Student Privacy Act

Sen. Phil Pavlov

Sen. Phil Pavlov

Student privacy is a growing area of concern as education delivery moves more and more into a digital realm and the ability to collect, store and share vast amounts of data becomes easier every day. Student data is among some of the most sensitive information that should be protected. In our new digital era, schools outsource their basic functions more than ever – everything from books and tests and attendance records to academic programs and actual student work.

FERPA (the federal student privacy law) is antiquated. It deals mainly with safeguards related to basic demographic information. Congress is working on bills, but has not yet updated FERPA to address 21st century concerns about student data. In light of the shortcomings in federal law, some states have begun to create their own more robust privacy policies. Here in Michigan, I’ve introduced Senate Bill 33.

Parents have a right to know what information about their children is being collected by school districts or state agencies. They especially have a right to know if their children’s information is being shared with third parties, and for what purpose. My bill would establish a very basic, common sense requirement for school districts and state departments who collect information on students to set adequate policies about their collection and storage of student data, and to ensure appropriate disclosure to parents who request it. The bill would also prohibit departments and school districts from selling or otherwise providing personally identifiable student data to for-profit entities.

This bill has passed out of the Senate Education Committee, and I expect the full Senate to take it up soon.

Pavlov: Deadline to protest nuke dump is next Tuesday

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Phil Pavlov on Monday reminded residents that next Tuesday, Sept. 1 is the deadline for submitting public comments to a Canadian agency to protest the construction of a nuclear dump that could damage the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem.

“Thousands of ordinary citizens have demanded an end to this project by signing the petition at www.ProtectLakeHuron.com, and our U.S. senators have echoed my call to President Obama to step in,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “I am urging my constituents and anyone else who hasn’t had their voice heard to submit comments. This is your last opportunity to have an impact on this decision.”

Pavlov said residents can submit comments on the proposed nuclear waste facility by mail to:

National Programs
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
22nd Floor, 160 Elgin St., Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3

Comments also can be submitted by email to ceaa.conditions.acee@ceaa-acee.gc.ca.

A Canadian company has proposed building a nuclear waste facility in Kincardine, Ontario, less than a mile from the shores of Lake Huron. In June 2014 the Michigan Senate passed a resolution sponsored by Pavlov and other state lawmakers calling on President Obama to invoke international provisions to stop the construction of the site.

More than 100 Michigan communities have passed local resolutions in opposition to the proposal, and Michigan’s two U.S. senators recently said they soon will be introducing legislation similar to Pavlov’s.

Pavlov stressed the importance of everyday residents speaking out.

“It is important that leaders here in the U.S. and in Canada have taken action against this site,” Pavlov said. “But the comments that folks send to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency will be considered before a final decision is made on whether to proceed with the facility. So it is critical that people speak up by submitting comments.”

Canadian Minister of the Environment Leona Aglukkaq will take into account the comments regarding the site when deciding whether to approve it. Aglukkaq is expected to announce her decision in December.

Pavlov renews call for Great Lakes leaders to act, says ‘Better late than never’ for Stabenow, Peters to oppose Canadian nuclear waste dump

Sen. Phil Pavlov

Sen. Phil Pavlov

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Phil Pavlov on Monday responded to news that Michigan’s two U.S. senators will be introducing legislation to stop the construction of a Canadian nuclear waste dump.

“It’s great to see Senators Stabenow and Peters finally joining this fight by echoing the plan I put forth a year ago. I suppose it’s better late than never,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “Invoking the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 is absolutely the right strategy, and a review by the International Joint Committee is our best opportunity to prevent this nuclear waste repository from being built near Lake Huron and potentially jeopardizing the entire Great Lakes basin.

“The Michigan Senate passed this very resolution in June 2014, and since then more than 100 Michigan communities have passed local resolutions in opposition to the Canadians’ proposal. Others can join the fight by signing the petition at www.ProtectLakeHuron.com.”

Under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty, the International Joint Commission (IJC), made up of individuals appointed from the U.S. and Canada, is authorized to address international matters relative to the U.S. and Canadian interests in protecting the Great Lakes.

The 2014 legislation sponsored by Pavlov and other state lawmakers called on the U.S. to invoke IJC provisions to stop the construction of the nuclear waste disposal facility in Kincardine, Ontario, near the shores of Lake Huron. The measures also urged the legislatures and governors in the seven other Great Lakes states to submit the same request for the U.S. to invoke IJC provisions.

“I once again call on the leaders of the Great Lakes states to demand that federal officials step in to prevent the construction of this site,” Pavlov said.

In September 2014, Pavlov addressed a Canadian panel deciding whether to allow construction of the Kincardine site. He cited Canadian opposition to a similar U.S. plan in the 1980s regarding a site that would have been built at a much safer distance from the Canadian border.

“Canadian officials were troubled about possible nuclear waste 25 miles from their border or near a shared watershed,” Pavlov said. “Today, they should be extremely disturbed that a Canadian company wants to bury 7 million cubic feet of radioactive waste less than one mile from the shore of Lake Huron — a decision that could devastate the largest supply of fresh water in the world.”

On May 6, 2015, Canada’s Deep Geologic Repository Joint Review Panel (JRP) announced that it had recommended the construction of the waste site.

Canadian Minister of the Environment Leona Aglukkaq is expected to announce in December whether she has approved the JRP’s recommendation.

Letter to LARA/DHHS regarding Planned Parenthood Investigation

August 10, 2015

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Director Mike Zimmer
P.O. Box 30004
Lansing, MI 48909

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Director Nick Lyon
Capitol View Building
201 Townsend Street
Lansing, Michigan 48913

Dear Directors Zimmer and Lyon:

Thank you for your response, dated August 4, 2015, to my initial letter of July 20, 2015, requesting an investigation into the practices of Planned Parenthood’s Michigan affiliates.

As I am sure you are aware, there now have been five publicly released videos in which Planned Parenthood executives can be seen discussing the possible skirting of laws and regulations regarding the sale of aborted fetuses. Specifically, the fifth video contains an apparent admission by a senior Planned Parenthood official that the organization illegally alters abortion methods to obtain parts for sale and uses accounting gimmicks and shifting “line items” to hide the illegal sale of body parts as part of a “diversification of the revenue stream.”

The videos depict potential illegal activity in Texas, Colorado and California, but warrant attention from regulating agencies in every state. Michigan residents deserve to know whether such atrocities are being committed in our own state. As the regulating bodies for Michigan, what assurances can your departments give that illegal practices are not occurring here?

For instance, to the extent possible, I would appreciate receiving this and other information you would deem relevant to the main inquiry:

  • What are the inspection protocols and practices?
  • Are the inspections you mention based on the call for an investigation or are they ongoing?
  • Approximately how many inspections have been completed and what were the results? Please provide the date of the most recent inspection at each facility and how the specific concerns raised in this letter were addressed in that inspection.
  • Are inspections scheduled or unscheduled?
  • Have any affiliates received money for fetal tissue?

If more oversight mechanisms would benefit your respective departments in providing assurances, I would also be interested in hearing your recommendations for those.

Again, thank you for your prompt response.

Respectfully,

Phil Pavlov
State Senator
District 25

Pavlov Statement on Fifth Planned Parenthood Video

The following is a statement from Senator Phil Pavlov:

“The latest undercover video of Planned Parenthood officials and clinic staff laughing as they sort through the remains of ‘cadavers’ – infants who have died at their hands- is gut-wrenching.

“It also contains an apparent admission by a senior Planned Parenthood official that the organization illegally alters abortion methods to obtain parts for sale and uses accounting gimmicks and shifting ‘line items’ to hide the illegal sale of body parts as part of a ‘diversification of the revenue stream.’

“These undercover videos have depicted likely illegal activity in Texas, Colorado and California, but warrant attention from regulating agencies in every state. Michigan residents deserve to know whether these atrocities are being committed in our own state.

“The request I issued to the Michigan Departments of Health and Human Services and Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to exercise the state’s proper oversight powers to ensure legal and human rights violations are not happening at Planned Parenthood facilities in Michigan – and if they are, that the women and infants being victimized receive justice – becomes more relevant and appropriate with each new video, and I am anxious to review their findings.”