Senate eliminates health care benefits for future retired elected officials

LANSING – State Sen. Mike Nofs today joined with the majority of his Senate colleagues in voting to eliminate health care benefits for future elected officials.

"Voting to eliminate health care benefits for retired elected officials is an important reform measure as legislators work together to save taxpayer dollars and reduce the costs of state government," said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. "Our constituents have been forced to make cutbacks and we in state government should be no different during this time of economic struggle."

The vote is more than a symbolic gesture for Nofs. While today’s vote affects only legislators elected after Nov. 1, 2010, Nofs has twice voluntarily declined the retiree health benefits that he earned from serving in the state House and now in the state Senate.

House Bill 4194 would end retirement health care benefits for legislators elected on or after Nov. 1, 2010. Senate Bill 132 would apply the same timetable to eliminating the retirement health care benefits for elected state officials. Officeholders subject to this reform include the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges.

The legislation, which now goes to the state House for consideration, is the second set of initiatives to be approved from the 10-point Senate Republican reform package in an effort to achieve more than $2 billion in savings.  

Senate approves Nofs legislation to strengthen child protection laws

LANSING – The state Senate approved legislation today designed to strengthen Michigan law pertaining to the review of child death cases, said Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, who sponsored the measure. 
Senate Bill 1071 permits the state Children’s Ombudsman to provide a report, redacted for confidentiality, of suspected child abuse or neglect to the Legislative Child Fatality Examiner when reviewing a child’s death. The bill is part of a legislative package that creates the Office of the Legislative Child Fatality Examiner within the Legislative Council to identify specific causes and systemic problems that contribute to the death of children in foster care. 
"This is an important piece in the Senate’s child fatality review package. The reforms fill a gap in current law by allowing the sharing of critical information in the investigation of child abuse cases," said Nofs. "By giving the examiner access to the ombudsman’s report, the examiner will better understand events that contribute to the abuse and death of a child and make recommendations on how to prevent future cases." 

The bill now joins the rest of the package in the Michigan House where it awaits consideration.  

Nofs honors constituent with special Senate tribute

LANSING—State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, presents Michigan International Speedway Director of Guest Services Tim Booth with a special Michigan Senate tribute. Booth was recently named the 2009 recipient of the Home Depot National Motorsports Press Association Humanitarian Award for his work in organizing blood drives for the American Red Cross. Booth beat out NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle for the award.

To view a photo of the presentation please visit Sen. Nofs’ Web site at and click Photowire.