Partial birth abortion ban passes Senate

Today my Senate Republican colleagues and I voted in support of bills that will prohibit partial birth abortions in the state of Michigan.  I believe life is a precious gift that must be protected, which is why I co-sponsored Senate Bills 160 and 161.

Senate Bill 160 will outlaw the practice of partial birth abortion, unless determined necessary to save the life of the mother.  The bill was modeled after the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Senate Bill 161 will establish sentencing guidelines for performing or assisting in a partial birth abortion.  Individuals convicted of such a felony would face two years in prison.

These measures are an important part of protecting the sanctity of life, and I look forward to seeing my House colleagues pass this package of bills.

Phil
 

Senate approves Pavlov bill enabling more energy generation from landfills

LANSING–The state Senate voted Thursday to make it easier for landfills across Michigan to generate energy and preserve water quality using landfill bioreactors.

Senate Bill 473, sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov, will promote further development of a promising domestic energy source.

The measure will provide greater flexibility in developing bioreactor projects in Michigan. Landfill bioreactors have shown to dramatically increase the decomposition of solid waste in landfills and exponentially increase clean energy outputs in the form of methane.

A law sponsored by Pavlov allowed the Smiths Creek Landfill in St. Clair County to develop this technology in 2007 by creating a bioreactor demonstration project onsite.

“Evidence from the Smiths Creek project indicates liquid waste can be applied to landfills in a safe and secure manner,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “This legislation will provide flexibility to promote expanded use of this energy potential while providing sufficient oversight.”

Pavlov said Michigan has an opportunity to be a leader in clean energy production while reducing landfill waste and removing otherwise unsafe disposal method of liquid waste. He said landfill bioreactors in Michigan have enormous economic and environmental potential for the state.

The next step in this innovative technology is pursuing bioreactors in existing landfills with single liners.

“By continuing to support bioreactor projects, we have an opportunity to produce tremendous amounts of clean energy from waste, increase the breakdown of waste in our landfills, and divert the unsafe application of liquid waste,” Pavlov said.

SB 473 now heads to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

Jalen Rose and Indiana state superintendent testify in favor of education reforms

LANSING–A U-M “Fab Five” legend and the top school official in Indiana both testified Wednesday before a state Senate panel in support of recently introduced education reforms, said Sen. Phil Pavlov, lead sponsor of the bills.

Former Michigan basketball star and NBA player Jalen Rose and Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett spoke before the Michigan Senate Education Committee in favor of Senate Bills 618 – 624, known as the Parent Empowerment Education Reform measures.

The comprehensive set of proposals would lift the arbitrary cap on charter schools and enable parents anywhere in Michigan to pursue the education choices that work best for their children.

“If I grow up in a district where there’s an underperforming school, and that’s acknowledged, I should have the opportunity to go to a school in another district that’s performing well. That’s just common sense,” said Rose, who recently founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a charter high school on the northwest side of Detroit.

“Every parent wants better for their kids than they had for themselves,” he said. “We all do. And that’s what school choice and parental empowerment is all about.”

Pavlov, chair of the Education Committee, said that two-thirds of the state’s charter schools, mostly in urban districts like Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit, have waiting lists as parents demand more educational choices and better results.

“In our adult discussions on education, we must not lose sight of what is best for our children,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “Jalen Rose is committed to providing educational opportunities for young people in Detroit. I’m grateful for his work, and I’m delighted he supports our vision in the Senate of freeing parents to pursue the opportunities that work best for their children and giving schools the freedom they need to innovate and excel.”

Bennett spoke about Indiana’s reform initiatives of the last year and his goal of making Indiana K-12 education the best in the United States.

“There is no question education reform is on the tip of the tongues of just about every policymaker across the nation, and it’s about time,” Bennett said. “We believe in a very simple formula that competition, freedom, and accountability drive education reform.”

Pavlov thanked Bennett and Rose for their support.

“These gentlemen have dedicated themselves to providing the best education possible for our youth,” Pavlov said. “This package of bills is a major step forward in meeting that goal and breaking down the barriers standing between our kids and their future.”

 

Photo cutline: Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett, left, and Jalen Rose, founder of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in northwest Detroit, address the Michigan Senate Education Committee in support of education reform.

Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of this and other Pavlov photos, click the image or visit SenatorPhilPavlov.com and click the Photowire link.

Jalen Rose to address Senate Education Committee

What:
Senate Education Committee

Who:
Jalen Rose, founder of Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and member of the legendary “Fab Five”
Dr. Tony Bennett, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction
Sen. Phil Pavlov, chair of the committee
Committee members

When:
Wednesday, Sept. 14
Noon

Where:
Senate Committee Room, Boji Tower
124 W. Allegan
Lansing, MI 48933

Brief:
Rose and Bennett will testify before the committee in support of the recently introduced Parent Empowerment Education Reform legislation. Senate Bills 618 – 624, spearheaded by Pavlov, are comprehensive measures designed to enable parents anywhere in Michigan to pursue the education choices that work best for their children.

University of Michigan “Fab Five” member and NBA star Jalen Rose recently founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA), a charter high school on the Northwest side of Detroit. JRLA opened this September with 120 ninth grade students.

Dr. Tony Bennett became Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction in January of 2009 and immediately began creating a Department of Education focused on student learning and implementing his vision that “the academic achievement and career preparation of all Indiana students will be the best in the United States and on par with the most competitive countries in the world.”

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

Parent Empowerment Education Reform package introduced in Senate

LANSING–As students across Michigan begin another school year, state Sen. Phil Pavlov and Senate colleagues today introduced the Parent Empowerment Education Reform package, a comprehensive set of proposals that will lift the arbitrary cap on charter schools and enable parents anywhere in Michigan to pursue the education choices that work best for their children.

Two-thirds of the state’s charter schools, mostly in urban districts like Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit, have waiting lists as parents demand more educational choices and better results.

“Every parent in the state wants the very best for their children,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township.  “Unfortunately, when it comes to educating our kids, adult issues too often get in the way.  The Parent Empowerment Education Reform package is about freeing parents to pursue the opportunities that work best for their children and giving schools the freedom they need to innovate and excel.”

In addition to removing the arbitrary cap on university-authorized charter schools, reforms in the legislative package would:

  • Expand opportunities for cyber charter schools in Michigan;
  • Allow a majority of parents or teachers at a school to petition their district to convert the school to a charter;
  • Expand dual enrollment opportunities for high-achieving students and the ability of districts to provide services to part-time, non-public students; and
  • Meet the specific request laid out by Gov. Rick Snyder in his special message to the Legislature on education to require all districts in the state to participate in the current schools of choice program.

“Parents across Michigan are clamoring for more choices,” Pavlov said. “Governor Snyder challenged the Legislature to expand the schools of choice program, empower parents and ensure that every student has access to a quality education.  This package is a major step toward meeting those goals and breaking down the barriers standing between our kids and their future.”

The seven bill package is sponsored by Senators Pavlov; Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton; Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan; Goeff Hansen, R-Hart; and Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc.