Brandenburg awarded for championing small business

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LANSING, Mich.—The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has announced that Sen. Jack Brandenburg has received their “Guardian of Small Business” award for his perfect voting records on small-business issues.

“I’m honored that such an esteemed organization such as NFIB has recognized my record of voting in favor of the backbone of Michigan’s economy – small businesses,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “I take many things into consideration when casting my vote for the people of the 11th District, but the well-being of small business owners is one of the most paramount.”

Session Small Business Voting Record grades lawmakers on a scale of 0 to 100 percent, with 100 percent being a perfect small-business score. A score below 70 percent is considered failing. The voting record is based on a series of votes on issues deemed important to small businesses.

“Although the voting record does not reflect all elements considered by a lawmaker when voting, it is an important guide to evaluating their attitude toward small business,” said NFIB State Director Charles Owens.

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Brandenburg: Urban Outfitters’ Kent State sweater a deplorable stunt

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For Immediate Release    
Sept. 15, 2014   

Contact: Dan Papineau  
Toll-free 1-866-229-4211

LANSING, Mich.— Urban Outfitters, a clothing corporation headquartered in Philadelphia, has gone way too far with a mock-blood-stained sweatshirt that reads “Kent State University.”

This tasteless garment is a clear reference to the 1970 killing of four students protesting the Vietnam War by the Ohio National Guard at the Ohio school.

“It is my understanding that Urban Outfitters is selling a Kent State sweatshirt for $129 which features splattered blood on it to exploit the tragedy that happened at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. This is absolutely outrageous,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “Students were killed unnecessarily that day because of a culmination of events that should have never happened.

“Being born and raised 25 miles from Kent State, I am absolutely astounded that a store like Urban Outfitters would pull such a stunt. I would like to call for a boycott of Urban Outfitters until this shirt is removed from their line. The management of Urban Outfitters should be thoroughly ashamed and embarrassed.”

While protesting the Vietnam War in 1970, four students were gunned down by Ohio National Guard troops after 67 shots were fired in 13 seconds.

 

 

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Legislature approves petition for federal balanced budget amendment

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For Immediate Release    
March 27, 2014   

Contact: Dan Papineau  
Toll-free 1-866-229-4211

LANSING, Mich.— The Michigan Legislature on Wednesday approved a petition for a federal balanced budget amendment.

Senate Joint Resolution V petitions Congress to call a convention of the states for the limited purpose of proposing a balanced budget amendment (BBA) to the United States Constitution. The BBA would require an annual federal budget in which spending does not exceed revenues.

“Michiganders tighten their purse-strings when money is tight,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “Why should government be any different?

“Balancing one’s checkbook is one of the most basic duties of Michigan families in order to rein in spending and avoid debt. The federal government needs to do the same.”

As a joint resolution, the petition does not require Gov. Snyder’s signature. However, the governor urged its passage during his most recent State of the State Address. 

“If we balance our budget at home, we balance our budget at work, why can’t the federal government balance theirs?” Snyder stated, followed by enthusiastic cheers and applause.

Twenty-two other states have already approved the resolution. Once adopted by 15 more, it becomes binding on Congress to issue the call. Any BBA amendment proposed by the convention would still have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states before taking effect.

 

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Brandenburg announces new Senate committee

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For Immediate Release    
Nov. 7, 2013   

Contact: Dan Papineau  
Toll-free 1-866-229-4211

LANSING, Mich.—Sen. Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, along with Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive; Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton; and Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor announced Thursday a new Senate committee. They were joined by teachers from across Michigan and other interested parties.

In an effort to examine the implementation and application of laws passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, the Michigan Senate Compliance and Accountability Committee has been created. This committee will also focus on instances in which the rights of individuals are being affected due to laws being violated or potentially misinterpreted.

Brandenburg offered the following statement regarding the new committee:

“Legislation passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Snyder gives Michigan’s workers the choice to join a union or not; membership cannot be a condition of employment. Provisions were made at the time for pre-existing contracts that contained union security clauses.

“In addition, the legislation also granted employees the right to opt out of union membership. Not granting these rights to any employee would be a direct violation of Michigan law.

“Recently, a group of at least seven teachers from different areas of the state who have encountered intimidation when they exercised their right to opt out of their Michigan Education Association membership have come forward. It has been alleged that this group of teachers was told they could not leave the union because it was not during the ‘August window.’

“The August window has previously been used as a ploy to limit the ability of their members to opt out of their union except during the month of August. Impeding them from leaving the union, as they are not bound by a union security clause, was a violation of the Freedom to Work Act. Intimidation, threats and strong-arming tactics by groups including, but not limited to, the MEA will not be tolerated. It is our job as legislators to make certain our laws are being enforced and a duty to ensure the rights of citizens are not being infringed.

“The hard-working residents of Michigan deserve the right to perform their job without such threats or intimidation tactics to force them to become, or remain, members of a union.”

 

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Senate approves legislation to curb Bridge Card abuse

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For Immediate Release    
Oct. 22, 2013   

Contact: Dan Papineau  
Toll-free 1-866-229-4211

LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved a package of legislation aimed at curbing Bridge Card abuse in Michigan.

Senate Bills 434-436 and 554-556, sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, prevent any ATM located in a casino, liquor store or strip club from dispensing cash from a Bridge Card.

The six-bill package will also prohibit cash withdrawals at horse racing tracks and place a provision on a liquor store’s license to prohibit the use of a Bridge Card at the point of sale. Under this change a liquor license would be revoked if a liquor store does not comply with the policy. Bridge Cards will still be accepted at grocery stores.

“These much-needed reforms will go a long way in protecting Michigan taxpayers,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “Bridge Cards should be temporary and should only be used to buy basic necessities.”

The federal government is tying future Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds to improved oversight of how Bridge Cards are used. As much as $40 million in federal funds are in jeopardy if reforms are not passed to curtail Bridge Card abuse.

The bill package now moves to the Michigan House for further consideration.

 

 

 

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Brandenburg named ‘Legislator of the Year’

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LANSING? State Sen. Jack Brandenburg on Tuesday received the Michigan Manufacturers Association “Legislator of the Year” award.

“I accept this award with sincere gratitude toward Michigan’s manufacturing industry, the true backbone of our state’s economy,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “Michigan is home to some of the hardest working people in the world, and I am proud of the rebound the industry has experienced in recent years.”

Brandenburg, chair of Senate Finance Committee, put jobs at the top of his list and is now being honored for his accomplishments and hard work on this issue that plagued Michigan for far too long.

“Michigan is in the midst of a comeback. Unemployment is down from a 15 percent high to 8percent, the lowest it’s been since 2008 and it continues to fall,” said Brandenburg-Harrison Township. The Wall Street Journal reported that Michigan’s comeback is stronger than any other state in the nation and the state ranked fourth in the nation for corporate expansions in 2012.

“Jobs and getting people back to work remain my top priority. However, there is still much work to be done. This award has only made me want to work harder for the people of Michigan.”

“Senator Jack Brandenburg achieved what many thought was an impossible task, moving personal property tax legislation from Committee to the Senate in just three weeks,” said MMA President & CEO Chuck Hadden. “Senator Brandenburg is a great champion for the state of Michigan and each and every manufacturer who resides here. We are tremendously thankful for his great leadership and proud to award him the 2012 MMA Manufacturing Legislator of the Year.”

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Brandenburg, LaFontaine sponsor legislation to increase dredging loans

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Brandenburg, LaFontaine sponsor legislation to increase dredging loans

LANSING­­ Legislation that would create a partnership between marina owners, private lenders and the state to assist in emergency dredging was introduced in the Michigan Senate on Thursday, said sponsor Sen. Jack Brandenburg.

Senate Bill 252 would create a loan program that would enable marinas to pay a low interest rate on loans for emergency dredging projects.

“Our waterways are not only beautiful, they are also a vital part of our economy, which is why this measure is necessary,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township.

State Rep. Andrea LaFontaine introduced companion legislation House Bill 4410,  in the state House.

“Poorly maintained waterways are affecting commerce and tourism in cities across our state,” said LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township. “The legislation will help job providers make the necessary improvements in a cost-effective way to ensure all Michigan residents and tourists can enjoy the Great Lakes this summer.”

Both Brandenburg and LaFontaine agree that the revenue generated by boating is far too important to the state’s economy for action not be taken on dredging.

In 2012, there were 922,856 registered recreational boats in Michigan. This ranks Michigan 3rd in the nation behind Florida and Minnesota.

According to a 2007 study by Michigan State University, boating has a $3.9 million impact and represents 52,000 jobs.  A similar study done by MSU in 2010 found that the direct economic impact on a local economy of a single marina with 455 slips is: 38 jobs, $1 million in income and $1.6 million in value added to the economy.

Some highlights of the bill are:

·Lenders will take the credit risk, lending private dollars, and make the final decision on the loan amount up to the cap based on their risk exposure/tolerance;

·There will be a $500,000 cap on loans to individual marinas; and

·Loans will be for five years.

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Michigan recognized by Site Selection magazine

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Michigan recognized by Site Selection magazine

LANSING—Site Selection magazine has named Michigan the No. 4 state for major new corporate facilities and expansions in 2012, said state Sen. Jack Brandenburg.

“This is just one of the many accolades that Michigan has received over the last two years,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “More and more companies are choosing to call Michigan home, which is proof that bold reforms that were put in place are working and helping to move our state forward.”

Site Selection,
a global business publication, verified 337 projects in Michigan that met capital investment, job-creation or size standards as part of its annual Governor’s Cup ranking. This year, Michigan finished behind first-place Texas, second-place Ohio and third-place Pennsylvania. Rounding out the top 10 were Illinois, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky.

Site Selection awards the Governor’s Cup each year to the governor of the state with the highest number of qualified capital investment projects the previous calendar year. The publication’s proprietary New Plant database is populated with private-sector projects that meet one or more of these criteria: an investment of at least $1 million, creation of 50 or more new jobs or construction of new space of at least 20,000 square feet.

A few examples of new corporate projects located in Michigan are MAHLE (Farmington Hills), Brose (New Boston, Auburn Hills and Warren), Dart Container’s headquarters expansion (Mason) and Hark Orchids’ new propagation facility (Kalamazoo), the company’s first global expansion outside of Germany.

“Businesses around the world are recognizing that Michigan is open for business,” Brandenburg said. “I look forward to continued prosperity as our economic climate continues to improve.”

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Brandenburg thrilled with Supreme Court appointment

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Brandenburg thrilled with Supreme Court appointment

LANSING— Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday announced the appointment of Judge David Viviano of Sterling Heights to the Michigan Supreme Court.

“The governor really hit this one out of the park.  A home run pick,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township.

Viviano was elected to the Macomb County Circuit Court in 2006 and currently serves as the court’s chief judge.  Prior to serving on the Circuit Court, he was in private practice at various firms.

“I have known Judge Viviano for some time now, and I have no doubt he is the right man for the job,” Brandenburg said. “He has a distinguished record of judicial integrity. He is unbiased and dedicated to the law and I am certain he will make an outstanding justice for years to come. 

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***PHOTO ADVISORY*** Brandenburg supports bills to maintain Michigan’s waterways

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***PHOTO ADVISORY***
Brandenburg supports bills to maintain Michigan’s waterways

LANSING—Sen. Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, and Seante colleagues announced at a press conference on Tuesday that the Senate will begin to work to ensure that Michigan’s ports and waterways will be consistently and properly maintained in order to protect both natural resources and economic activity.

“Currently, we are facing historically low water levels and a lack of dredging in Michigan harbors by the federal government,” Brandenburg said. “This is impacting the health of our waterways as well as our economy. Currently, the Senate is working on a plan of action to address short- and long-term solutions to the problems facing our waterways.”

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Brandenburg: Michigan’s waterways are a priority

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Brandenburg: Michigan’s waterways are a priority

LANSING— Sen Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, announced Tuesday that Michigan’s ports and waterways must be consistently and properly maintained in order to protect both natural resources and economic activity.

Brandenburg and several other senators addressed the problems facing Michigan’s waterways this morning at a press conference at the Capitol.

The problems facing our waterways needs to be addressed immediately and a long-term plan to maintain them needs to be developed,” Brandenburg said. “A dredging plan is being developed that will allow Michigan harbors, ports and waterways to be accessible and sustainable for commercials as well as recreational use.”

Brandenburg that funding options to full meet this need and changes to state law are necessary to address this issue.

“There are multiple ways to address this issue,” Brandenburg said “I look forward to studying the various proposals and hearing what experts have to say on this important matter.”

 

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Brandenburg named to Infrastructure Modernization Committee

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Brandenburg named to Infrastructure Modernization Committee

LANSING— State Sen. Jack Brandenburg has been named to a new standing committee that will address Gov. Snyder’s road funding proposal.

“It is clear that roads in Michigan need to be improved,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “What is not yet clear is how the problem should be addressed. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to consider many different solutions to this complicated problem.”

The nine transportation funding bills that have been referred to the Appropriations Committee will be re-referred to the Infrastructure Modernization Committee.

“Everyone on this committee has different skill sets and experience to bring to the table,” Brandenburg said. “It will be hard work; there are many concerns which need to be addressed and questions that need to be answered. However, I look forward to taking on this important issue.” 

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Brandenburg and Hansen to lead Legislative Waterways Caucus

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Brandenburg and Hansen to lead Legislative Waterways Caucus

LANSING―State Sens. Goeff Hansen and Jack Brandenburg announced today that they will co-chair the new Legislative Waterways Caucus, a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers who have agreed to work together to address issues of importance to the Great Lakes.

Hansen, R-Hart, said the caucus will be a forum for a variety of Great Lakes concerns, such as invasive species, Asian carp, low lake levels, tourism and recreation.

“As co-chair of the Legislative Waterways Caucus, I look forward to working with my colleagues on issues affecting our most treasured natural jewel,” Hansen said. “Michigan has an abundance of natural resources, and our waterways are a key part of the lifestyle, tourism industry and local economy of many Great Lakes coastal communities.”

Hansen said the caucus is ready to tackle the many challenges facing the Great Lakes and Michigan’s inland rivers and streams, and they look forward to working with colleagues from both parties and both chambers to help preserve Michigan’s waterways for generations.

Ultimate success will also require the cooperation of the administration, he said.

“I applaud the governor for his most recent commitment to working with us to devise a long-term, state-based solution on the issue of harbor dredging. He will be an important ally in our efforts,” Hansen said. “I am confident this caucus will find solutions to the dredging problem.”

Co-chair Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, said he is eager to get started.

“There are glaring problems with Michigan’s waterways, and I am excited to start working toward solutions and tackling some of these issues,” Brandenburg said.

State Reps. Al Pscholka and Charles Brunner are the caucus co-chairs in the House. 

“This caucus will address critical issues facing Michigan’s waterways from dredging in recreational harbors to promoting boating and tourism opportunities in our state,” said Pscholka, R-Stevensville. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and across the aisle to discuss these issues in a bipartisan fashion to promote Michigan’s waterways.”

 

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Brandenburg on board with changes to tax code

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Brandenburg on board with changes to tax code

LANSING–Legislation that would boost industry while lessening the tax burden on Michigan residents was approved by the Senate Finance Committee, said chairman state Sen. Jack Brandenburg.

“This is a tax break that everyone stands to benefit from,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “It will serve as a shot in the arm for two of our state’s major industries while lessening the tax burden on residents.”

Senate Bills 89 and 90 would amend the Sales and Use Tax Act to exclude taxation on trade-in values of used cars and boats when the trade-in value is being applied to a new or used car or boat. The package creates a ten-year phase-in for the program.

Starting June 1, 2013, only ten percent of the agreed upon value will be exempt; and this amount will increase by ten percent each year until 2022 when it reaches 100 percent. After that, the entire value of the trade-in may be exempt.

“Michigan is one of only six states and the only Great Lakes state that taxes trade-in values,” Brandenburg said. “This puts Michigan at a major competitive disadvantage. I want to make Michigan as competitive as possible.” 

SBs 89 and 90 now advance to the full Senate for consideration.

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**PHOTO ADVISORY**Personal Property Tax reform signed into law

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Personal Property Tax reform signed into law

 

LANSING— State Sen. Jack Brandenburg (right), R-Harrison Township joined Gov. Rick Snyder (seated) and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (third from left) on Thursday for the signing of the Personal Property Tax reform bills.

The new laws will encourage economic growth by reducing the Personal Property Tax burden on job providers.

“Michigan continues to make progress and send a message to the world that we are open for business,” Brandenburg said. “We are the nation’s comeback state, and I look forward to continue working to create an environment that encourages businesses to grow.”

Brandenburg was the sponsor of Senate Bill 1065 and a cosponsor of the rest of the package. 

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MEDIA REMINDER: Senators Rocca, Brandenburg to present special tribute to state champion Dakota High School volleyball team

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What:
Senators Tory Rocca and Jack Brandenburg will present a tribute to the Dakota High School volleyball team for winning the state volleyball championship.

Who:
* Senator Tory Rocca, R-Sterling Heights;
* Senator Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township;
* Dakota High School volleyball team and coaches; and
* Macomb County School Board.

When:
Monday, Dec. 17 at 6:30 p.m.

Where:
Chippewa Valley Schools Administration Building
19120 Cass Ave.
Clinton Township, MI

Brief:
In November, the Dakota High School volleyball team won its first Class A state championship over perennial volleyball powerhouse Temperance Bedford High. At the beginning of the Macomb County Board of Education meeting, Rocca and Brandenburg will present the team and coaches with a special tribute honoring their achievement.

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