Hune bill requiring drug testing for welfare recipients heads to governor

For Immediate Release
Dec. 10, 2014

Contact: Troy Tuggle
(517) 373-2420

LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to help ensure public assistance is going to the most needy recipients, not criminals or drug abusers.

In 1996, the federal government enacted the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which established the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Since then, TANF has continuously been abused by those looking to take advantage of the care and support of others, most specifically drug abusers.

Senate Bill 275, sponsored by Sen. Joe Hune, will amend the Social Welfare Act to require the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) to establish and administer a pilot program of suspicion-based substance abuse screening and testing for Family Independence Program (FIP) applicants and recipients.

“This common-sense reform will ensure that only the neediest and law-abiding citizens receive aid in the form of our hard-earned tax dollars,” said Hune, R-Hamburg. “I am very pleased my colleagues have passed this measure and I look forward to the governor’s approval.”

The measure requires the DHS to refer an applicant or recipient to department-designated community mental health entities if it were the first time the individual tested positive for illegal use of a controlled substance.

The DHS would have to terminate FIP assistance for individuals who either failed to participate in treatment offered by Community mental health entities, failed to test negative a second or subsequent time, or failed to submit to required periodic substance abuse testing.

SB 275, tie-barred to House Bill 4118, will be presented to Gov. Snyder for his approval shortly.

 

Hune ‘chargemaster’ bill passes Senate committee

For Immediate Release
Oct. 22, 2014

Contact: Troy Tuggle
517-373-2420

LANSING, Mich.—Sen. Joe Hune announced Wednesday that a measure to expose the true cost of medicine to consumers passed the Senate Health Policy Committee.

Senate Bill 627, sponsored by Hune, R-Hamburg, would require a hospital that used a charge description master (CDM), sometimes known as a chargemaster, to make it available on the hospital's website or at the hospital location, as applicable.

“I am happy to see my legislation pass out of the Senate Health Policy Committee. However, I am even happier for the consumers of Michigan. We are on our way to improving transparency in medical billing practices and saving Michiganders money.”

Many times in medical facilities around the state medical bills are as much as tripled for some items used. According to one hospital’s report, it spent $27.5 million for laboratory work during calendar year 2010, yet it charged $293.2 million for that same work. Hospitals are charging patients with bills that bear little to no relation to the actual cost of the health care.

The CDM is a price list for products and care that a hospital keeps. The CDM is currently not available for patients’ review, leaving the true price of medicine ambiguous to patients.

The measure would require a hospital that used a CDM to make it available by posting an electronic copy on the hospital’s website. If the hospital has no website, it would have to make a written or electronic copy available at the hospital location.

SB 627 now moves to the full Senate for further consideration.

 

Senator Hune Honored as Outstanding 4-H Alumnus

LANSING, Mich. — Senator Joe Hune was among eleven 4-H alumni inducted into the Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society on Oct. 3.          

The Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society honors former Michigan 4-H members whose professional leadership and community service reflect the ultimate outcome of 4-H membership – extraordinary use of an individual’s head, heart, hands and health to make communities, the country and the world better places in which to live. This recognition is provided by Michigan 4-H Youth Development with support from the Michigan 4-H Foundation.

“I give credit to 4-H for a lot of who I am today,” said Senator Hune about his induction into the Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society.  “It helped instill responsibility, hard work and leadership skills in me at a young age and I would not have changed my experience for anything!”

Also inducted into the 4-H Emerald Clover Society Class of 2014 were: Jamie Clover Adams, of Lansing; Kelly Boles Chapman, of Bellevue; Sen. Judy K. Emmons, Sheridan; Betsy McPherson Knox, East Lansing; Harmony L. Nowlin, Alma; Matthew T. Shane, Manchester; Douglas A. Sprik, Hamilton; Doris Stuever, Lynn; Susan L. Safford Traubenkraut, Frankenmuth; and Karen L. Waite, Mason.   

The 4-H Emerald Clover Society induction took place Fri., Oct. 3 during the 4-H Town and Country Gala at the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

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Hune hunting updates and literature available on website

For Immediate Release
Oct. 3, 2014

Contact: Troy Tuggle
517-373-2420

LANSING, Mich.—To usher in the 2014 hunting season, Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg, announced Friday that he has several resources for hunters and fishing enthusiasts on his senate website.

The 2014 Michigan Hunting Update can be found on the homepage of Hune’s website and informs the public about new laws to deter poachers, license news and deer and turkey hunting information.

Along with many legislative updates and news from Lansing, Hune’s website includes guides to hunting, fishing and licensing requirements.

Under the Customer Service tab, click on “Hunting/Fishing Information” and you will be able to choose between several pieces of informational literature including the “Pure MI Hunt” program by the Dept. of Natural Resources, as well as fishing license information and season dates and bag limits.

If you have any questions, Sen. Hune encourages the public to contact his office at SenJHune@senate.michigan.gov or dial toll-free at 855-JOE-HUNE.

 

Hune saves state money and practices fiscal constraint

For Immediate Release
Oct 3, 2014

Contact: Troy Tuggle
517-373-2420

LANSING, Mich.—Sen. Joe Hune announced Friday that he has given back the remainder of his office budget for 2014 to the State.

Each senate office is allotted a budget for payroll, supplies and other such expenses to operate by. Senators are not required to use these funds, and Hune has opted to give a total of $11,532 back in order to alleviate some fiscal stress.

In addition, Hune returned $250 to the State from each of the committees he serves on.

Hune’s return of his office allotment is a lesson in fiscal conservancy, he says.

“This will serve as an example of cutting back in times of economic hardship,” said Hune, R-Hamburg. “Michigan is on its way back to prosperity, but we are not there just yet. Making necessary cuts in spending, starting with myself, is how I do my part in helping Michigan’s future.”

Hune has given back the remainder of his office budget to the State each year he has been in elected office.

 

Hune bill addressing commercial vehicle registration sent to governor

For Immediate Release
Sept. 24, 2014

Contact: Troy Tuggle
517-373-2420

LANSING, Mich.—A measure to eliminate a requirement that commercial vehicles must display the owner’s name on the cab was sent to Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 277, sponsored by Sen. Joe Hune, eliminates a requirement that commercial vehicles weighing more than 5,000 pounds must display the owner’s name on the cab. Wrecker trucks and road service vehicles would still be subject to the mandate.

“This common-sense reform will decrease government bureaucracy while making Michigan even more open to business,” said Hune, R-Hamburg. “I am happy to see that this bill was supported so broadly in both the Senate and House and look forward to a speedy signature by the governor.”

Introduced in March 2013, the measure passed the Michigan Senate 38-0 in October of last year.

The measure was passed Tuesday by the Michigan House of Representatives by a vote of 101-7.

 

House committee passes Hune bill requiring drug testing for welfare recipients

For Immediate Release
Sept. 10, 2014

Contact: Troy Tuggle
(517) 373-2420

LANSING, Mich. — On Wednesday the Michigan House of Representatives’ Families, Seniors and Children Committee passed a bill to help ensure public assistance is going to the most needy recipients, not criminals or drug abusers.

In 1996, the federal government enacted the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which established the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Since then, TANF has continuously been abused by those looking to take advantage of the care and support of others, most specifically drug abusers.

Senate Bill 275 would amend the Social Welfare Act to require the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) to establish and administer a pilot program of suspicion-based substance abuse screening and testing for Family Independence Program (FIP) applicants and recipients.

“This common-sense reform will ensure that only the neediest and law-abiding citizens receive aid in the form of our hard-earned tax dollars,” Hune said. “I am pleased by the support the legislation received from the House of Representatives.”

The measure would require the DHS to refer an applicant or recipient to department-designated community mental health entities if it were the first time the individual tested positive for illegal use of a controlled substance.

The costs of administering the test would have to be deducted from the applicant’s or recipient’s FIP payment. The DHS would have to terminate FIP assistance for individuals who either failed to participate in treatment offered by Community mental health entities, failed to test negative a second or subsequent time, or failed submit to required periodic substance abuse testing.

SB 275 is tie-barred to House Bill 4118, and both bills are awaiting consideration by the full House.

 

House passes Hune bill placing those who solicit minors on sex offender registry

For Immediate Release
Sept. 10, 2014

Contact: Troy Tuggle
(517) 373-2420

LANSING, Mich. — On Wednesday the Michigan House of Representatives’ Criminal Justice Committee passed a bill to place anyone trafficking a minor for sex on the sex offender registry as a Tier II offender, said state Sen. Joe Hune.

Senate Bill 602 also makes soliciting a person under 18 for prostitution a Tier I sexual offense requiring registration as a sex offender, and it makes the crime of soliciting a person for prostitution gender neutral.

“Those who solicit a minor are the vilest of criminals, and it’s about time we start treating them as such,” said Hune, R-Hamburg. “These criminals are nothing short of sex offenders and should be classified that way.”

SB 602 and companion bill SB 206 are tie-barred to SB 205. SB 205 would make it a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years and/or a fine of not more than $10,000 to solicit, accost, or invite – by the payment in money or other forms of consideration – another person who is less than 18 years of age and who is not his or her spouse to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.

The measure now moves to the full House for further consideration.

 

House committee passes Hune bill placing those who solicit minors on sex offender registry

For Immediate Release
Sept. 10, 2014

Contact: Troy Tuggle
(517) 373-2420

LANSING, Mich. — On Wednesday the Michigan House of Representatives’ Criminal Justice Committee passed a bill to place anyone trafficking a minor for sex on the sex offender registry as a Tier II offender, said state Sen. Joe Hune.

Senate Bill 602 also makes soliciting a person under 18 for prostitution a Tier I sexual offense requiring registration as a sex offender, and it makes the crime of soliciting a person for prostitution gender neutral.

“Those who solicit a minor are the vilest of criminals, and it’s about time we start treating them as such,” said Hune, R-Hamburg. “These criminals are nothing short of sex offenders and should be classified that way.”

SB 602 and companion bill SB 206 are tie-barred to SB 205. SB 205 would make it a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years and/or a fine of not more than $10,000 to solicit, accost, or invite – by the payment in money or other forms of consideration – another person who is less than 18 years of age and who is not his or her spouse to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.

The measure now moves to the full House for further consideration.

 

Column: Elder Law of Michigan

By Sen. Joe Hune
8/13/2014

With all the wonderful seniors I am able to come in contact with in my district, I’d like to bring attention to a one-stop source for senior assistance.

Elder Law of Michigan is your comprehensive resource to connect with housing, legal, pension, financial, food, nutrition and health services for seniors in need. For more than 20 years, the organization has been helping older adults obtain peace of mind.

The organization provides services for seniors 60 and up or younger than 60 if receiving Social Security Disability.

Michigan has faced some of the nation’s most difficult economic conditions over the last decade, and seniors were no exception. There is no shame in needing some help to get back on track.

Elder Law of Michigan does just that, helping people solve problems, protecting their rights and working to ensure that basic needs are met. Their work includes putting healthy food on the table, discovering ways to help pay for utility bills, finding safe and affordable housing and much more.

As an organization, Elder Law of Michigan is committed to navigating your problems so as to find the right solutions. All you have to do is make one call for help!

To find out more information about the services the organization offers or to schedule an appointment with someone at their office, call toll free 1-866-400-9164. For legal assistance, please dial 1-800-347 5297. As always, don’t hesitate to contact my office with any questions at www.SenatorJoeHune.com or call the office at 1-855-JOE-HUNE.

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Sen. Joe Hune is chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. He represents the 22nd state Senate District, which includes Livingston and Shiawassee counties, and the southern part of Ingham County. The Ingham County portion includes Bunkerhill, Leslie, Stockbridge and Vevay townships, and the cities of Leslie and Mason.