Pavlov appointed to Finance Committee of national education organization

Sen. Phil Pavlov

Sen. Phil Pavlov

LANSING, Mich. — The chairman of the national, nonpartisan Education Commission of the States (ECS) has appointed state Sen. Phil Pavlov to the organization’s Finance Committee for the 2015–2017 term.

Pavlov has served as Michigan’s delegate to the ECS Steering Committee since 2014. His appointment to this committee will run from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017.

“The Education Commission of the States is committed to bringing together a diversity of views to improve education in the U.S.,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “I thank Governor Bullock for this appointment, and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the ECS over the next two years.”

The Finance Committee provides advice to the Executive Committee of the ECS on the annual audit, budget, strategic financial policies, investment strategy and policies, and changes in accounting practices.

Gov. Steve Bullock, the incoming chairman of the ECS, is the Democratic governor of Montana. The chairmanship of the ECS alternates between Democratic and Republican governors every two years.

The Education Commission of the States was created by states, for states, in 1965. The organization tracks state policy trends, translates academic research, provides unbiased advice and creates opportunities for state leaders to learn from one another.

Macomb Daily guest column: Office of the Great Lakes’ 30-year water strategy must advocate against nuclear waste dump

The following guest column was printed by the Macomb Daily on Sept. 25, 2015. The piece can also be read online at the Macomb Daily website.

Office of the Great Lakes’ 30-year water strategy must advocate against nuclear waste dump

By Sen. Phil Pavlov
25th Senate District

Sen. Phil Pavlov

Sen. Phil Pavlov

This summer, the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes released its draft Water Strategy, a 30-year vision for a comprehensive approach to Michigan’s water-related ecosystems and economies. I appreciate the efforts made to craft this proposal and the sincere interest we all share in safeguarding and maximizing our Great Lakes, but the draft contains a glaring omission: protection of our lakes from radioactive contamination.

As the draft strategy states, “Water defines Michigan” and safe water is “fundamental to Michigan’s economy and to ensuring high-quality places to live, work and play.” Tens of millions of United States and Canadian citizens depend upon the Great Lakes for drinking water, fisheries, tourism, recreation and other industrial and economic uses.

Yes, we must care for the Great Lakes basin by guarding against invasive species, protecting habitat, ensuring recreational access and improving drinking water quality — but all of that hinges on keeping our lakes free from a needless risk of nuclear waste contamination.

As drafted, the 30-year Water Strategy speaks to the issues of improper waste disposal and governance. But both these principles are jeopardized by a failure to strongly advocate against a plan by the Canadian company Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to build a long-term nuclear waste disposal facility in Kincardine, Ontario, within a half mile of Lake Huron. The report’s failure to mention the OPG plan as a real risk is a glaring oversight.

Michigan’s current laws for permanent siting of radioactive waste prohibit any proposed facility that, among other things, is located within ten miles of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, the St. Marys River, Detroit River, St. Clair River, or Lake St. Clair.

The Canadian plan clearly violates the science-based ten mile buffer zone contained in Michigan law. Worse, it lacks consideration of other potential sites much further away from the Great Lakes, as many others have recommended.

Last year, I led the Michigan Senate in passing resolutions that called on President Obama, the secretary of state and Congress to take the appropriate steps to secure a binding decision on the OPG site from the International Joint Commission (IJC), the official organization appointed to prevent and resolve disputes over the use of the Great Lakes.

The OPG proposal to build a nuclear waste facility in Kincardine, Ontario, puts at risk the integrity of the entire Great Lakes basin and the health of the people and resources that depend on the lakes. Any substantive long-term water protection strategy for Michigan must contain a full assessment of the real risks involved in locating such a site within the basin.

I encourage residents to contact the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes at (517) 248-5035 and urge revision of their 30-year Water Strategy to include a verdict against the Kincardine nuclear waste site.

Senator Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, serves the residents of the 25th Senate District, representing Macomb’s communities of Armada Township, Memphis, New Baltimore, Richmond and Richmond Township, as well as Huron, Sanilac and St. Clair counties.

Pavlov hosts summer reading contest winners at Michigan Capitol

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, on Thursday hosted the winners of his 2015 Be a Senator For a Day summer reading contest at the Michigan Capitol.

Thirteen students from Huron, Macomb, Sanilac and St. Clair counties traveled to Lansing with their parents to participate in a mock swearing-in ceremony and committee hearing and a guided Capitol tour.

“Children who develop a love for reading do better in school and are more successful later in life,” Pavlov said. “Our local libraries are helping instill this appreciation for reading among the 2015 Be a Senator For a Day winners. It was great fun hosting these students today.”

After taking their “oaths of office” in the Senate chamber and a tour of Michigan’s historic, 137-year-old Capitol, the “junior senators” vigorously debated the merits of a hypothetical bill to require uniforms in Michigan’s public schools in a mock committee hearing chaired by Pavlov.

The contest was held throughout the summer and was open to all first- through fifth-grade students who completed their local public library’s summer reading program in Huron, Sanilac and St. Clair counties and the communities of Richmond, Armada and New Baltimore in Macomb County.

Pavlov’s office received nearly 300 entries for the competition and randomly selected winners from each participating library.

The 2015 contest winners are:
•    Jillian Bussone, fourth grade, home school
•    Avery Cutcher, fifth grade, Brown City Elementary
•    Jack Davis, fourth grade, Krause Elementary
•    Nathan Flanagan, fourth grade, Sandusky Elementary
•    Troy Livingston, fifth grade, Croswell-Lexington Schools
•    Evan Martin, fourth grade, Palms Elementary
•    Lane Morris, fourth grade, Yale Elementary
•    Gabrielle Nelson, fifth grade, Kimball
•    Ava Norman, fifth grade, home school
•    Raven Peplinski, third grade, Bad Axe Elementary
•    Isaac Powell, fifth grade, home school
•    Hallie Smith, fifth grade, home school
•    Kya Vettraino, fifth grade, Palms Elementary
•    Kyle Wetter, fifth grade, Capac Elementary
•    Austin Wilson, fourth grade, Belle River Elementary
•    Maria Zyjewski, fifth grade, Eddy Academy

Note: For a print-quality version of this or other Pavlov photos, click the image or click the Photowire link under the Media Center tab, above.

State Senate passes resolutions opposing EPA power grab

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday passed resolutions sponsored by state Sens. Tom Casperson and Phil Pavlov to oppose a study backed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that could lead to regulations on personal grills and barbecues.

The EPA has funded a University of California-Riverside student project to develop preventive technology to reduce emissions from residential barbecues.

“This effort by the EPA to examine people’s backyard barbecues is just the latest in a long string of ridiculous and overly burdensome regulations driven by and pursued by the EPA,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba, chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. “To spend time on issues such as this is a gross waste of taxpayer money and agency time. These resolutions are a signal that we the people are fed up with this sort of nonsense from government agencies, and it needs to change.”

Pavlov agreed.

“It is now football season, and that means tailgating. The EPA appears eager to pour cold water on this great American pastime,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. “By funding this project, the EPA is searching for a solution to a problem that does not exist and demonstrating unnecessary concern over the impact of backyard barbecues on public health.”

Senate Resolution 56 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 14 state that cooking outdoors on a grill during the summer saves electricity and that funding the UC-Riverside study is a poor use of taxpayer dollars.

“In the face of record national debts, annual budget deficits and other profound problems the country is facing, surely the federal government can better use our resources than on a study of grills and barbecues,” Pavlov said. “This overreach by the EPA is a waste of time and money.”

SR 56 and SCR 14 now head to the Michigan House for consideration.

Pavlov co-sponsors bill calling for federal balanced budget

Sen. Phil Pavlov

Sen. Phil Pavlov

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday passed Senate Bill 306, a measure to officially petition the U.S. Congress to call a constitutional convention for a federal balanced budget amendment (BBA).

“The national debt is a mind-boggling $18.6 trillion — that’s trillion, with a ‘t’ — and is unfortunately all too real. This debt is saddling us and our children with a burden we may not be able to bear,” said Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “It is time to require Congress to balance the budget.”

SB 306 would enter Michigan into an interstate compact to petition Congress to take the necessary steps toward passing a BBA to the U.S. Constitution.

Once 38 states — three-fourths of the state legislatures — join the compact, they will then petition Congress to refer the BBA vote to the states for ratification by a three-fourths vote under Article V of the United States Constitution.

“The national debt amounts to more than $58,000 per every man, woman and child in the U.S.,” Pavlov said. “A balanced budget amendment is the necessary step to force Congress to do what ordinary American families, businesses and local governments, including the Michigan Legislature, do every year — live within their means.”

SB 306 now heads to the Michigan House for further consideration.

Pavlov to sponsor fundraiser for cancer screenings

Sen. Phil Pavlov

Sen. Phil Pavlov

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Phil Pavlov announced Wednesday that he is sponsoring a local fundraiser next week to fund mammogram screenings for uninsured patients in the Thumb Region.

Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, and Rep. Paul Muxlow, R-Brown City, will be “tailgate” sponsors at the annual “Pink Out for Cancer Clash” football game between Brown City High School and Marlette High School on Friday, Sept. 25, in Brown City.

“The ‘Pink Out for Cancer Clash’ is a great way for people to come together on a fall evening and have fun at a football game while helping provide free mammograms to women without insurance,” Pavlov said.

Money raised at the fundraiser goes to the B.C.U.P.S. (Breast Cancer Understanding, Prevention and Screenings) program, which assists uninsured patients in obtaining mammogram screenings at Marlette Regional Hospital.

“B.C.U.P.S. is a wonderful program that provides an important health service to women who otherwise would be unable to afford it,” Pavlov said. “I encourage everyone in the area to come out and support this cause.”

Proceeds from the game will be donated to B.C.U.P.S. Pavlov said that in the past, the “Pink Out for Cancer Clash” has raised $30,000 for mammogram screenings.

Note: Audio comments are available. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab, above.

Pavlov announces summer reading contest winners

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, on Thursday announced the winners of his 2015 “Be a Senator For a Day” summer reading contest.

Sixteen students from Huron, Macomb, Sanilac and St. Clair counties will travel to Lansing on September 24 with their parents to participate in a mock swearing-in ceremony and committee hearing and a guided Capitol tour.

“It is critical to the development of well-rounded, thoughtful members of society that we foster good reading skills at an early age,” Pavlov said. “The reading contest helps do this, and I want to thank our libraries for the great work they do with these programs. I congratulate this year’s winners, and look forward to welcoming them to the Capitol later this month.”

The contest was held throughout the summer and was open to all first- through fifth-grade students who completed their local public library’s summer reading program in Huron, Sanilac and St. Clair counties and the communities of Richmond, Armada and New Baltimore in Macomb County.

Pavlov’s office received nearly 300 entries for the competition and randomly selected winners from each participating library.

The 2015 contest winners are:
•    Jillian Bussone, fourth grade, home school
•    Avery Cutcher, fifth grade, Brown City Elementary
•    Jack Davis, fourth grade, Krause Elementary
•    Nathan Flanagan, fourth grade, Sandusky Elementary
•    Troy Livingston, fifth grade, Croswell-Lexington Schools
•    Evan Martin, fourth grade, Palms Elementary
•    Lane Morris, fourth grade, Yale Elementary
•    Gabrielle Nelson, fifth grade, Kimball
•    Ava Norman, fifth grade, home school
•    Raven Peplinski, third grade, Bad Axe Elementary
•    Isaac Powell, fifth grade, home school
•    Hallie Smith, fifth grade, home school
•    Kya Uetraino, fifth grade, Palms Elementary
•    Kyle Wetter, fifth grade, Capac Elementary
•    Austin Wilson, fourth grade, Belle River Elementary
•    Maria Zyjewski, fifth grade, Eddy Academy