Senate measures would end public assistance for lottery winners

LANSING — Measures to help put an end to lottery winners collecting state assistance were introduced Thursday in the Michigan Senate, said Sen. Joe Hune.

“Public assistance is a safety net for Michigan residents who are in need,” said Hune, R-Hamburg Township. “Unfortunately, some people exploit loopholes in the law that allow them to collect these benefits, even after winning the state lottery. Thankfully, this legislation will close those loopholes and put an end to this corrupt behavior.”

Senate Bill 711 would require the Michigan Lottery to submit a winner’s Social Security number to the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) and Medicaid officials within seven days.

Under Senate Bill 712, DHS would be required to apply an asset test to those seeking food assistance to verify that their household has no more than $5,000 in countable assets. Money received from lottery or other gambling winnings would go toward this income total whether received in a lump-sum payment or on a monthly payout basis.

The proposals were prompted by news reports last spring regarding a Bay County resident who still used food stamps nearly a year after winning a jackpot on “Make Me Rich.”

The lottery winner admitted to using a Bridge Card at area stores and claimed state officials gave him the green light to do so.

SBs 711 and 712 have been referred to the Senate Families, Seniors and Human Services Committee for consideration.

“I look forward to supporting these bills when they come up for a vote in the full Senate,” Hune said.

Public assistance is a safety net for Michigan residents in need. Unfortunately, some people exploit loopholes in state law that allow them to collect these benefits, even if they are state lottery winners.

Public assistance is a safety net for Michigan residents in need. Unfortunately, some people exploit loopholes in state law that allow them to collect these benefits, even if they are state lottery winners. Thankfully, legislation to close those loopholes was recently introduced in the state Senate.

The measures would require Michigan lottery officials to share the names of winners with various government departments, which would then have to immediately remove the winners from all public assistance programs.

The proposals were prompted by news reports earlier this year regarding a Bay County man who still used food stamps nearly a year after winning a jackpot on “Make Me Rich.” The lottery winner admitted to using a Bridge Card at area stores and claimed state officials gave him the green light to do so.

Senate Bill 711 would require the Michigan Lottery to submit a winner’s Social Security number to the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) and Medicaid officials within seven days.

Under Senate Bill 712, DHS would be required to apply an asset test to those seeking food assistance to verify that their household has no more than $5,000 in countable assets. Money received from lottery or other gambling winnings would go toward this income total whether received in a lump-sum payment or on a monthly payout basis.

The bills have been referred to the Senate Families, Seniors and Human Services Committee for consideration. I hope to see swift action on these common-sense measures.

Sen. Joe Hune 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.
 

Every life has value even those of unborn children.

Every life has value – even those of unborn children. I believe that life is a gift that should be cherished, not something to discard and throw away. That is why I’m happy to report that the Michigan Senate recently approved legislation to ban the gruesome procedure known as partial birth abortion.

Women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant have numerous options to choose from, including adoption and abortion. Partial birth abortion is a truly violent and horrific procedure that is unnecessary.

If signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder, Senate Bill160 would outlaw the practice of partial birth abortion in Michigan, unless determined necessary to save the life of the mother. The bill was modeled after the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The other measure, SB 161, would establish sentencing guidelines for performing or assisting in a partial birth abortion. Individuals convicted of the new felony would face two years in prison. Plain and simple, those who would perform or help perform this brutal procedure should face punishment.

Both of these proposals go a long way to protect the sanctity of human life. As a co-sponsor of these vital measures, I was proud to vote for them. I look forward to these bills becoming state law.

Currently, SBs 160 and 161 are before the House of Representatives for further consideration.

Sen. Joe Hune 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.
 

Sen. Hune welcomes Special Olympians

Sept. 20, 2011 — State Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township, met with Special Olympians  and supporters from across the 22nd Senate District who came to Lansing Tuesday for the first ever “Special Olympics Day” at the state Capitol. The athletes, many who have traveled the world to compete, attended the special event and visited with Hune. Pictured with Hune are: Molly Hincka, athlete; Danny Hincka, assistant coach; Mary Jane Welton, area director of Livingston County; Kylee Nylund, athlete; Becca Hammond, athlete; D.J. Busenbark, athlete; Jacque Mason, athlete; and Charlotte Hincka, athlete.

Editor’s note: The above photograph of Sen. Hune visiting with his guests is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire at:

http://www.MISenateGOP.com/senators/photowire.asp?District=22.

Senate votes to outlaw partial birth abortion

LANSING — Partial birth abortions would be illegal in Michigan under legislation approved Wednesday by the state Senate, said co-sponsor Sen. Joe Hune.

Senate Bill160 would outlaw the practice of partial birth abortion in Michigan, unless determined necessary to save the life of the mother. The bill was modeled after the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The other measure, SB 161, would establish sentencing guidelines for performing or assisting in a partial birth abortion. Individuals convicted of the new felony would face two years in prison.

“I believe that every human life has value – even those of unborn children,” said Hune, R-Hamburg Township. “Partial birth abortion is a disgusting act that should be outlawed plain and simple. I’m proud to co-sponsor these vital measures and I look forward to them becoming state law.”

SBs 160 and 161 now advance to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

People across Michigan are pinching pennies just to make ends meet. In times like these, no one should be forced to purchase a one-size-fits-all insurance plan they cannot afford and may never need.

People across Michigan are pinching pennies just to make ends meet. In times like these, no one should be forced to purchase a one-size-fits-all insurance plan they cannot afford and may never need.

That is why I am proud to sponsor a cost-saving reform to Michigan’s no-fault insurance system that is designed to increase customer choice.
Senate Bill 649 and House Bill 4936, otherwise known as the “Consumer Choice Insurance Act,” would preserve the integrity of the intention of Michigan’s no-fault law by allowing people to choose and purchase different amounts of coverage, and eliminate the mandate to purchase unlimited lifetime medical benefits.

These proposed bills would provide people with responsible options to choose the appropriate level of coverage to suit their needs.
As chair of the Senate Insurance Committee, I am proud to sponsor SB 649 while my colleague Rep. Pete Lund, who chairs the same panel in the House, sponsored HB 4936.

Currently, Michigan is the only state that mandates motorists purchase unlimited Personal Injury Protection insurance. Second to Michigan in the amount of coverage motorists may purchase is New Jersey, with a maximum limit of $250,000 in coverage. New York has the next highest mandated minimum with $50,000.

Under these proposals, motorists would be given the choice to purchase any one of a variety of plans to suit their needs – including up to $5 million in coverage.

I plan to take up SB 649 in the Senate Insurance Committee in the near future.