Sen. Dave Robertson comments on State of the State address

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LANSING—State Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township, offered the following statement Thursday on Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2014 State of the State address:

“Governor Snyder reminded us about how far we have come in three years and how much we still have yet to do to reach our goals.

“As he did in his first State of the State address in 2011, the governor charted a positive and bold course to continue the reinvention of Michigan. His blueprint for 2014 builds on the foundation of economic success made possible by substantial reforms that have balanced our budget, improved government efficiency and created more than 220,000 jobs.

“We should all be proud of the record of success achieved in just three years. In 2011, we faced a $1.5 billion budget deficit. We now have a $970 million surplus, $600 million in the rainy day fund and are paying our unfunded liabilities to save taxpayers more than $20 billion.

“Educating our children is critical for Michigan’s future, and I look forward to working with the governor to increase support for our schools. We have increased school aid funding by $665 per student over the last three years, and limited the amount of that support schools can use for retirement costs — ensuring increased funding is used to teach kids in the classroom.

“At its core, Michigan is about great people. That is why I was proud to lead the effort last year to give all Michigan consumers a tax break when buying a new or used vehicle, boat or RV, and it’s why I will fight this year to use part of our surplus revenue to give tax relief to all taxpayers.

“We’ve accomplished much to turn around our state and our economy, but there is much more work to be done. I join Governor Snyder and my colleagues in renewing our commitment to moving Michigan forward on a positive path that delivers real results for real people.”

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Editor’s Note: Audio remarks will be available on the senator’s website at: www.SenatorDaveRobertson.com. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.
 

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Sen. Robertson available for comments following State of the State address

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Who:
State Sen. Dave Robertson, chairman of the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee.

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

When: 
After the address, which is scheduled to begin Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m.

Where:
House Appropriations Room
Third Floor
State Capitol
Lansing, MI
 
Briefing:
Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township, will be available following the State of the State address for comments on state issues mentioned by the governor in the address. 

Robertson is also available for phone interviews on Friday, Jan. 17.

Please call Robertson’s office at 1-517-373-1636 prior to 5 p.m. on Jan. 16 to schedule an interview time with the senator.

Audio remarks will be available for broadcast on the senator’s website at: www.SenatorDaveRobertson.com. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.

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Sen. Robertson, MDOT announce $4.9M in road repair projects

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LANSING—Sen. Dave Robertson and Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) officials announced on Thursday nearly $4.9 million in road repair projects in Oakland and Genesee counties.

“These road projects are great news for Southeast Michigan families and all Michigan drivers who deserve safe and solid roads and bridges,” said Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township. “While the safety of drivers and their passengers is the most important reason for improving our roads, it is also about supporting local businesses and attracting new job providers.

“Quality transportation infrastructure that is vital to completing in the global economy increasingly dependent on the efficient transportation of goods. So this is really about improving driver safety and the local economy all at the same time.”

The transportation projects are being funded by grants from MDOT through the $115 million state Roads and Risk Reserve Fund. Robertson said the four projects (one entirely in the 26th District and three shared with neighboring districts) are a total investment of $4,875,000.

“I am proud that we are able to make this important investment by maximizing our existing resources,” Robertson said. “Funding these projects is a result of hard work during the last three years to improve state efficiency and ensure we use taxpayer dollars wisely and effectively.”

The projects in the 26th District include:
• $650,000 to rehabilitate the Bristol Road bridge over Kearsley Creek;
• $725,000 to rehabilitate the Atlas Road bridge over Kearsley Creek;
• $3 million for repairs on M-59 from Elizabeth Lake Road to State Street; and
• $500,000 for work on Holcomb Road from Davisburg to Miller.

“I want to thank everyone who helped make possible this much-needed investment in our community,” Robertson said. “I look forward to seeing them completed and will remain focused on ensuring we continue addressing our road safety and infrastructure needs.”

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Sen. Robertson welcomes local pastor to Capitol

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LANSING—State Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township, (right) welcomed the Rev. Ernesto Alaniz to the Capitol on Wednesday. Alaniz serves as associate pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Waterford and gave the invocation before the start of Senate session.

Note: Click the image for a print-quality photo.

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Local student job shadows Sen. Robertson at Capitol

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LANSING—State Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township, welcomed Amber DeJohn (left) to the Capitol on Tuesday. DeJohn is a senior at Davison High School and was in Lansing to job shadow the senator.

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Editor’s note: A print-quality photo is available by visiting the senator’s website at:  www.SenatorDaveRobertson.com. Click “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

 

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Robertson tax relief bill signed into law

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LANSING—Legislation to help spur vehicle and watercraft sales by reducing the cost of purchasing a new or used car, RV or boat in Michigan, is now law, said sponsor state Sen. Dave Robertson.

“This is a win for hardworking taxpayers across Michigan as well as the business community,” said Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township. “Cars, boats are RVs are major purchases, and these reforms will help consumers save money when they buy a car or boat in Michigan and enable our local Michigan dealers to better compete with out-of-state sellers.”

When an individual today buys a new or used automobile or watercraft in Michigan, the state’s 6 percent sales tax is applied to the full sales price, even if the sale included a trade-in. 

“Michigan is currently one of only six states – and the only Great Lakes state – that taxes the value of trade-ins,” Robertson said. “This unfair policy puts in-state businesses at a serious competitive disadvantage and costs Michigan consumers more in extra taxes. It is a clear example of how bad tax laws can negatively impact both job providers and consumers.

“I would like to thank Governor Snyder for his leadership on this issue, there were times I thought this day might never come but now that it has the years of hard work were more than worth it. I can’t wait to watch the positive impact this will have on Michigan.”

Under Robertson’s measure, Public Act 160 of 2013, the sales tax would be applied only to the difference between the price of a new or used car, boat or recreational vehicle and the value of a trade-in.

Full trade-in value would be applied to boat sales. The trade-in value for cars and RVs would initially be limited to $2,000 and would increase by $500 in 2015 and each year after that.

An example of the reform’s impact, once fully implemented, is that if a car valued at $5,000 is traded in and the owner applies the trade-in value toward the purchase of a $25,000 car, the sales tax would only be applied to the $20,000 difference.

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Sen. Robertson tax relief bill signed into law

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LANSING— Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township, joins Gov. Rick Snyder as the governor signed his bill, now Public Act 160 of 2013, to ensure that the state’s sales tax is only applied to the difference between the price of a new or used car, boat or RV and the value of a trade-in.

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Editor’s note: A print-quality photo is available by visiting the senator’s website at:  www.SenatorDaveRobertson.com. Click “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

 

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Robertson tax relief bill sent to governor

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LANSING—Legislation is heading to the governor to help spur vehicle and watercraft sales by reducing the cost of purchasing a new or used car, RV or boat in Michigan, said sponsor state Sen. Dave Robertson.

“This is a win for the Average Joe and a win for local job providers,” said Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township. “These reforms will help consumers save money when they buy a car or boat in Michigan and enable our local Michigan dealers to better compete with out-of-state sellers.”

When an individual today buys a new or used automobile or watercraft in Michigan, the state’s 6 percent sales tax is applied to the full sales price, even if the sale included a trade-in. 

“Michigan is currently one of only six states – and the only Great Lakes state – that taxes the value of trade-ins,” Robertson said. “This unfair policy puts in-state businesses at a serious competitive disadvantage and costs Michigan consumers more in extra taxes. It is a clear example of how bad tax laws can negatively impact both job providers and consumers.

“My reform is the result of years of hard work to agree on a responsible solution that will help boost our economy and reduce the tax burden on Michigan consumers, and I look forward to seeing the governor sign this tax relief into law.”

Under Robertson’s measure, Senate Bill 89, the sales tax would be applied only to the difference between the price of a new or used car, boat or recreational vehicle and the value of a trade-in.

Full trade-in value would be applied to boat sales. The trade-in value for cars and RVs would initially be limited to $2,000 and would increase by $500 in 2015 and each year after that.

An example of the reform’s impact, once fully implemented, is that if a car valued at $5,000 is traded in and the owner applies the trade-in value toward the purchase of a $25,000 car, the sales tax would only be applied to the $20,000 difference.

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Editor’s Note – Video comments WILL BE AVAILABLE LATER on the senator’s webpage at www.SenatorDaveRobertson.com. Click on “Video” under the Media Center tab.

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Sen. Robertson hosting office hours on Oct. 11

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LANSING—State Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township, announced today that he will hold office hours in the district on Friday, Oct. 11.

The senator will be available to meet with constituents at the following locations and times:

9 to 10 a.m.
Waterford Township Municipal Building
Second floor conference room
5200 Civic Center Drive
Waterford Township

11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Brandon Township Library
304 South Street
Ortonville

1 to 2 p.m.
City of Davison Municipal Building
Downstairs conference room
200 E. Flint Street #2 
Davison

3 to 4 p.m. 
City of Clio Municipal Building
505 W. Vienna Street
Clio

“I hope residents of the 26th Senate District take this opportunity to come by and share their thoughts and concerns,” Robertson said. “I encourage everyone to stop in, as no appointment is needed.”

For more information, contact Robertson’s office toll-free at 1-866-305-2126.

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Sen. Robertson and Rep. Graves welcome Goodrich basketball team to Capitol

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LANSING—Sen. Dave Robertson and Rep. Joe Graves honored the Goodrich High School girls basketball team with a tribute on the Senate floor on Thursday. The Lady Martians won the 2013 Class B high school state championship in March.

“It was an honor to have the Lady Martians join us today,” said Graves, R-Argentina Township. “I would like to congratulate them on all of their hard work and hope that they will serve as an example to young athletes everywhere.”

This is the second consecutive year the Lady Martians won the state title in girls basketball.

“For most athletes, winning one championship is a dream come true. I can only imagine what it feels like to win two titles — back-to-back,” said Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township. “It was truly an honor to have the team join us in Lansing today, and I hope they make it back here many more times.”

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Editor’s Note: A print-quality photograph is available by visiting Sen. Robertson’s website at: www.SenatorDaveRobertson.com. Click on the Photowire tab.
 

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Personal property tax bills signed into law

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Personal property tax bills signed into law

LANSING—State Sen. Dave Robertson joined Gov. Rick Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley on Thursday for a ceremonial signing of a section of the personal property tax reform legislation.

Robertson was a sponsor of Senate Bills 1066 and 1068, now Publics Acts 398 and 400 of 2012.

“In the past, if a manufacturer wanted to make a critically important investment in Michigan that would build the economy and provide jobs, we don't send them a thank you card we send them a tax bill,” said Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township. “By passing this legislation, we have moved Michigan toward a more competitive future.”
 

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Legislation aimed at cracking down on impaired driving signed by governor

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Legislation aimed at cracking down on impaired driving signed by governor

LANSING— State Sen. Dave Robertson joined Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday for a ceremonial signing of Senate Bill 353 sponsored by Robertson

SB 353, now Public Act 543 of 2012, changes the definition of a controlled substance when driving.

Currently, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or a combination of the two. Robertson’s legislation addresses situations in which people are operating a vehicle under the influence of a “substance”, but that substance is not listed as a controlled substance.

For example, a police officer reported a situation in which an individual was evidently caught huffing computer duster from a can while operating a vehicle, which then caused damage to parked cars and could have caused injuries. The officer noted in the report that if the suspect's blood work had come back negative for alcohol or controlled substances, the police would only have been able to charge the person with a local ordinance violation.

“Hopefully, by this legislation being signed into law, a loophole has been closed and our streets and roads will be safer,” said Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township. “If someone is under the influence they should not be on the road, and law enforcement must have the proper tools in place to get them off the roads.”
 

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State Sen. Dave Robertson comments on the 2013 State of the State address

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State Sen. Dave Robertson comments on State of the State address

LANSING—State Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township, offered the following statement Thursday on Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address:

“Governor Snyder touched on a number of issues, but the overall tone of the speech was clear–progress has been made but there is much more work to be done.

“Just over two years ago, Governor Snyder delivered his first State of the State address. In that speech, the governor charted a bold course to reinvent Michigan.  That same message resonated again tonight.  
“When the Senate took office in January of 2011, the state was facing a $1.5 billion budget deficit. Now, in January of 2013, the state budget is balanced and there is more than $500 million in the state’s rainy day fund. That’s a $2 billion turnaround in just under two years.

“The foundation for our economic success was laid in 2011 with substantial reforms putting the building blocks in place to create a diversified and healthy state economy. We are not there yet but we are moving forward. Michigan was knocked down but we are building our way back to recover the jobs lost over the last decade.

“In just two short years the Legislature has reduced unfunded liabilities by $21 billion, created one of the fairest tax structures in the nation and eliminated one rule for every ten that were created. In total, more than 1,000 outdated and cumbersome rules were rescinded.

“The proof that these steps the Legislature has taken are working can be seen across the state. Unemployment is down, home sales have increased by 11 percent, and for the first time since 2004, Michigan’s population is growing.

“I want to reiterate that while progress has been made there is still much more work to be done. I look forward to working with Governor Snyder and the House to pass laws that will encourage economic opportunity and deliver real results for real people.”

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Robertson welcomes Grand Blanc Olympian Geena Gall to Capitol

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Robertson welcomes Grand Blanc Olympian Geena Gall to Capitol

LANSING— State Sen. Dave Robertson presented Grand Blanc Resident and Olympic athlete  Geena Gall with a tribute on Tuesday. 

Gall competed in women’s track and field at the 2012 Olympics in London. She earned a spot on Team USA after posting a personal best time at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials in June.

In London, Gall qualified for the semifinals of the women’s 800-meter race. Unfortunately, the Michigan athlete suffered an injury during the semifinal race and was unable to compete in further rounds.

“This was the second Olympian that I have had the honor of presenting with a tribute this year,” said Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township. “Olympic athletes train year round for an opportunity to represent their country on one of the largest stages in the world. I hope Geena knows how proud we are of her, and I look forward to watching her compete in the future.”

 

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*** Community News Bulletin *** Robertson to host local office hours

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*** Community News Bulletin ***
Robertson to host local office hours

LANSING—State Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township, announced his September office hours on Thursday.

The senator will be available to meet with constituents at the following locations on Friday, Sept. 14:

9 to 10 a.m.
Big Boy
5834 Highland Road.
Waterford, MI
NOTE: With Oakland County Commissioner Jim Runestad

11 a.m to 12 p.m.
Davison Township Municipal Building
1280 N. Irish Road.
Davison, MI

1 to 2 p.m. 
City of Clio Municipal Building
505 W. Vienna St.
Clio, MI

“I hope residents of the 26th Senate District take this opportunity to come by and share their thoughts and concerns,” Robertson said. “I encourage everyone to stop in, as no appointment is needed.”

For more information, contact Robertson’s office toll free at 1-866-305-2126

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** PHOTO ADVISORY**Sen. Robertson welcomes Olympic gold medalist to Capitol

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**Photo Advisory**
Sen. Robertson welcomes Olympic gold medalist to Capitol

 

LANSING— State Sen.Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township, recognized Claressa Shields with a tribute on the Senate floor on Wednesday.  Shields, a Flint resident, became the first female and only American women to ever win a gold medal in boxing at the Olympic Games. She won the Olympic middleweight title by defeating Russian boxer Nadezda Torlopova 19–12 in London.

“As an avid boxing fan, I was very excited when I found out that Claressa was going to be joining us,” said Robertson. “Meeting an Olympic gold medalist is something that not many people get to do. However, to meet the first female to ever bring home a gold medal in one of my favorite sports was truly inspirational. I commend Claressa for all of her hard work.  I doubt she will ever know the impact she has had on the sport of boxing and the inspiration she has given to female athletes everywhere.”

 

 

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Additional crews working to help restore power

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LANSING — To help restore power to the approximately 46,850 electric customers without service after thunderstorms hit the state Thursday, additional electric line crews of more than 50 men and women will be arriving in Michigan Friday to assist Consumers Energy.

The crews from the utility company Ameren Missouri will be working with Consumers Energy to help restore power to the hardest hit areas, including Flint and greater Genesee County.

“I’m glad to see Consumers Energy doing everything possible to help get residents without power across Genesee and Oakland counties service again,” said state Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township.

According to Consumers Energy, more than 450 Consumers Energy electric line workers and contractors, including crews from Indiana, are currently working in several parts of central and eastern Michigan to restore power as safely and quickly as possible.

Additionally, Consumers Energy has more than 1,000 employees dedicated full-time to the power restoration activity, including those assessing system damage, guarding downed wires and customer call center representatives.

As of 11 a.m., Consumers Energy reported approximately 21,089 electric customers remaining without service in Genesee County and about 538 customers without power in Oakland County.

Consumers Energy says that customers in Genesee County may not receive electric service until Saturday or Sunday.

“Those without power should take advantage of the free cooling centers set up across Michigan,” Robertson said. “This is a great way to stay cool until your power is on again.”

You can find cooling centers listed at www.consumersenergy.comor by calling 2-1-1 locally.

“I strongly remind people not to touch downed power lines,” Robertson said. “If you come across a downed line, instead call Consumers Energy at 1-800-477-5050 or your local police department.”

Consumers Energy encourages customers calling to report no power to use the utility’s automated reporting option, available at 1-800-477-5050.

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Election finance reforms signed into law

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LANSING — Michigan has new laws on the books to help increase accountability in Michigan’s elections since a package of bills was recently signed into law, said Sen. Dave Robertson, primary sponsor of the package.

“Our country was founded on democratic principles, and these new laws will help protect the sanctity of our elections process,” said Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township. “I’m glad to see these bills become law.”

The new laws will:

  • Streamline the voter registration process;
  • Increase penalties for inaccurate or missing campaign finance statements;
  • Ensure proper handling of election materials;
  • Require the secretary of state to post the most recent ballot petition language online; and
  • Establish a misdemeanor if an individual solicits or receives compensation to support or oppose a candidate, political committee or political party.

“These new laws will help close the loopholes that previously existed in state law,” said Robertson, chair of the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee. “We can all cast our ballots this coming November with more assurance that our elections are fair and democratic. I’m proud to have sponsored four of these important measures.”

Senate Bills 751, 752, 753, 823, 824 and 825 are now Public Acts 270, 272, 274, 276, 277 and 278 of 2012 respectively.

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Election reform package bound for governor’s desk

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Election reform package bound for governor’s desk

LANSING—Legislation that will increase accountability in Michigan’s elections was approved by the Michigan Senate on Wednesday, said Dave Robertson, chairman of the Local Government and Elections Committee.

“This package preserves the integrity of the elections process to ensure that every vote counts and is only counted once,” said Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township. “It increases accountability by requiring candidates to file accurate and timely reports or risk more servere consequences.”

Robertson is the primary sponsor of four bills in the nine bill package and a co-sponsor of the rest of the bills. The legation includes measures that will:

• Increase penalties for inaccurate or missing campaign finance statements;
• Crack down on voter registration fraud by adding identification requirements and training for third-party registration groups;
• Require a voter to indicate that he is a U.S. citizen prior to voting in person or by absentee ballot;
• Prevent non-citizens who have been inadvertently added to voter rolls from accidently voting and getting into legal trouble;
• Require the secretary of state to post the most recent ballot petition language online; and
• Create a misdemeanor if an individual solicits or receives compensation to support or oppose a candidate, political committee or political party.

“Unfortunately, there is a potential for fraud in elections,” Robertson said. “However, this legislation addresses a number of loopholes in our current system that need to be closed. It will discourage political tricks and increase penalties for those who try to skirt the law. I look forward to these bills becoming law.”

Senate Bills 750-754, 803 and 823-825 now head to the governor to be signed into law.

 

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Robertson measure increases parental power

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Robertson measure increases parental power

Lansing— The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved legislation that would empower parents to turn a failing public school into a conversion school, said sponsor state Sen. Dave Robertson.

Senate Bill 620 would allow parents as well as public school teachers to convert a public school that has been placed on the Persistently Low Achieving list, which are the lowest achieving 5 percent of schools as determined by the state Department of Education.

Under the measure, parents and/or parents and teachers petition the school board to convert a school. Specifically, signatures from 60 percent of parents or 51 percent of parents and 60 percent of teachers at the school in question are required to petition the board.

More than 66,400 students statewide are enrolled in one of the 92 low performing schools as identified by a formula that includes proficiency rates in math and reading and graduation rates for high schools. Detroit Public Schools had the most schools on the list with 38.

“I always ask myself two questions: whose kids are they and whose tax dollars are they?  The answer is the parents,” said Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township. This legislation gives parents the opportunity to take control of their children's education and insist on what is best for their student.”

Senate Bill 620 now advances to the House of Representatives for further consideration

 

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