**Photo Advisory** Sen. Nofs receives MIRS Senator of the Year award at Michigan Senate

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, received the Senator of the Year award for 2016 from the Michigan Information & Research Service Inc. (MIRS) on Tuesday in the Michigan Senate. Presenting Nofs with the award was John T. Reurink (left), publisher and co-owner of MIRS, and Kyle Melinn (right), news editor and co-owner of MIRS.

Nofs was announced as Senator of the Year in Dec. 2016. The recognition was based on Nofs’ work on energy policy, his efforts to improve pay rates for certified nursing assistants at the Grand Rapids Veterans Home and his work on legislation to implement an alert system when an active shooter is on the loose.

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**Photo Advisory** Sen. Nofs welcomes Pastor Smail to deliver invocation at Michigan Senate

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, welcomed Pastor Steve Smail (middle) and his wife Sharon to the Michigan Senate on Tuesday. Smail, pastor of the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Plainwell, delivered the invocation at the start of the Senate session.

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**Photo Advisory** Sen. Nofs welcomes guests to the state Capitol for State of the State address

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, welcomed Dr. Mauri Ditzler (left), president of Albion College, and Vince Pavone (right), a member of the Southwest Michigan First board and a Battle Creek business leader and community volunteer, to the Michigan Capitol before Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2017 State of the State address. Ditzler and Pavone were Nofs’ guest for the annual address Tuesday night.

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Sen. Nofs energy bill signed into law

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, chair of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee, on Wednesday watched as Gov. Rick Snyder signed the Michigan Comprehensive Energy Plan into law. Senate Bills 437 and 438, sponsored by Sen. Mike Nofs and Sen. John Proos, are now Public Acts 341 and 342 of 2016 respectively.

“The Michigan Comprehensive Energy Plan is the culmination of several years of work and establishes a strong foundation for Michigan’s next-generation energy policy,” Nofs said. “This plan is not about what’s best for a few companies, organizations, or individuals, it’s about what’s best for the entire state of Michigan.”

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Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of this and other Nofs photos, click the image or visit www.SenatorMikeNofs.com and click Photowire under the Media Center tab.

Photo caption: Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, attended the energy package bill signing with Gov. Rick Snyder on Dec. 21, 2016.

Sen. Nofs named Senator of the Year by MIRS

LANSING, Mich. State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, chair of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee, was named the Senator of the Year by Michigan Information & Research Service Inc. (MIRS) after his work on the energy reform passage that cleared the Legislature last week.

“It is an honor to be recognized for the hard work that many of us have put in over the past couple of years to update and modernize Michigan’s energy policy,” Nofs said. “Working together with a broad coalition of folks, we were able to get a major policy update implemented. This goes to show that we can achieve big things with a lot of hard work and determination.”

Nofs was announced as Senator of the Year during the MIRS Monday podcast on Dec. 19. In addition to Nofs’ work on energy policy, MIRS cited his efforts to improve pay rates for certified nursing assistants at the Grand Rapids Veterans Home and his work on legislation to implement an alert system when an active shooter is on the loose as reasons for being named Senator of the Year.

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Senators Nofs and Proos praise energy plan passage

LANSING, Mich. State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, chair of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee, and Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, vice chair of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee, on Thursday praised the Legislature for passage of the Michigan Comprehensive Energy Plan.

The legislation has been in the works for more than two years and updates key provisions of the state’s current energy laws.

“I would like to thank everyone for their hard work to protect Michigan ratepayers, support jobs for hardworking Michigan families and ensure clean, safe and reliable electricity into the future,” Nofs said. “This package establishes a strong foundation for Michigan’s next-generation energy policy.

“This legislation is the culmination of several years of work. This package is not about what’s best for a few companies, organizations, or individuals, it’s about what’s best for the entire state of Michigan.”

Nofs said the plan puts Michigan consumers first and will empower the state to determine which fuels are most cost-effective to meet current and future energy needs and goals.

“With this reform, all consumers in Michigan will have the assurance that the lights will turn on and that we will use a mix of the best and most affordable fuels,” Proos said. “Customers now will also be able to utilize technology, such as an iPod or iPhone, to control their thermostats, washers and dryers when energy is the cheapest through voluntary demand response programs. Not only will this package secure Michigan’s energy reliably but give customers control of their energy bills.

“I want to thank Senator Nofs for his leadership on putting together a fair and comprehensive plan that provides for fairness, adaptability, reliability and competitively priced clean energy.”

Senate Bills 437 and 438, sponsored by Sen. Mike Nofs and Proos, now head to the governor for his approval.

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Sen. Nofs praises energy plan passage

Nofs200x300LANSING, Mich. – State Sen. Mike Nofs, chair of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee, on Thursday praised the Michigan Senate for passage of the Michigan Comprehensive Energy Plan.

The two-bill package has been in the works for more than two years and updates key provisions of the state’s current energy laws.

“We have crafted a policy that balances a broad and often widely disparate range of interests and addresses the key elements that will serve our state well for many years to come,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “This package establishes a strong foundation for Michigan’s next-generation energy policy.”

Nofs sponsored Senate Bill 437 and noted that the key components of the bill include a new resource adequacy provision that helps ensure electric reliability and an enhanced Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) process. Under the IRP process, future utility investments would be evaluated based on a stricter set of criteria and competitive proposals to ensure greater reliability, adaptability and affordability.

“This legislation is not about what’s best for a few companies, organizations, or individuals — it’s about what’s best for the entire state of Michigan,” Nofs said.

Reducing energy waste would continue to be of paramount importance under the new bills. In addition to eliminating the current renewable and energy efficiency mandates, SB 438, sponsored by Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, includes important upgrades for distributed generation, net-metering, and on-bill financing, as well as a new, 30 percent combined renewable energy and energy waste reduction goal. The package also provides enhanced incentives for utilities that invest in energy waste reduction.

Key reforms in the plan require utility companies to competitively bid for new generation projects; require providers to follow strict rules to ensure they have enough energy to meet demand; incentivize energy waste reduction programs; empower customers utilizing electric choice; increase the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard to 15 percent by 2021; and create a statewide goal of 35 percent of resources derived from renewables or energy waste reduction

The bills now head to the House for consideration.

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***Media Advisory*** Senate committee to hold hearing on regional law enforcement efforts

 

Who: Members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State Police and Military and Veterans Affairs;

Matt Saxton, Calhoun County sheriff;

Lt. James Coleman, Michigan State Police post commander;

Jim Schwartz, director of public Safety, City of Marshall; and

Kelli Scott, Calhoun County administrator/controller

 

What: Committee meeting to discuss the success of the Marshall Regional Law Enforcement Center and the impact it has had on regional law enforcement efforts.

 

When: 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

 

Where: Marshall Regional Law Enforcement Center

714 Old US 27 North

Marshall, MI 49068

 

Briefing: The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State Police and Military and Veterans Affairs, chaired by Senator Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, will hold a hearing in Marshall to discuss the success of the Marshall Regional Law Enforcement Center and the impact it has had on regional law enforcement efforts.

“As a partner in this coordinated effort, I think it’s important for the state to review the impact of the decision we made to co-locate law enforcement services in this region and how it has affected the delivery of services to citizens as well as the operations of the affected agencies,” Nofs said.

The hearing will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 10 a.m. in the community room of the Marshall Regional Law Enforcement Center. The public is invited to attend the hearing.

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Nofs, Proos release committee findings on violent crime in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Mike Nofs and Sen. John Proos on Wednesday said that it is clear that state criminal justice efforts have had a significant impact on improving public safety by deterring crime and putting the worst violent criminals behind bars in Michigan, which still includes three of the top ten most dangerous cities in the nation.

“While the prison population has declined, we have seen a 10 percent increase in the number of murderers, rapists and other violent assault offenders behind bars,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The Secure Cities Partnership has been a key part of reducing violent crime in Flint and Saginaw by at least 40 percent — part of an overall drop in violent crime statewide.”

According to the Michigan State Police statistics last year in Michigan, 131,354 violent crimes were committed and 37 percent were solved. A decade ago, 175,125 crimes were committed and only 27 percent were solved. Violent crimes include murder, manslaughter, negligent homicide, kidnapping, abduction, sexual offenses, aggravated assault, non-aggravated assault, intimidation, stalking and human trafficking.

The lawmakers noted that the increase in solve rates of violent crimes likely accounts for the drop in violent crime across the state.

A recent joint hearing of the Senate Appropriations corrections and state police subcommittees highlighted the Secure Cities program, which was put in place in 2012 and is currently sustained at $4.5 million. The program supports law enforcement efforts in communities most affected by crime and will expand into more communities next year.

Michigan State Police Capt. Gene Kapp said that the Secure Cities Partnership is having a “dramatic effect” and that as troopers become more active in the communities, victims as well as witnesses are coming forward to report crimes and residents now feel comfortable to go out on the streets.

Between 2012 and 2015, Secure Cities has helped to drive down the rate of violent crime by 45.5 percent in Flint, 40 percent in Saginaw, 14.7 percent in Detroit and 8 percent in Pontiac. There are also nearly 10,000 fewer crimes in Detroit and all four cities saw property crimes cut by at least 22 percent.

The data also shows substantial drops in homicides in all four communities and a 3 percent increase in the number of murderers entering prison. Homicides fell by more than 20 percent in Detroit, more than half in Flint and Saginaw and more than 75 percent in Pontiac.

This year, 88 percent of homicides in Flint have been solved — up from a single-digit solve rate. The program has also allowed authorities in Flint to serve 27,000 outstanding arrest warrants, which has helped restore community confidence in law and order.

“Behind each stat is a real-life victim. This improvement means thousands of Michigan families did not have to endure the deep and often tragic cost of being a victim of crime. We have a moral obligation, through the parole board, to keep these offenders behind bars until they are safe to return to society,” Proos said. “Proactive law enforcement strategies like Secure Cities, smart criminal justice reforms, prison education and training programs can work together to help us achieve the goal of making our communities safer.”

The Senate passed a bipartisan package of 21 bills in June to reform and modernize Michigan’s criminal justice system, noting that as the crime rate drops and prisoners return to society with better outcomes, taxpayers would benefit with safer communities and increased savings.

“As crime drops, we should continually monitor and prioritize state spending in the areas of law enforcement and corrections, where we are seeing the greatest impact,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “It’s critical that we identify what we are doing right, determine what we can do better and direct our resources to where they can make the most difference to our safety as well as our pocketbooks — while, most importantly, keeping dangerous criminals behind bars.”

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Sens. Nofs, Proos announce joint hearing to assess violent crime in Michigan

Lawmakers focus on law and order, public safety

LANSING, Mich. Sen. John Proos and Sen. Mike Nofs, chairmen of the Senate Appropriations subcommittees on Corrections and State Police, respectively, announced on Monday that they will co-chair a subcommittee meeting on Wednesday to discuss a top priority for the state: public safety.

“Public safety is, and must continue to be, our number one priority,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “With 30 years of law enforcement experience and 20 years as an elected official, I know that in order for communities to flourish, citizens must feel safe where they live, work and play.”

The senators noted that Michigan has a substantial amount of criminal activity when compared to many other states. The state has the unfortunate distinction of having three of the top ten most dangerous cities in America (No. 3 Detroit, No. 7 Flint and No. 8 Saginaw) and seven in the top 100 (No. 39 Kalamazoo, No. 50 Lansing, No. 79 Jackson and No. 84 Battle Creek). As recently as 2013, Detroit was ranked as the number one most dangerous city in America.

Yet Michigan has recently seen a drop in the rates of violent crime. According to the Michigan State Police, there were 131,354 incidents of violent crime in Michigan in 2015 — down from 160,863 in 2007.

“Our law enforcement professionals are being asked to take on the enormous task of keeping our communities safe all across Michigan,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I believe that a continued focus on smart criminal justice strategies and reforms will achieve the goal of making our communities safer and easing the burden we place on law enforcement across our state, while at the same time continuing the trend of decreasing prison populations.”

Proos, Nofs and many of their Senate colleagues passed a bipartisan package of 21 bills in June. The bills would reform and modernize Michigan’s criminal justice system, seek verifiable programming for prisoner reentry into society and keep Michigan residents safe. The senators noted that as the crime rate drops and prisoners return to society with better outcomes, taxpayers would benefit with safer communities.

The bill package includes the Parole Sanction Certainty program, an intensive supervision program that includes close monitoring and frequent random drug and alcohol testing in order to improve parolee success by promptly imposing graduated sanctions, including small amounts of jail time, for violations; expansion of specialty courts like those tailored to mental health, veterans and substance abuse needs; embracing innovative probation and parole programs that arise from first-hand experience at the county level; and more.

The hearing will also highlight the Secure Cities program, put in place in 2012 and currently sustained at $4.5 million, which supports law enforcement efforts in communities most effected by crime. Since its introduction, 180 new troopers are providing communities with enhanced law enforcement patrols, investigations and policing.

Other programs included in next year’s budget, which was approved this spring, include $27 million allocated for the Detroit Reentry Center, more than $1 million devoted to increasing mental health programming and $1.4 million directed toward the Goodwill ‘Flip-the-Script Program,’ an outcome-based life-transformational mentoring and job-training program based in Detroit.

The hearing will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 12:30 p.m. in the Senate Hearing Room, located in the Boji Tower, Ground Floor, 124 W. Allegan St. in Lansing. You can find more information at www.legislature.mi.gov or watch the subcommittee hearing live or replayed at www.senate.michigan.gov.

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