Sen. Hune honored with Silver Plow Award

 

LANSING — Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) recently presented Sen. Joe Hune with a Silver Plow Award, which represents the esteem and gratitude of Michigan’s farmers.

“Receiving the Silver Plow Award from Michigan Farm Bureau is a tremendous honor,” said Hune, R-Hamburg Township, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

According to MFB, Hune was selected for the award for his “common-sense approach to legislation that allows Michigan’s prodigious agriculture industry to prosper.” The awards were presented at MFB’s Lansing Legislative Seminar on Feb. 15.

“You very rarely get someone who’s involved in agriculture and who is supportive of agriculture the way that Joe Hune is,” said Duane Leach, president of the Shiawassee County Farm Bureau.

Hune and Rep. Kevin Daley, R-Lum, chair of the House Agriculture Committee, sponsored Public Acts 1 and 2 of 2011, which codified the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) into state statute. Hune’s measure will help ensure that Michigan farmers who voluntarily comply with state environmental standards receive real benefits.

MAEAP is a voluntary program that benefits all Michigan farms, regardless of their size or commodity, by helping farmers identify and minimize potential pollution risks on their farms. In the 10 years since its origin, more than 1,000 farms have become MAEAP verified in one or more of the program’s three systems­­—farmstead, cropping and livestock.

“Both Chairman Hune and Representative Daley were instrumental in championing this legislation and working it through the process,” said Matt Smego, MFB legislative counsel. “Both were also very helpful in defending agriculture’s position when points of difference were brought up during discussions on the bill. Together they moved this legislation in a timely manner, allowing it to be the first legislation signed into law by Governor Snyder.”

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Free tax publications available

 

By Sen. Joe Hune
22nd Senate District

I want to let residents of the 22nd Senate District know about two free, handy publications they can obtain from my office to assist them with filing their taxes or appealing their property assessment.

Currently, the latest copy of the Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide is available for tax filers. The guide, which is a reference for the 2011 tax year, is designed to help residents prepare their tax forms.

The booklet contains information on Michigan’s taxes and tax credits. Included is a year-long taxpayer’s calendar with reference to important tax dates and filing deadlines. Also inside are copies of the most commonly used tax forms, as well as addresses and phone numbers for obtaining state agency tax information assistance.

If you feel there may be an error in the assessment of your property tax, I encourage you to use the How to Effectively Appeal Your Property Tax Assessment brochure for more information. This document has information on how to make an appeal to the local Board of Review and, if necessary, the Michigan Tax Tribunal.

More information on how to effectively appeal your property tax assessment, as well as a link to the 2012 Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide reference publication, can be found on my website at: www.SenatorJoeHune.com. Anyone without Internet access can obtain a free copy by contacting my office toll free at 1-855-JOE-HUNE (563-4863).

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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.

Funds to benefit Lakelands Trail in Livingston County

 

LANSING — Federal, state and local funds will be used for the Lakelands Trail in Livingston County, said Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township.

“These trail improvements will help ensure that there is safe access to this beautiful trail for everyone interested in using it to enjoy Michigan’s fantastic natural resources,” Hune said. “I’m glad to see these funds dedicated to such a worthwhile project.”

The Livingston County Road Commission will use $927,523 in federal Transportation Enhancement (TE) funds, $339,013 from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund, $48,137 from Putnam Township and the Pinckney Downtown Development Authority, and a $50,000 donation from a local resident for trail improvements. The project total is more than $1.3 million.

The planned improvements to Lakelands Trail include paving 6.2 miles of the trail from Hamburg Township to the border of Unadilla Township, along with trailhead parking at D-19, Kelly Road and at Cedar Lake Road near the Pinckney State Recreation Area. The project also includes the restoration of five pedestrian bridges, replacement of six culverts, the addition of six resting areas and signage for pedestrians.

Additionally, a turf trail will be developed alongside the paved trail to accommodate horseback riders and to link with the equestrian turf trail in Hamburg Township.

According to the Michigan Department of Transportation’s website, the TE program is a competitive grant program that funds projects such as nonmotorized paths, streetscapes, and historic preservation of transportation facilities. Administered by MDOT, these investments enhance Michigan’s transportation system by providing choices, promoting walkability and improving safety.

More information on the Transportation Enhancement program is available at: www.michigan.gov/tea.

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The Pure Michigan Talent Connect website

 

By Sen. Joe Hune

22nd Senate District

As Michigan’s unemployment rate continues to drop, we must remain dedicated to improving our economy so residents looking for work can find a good-paying job.

That’s why I’m happy to tell you about the Pure Michigan Talent Connect, a state talent and jobs website that is sure to be useful to anyone looking for a job or considering a career change. The website’s various features are designed to help job seekers and providers, and can assist in connecting people looking for work with job providers.

Residents may visit the Pure Michigan Talent Connect website at www.MiTalent.org. The page offers three key sections for visitors trying to find a job, employers looking to hire, and workers exploring new career and educational options. The Career Matchmaker and Career Investment Calculator are designed to help individuals identify which industries are in need of their job skills and calculate the value of additional training for a new career.

Other useful information highlighted on the MiTalent site include materials specific to veterans and entrepreneurs, such as the Pure Michigan Mentor Network, small business resources, Military Skills Translator and veterans job search sites.

I encourage anyone in Fowlerville looking for work to utilize the Pure Michigan Talent Connect website. It’s a great new tool.

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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.

Protecting Seniors

 

By Sen. Joe Hune
22nd Senate District

Legislation recently approved by the Michigan Senate would subject workers at adult foster care and homes for the aged to FBI criminal history checks.

Senate Bills 787 and 788 would enable the Michigan State Police to conduct a criminal records check through the FBI on an applicant for an adult foster care or homes for the aged license. The criminal records check requirement would also apply to an owner, partner, or director of the applicant who has regular direct access to residents or who has on-site facility operational responsibilities for the facility.

Subjecting care workers to FBI criminal background checks will help protect seniors from predators who would prey on their vulnerabilities. These proposed laws are common-sense measures that we need to have on the books to safeguard our residents.

Previously, the Senate approved an 18-bill senior protection legislative package last year to protect seniors at risk of being exploited without placing an unmanageable burden on their guardians.

Those measures included initiatives to improve coordination between state and local authorities; enhance banking, annuity and insurance protections for seniors; establish reporting requirements for suspected abuse and neglect or knowledge of abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities; and create an “Amber Alert” style alert for missing seniors.

SBs 787 and 788 now go to the House of Representatives for consideration. I urge them to approve these key measures to protect Michigan seniors.

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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.