Nofs delivers farewell speech to Michigan Senate

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mike Nofs on Wednesday said goodbye to friends and colleagues in an emotional farewell speech on the Senate floor delivered nine years after he became senator of the 19th District in a 2009 special election.

“I would like to thank the residents of the 19th Senate District for giving me this wonderful opportunity to serve them and the state of Michigan” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “My time has been exciting, fulfilling, and rewarding. It truly has been an honor.”

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Technology, Nofs guided significant legislation through the Senate.

“I am proud of the bipartisan work we did here in this chamber working on our energy future,” Nofs said. “We have laid the groundwork for continued growth.”

Nofs thanked former colleagues, his family, his office staff, Senate staff, and his fellow senators on both sides of the aisle.

“When I arrived in Lansing I wasn’t sure how much one person working with so many other elected individuals could accomplish for our state,” Nofs said. “I have been fortunate to work with so many talented, good people to make a difference. God bless you all.”

Note: For print-quality versions of these and other Nofs photos, click the images or select Photowire under the Media Center tab, above.

Video of Nofs’ address is available by selecting Video under the Media Center tab.

Bills enabling 5G technology headed to governor

Nofs: ‘The path to improved technology and interconnectedness is clearer’

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate on Thursday gave final approval to bills sponsored by Sens. Mike Nofs and Joe Hune that would help enable “small cell” technology companies to increase their coverage and capacity.

“Small cells” are small, low-powered cellular antennas that enhance wireless networks. Small cell technologies are expected to lay the groundwork for future technologies such as the highly anticipated fifth generation of mobile communication networks (“5G”) and autonomous, connected automobiles.

“Our technological world is becoming increasingly interconnected all the time, with 5G promising a great leap forward in speed and capacity,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “This legislation provides a critical framework for innovations that will propel investment in our state.”

Senate Bills 894 (Nofs) and 637 (Hune) would reduce permitting restrictions and cap fees for small cell technologies.

Nofs said this will enable expansion in the industry.

“There has been explosive growth in the amount of data utilized on wireless networks, and there is a critical need for additional infrastructure to support interconnected communities,” Nofs said. “This will drive economic development and investment across the state.”

The lawmaker thanked Sen. Hune for sponsoring SB 637.

“Passage of these important measures would not have been possible if not for Senator Hune’s enthusiasm for this issue,” Nofs said. “The path to improved technology and interconnectedness is clearer.”

SBs 637 and 894 now head to the governor, who is expected to sign them into law.

Nofs applauds $10M business development grant

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mike Nofs announced on Tuesday that the Michigan Strategic Fund has awarded a $10 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program grant to Heritage Tower BC LLC of Battle Creek for a development rehabilitation project.

“This is fantastic news both for Heritage Tower and the city of Battle Creek,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “The project will create jobs and help continue the positive momentum for new development downtown. I am excited to see the final product.”

Heritage Tower BC plans to rehabilitate the long-vacant, historic Heritage Tower building in downtown Battle Creek into an iconic and active mixed-use development. The completed project will consist of market-rate apartments and commercial, retail and office space in the 19-story building — the tallest in Battle Creek.

Nofs said the plan is expected to generate a total capital investment of $32.3 million and create 15 full-time-equivalent jobs, and it will bring new residents and commercial business to the central core of the city while acting as a catalyst for other investment in the downtown area.

In addition to the $10 million grant awarded to Heritage Tower BC LLC, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved $2.4 million in local and school tax capture for the city of Battle Creek Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to alleviate brownfield conditions at the site. The city is investing $5 million in support of the project and has approved abatements valued at $3.1 million.

Other local support includes a $3 million investment from Battle Creek Unlimited and a $450,000 contribution from the Battle Creek Community Foundation.

“Residents and those who work in and visit Battle Creek have a personal stake in seeing the city thrive,” Nofs said. “It is great to see organizations financially supporting this development.”

Nofs, governor speak on Nofs’ bill addressing contaminated and abandoned sites

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Mike Nofs, along with Gov. Rick Snyder and other state leaders, spoke on Thursday on the necessity of addressing environmental needs in the state.

Nofs has introduced Senate Bill 943, which would provide a sustainable funding source to address contaminated and abandoned sites while investing in Michigan’s recycling and solid waste activities.

“It is vital that we clean up and reinvest in these properties,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “Under my bill, we will use existing infrastructure to improve and protect the environment while increasing local tax bases, facilitating job growth and taking development pressures off of undeveloped, open land.”

Nofs attended a “Renewing and Rebuilding Michigan” event in Lansing at which the governor spoke of the need to protect Michigan’s public health and environment through smart, environmental and water infrastructure investments.

Nofs said there are over 3,000 contaminated sites in Michigan that still need remediation, including more than 30 confirmed sites with emerging PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) contaminant issues.

“Environmental issues can pose a serious threat to our health and quality of life,” Nofs said. “Senate Bill 943 provides a common-sense approach to sustainably building a better Michigan without indebting future generations.”

SB 943 is currently before the Senate Committee on Government Operations.

Note: For a print-quality version of this and other Nofs photos, click the image or select Photowire under the Media Center tab, above.

Nofs Announces Energy Workgroup Participants

For Immediate Release:
May 23, 2014

Contact: Greg Moore
517-373-2426

LANSING, Mich.— Sen. Mike Nofs, Chair of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee, along with committee vice chairs Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, and Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, today announced the names of those who will participate on the recently formed Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workgroup.

“We had a tremendous response to my call for participation,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “As a result, we have assembled a group with impressive credentials that represents a broad cross-section of public and private sector organizations that will be able to provide valuable insight and ideas as we examine the future of our energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in this state.”

The workgroup will be tasked with reviewing the Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act-Public Act 295 of 2008 and recommending changes and/or updates to the law.

Nofs lauded the success of the 2008 legislation and the collaborative process that brought it about.       

“I think we did a pretty good job in crafting the 2008 legislation in terms of balancing aggressive but achievable standards with affordability and reliability,” Nofs said. “The workgroup process helped in vetting ideas and creating broad-based support, which is why I’m excited about using the process again.”

The workgroup will meet over the summer with the goal of developing draft language that will be taken up by the full Senate Energy and Technology Committee in the fall.

Members of the workgroup include:

Sen. Mike Nofs, chair;
Sen. John Proos, vice chair;
Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, vice chair;
Sally Talberg, commissioner, Michigan Public Service Commission;
Jim Ault, Michigan Electric and Gas Association;
Chrissy Beckwith, Semco Energy;
Craig Borr, Michigan Electric Cooperative Association;
Brindley Byrd, Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association;
Jim Byrum, Michigan Agi-Business Association;
Keith den Hollander, Christian Coalition of Michigan;
Irene Dimitry, DTE Energy;
Michael Cicchetti, Covanta;
Greg Clark, Indiana Michigan Power;
James Clift, Michigan Environmental Council;
Rick Coy, ABATE;
Tom Frazier, Michigan Townships Association;
David Forsberg, Integrys Energy Group;
Jason Geer, Michigan Chamber of Commerce;
Ariana Gonzalez, Natural Resources Defense Council;
Randy Gross, ITC;
Janet Hanneman, CLEAResult;
Samantha Harkins, Michigan Municipal League;
Kenneth Hedrick, Chevron;
Brandon, Hofmeister, Consumers Energy;
Doug Jester, Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council;
Mike Johnston, Michigan Manufacturers Association;
Marty Kushler, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy;
Gary Melow, Michigan Biomass;
Lee Mueller, Michigan Hydro Owners and Operators;
Vince Parisi, IGS Energy;
Scott Robbins, Michigan Forest Products Council;
Jill Steiner, The Cadmus Group;
Steve Transeth, Michigan Jobs and Energy Coalition;
Julie Voeck, Next Era Energy;
Larry Ward, Michigan Conservative Energy Forum; and
Jim Weeks, Michigan Municipal Electric Association.

 

Nofs announces energy policy workgroup

For Immediate Release:
May 6, 2014

Contact: Greg Moore
517-373-2426

LANSING, Mich.—Senate Energy and Technology Committee Chair Mike Nofs announced Tuesday the formation of a workgroup that will begin the process of reviewing the energy efficiency and renewable energy aspects of Michigan’s 2008 energy legislation.

Nofs stated that Michigan is on target to meet or exceed the goals and standards laid out in the 2008 law and therefore it’s time to review where the state should go from there. 

“I think we did a pretty good job in crafting the 2008 legislation in terms of balancing aggressive but achievable standards with affordability and reliability,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “I’m proud that Michigan will meet its targets without changes to the law while other states are scaling back or diluting theirs.”

Nofs applauded the leadership of Gov. Snyder and noted the work of his “Readying Michigan to Make Good Energy Decisions” task force in 2013. He said he expects the information and data collected during that process to be very useful to the workgroup. He also indicated his support for an “all-the-above” energy strategy, similar to the governor’s “No Regrets” policy outlined in his 2012 special message on energy, which provides Michigan the flexibility to adjust to changing market conditions by maintaining a variety of fuel sources and energy optimization options.

“The governor and I are in agreement that Michigan’s next generation energy policy needs to focus on ensuring the availability of clean, reliable and affordable energy for Michigan businesses and residents,” Nofs said. “As a key manufacturing state, the cost and availability of energy is critically important to the health and well-being of Michigan’s economy. We led the way in establishing forward-looking energy policy in 2008 and I have no doubt that we can do so again.”

Anyone who is interested in serving on or providing information to the workgroup is asked to contact Sen. Nofs’ office by Monday, May 12. He can be reached at 517-373-2426 or SenMNofs@senate.michigan.gov.

 

Nofs applauds Marshall, Calhoun County for earning grant to consolidate law enforcement services

LANSING—The city of Marshall and Calhoun County have been awarded $1.3 million from the state’s Competitive Grant Assistance Program for the construction of a consolidated law enforcement center in Marshall, said Sen. Mike Nofs.

“This project has been in the works for many years, and I am thrilled to see it finally come to fruition,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. 

Nofs drafted the original consolidation plan in 1996 while a first lieutenant with the Michigan State Police in Battle Creek.

“It made sense then and it makes even more sense now,” Nofs said. “This collaboration will reduce operating costs and response times for citizens while increasing communication and efficiency among all three law enforcement agencies, all of which is good for taxpayers and bad for criminals.”

The Michigan Department of Treasury announced the grant on Tuesday. The two local units have been awarded up to $1,319,583 to be used toward the building of a $14.1 million Marshall Regional Law Enforcement Center.

“We’re excited about the opportunity this presents for our three agencies and the citizens of Calhoun County,” said Sheriff Matt Saxton. “I want to thank Senator Nofs for his tremendous leadership on this project and the state of Michigan for being a wonderful partner in this process.”

Jim Schwartz, Marshall director of public safety said, “The city of Marshall is excited about this announcement and is looking forward to moving ahead with our local and state partners on this collaborative project.”

The purpose of the grant program is to provide incentive-based grants to stimulate more efficient government and encourage merges, consolidations and cooperation between two or more qualified jurisdictions.

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***Photo Advisory***

For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2014

Contact: Greg Moore
517-373-2426

LANSING, Mich.— State Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek, welcomed the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP) Tribal Council to the Michigan Senate today.

Nofs and House Speaker Bolger awarded Council Chair Homer Mandoka, Vice-Chair Jamie Stuck, and Secretary Dorie Rios state tributes. The three council members have all been recognized nationally in the past year for outstanding tribal leadership. Under the leadership of the current council, the NHBP has become a national model of innovation and stability in tribal government.

Pictured are Speaker of the House Jase Bolger (left), Homer Mandoka (center), tribal council chairman and Nofs (right).

 

PPT repeal measure signed by governor

For Immediate Release                
March 28, 2014              

Contact: Greg Moore
517-373-2426
                                                                     

LANSING, Mich.— Legislation dealing with the elimination of the Personal Property Tax (PPT) was signed into law Friday in Lansing, said Sen. Mike Nofs, R-Battle Creek.

Senate Bill 822, which represents one of the final legislative actions necessary to effectively repeal the PPT, will help fund vital assistance to local governments. The elimination of the PPT has been a priority of this session as it is a tax that is considered dated and a barrier to new investment by municipal leaders and the business community alike.

“I want to thank Lieutenant Governor Calley and his staff, as well as all those who worked so hard crafting this bi-partisan legislation,” said Nofs. “This marks the conclusion of nearly four years of work and represents an important step in making Michigan more competitive for job providers.”

SB 822 is now Public Act 80 of 2014.

 

Nofs bill will assist law enforcement teams

For Immediate Release
March 21, 2014

Contact: Greg Moore
517-373-2426

LANSING, Mich.— Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a bill authored by Sen. Mike Nofs that will help law enforcement agencies that choose to share resources to better serve their communities. 

The Urban Cooperation Act of 1967 allows such combinations, which are most frequently found in the form of taskforces that focus on a single type of crime.

A 2008 Michigan Supreme Court ruling found that when police agencies combine their resources, a new legal entity is automatically created that does not have the liability protections afforded to regular law enforcement agencies. Public Act 36 of 2014 clarifies that an inter-local agreement does not create a new entity unless that is a specific condition of the agreement.

“This legislation simply removes a legal barrier that has served as a deterrent to inter-local cooperation,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “Criminals are becoming more sophisticated every day and the police need all the tools available to successfully protect Michigan residents.”