Be an informed voter

By Sen. Joe Hune
22nd Senate District

This fall you have the opportunity to help direct the future of our nation and state when you enter the voting booth at your local precinct on Tuesday, Nov. 6. By taking part in our democratic process you will have the chance to play a vital role in establishing Michigan’s public policy.

Not only will you have the opportunity to select candidates this Election Day, but you will also be able to make your voice heard on six statewide ballot proposals.

Being an informed voter is one of the best ways you can do your civic duty as a citizen of our great country.

For information on the six proposals you’ll see on the ballot this year, visit my website at: www.SenatorJoeHune.comand click on the “Publications” link, where you will see the “2012 Ballot Proposal Newsletter.”

This publication contains information to help familiarize you with the pros and cons of these six proposals. Included is the actual language that will appear on the ballot along with brief analyses of the important issues at hand. The analyses do not necessarily reflect my views. Rather, the intent is to bring you the strongest arguments for and against each proposal so you can make your own informed decision on these issues.

Keep in mind that depending on where you live, there may be other local or regional ballot questions for you to cast your vote on as well. Please do not hesitate to call or write my office if I can be of further service to you.

Want to see exactly what your local ballot will look like so you can be ready for Election Day? Visit the Michigan secretary of state website at: www.michigan.gov/sos, click the “Vote” button and then click the “Michigan Voter Information Center” near the top of the side panel at the left.

Please remember to vote this Tuesday, Nov. 6. Hope to see you at the polls!

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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.

Senate panel approves conflict of interest bill

LANSING — School board members with a conflict of interest would be required to abstain from voting on financial matters under legislation recently approved by a Senate panel, said Sen. Joe Hune.

Senate Bill 1051, sponsored by Hune, was approved Wednesday by the Senate Education Committee.

“School board members should not be voting on financial transactions when the outcome may affect them or a member of their family,” said Hune, R-Hamburg Township. “I introduced this bill to address these concerns and help ensure that our school board members carry through their duties first and foremost with the best interests of our children in mind.”

SB 1051 would require a member of a local or intermediate school board, or a member of a public school academy (PSA) governing board to abstain from voting on a contract or other financial transaction when the member believes there is a conflict of interest.

Hune’s measure clearly states that a board member is presumed to have a conflict of interest if the member or their family has a financial interest in the contract or other financial transaction, or if the board member has a family member who is an employee of the district, intermediate school district or PSA.

The proposed law defines a “family member” as an individual’s spouse, in-law, child, child’s spouse, sibling, spouse of a sibling, niece or nephew, parent or parent’s spouse.

SB 1051 now goes to the full Senate for further consideration.

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Keeping dangerous criminals behind bars

By Sen. Joe Hune
22nd Senate District

Repeat offenders who commit serious crimes belong behind bars, not on the streets.

That is why I applaud the recent actions of my colleagues in the Michigan House of Representatives, who recently approved a Senate measure designed to put habitual offenders of serious crimes in prison for a minimum of 25 years. 

If signed into law, Senate Bill 1109 would strengthen Michigan’s habitual offender laws by requiring a sentence of at least 25 years imprisonment if an offender has been convicted of three or more felonies and subsequently convicted of a serious crime such as attempted murder, assault with the intent to commit murder, criminal sexual conduct, carjacking or kidnapping.

To view a full list of other serious crimes included in the proposed law, visit www.legislature.mi.gov and use the “Legislative Bill Search” feature to look up SB 1109.

Attorney General Bill Schuette brought this matter to the attention of the Legislature when he cited multiple horrific crimes committed by individuals who had as many as nine felonies on their record. If this proposal had been on the books then, it could have helped prevent these crimes.

I look forward to seeing SB 1109 signed into law so we can help ensure that Michigan residents are safe from dangerous repeat offenders.

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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.

Local pastor leads state Senate invocation

LANSING — Parson Billy Allen of Good Shepherd Mission Church in Stockbridge led the Michigan Senate on Tuesday, Sept. 11 by giving the invocation at the state Capitol. Allen was the guest of Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township.

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Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of this and other Hune photos, click the image or visit www.SenatorJoeHune.comand click the Photowire link.

Commemorating Patriot Day

By Sen. Joe Hune
22nd Senate District

This Tuesday marks the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America that took place on 9-11-2001.

While it is hard to fathom that this tragic event took place more than a decade ago, the horror of that day is forever etched in our minds. It is also a day that forever unites us as Americans.

We now commemorate the lives lost, as well as the courage and bravery displayed that day by observing Sept. 11 as “Patriot Day.”

First proclaimed by President George W. Bush, Patriot Day is a day set aside to honor the memory of the victims and heroes of the attacks on 9-11.

That Tuesday morning 11 years ago, we witnessed one of the greatest losses of life in our nation’s history. In the following days, weeks and months, our emotions evolved from shock and sadness to anger and resolve. While we mourned the loss of life and honored the heroism, a renewed patriotic spirit rippled across the country.

It is a testament to the greatness of our country that when our liberty was attacked, we came together as a people and rose to meet the challenge.

This Sept. 11, I encourage you to thank the courageous members of our military who continue to fight to preserve freedom. I also encourage you to join me as we remember those who lost their lives at Ground Zero, the Pentagon and in southwestern Pennsylvania.

We must also acknowledge the brave men and women who became heroes due to their extraordinary courage. As we remember the selflessness of the passengers of United 93, who made the ultimate sacrifice to prevent further tragedy, we must also honor the fearless first responders who selflessly ran into the towers to save lives.

In honor of the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, and to our firefighters, police officers and brave soldiers who protect our communities and nation every day, I urge you to join me in observing Patriot Day on Tuesday, Sept. 11.

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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.