Revised: Sen. Pavlov announces April office hours

Note: April 1 office hours rescheduled to April 29, April 4 office hours canceled

LANSING–State Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, announced that April office hours will be held in several locations in the 25th Senate District. Pavlov will hold one of the office hours with state Rep. Kevin Daley.

The senator will be available to meet with constituents at the following locations:

Ira
Friday, April 8
7:30 to 9 a.m.
Buck’s Diner
8927 Dixie Highway
Ira, MI 48023

Imlay City
Monday, April 18
7:30 to 9 a.m.
Imlay City Hall
150 N. Main St.
Imlay City, MI 48444

Port Huron
Friday, April 22
7:30 to 9 a.m.
Loxton Family Restaurant
3535 Lapeer Road
Port Huron, MI 48060

Port Huron
Friday, April 29
7:30 to 9 a.m.
Daybreak Café
3910 24th Ave.
Port Huron, MI 48060

Sen. Pavlov and Rep. Daley will be available to meet with constituents at the following location:

Lapeer
Monday, April 11
7:30 to 9 a.m.
Lapeer County EMS
3565 Genesee Road
Lapeer, MI 48446

For more information, contact Pavlov’s office at 1-517-373-7708.

Changes to states sex registry approved, sent to governor

LANSING — Legislation to bring Michigan into compliance with the national Adam Walsh Child Safety and Protection Act is one step closer to becoming law, said sponsors Sens. Rick Jones and Phil Pavlov.

“I’m very excited to have these vital proposals approved way ahead of the July 1 deadline,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Having these new laws in place will prevent the state from losing $1.2 million in federal funding for our law enforcement agencies. I look forward to the governor signing these measures into law.”

Senate Bills 188, 189 and 206 create a three-tiered system to differentiate between levels of offenders. The new tiered system will more adequately inform concerned residents which individuals in their community are a real threat.

Under the proposed laws, offenders convicted of tier three offenses, the most serious, would have to report four times a year and remain on the registry for life. Michigan’s current system groups all offenders together on the same list.

The measures also include a change for so-called “Romeo and Juliet” offenses that was not required by federal law.

As an example, Jones said a 17-year-old boy consensually involved with a 15-year-old girl would no longer be placed on the registry, and those who were can appeal to a judge to have their name removed.

“This very important legislation dramatically improves Michigan’s sex offender registry and public website,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “These measures establish a new tier system that groups offenders based on the severity of their offense. It allows dangerous individuals to be identified in their communities, while giving law enforcement the tools to track them.”

According to Jones and Pavlov, work on the legislation was a collaborative effort between many groups, notably the Michigan State Police and Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan.

SB 188, 189 and 206 have been approved by both chambers of the Legislature and now await the governor’s signature.

Sen. Pavlov welcomes Fort Gratiot pastor to Senate session

LANSING—State Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, (from left) welcomed to the Michigan Capitol Richard Shelton (second from left), pastor of Riverside Tabernacle Church of Fort Gratiot, and Shelton’s wife, Sandra. Pastor Shelton gave the invocation before the start of the Senate session. Standing to the right is Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.

Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire.

Senators unveil plan to cut red tape, help put people back to work

LANSING—Senate Republicans introduced several measures Wednesday to cut the red tape binding Michigan job providers and help put people back to work.

“To revitalize our economy, we have to remove obstacles preventing businesses from hiring,” said bill sponsor Sen. Phil Pavlov. “This package of bills gets rid of excess bureaucracy so companies can focus on growth.”

Senate Bills 271 through 279 will reduce burdensome regulations on individuals and businesses to help create jobs and boost Michigan’s economy.

Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, sponsored SB 279, which would require the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture to implement random sampling for inspections.

“Random sampling will level the playing field for all job providers in Michigan,” Pavlov said. “This sends a positive message to businesses that they will be treated fairly in the state inspection process.”

Other measures in the eight-bill package would:

  • Prohibit rules more stringent than federal rules, unless authorized by state law;
  • Require state agencies to consider disproportionate effects rules might have on small businesses compared to larger companies;
  • Improve timeliness in permitting and end delay tactics by regulators who keep asking for additional information;
  • Require regulators to compare standards in nearby states and perform a cost-benefit analysis when proposing new rules; and
  • Increase transparency in the rulemaking process to improve the opportunity for comment and suggestions by those impacted.

Pavlov said reforming Michigan’s regulatory climate is critical. According to Site Selection magazine, business executives look at the ease of permitting and regulatory procedures second only to the availability of desired workforce skills when choosing the place to locate or expand their business.

Editor’s note: The above photograph of Sen. Pavlov discussing his legislation is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire at:

www.senate.michigan.gov/senators/photowire.asp?District=25

Sen. Pavlov Floor Statement on the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act

Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President,

I would like to speak for a few moments about some very important legislation on its way to the governor for his signature: the bills known as the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act.

Some may refer to these measures as the Emergency Manager legislation, but that is a bit of a misnomer. The bills do include provisions for the appointment of emergency managers when necessary, but emergency managers are not the focus.

The focus is on identifying fiscal problems early, before emergency managers are required, so that finances can be strengthened, services can be provided, and taxpayers can be protected.

These bills will promote such early intervention. There are more than a dozen triggers in place to notify the state of entities needing assistance. These, along with the safeguards of review, appeals, and oversight, mean the appointment of emergency managers should be a rare occurrence.

Communities and school districts sometimes struggle. Under the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act, we can help those in economic distress resolve their financial troubles before an absolute crisis occurs-and long before an emergency manager becomes necessary.

When problems are identified and a community refuses to take the steps necessary to avoid a potential financial catastrophe-that is when the state must intervene and appoint an emergency manager.

In those cases, to help guarantee success, emergency managers must be given the power to make the tough, but necessary decisions to restore financial integrity.

Let's be clear about what is – and is not – in these bills:

  • The bills specify that an emergency manager must be an individual, not a firm.
  • They do not contain a prohibition on local officials running for future office.
  • They do contain a number of provisions to protect healthy, well-managed pensions. They safeguard death benefits for first-responders. They recognize vested pension benefits.
  • They allow for renegotiation with bargaining units. If renegotiation fails, then they allow for dissolution of contracts and the negotiation of replacement contracts. They do not eliminate collective bargaining.
  • And finally, they provide legislative oversight of emergency managers with the ability to remove them.

It is important to remember that the act this legislation replaces was originally enacted in 1990, and signed into law by Governor James Blanchard, a Democrat. In the twenty years since, only a handful of emergency managers have been appointed, and those by both Republican and Democrat governors. Ensuring fiscal accountability in our local governments and school districts is not a partisan issue – it's just plain good policy for the state of Michigan.

Helping local communities thrive is the goal of everyone in this room. I have no doubt of that. These bills will help us achieve that goal.

 

Senate passes Pavlov bills allowing early intervention to strengthen local finances, protect taxpayers

LANSING—The Michigan Senate on Wednesday passed legislation that promotes early intervention to help strengthen local finances and protect taxpayers from long-term debt, said sponsor Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township.

The package of bills would form the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act, requiring accountability and transparency on the part of municipalities and school districts.

“By enabling early intervention, along with the safeguards of review, appeals, and oversight, the appointment of emergency managers should be a rare occurrence,” said Pavlov, chair of the Senate Education Committee. “This is about helping communities and school districts in economic distress resolve their financial troubles before a crisis occurs and long before an emergency manager is even considered.”

In the event that an emergency manager would need to be appointed, the act would empower that manager with the decision-making authority to set a community or school district in severe deficit on a swift path to financial recovery.

“In critical circumstances, vital services such as public safety and education must be maintained,” Pavlov said. “This reform permits the necessary preventive steps to be taken under extraordinary conditions to protect public interests and the public’s money, and strengthen local control and accountability.”

Senate Bills 157 and 158, along with House Bills 4214 and 4216 through 4218, now head to the Michigan House.

Joint education committee to welcome Michelle Rhee

LANSING—A joint Senate-House education panel today announced a special hearing to host Michelle Rhee, founder and CEO of StudentsFirst, who will address potential reforms aimed at bolstering Michigan’s public education system.

The hearing, hosted by state Sen. Phil Pavlov and Rep. Paul Scott, education committee chairs, and Sen. Howard Walker and Rep. Bill Rogers, appropriations subcommittee chairs, will take place in in room 326 of the Capitol (House Appropriations Room) on Wednesday, March 9, and will begin at 3 p.m.

Rhee has worked for nearly 20 years as a teacher and an administrator to give children the skills and knowledge required for success in a changing world. As chancellor of Washington, D.C. Public Schools, she successfully enacted numerous meaningful reforms.

“When our children’s future is at stake, education reform can’t be an experiment, but rather a combination of best practices,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “Rhee took important first steps to turn the D.C. schools around at a pivotal moment. We owe it to our students and teachers to learn from her experience in order to do the same in Michigan.”

Currently, leaders in both chambers are exploring potential reforms to our education system with an emphasis on encouraging high-level performance from students and the quality educators who fuel their success.

“Rhee’s practical approach in turning otherwise daunting challenges into an achievable reality provides refreshing hope to the prospect of making Michigan a beacon of educational excellence,” said Scott, R-Grand Blanc. “Her presence signifies our rejection of the status quo, and will provide a pathway to strengthening our students’ future.”

Legislators will engage in a bipartisan exchange of ideas focusing on reforms such as teacher tenure, merit pay and school choice. Immediately following the hearing, there will be a media availability in the Speaker’s Library, room 252, in the Capitol.

For more information about the event contact Sen. Pavlov at (517) 373-7708 or Rep. Scott at (517) 373-1780.