Green legislation a boost for agriculture jobs

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LANSING-In 2011, Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, sponsored Senate Bill 144 to include agricultural processing in the state’s economic development focus. At committee hearings on the bill, he used a store-bought pound of bacon to demonstrate the need for the legislation. It eventually became law as Public Act 22 of 2011 and now appears to be bringing home the bacon, literally.

Clemens Food Group, a food processing firm based out of Hatfield, Pa., announced plans on Tuesday to build a $255-million pork processing plant in Coldwater, Mich. The plant will process hogs from Michigan and surrounding states into finished pork products and directly employ 810 workers.

“This announcement represents the return of pork processing to Michigan and the beginning of substantial growth in the entire agriculture processing industry,” Green said. “It is an exciting day for Michigan workers and Michigan agriculture.”

The last pork processing plant located in the state, owned by Thorn Apple Valley, was closed in 1998 with a loss of 1,000 jobs. Under PA 22’s agriculture provision, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) secured the Clemens project in Michigan over an alternative location in Ohio.

In addition to creating jobs, the plant will allow Michigan’s pork producers to have their hogs processed in the state, reducing related transport costs.

“With the completion of the new plant, Michigan hogs will be processed by Michigan workers into products sold to consumers, including bacon, and that is something we can be proud of,” said Green. “This development also sends the message to other job creators in the processing industry that Michigan’s door is open to business and I believe we will see more projects like this in the future.”

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PHOTO ADVISORY: Green receives NRA’s Defender of Freedom Award

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LANSING—Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, received the National Rifle Association’s top legislative honor Thursday morning. Dakota Moore of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action presented Green with the prestigious Defender of FreedomAward, which recognizes legislators who have championed the rights of gun owners and sportsmen.

“The NRA is proud to recognize Senator Green’s tireless efforts to defend liberty and protect the interests of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen in Michigan,” Moore said in presenting the award.

Green sponsored Michigan’s current “shall issue” concealed pistol license law as a state representative in 1999-2000. Additionally, he has sponsored fundamental reforms on behalf of gun owners and sportsmen since being elected to the Michigan Senate in 2010.

“I am honored with this recognition and with the opportunity to work hard on behalf of all law-abiding gun owners, hunters and anglers in our great state,” said Green.

Editor’s note:For print-quality versions of this and other Green photos, click the image or visit www.StateSenatorMikeGreen.comand click the Photowire link.

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Green’s “moveable bridge”’ funding legislation passes Senate Transportation Committee

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LANSING—Legislation introduced by state Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, establishing the “Moveable Bridge Fund” was voted out of the Senate Transportation Committee with bipartisan support on Wednesday and will now go before the full Senate for consideration.

“Taxpayers and local elected officials in communities around the state are being short-changed because of the presence of these bridges, many of them built by the state, despite their benefit to Michigan’s economy and tourism,” Green said in applauding the committee approval. “I am pleased with today’s passage and will continue working with Bay City’s leaders and my fellow legislators to get the measure to the governor’s desk.”

Senate Bill 281 would set up the fund to assist local governments in paying for the operational costs of moveable bridges. There are currently 22 moveable bridges across the state, with nearly half being locally owned and the remainder being owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The city of Bay City has four such bridges and is itself responsible for the costs of operating two.

Currently, state funding treats the bridges as standard roadways despite the operational costs being significantly higher. If passed in its current form, this measure is estimated to save Bay City and other localities hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, money that could be used for repairing local roads.

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More than 75 Michigan communities formally oppose Canadian nuclear waste dump

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LANSING—In support of efforts in Lansing by state Sens. Phil Pavlov and Mike Green to halt construction of a permanent Canadian nuclear waste repository on the shores of Lake Huron, 76 Michigan communities, along with local government agencies in Canada and other U.S. states, have passed official resolutions opposing the Canadian proposal.

Members of Michigan’s congressional delegation also have joined the fight, recently offering identical U.S. House and Senate resolutions urging the Obama administration to oppose the Canadian plan.

“I applaud the dozens of local governments in Michigan that have supported our efforts to stop this dangerous proposal,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “Local communities are overwhelmingly opposed to this proposed facility, and for good reason. Ontario Power Generation’s plan to permanently bury radioactive waste less than a mile from Lake Huron presents a critical threat to the health of the entire Great Lakes region.”

In June, the Michigan Senate unanimously approved measures designed to halt construction of the Lake Huron facility while strengthening Michigan’s protection of natural resources against radioactive waste.

One measure was Senate Resolution 151, sponsored by Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, which calls on President Obama, the U.S. secretary of state and Congress to formally request a binding decision from the International Joint Commission, the official organization appointed to prevent and resolve disputes over the use of the Great Lakes. SR 150 (Green) urges the Great Lakes Commission to study the impacts of the facility and take a formal position on it.

“These resolutions were mailed to the president, secretary of state and other officials in June,” Green said. “Since then, we’ve seen encouraging developments with members of Michigan’s congressional delegation also joining the fight and urging action from the Obama administration. The Great Lakes are the world’s largest supply of fresh water and must be protected.”

In September, Pavlov addressed the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s Deep Geologic Repository Joint Review Panel, the decision-making body for this proposal. Citing official Canadian opposition to a similar U.S. plan in the 1980s, Pavlov asked the panel to adhere to the standard their own government set for nuclear waste storage.

Although the joint review panel since closed their public comment period on Oct. 19, residents and local governments can still make their voices heard by visiting www.ProtectLakeHuron.com and signing the petition, Pavlov said.

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Governor signs pharmacy technician licensure into law

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LANSING—Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians from around the state joined Sen. Mike Green as his legislation, Senate Bill 92, was signed into law by Gov. Snyder. The governor’s signature makes pharmacy technicians a licensed occupation in Michigan.

“Until now, Michigan was one of only six states that did not require employees with access to large quantities of prescription drugs and narcotics to be certified or licensed pharmacy technicians,” said Green, R-Mayville. “This measure will give Michigan residents the peace of mind knowing that their prescriptions are being handled by a trained and knowledgeable professional under the supervision of a pharmacist.”

SB 92 requires anyone assisting a pharmacist in their duties to be licensed by meeting certain training, academic or work experience requirements. The legislation was strongly supported by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

The measure is now Public Act 285 of 2014 and will take effect 90 days from its signing.

Editor’s note:For print-quality versions of this and other Green photos, click the image or visit www.StateSenatorMikeGreen.comand click the Photowire link.

Photo Description: State Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, (center-left) joins Gov. Snyder (seated) and pharmacy technicians from around the state as Senate Bill 92 is signed into law.

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Green testifies in support of septic waste regulatory reform

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LANSING—State Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, and Ray Daniels, owner of Daniels’ Septic Service in Sterling, testified before the Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee last week in support of House Bill 4874. The legislation would reform the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) to allow residents with septic tanks to seek more competitive pricing for waste disposal by repealing the service areas requirement in the law and by prohibiting publicly-owned facilities from monopolizing such services within their jurisdiction.

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Editor’s note:For print-quality versions of this and other Green photos, click the image or visit www.StateSenatorMikeGreen.comand click the Photowire link.

Photo Description: State Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, (right) and constituent Ray Daniels, owner of Daniels’ Septic Service in Sterling testify in support of HB 4874 before the Senate Natural Resources Environment and Great Lakes Committee.

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Green co-sponsors resolution to strengthen Michigan’s economy

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LANSING—In an effort to bring awareness to the importance of buying goods locally, Sen. Mike Green co-sponsored Senate Resolution 184, offered by Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, which was adopted by the Michigan Senate on Thursday.

“Buy Nearby is an excellent year-round campaign that was started by Michigan retailers to benefit local businesses and communities,” said Green, R-Mayville. “Retailers are responsible for nearly 850,000 jobs in Michigan and are a driving force in local economies.”

SR 184 recognizes Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014 as “Buy Nearby Get Caught Blue-Handed Day,” a celebration that takes place on the first Saturday in October to encourage shoppers to visit and buy from local stores. Michigan’s retail shops are also encouraged to run specials or promotions during this event. 

“If more of us buy locally, the state’s economy could potentially see 74,000 retail jobs created and $9 billion in additional economic activity that includes $2.5 billion in more wages for workers,” Green said. “I was happy to co-sponsor this resolution because of the importance of local small businesses to our state’s economy and comeback.”

The resolution was supported by the Michigan Retailers Association.

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