Green, Canfield, Pavlov secure funding for Grindstone Dock repairs

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday signed into law legislation that will fund the state of Michigan for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Included in the 2018-2019 budget was a planning grant for updates and repairs to the Grindstone Harbor in Port Austin Township.

Grindstone City, located at the tip of the thumb, was home to a booming grindstone industry during the early 1900s. A grindstone is a large stone that has been ground down to a true, flat surface, primarily used for sharpening tools. Due to advancements in technology, the industry slowly died out and much of the town went with it.

“The Grindstone Harbor is in a unique position in the Thumb,” said Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville. “It is an ideal location for upgrades because there are no other ports or harbors around. The closest one is Harbor Beach, which is 10 miles away.”

The 2018-2019 budget includes a planning grant of $120,000 for upgrades to the existing harbor — making it suitable for kayakers, fishermen and others who enjoy the outdoors.

The grant will go toward building an area to launch kayaks; building a fish cleaning station, bathrooms and boat docks; dredging the harbor and establishing a fund for upkeep of the location.

“This is a fantastic development for the area,” said Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “There are no harbors for at least 10 miles in either direction. I think this will give more Michiganders an opportunity to fish, kayak and enjoy our state’s beautiful outdoors.”

State Rep. Edward Canfield agreed.

“The harbor has the potential to drastically improve the outdoor opportunities for area residents,” said Canfield, R-Sebewaing. “The harbor, as it currently sits, is an uncut gem. This grant will bring it up to par with other Thumb-area harbors and will serve not only as a boost to local economies, but as a destination for residents all over the state.”

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Pavlov announces 2018 ‘Be a Senator for a Day’ summer reading contest

Sen. Phil Pavlov

Sen. Phil Pavlov

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Phil Pavlov on Monday announced his 2018 “Be a Senator for a Day” summer reading contest in coordination with most local libraries in the district.

The contest begins this Friday, June 15 and runs through Friday, Aug. 10. It is open to all first- through fifth-graders who have completed their local public library’s summer reading program in Huron, Sanilac and St. Clair counties or the communities of Richmond, Armada and New Baltimore in Macomb County, or the reading program at the Blue Water YMCA.

“The ‘Be a Senator for a Day’ contest is a fun way for young students to keep their minds active and growing over the summer months,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “Reading is vital for success in school and in life, and this is an exciting way to help promote it. I am grateful for the cooperation of local libraries in this contest.”

The first- through fifth-grade students may be enrolled in any public, private or home-based school. Once students have completed the summer reading program, they may fill out a contest entry form at their participating local public library branch.

One winner from each branch will be selected as a “junior senator.” The junior senators will bring their parents to Lansing for a tour of the state Capitol, mock committee hearings and a pizza party with Pavlov.

Continue to check this website for the most up-to-date information.

Sen. Pavlov and guest honor Michigan’s fallen soldiers

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, (left) and Lennie Brooks paid tribute in the Senate on Thursday to those who gave their lives defending America.

Brooks was a staff sergeant in the United States Marine Corps from 1965 – 1969 and 1973 – 1989. He was Pavlov’s guest for the Michigan Senate’s 24th Annual Memorial Day Service. Each year, the ceremony honors the service members who fought with bravery to defend the nation’s freedom.

Those interested in watching the Senate Memorial Day Service may do so at MISenate.viebit.com, where a full archive is available to stream or download.

Note: Click the image for a print-quality version. This photo and others are also available by selecting Photowire from the Media Center tab, above.

Sen. Phil Pavlov available for comments following 2018 State of the State address

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Phil Pavlov will be available for comments following the governor’s 2018 State of the State address on Tuesday.

Who:
Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township.

What:
Reaction and comments following the governor’s State of the State address.

When:
After the address, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Where:
By phone or in:
House Appropriations Room
Third floor
State Capitol
Lansing

Brief:
Pavlov will be available following the State of the State address for comments on state issues mentioned by the governor in the address.

He also will be available by phone. Please call Pavlov’s office at 517-373-7708 prior to 5 p.m. on Jan. 23 to schedule an interview time with the senator.

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 2017 Be a Senator For a Day summer reading contest at the Michigan Capitol.

Ten 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.

“A love of reading provides a sure foundation for success in school and an enriched life,” Pavlov said. “By getting kids to read over the summer, this contest helps develop their skills. Thanks to all the libraries who participated in the 2017 Be a Senator For a Day contest.”

After taking their “oaths of office” in the Senate chamber and a tour of Michigan’s historic, 139-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 2017 contest winners are:
• Nick Rujan, Bay Port
• Annie Bowman, Sebewaing
• Benjamin Cairns, Lexington
• Sawyer Kerr, Brown City
• Jacob Gormley, Croswell
• Payge Roskey, Melvin
• Wyatt Wallace, Burtchville Township
• Amelia Morgulec, St. Clair
• Emmanuella Beauchemin, New Baltimore
• Jack Ayers, Armada

Left photo caption: Winners of the 2017 Be a Senator For a Day summer reading contest participate in a mock swearing-in ceremony on the Senate floor in Lansing on Thursday. The contest was sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. The “junior senators” also participated in a committee hearing and a guided Capitol tour.

Right photo caption: Winners of the 2017 Be a Senator For a Day summer reading contest and their parents attend a mock committee hearing in a Senate hearing room in Lansing on Thursday. The contest was sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. The “junior senators” also participated in a swearing-in ceremony and a guided Capitol tour.

Note: For a print-quality version of these or other Pavlov photos, click the images or select Photowire under the Media Center tab, above.

Pavlov’s landmark MPSERS reform signed into law

Sen. Phil Pavlov

Sen. Phil Pavlov

LANSING, Mich. — After Gov. Rick Snyder signed comprehensive reform to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS), bill sponsor and Senate Education Committee Chairman Phil Pavlov issued the following statement:

“This landmark reform makes responsible changes to ensure a secure retirement for the state’s current and future school employees while protecting future generations of taxpayers from further debt.

“Retirees and current school employees with pension plans will see no change to their retirement. With this reform, future school employees will receive a competitive retirement plan that is flexible and portable to meet their long-term goals.

“Smart, corrective action was required to address a school employee pension system that has an unfunded liability of nearly $30 billion. The unsustainable growth in retirement costs impacts our schools ability to provide the best education possible to our children.

“This is a sustainable and affordable solution that provides new teachers with a modern retirement that mirrors plans offered to state employees and legislators.”

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Comprehensive retirement reform protecting teachers and taxpayers passes Senate

‘Smart, corrective action is needed now to modernize our retirement system and protect future generations from further debt.’

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate passed legislation on Thursday that would help ensure a secure retirement for the state’s current and future school employees while limiting future impact to Michigan taxpayers.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Phil Pavlov, the sponsor of Senate Bill 401, said his measure provides a sustainable and affordable solution that protects teacher retirements and doesn’t gouge taxpayers.

“This bill will provide future school employees with a competitive retirement plan that is flexible and portable to meet their long-term goals,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “School employee pensions are protected by the Michigan Constitution, so retirees and current school employees with a defined benefit plan will see no change to their retirement under this plan.”

Under the current Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS), about half of new teachers leave before they are eligible to receive their full benefits. New employees who enroll in the defined contribution plan would be eligible to access all benefits after four years.

Under the reform, a public school employee would have their employer contribute 4 percent of the employee’s wages into a 401k plan. The employee could then contribute another 3 percent, which would be matched by the state — for a total of 10 percent each year.

The school pension system has an unfunded liability of nearly $30 billion — a growth in debt of more than 11,000 percent since 2000.

“State spending on K-12 education is at record levels, yet the required MPSERS debt payments continue to grow,” Pavlov said. “Smart, corrective action is needed now to modernize our retirement system and protect future generations from further debt.”

New employees who opt out of the defined contribution plan have the option to participate in a more stable hybrid pension option.

SB 401 now heads to the Michigan House.

Pavlov announces ‘Be a Senator for a Day’ summer reading contest

Sen. Phil Pavlov

Sen. Phil Pavlov

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, on Monday announced his 2017 “Be a Senator for a Day” summer reading contest in coordination with local libraries.

The contest begins Monday, June 19 and runs through Saturday, Aug. 19. It is open to all first- through fifth-graders who have completed their local public library’s summer reading program in Huron, Sanilac and St. Clair counties or the communities of Richmond, Armada and New Baltimore in Macomb County, or the reading program at the Blue Water YMCA.

“It is not enough for our children to be physically active over the summer; their minds should be active and engaged as well,” Pavlov said. “The 2017 ‘Be a Senator for a Day’ contest and the reading programs at local libraries encourage kids to keep up their learning in a fun way.”

The first- through fifth-grade students may be enrolled in any public, private or home-based school. Once students have completed the summer reading program, they may fill out a contest entry form at their local public library branch.

One winner from each branch will be selected as a “Junior Senator.” The Junior Senators will bring their parents to Lansing for a tour of the state Capitol, mock committee hearings and a pizza party with Pavlov.

Continue to check this website for the most up-to-date information.

Sen. Pavlov and guest honor Michigan’s fallen soldiers

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, and Master Sgt. Chris Smith, director of the St. Clair Department of Veterans Affairs, paid tribute in the Senate on Thursday to those who gave their lives defending America.

Smith was Pavlov’s guest for the Michigan Senate’s 23rd Annual Memorial Day Service. Each year, the ceremony honors the service members who fought with bravery to defend the nation’s freedom.

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Editor’s note: Click the image for a print-quality version. This photo and others are also available by visiting www.SenatorPhilPavlov.com/photowire.

***PHOTO ADVISORY*** Pavlov, Kowall present lapel pin to Vietnam veteran Jack Beattie

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, and Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, on Tuesday presented a Vietnam veteran lapel pin to Chief Petty Officer Jack Beattie at the Michigan Capitol.

The symbolism attached to the Vietnam veteran lapel pins is significant. The pins honor all Vietnam veterans, whether they served in-country, in-theater, or were stationed elsewhere during the Vietnam War period.

Top photo caption: Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, pins a Vietnam veteran lapel pin on the coat of Chief Petty Officer Jack Beattie in the office of Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, at the Michigan Capitol. Beattie served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1991 and is one of the survivors of the June 8, 1967 attack on the USS Liberty.

Bottom photo caption: Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, and Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, on Tuesday presented a Vietnam veteran lapel pin to Chief Petty Officer Jack Beattie (center left) at the Michigan Capitol. Capt. Luke Clyburn (left) joined the senators for the presentation to Beattie, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 to 1991 and is one of the survivors of the June 8, 1967 attack on the USS Liberty.

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Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of these photos and other Pavlov photos, click the images or visit www.SenatorPhilPavlov.com/Photowire.