*** Media Advisory *** Sen. Colbeck to hold March office hours in Canton

Who:

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

 

What:

Office hours

 

When and where:

Thursday, March 23

6 – 7 p.m.

Canton Public Library

Community Room — left of the entrance

1200 S. Canton Center Road

Canton

 

Brief:

State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, and District Manager Penny Crider will hold monthly office hours for March in Canton on Thursday, March 23, from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. The office hours will be held at the Canton Library in the Community Room 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.

Sen. Colbeck: Safety and security concerns drive need for smart meter opt-out

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, testified on Tuesday before the House Energy and Technology Committee in support of HB 4220, legislation that would restore consumer protections regarding the type of meters that are installed upon their personal property.

Sen. Colbeck focused his testimony on the safety and security risks inherent with the utilities’ promulgation of smart meter technology. Smart meter technology provides the fundamental building blocks for efforts to make Michigan part of a larger “Smart Grid.”

In 2011, James Woolsey, former CIA director, said, “A so-called ‘Smart Grid’ that is as vulnerable as what we’ve got is not smart at all. It’s a really, really stupid grid.”

In support of his testimony, Sen. Colbeck enlisted the support of Cynthia Ayers. Ayers, a nationally recognized cybersecurity expert who currently serves in part as the deputy to the executive director of the congressionally-sponsored Task Force on National and Homeland Security, provided testimony that cyber threats to our electric infrastructure are not mere conjecture. Other nations have been victimized by cyber-attacks that target critical infrastructure such as the power grid. Ayers conveyed that smart meters increase our security risk because, as integral components in a digital network, hackers can use smart meters to remotely shut down power to one or more consumers.

“One of the ways our citizens can secure their own family from such threats to our power grid is to opt out of so-called smart meters and retain analog meters, which have served us well for decades,” Sen. Colbeck said. “Cybersecurity threats today are very real. In fact, the SEC-10K filings for both Consumers Energy and DTE cite cybersecurity as a significant threat that potential investors need to consider before purchasing stock in these companies. Against this increased risk, there is little to no consumer benefit to the adoption of smart meters. The state is doing an insufficient job of regulating our monopoly utilities on this topic in a manner that truly benefits consumers, especially the safety and security of our electricity consumers. Once passed, HB 4220 would return a measure of respect back to our citizens by improving the provisions of law that govern their ability to truly opt out of smart meters.”

Sen. Colbeck also stressed that right now, even today, people are currently without power because of their simple desire to keep an analog meter for their own home. This includes even the frail and elderly, and even during winter conditions.

“We have entire programs set up, subsidized on everyone’s electric bill, to ensure that people keep power during the winter months even if they have not paid their bill,” Sen. Colbeck said.  “For some strange reason, the state conversely is telling utilities it is ok to shut off power to people who have paid their bills and want to continue to pay their bills, simply because these people want to control what takes place on their own private property. We can’t let that continue, and we must pass HB 4220 both to give consumers true choice with our monopolistic utilities, and to sever any notions that people must choose between new technology they don’t want and being able to keep the power on for their own property.”

The legislation, similar to an amendment that Sen. Colbeck offered on the floor last year, could receive a committee vote in the near future.

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Sen. Colbeck welcomes the Rev. Havermale to state Capitol to lead invocation

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, welcomed the Rev. Mark Allen Havermale (right) of Alpha Baptist Church in Livonia to the Senate on Thursday to lead the invocation before the Senate session.

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Editor’s note: A print-quality version of the above photograph is available by clicking on the image above or by visiting the senator’s website and clicking on “Photowire” on the lower left side of the home page at www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com.

Sen. Colbeck legislation would provide accountability for road quality

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, introduced transparency legislation on Wednesday that would provide the public with information on road projects throughout the state.

Senate Bill 210 would require the Michigan Department of Transportation to provide the general public with informational profiles of major road projects. These profiles would include the specified design life of the pavement, the load profile assumptions for that design life (that is, how heavy are the trucks), as well as the organizations responsible for the design, construction and inspection of the road. This information would provide more transparency to taxpayers and also provide information necessary to help enforce existing road warranties.

“It is time to get to the bottom of why some roads fail before their design life is over while other roads exceed their design life,” Sen. Colbeck said. “SB 210 will help us to isolate whether or not the root cause of poor quality roads is their design, construction, or that they are being subject to loads that exceed their design specifications.”

The data collected via the legislation would help to better enforce warranties, thereby encouraging a higher quality road system without additional taxpayer expense.

Sen. Colbeck was a vocal opponent of the gas tax and registration fee increases implemented last session. He opposed the legislation and provided a plan to fix our roads without raising taxes or fees. SB 210 would provide the Legislature and citizens at large with the information needed to make sure our current road funds are being used effectively.

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Sen. Colbeck provides testimony on what has worked to turn around failing schools

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, summarized his key takeaways thus far surrounding the potential closure of 38 schools on Tuesday before the Senate Education Committee.

During his testimony, Sen. Colbeck highlighted the requirements cited by education professionals emphasizing the need for local control and student engagement. The Senator invited Seth Mauth from the “5 Star Life Program” to join him and highlight the success that his organization has had turning around troubled schools.

“It is clear from the testimony we have heard that the key to turning around failing schools is a motivated group of teachers, parents and students,” said Sen. Colbeck. “The 5 Star Life Program has demonstrated success by creating an environment where students want to be there and see the value in learning. This in turn reinvigorates teachers and becomes a source of pride for parents.”

The 5 Star Life Program has had success by offering accredited coursework that both engages and empowers students through focusing on the five tenets of Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Sacrifice, and Courage. The coursework is done in conjunction with local teachers and is designed to also look at workforce readiness, mentoring, and at risk education. Data from the program’s success shows students and teachers who use the program function more as a team, as highlighted by initial success that was shown through marked reductions in disciplinary problems. In the long run, schools can then show other results such as a 75 percent reduction in chronic truancy, with up to 79 percent of students showing at least one form of demonstrable academic improvement.

“Both federal and state legislators are always tempted to ratchet up control measures when faced with poor test scores and low graduation rates,” said Sen. Colbeck. “While these metrics are indeed useful to highlight poor performing schools, it is clear that local control, not state mandates, offer the best opportunity to turn around failing schools. The state provides a valuable monitoring function, but we need to empower students, teachers and parents so that they are able to direct their futures.”

“During my visit on Saturday to the Denby Area Neighborhood, home to three of the 38 schools slated for closure, the clear message that I heard from community members was that they want empowerment, not more state control. The 5 Star Life Program has been proven to empower communities and create thriving learning environments.”

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Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of this and other Sen. Colbeck photos, click the image or visit www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com and click Photowire on the lower left-hand side of the website.

Photo caption: Senator Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, and Seth Mauth of the 5 Star Life Program, testify before the Michigan Senate Education Committee on Feb. 28.

Sen. Colbeck pursuing school accountability measures that work

Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, announced on Monday that representatives from the “5 Star Life” education program would be testifying in the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

“The Senate Education Committee has spent the past several weeks evaluating how schools facing potential closure can find ways to improve their performance instead of simply being shut down,” Sen. Colbeck said. “A common thread we have heard in testimony is that you need to create an environment where students want to be there and see the value in learning. Without that, simply teaching a subject won’t work well for many students. The 5 Star Life Program is an option that many struggling schools have used to great success, and the committee is excited to hear what they have to say.”

The organization has had success by offering accredited coursework that both engages and empowers students through focusing on the five tenets of Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Sacrifice, and Courage. The coursework is also designed to look at workforce readiness, mentoring, and at-risk education.

“Much of what we have been discussing in committee is to identify to whom our schools are accountable to when they start to fail,” Sen. Colbeck said. “While part of it is accountability to the state and our school systems, ultimately our schools are first accountable to our students, their parents, and teachers. The 5 Star Life Program helps to empower students so that they realize the importance of their schools and their education, and it drives a desire for helping them to want to learn for themselves and not just the sake of government standards. This is an excellent program worth raising awareness of.”

The hearing is open to the public and scheduled for noon in Senate Committee Room 1300 of the Binsfeld Senate Building, 201 Townsend Street in Lansing.

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Sen. Colbeck, Rep. Johnson introduce legislation to ban public funding of abortion clinics

Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, and Rep. Steve Johnson, R-Wayland, announced on Tuesday the introduction of legislation that would ensure public dollars could not be used for the funding of abortion clinics in Michigan.

“We just recently saw the importance to people of protecting the unborn on full display at the March for Life rally in Washington, D.C.,” said Sen. Colbeck. “Our budget in Michigan should not be used to fund abortion clinics, whether that would be directly through state-generated revenue or indirectly with money we receive from the federal government.”

The bills, Senate Bill 162 and House Bill 4221, would ensure that state law clearly prohibits the use of such public monies, even through indirect methods.

“The sanctity of life is simply too important to allow public dollars to support abortion clinics,” said Rep. Johnson. “Taxpayers need to be assured the money government compels them to pay is not going toward these services.”

Both Rep. Johnson and Sen. Colbeck said they would be asking for quick hearings on the legislation.

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Sen. Colbeck bill would allow Michigan drivers to purchase ‘Choose Life’ license plates

LANSING, Mich. — State Senator Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, introduced legislation that would allow Michigan motorists to purchase license plates for their vehicles to help show their financial support for life-affirming choices under legislation introduced on Tuesday in the Senate.

Senate Bill 163 would authorize the creation of a “Choose Life” specialty vehicle license plate.  Funds raised from the sale of the plates would support organizations and projects that support life-affirming choices, such as counseling and abortion alternatives for at-risk mothers, adoption assistance, and suicide prevention services for veterans and others.

“Many people in Michigan have a passion for protecting life and the vulnerable around us who need our help,” Sen. Colbeck said. “To help raise awareness of the many ways we can help people struggling to find solutions that lead to fewer abortions, more adoptions, more treatment of at-risk mothers, and suicide prevention, offering a license plate that celebrates and raises money for life is legislation I am proud to introduce.”

Sen. Colbeck pointed out that more than half the states in the country offer some version of a “Choose Life” plate for drivers, and the funds are used for a variety of life-affirming programs.

“The money people donate to purchase this plate will help our vulnerable friends and neighbors in a variety of profound ways,” Sen. Colbeck said. “Whether it is a young, expectant single mother who needs maternity clothing and prenatal vitamins, or a soldier returning from war with PTSD who questions whether life is still worth living, the resource centers and organizations these funds will support will be so critically worthwhile.”

“Choose Life” is a popular plate in other states, and more than $21 million has been generated for these life- and health-preserving purposes.

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Sen. Colbeck to hold February office hours in Livonia

 Who:

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

 

What:

Office hours

 

When and where:

Friday, Feb. 17

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 February in Livonia on Friday, Feb. 17, 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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Criminal justice legislation part of early initiatives as 2017 session begins

Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, announced on Thursday the introduction of legislation that would implement many of his recommendations as part of the Michigan Criminal Justice Policy Commission over the past several years.

Senate Bill 11, sponsored by Sen. Colbeck, is part of a package of criminal justice reform bills that have been introduced in 2017. The bill would help to guide subsequent policy decisions related to criminal justice reform.

“Last year there were many ideas on how to update our criminal justice system, but most bills in this area weren’t signed into law because testimony showed a distinct lack of information regarding the impacts of the proposed policy changes,” Sen. Colbeck said. “When it comes to criminal justice reform policies, we need to ensure that victims’ rights are protected first and foremost, but there are other concerns as well.

“We need to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, mitigate the risk of future victims by ensuring that those who are incarcerated are truly rehabilitated prior to release, and ensure that offenders have an opportunity to contribute to society in a positive way after release. The effective achievement of these objectives requires substantive information to which we currently do not have access.”

SB 11 is designed to make sure policy leaders will have the data needed to make effective and stable policy decisions. The bill has been assigned to the Michigan Senate Competitiveness Committee and Sen. Colbeck expects his bill and other criminal justice reform bills to receive committee hearings soon.

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