislation was frequently overlooked by some state departments. SB 177 renews the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget and the Legislature’s commitment to veteran employment and procurement transparency.

SB 177 received a unanimous vote out of committee and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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Michigan Senate enrolls legislation for ‘Choose Life’ license plate

Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Tuesday formally enrolled Senate Bill 163, legislation that would see Michigan join more than half of the other states in the country that already allow their drivers to purchase a “Choose Life” fundraising license plate.

No tax dollars would go into the fund created for the plate, with charitable proceeds going to support a variety of life-preserving programming.

“People who choose to purchase a ‘Choose Life’ license plate will be able to show their love for helping others in a variety of ways when the plate becomes available,” said Sen. Colbeck, R-Canton, the sponsor of the legislation. “This bill is not about the political debate surrounding abortion, but like our other fundraising license plates, is a simple way to show support for worthy charitable causes.

“Money will be used for things like providing prenatal care, helping to prevent suicides, and providing for adoption assistance. This is about demonstrating love and supporting our fellow neighbors.”

After the same version of the bill has passed in both chambers, procedural steps are taken to order the bill as enrolled so it can be sent to the governor for signature. The “Choose Life” plate would join a wide variety of fundraising license plates that the Secretary of State currently offers. Once signed into law, the law would go into effect at the end of March 2018. Per statute, the license plates would be newly available to purchase after their design was developed by the Secretary of State, which would be completed no later than June 1, 2018.

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