Nofs saddened by death of Rep. Mike Simpson

State Sen. Mike Nofs tonight expressed his condolences to the family and friends of state Rep. Mike Simpson who passed away earlier in the day.

“It was with a heavy heart that I learned this evening of the passing of my former House colleague, Mike Simpson. Mike fought his illness courageously, with the same determination that he gave to his constituents and the issues that he so passionately represented. It was a pleasure to have known and worked with such a dedicated public servant. I am truly saddened by his loss. My prayers are with his family during this terribly difficult time.” 

Senate finalizes landmark education reforms

LANSING—The Michigan Senate finalized significant education reforms Saturday to turn around failing schools, increase choice for parents and improve student performance. The legislation would qualify the state for additional education funds by fulfilling the reform requirements of the Race to the Top program.

After voting in favor of the education reforms, Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, issued the following statement:

“This bipartisan package of bills is a huge step in the right direction,” said Nofs. “These landmark reforms will improve Michigan schools and help ensure our children are well prepared for the jobs and economy of the 21st century.”
 

Battle Creek delegation delivers tax fix bills to governor

LANSING―Legislation extending the reporting deadlines for municipalities, including Battle Creek, permitting them to receive funding to continue paying existing debts, is on its way to the governor’s desk, said state Sen. Mike Nofs.

“These bills are important to Battle Creek so the city can meet its debt obligations,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “I appreciate the bipartisan support we have received in helping to fix this problem and I thank Rep. Segal for her work in the state House.”

Senate Bill 1006, Nofs’ first bill in the Senate, amends the Tax Increment Finance Act. The measure extends the deadline for municipalities to apply with the Michigan Department of Treasury to keep State Education Tax dollars to pay existing obligations from June 1, 2008 to Aug. 31, 2009. 

House Bill 5584, sponsored by Rep. Kate Segal, D-Battle Creek, amends the Downtown Development Authority Act. It similarly extends the deadline for municipalities to apply with the Department of Treasury to keep SET dollars to pay existing obligations from June 1, 2008 to Aug. 31, 2009. 

The bills await the governor’s signature.
 

Nofs’ first bill passes Senate, provides direct aid for Battle Creek

LANSING―The Michigan Senate approved legislation recently that fixes a problem in state tax law by extending reporting deadlines for municipalities, including Battle Creek, permitting them to receive funding to continue to pay existing debts, said state Sen. Mike Nofs.

Senate Bills 1005 and 1006 were the first pieces of Nofs sponsored legislation to be approved by the chamber.

“I’m pleased that with my first bill I was able to assist Battle Creek in making the necessary changes to state law so that the city will be able to continue to meet its debt obligations,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “I thank my colleagues in the Senate for their overwhelming support and look forward to working with Rep. Segal who is sponsoring similar legislation in the House.”

SB 1005 amends the Downtown Development Amendment Act to extend the deadline for municipalities to apply with the Department of Treasury to keep State Education Tax dollars to pay existing obligations from June 1, 2008 to Sept. 15, 2009. SB 1006 likewise amends the Tax Increment Finance Authority Act, extending that deadline from June 1, 2008 to Sept. 30, 2009.

The bills have been transferred to the state House for consideration. 

Voting in favor of a statewide smoking ban was not an easy decision. I believe strongly in personal freedom and the rights of individuals to make decisions regarding their personal lives and private businesses

Dear constituents,

Voting in favor of a statewide smoking ban was not an easy decision. I believe strongly in personal freedom and the rights of individuals to make decisions regarding their personal lives and private businesses. During my time in the House of Representatives I voted against bans, with and without exemptions, because I believed individuals were in the best position to determine whether to allow smoking in their business establishments, or frequent establishments where smoking was permitted.

Over the course of the last ten months I spoke with thousands of individuals while on the campaign trail. From those conversations, two issues became abundantly clear; first and foremost was the desire for more jobs and a turnaround in our economy. Second, was that citizens of the 19th District overwhelmingly supported some type of ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and other establishments open to the public.

After much reflection, debate, and dialogue with many individuals and business leaders, the decisions for me came down to the fact that I was sent to Lansing to represent the citizens of Calhoun and Jackson counties, not simply my personal beliefs. While they are still important, especially when the will of the people is not clear cut, this was not one of those times. The will of the citizens of the 19th District was to see some form of ban passed by the legislature, and that is what I voted to do.

It is my hope that this legislation will deliver on the goals laid out by its sponsors and be a key step in building a healthier Michigan, saving lives, and reducing health care costs for Michigan residents.

Sincerely,

Mike Nofs
State Senator
19th District

Sen. Nofs Appointed to Senate Committees

Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop’s office announced this week that newly elected Senator Mike Nofs has been appointed Vice Chair of the Commerce and Tourism Committee and a member of the Banking and Financial Institutions, and Energy Policy Utilities committees.

Nofs was also appointed to serve on the recently created Law Enforcement Task Force.

“My number one pledge to the citizens of Calhoun and Jackson counties is to do all I can to help improve Michigan’s economic climate and facilitate job creation and investment in the 19th district as quickly as possible,” said Nofs, R –Battle Creek. “My appointment to these key policy committees will help me to advance this priority. I am grateful for the warm welcome I have received from my colleagues in the Senate on both sides of the aisle, and I look forward to working with them to develop good public policy to get our great state back on track.”

Nofs was sworn in November 10 after winning the special election to fill the previously vacated 19th District seat.
 

Reforms will help give struggling schools a passing grade

LANSING—State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, issued the following statement after the Senate approved legislation on Wednesday that fulfills reform requirements of the president’s Race to the Top program, which could bring $400 million to improve Michigan schools.

“The Race to the Top program provides an excellent opportunity to help improve our educational system,” Nofs said. “While we must ensure that the federal requirements are truly in the long-term, best interest of our students and schools, I believe the reforms contained in this bipartisan legislation are significant and necessary. Ensuring our children receive an high quality education benefits not just the student, but the community and the state as a whole. The funding this program provides and the reforms this legislation enacts will go a long way to improving education in Michigan.”

Race to the Top is a federal grant program that requires governors to apply to the U.S. Department of Education for funds to carry out reforms. To obtain the money, Michigan must pass critical education reforms before the program’s Jan. 19 application deadline.

The bills now head to the state House for consideration.