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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Michigan in 2017: Improvements made, but we need big goals

Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, joined Gov. Rick Snyder in recognizing many of the achievements of Michigan citizens highlighted by the governor in his 2017 State of the State speech.

Michigan’s unemployment rate is now 10 points lower than it was in June of 2009, thanks in part to almost 500,000 private sector jobs being created in the past six years. That is the sixth best job growth in the nation, and the most in the Great Lakes Region. At the same time, Michigan ranks first in per-capita income growth for the Great Lakes Region and seventh in the nation over the past six years. Furthermore, home values have increased faster than the national average at a rate of 44 percent.

“Governor Snyder pointed out many reasons to be optimistic for Michigan in 2017 last night,” Sen. Colbeck said. “We are seeing evidence of these reasons in and around the 7th District, with Amazon and high tech manufacturers coming into Livonia as well as aerospace businesses giving serious consideration for projects at Willow Run. These are important economic development trends, but we still have significant issues that need to be addressed, like the ever-increasing tax burden on our workers and the need for improved education funding. In order to address these issues in a manner that puts the best interests of ALL of our citizens ahead of the special interests in Lansing, we need to establish some bold goals for 2017.”

Sen. Colbeck went on to outline these goals in a Senate floor speech on Wednesday.

“For starters, let’s eliminate the need for the net $8.7 billion in personal income tax the state collects every year and the ill-conceived Senior Pension Tax right along with it. I’m pleased to note that both chambers have introduced legislation that would eventually repeal the state income tax. In fact, I am honored to have co-sponsored Senate Bill 4, which would do just that. This is a good start.

“In addition to eliminating our state income tax, let’s find a way to add $3,000 per pupil per year into education without raising taxes. While we are at it, let’s grow and diversify jobs in Michigan with exciting new industries like aerospace — without pursuing economic development policies that pick winners and losers.

“I’ve done the research. Each of these goals is achievable, but we need to have the political will to think big on behalf of our citizens and not be willing to settle for the status quo.”

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Lt. Gov. Calley signs bills to stop sale of aborted baby parts

Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

Sen. Colbeck co-sponsored both measures

LANSING, Mich. — Lt. Gov. Brian Calley on Wednesday signed legislation, co-sponsored by Senator Patrick Colbeck, to make it illegal in Michigan to financially benefit in any way by selling or distributing a fetus or any fetal tissue obtained from an elective abortion.

“Profiting from the sale of aborted baby parts is disgusting and morally reprehensible,” said Sen. Colbeck, R-Canton. “Life is a most precious gift and not a mere commodity to be bought and sold. I was proud to co-sponsor and support these measures to send a clear message that Michigan respects human life and will not tolerate those who wish to profit from its destruction.”

Senate Bill 564 will prevent a person from financially benefiting from the distribution or transfer of an embryo, fetus or neonate (newborn child) that was obtained as a result of an elective abortion. SB 565 will prescribe a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The bills are now Public Acts 386 and 387 of 2016.

Sen. Colbeck said the introduction of the bills followed revelations last year that Planned Parenthood affiliates nationwide were attempting to sell body parts of aborted babies.

“All human life is worthy of love, and it is unfortunate that we even need these new laws to ensure that the body parts of aborted babies are not sold for profit,” Sen. Colbeck said. “Thankfully, we will now be able to crack down hard on anyone who attempts to bring this immoral practice to Michigan.”

Article V Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor to sign legislation when the governor is out of the state.

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Sen. Colbeck and Senate colleagues honor 75th anniversary of attack on Pearl Harbor

LANSING, Mich. — State Senator Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, was joined by 31 of his Michigan Senate colleagues on Wednesday in sponsoring Senate Resolution 222 recognizing the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Sen. Colbeck delivered remarks regarding the anniversary on the Senate floor.

“The devastating surprise attack on Pearl Harbor unified all Americans against a common enemy,” Sen. Colbeck said. “Prior to the attack at Pearl Harbor, America was divided into isolationist groups and those who believed that we needed to aid the allies already dealing with the outbreak of war in Europe, which had started in 1939. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States saw a new unity and common direction, which propelled us not only to victory, but gave us strength as a nation to allow us to do great things for decades to come.

“Today, we are focusing upon honoring those who lost their lives 75 years ago, as well as all past veterans who have fought to preserve our freedom and democracy. Today, we also reach out to the current generation and the citizens of Michigan who answer their country’s call to service, remembering Pearl Harbor by their deeds, their devotion to duty, and their willingness to defend freedom in all ways.

“It is my hope that just as we unified after that ‘Day of Infamy’ 75 years ago, that we today unify and remember what unifies us all once more. We are unified by the principles documented in the Declaration of Independence, including that we are all created equal. We are unified by our social compact called the United States Constitution, which starts with the cherished words ‘We the People.’

“This recollection should serve not just as a symbol of American valor but also as a resolve for all Americans in preserving our collective strength and unity. Such unity has propelled us in the past, and such unity can help to propel us once again. It is my hope that the people of our nation acknowledge the importance of recognizing this day, remembering what was lost, and resolving strength in unity for our country’s great future.”

Video of Sen. Colbeck’s remarks can be viewed by clicking here.

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Sen. Colbeck, Senate colleagues request investigation into massive ballot count irregularities

59 percent of Detroit precincts show difference between machine ballot count and poll book ballot count

LANSING, Mich. — State Senator Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, and 22 of his Senate colleagues formally requested in a letter submitted on Wednesday a state investigation into systemic poll book irregularities that are coming to light after the election on Nov. 8.

According to a report in the Detroit News, in 59 percent of Detroit voting precincts, the poll book ballot count did not match the machine ballot count. By Michigan statute, the ballots in these precincts cannot be recounted, but they do indicate voting irregularities that merit further investigation.

There are at least three potential explanations for these discrepancies:

  • A failure of the machine required a ballot to be reinserted into the machine. When this happens, poll workers are supposed to manually adjust the machine ballot count to reflect the additional scan attempt(s).
  • Multiple ballots that were not tracked in the poll book were inserted into the voting machine.
  • A single ballot was intentionally reinserted into the voting machine multiple times.

One example of suspicious vote irregularity was witnessed by an observer of the recount in Detroit voting precinct 152. In this precinct, a recount volunteer reported that when election officials opened a box sealed and certified as reflecting 306 votes, only 50 ballots were found in the box.

“The state needs to investigate whether or not the cause of the ballot count discrepancies in Detroit and elsewhere throughout the state are the result of fraud or negligence,” Sen. Colbeck said. “While some inadvertent human error can always occur, when it is identified in 59 percent of Detroit’s 662 voting precincts, the sanctity of our democratic voting process demands an investigation.

“If the investigation identifies voter fraud, the perpetrators should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If the investigation identifies negligence, we need to define and implement a corrective action plan that will be faithfully monitored to preclude future irregularities.”

Experts in the matter widely believe the discrepancies have zero chance of changing the presidential election results. The Michigan election results were certified on Nov. 28, well before the Electoral College deadline of Dec. 13. Michigan will be casting its 16 electoral votes with the Electoral College on Dec. 19.

“This recount was started for purely political reasons, by a non-aggrieved party that knew our presidential election results were not in doubt,” Sen. Colbeck said. “Despite this knowledge, they initiated the recount petition with little or no regard for the expense to taxpayers or for the sacrifices of the precious family time of volunteers who would otherwise be preparing for the holiday season with their families.

“As it turns out, though, what they intended for their own selfish ends may actually result in something beneficial by helping to eradicate systemic voter fraud in the future.”

The letter was submitted Wednesday afternoon to the offices of both the Michigan Attorney General and the Michigan Secretary of State.

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*** Media Advisory *** Sen. Colbeck to hold November 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, Nov. 18

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 November in Livonia on Friday, Nov. 18, 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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Sen. Colbeck votes against new energy legislation, cites lack of ratepayer protections and choice

Senator Patrick Colbeck

Senator Patrick Colbeck

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday debated and discussed Senate Bills 437 and 438, legislation that if signed into law would massively change the state’s energy policy.

The legislation has been worked on for almost two years, but despite seven different versions of the bills, Sen. Patrick Colbeck felt that their passage would create more harm than good.

“Whenever you look at a legislative package as massive as this, that touches on so many different areas, it can become a very complex process,” said Sen. Colbeck, R-Canton. “In this case, after all the work that was put into this legislation there is simply still not enough here to protect ratepayers. There is not enough to give the people of Michigan relief on their bills or true consumer choice.”

Sen. Colbeck went on to voice concern that he felt energy rates would increase under the bills, even though Michigan already has some of the most expensive rates in the Midwest. He also mentioned negative impacts in the legislation for people who generate a portion of their own power through the “net metering” program.

Lastly, the senator voiced his concern that the legislation did not address consumer choice when it came to making sure people could pick where their energy came from. Sen. Colbeck offered two amendments: one to increase the number of customers who can change where they buy their power from, and one regarding true choice for smart meters. Both amendments were defeated.

“The bills that we have voted on today not only keep the utility monopolies that are already in place, but strengthen their grip on the ratepayers of this state,” Sen. Colbeck said. “I know for example that in my district that some schools would have to pay more for energy, which ends up costing all taxpayers. To change our energy policy in Michigan while not expanding options for self-generation, meter choice, and resource choice, we are simply propping up by legislation a dying energy market that may help utility stockholders, but does not help our ratepayers.”

Sen. Colbeck has also introduced additional legislation, SB 1164, which would create more choice for ratepayers by allowing them to both choose and pay for the specific type of energy that they want.

“We need to allow for people to be able to better choose what type of resource they want their energy to come from,” Sen. Colbeck said. “They can then pay for that type of energy as well, picking choices that align with their wishes and helping to steer supply and demand. In the long run, we need more options and not less, and if one person wants to buy all wind power and not participate in smart-metering, we need policies that will allow them to do that.

“If another person wants to buy nuclear power and use time of day pricing, we need to allow them to do that. If we are going to have utility monopolies in Michigan, and people can’t change who they buy their power from, we here in Lansing need to do everything we can to ensure that the provider they are forced to buy from gives them as many choices and options as possible”.

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