Column: With another cold Michigan winter coming, be sure to keep warm!

Nov. 29, 2012
With another cold Michigan winter coming, be sure to keep warm!
By Sen. Joe Hune

As we all know, Michigan winters are some of the coldest in our country. So I would like to remind all Michigan families to do their best to ensure their family’s warmth this winter.

During such tough economic times, some struggling families in Southeast Michigan may be in need of heating assistance programs. Such programs are offered by several organizations, including utility companies and charitable organizations.
 
If you are unable to pay your current utility bill the first step is to call your utility provider and inquire as to any assistance programs that may be available. Being proactive could save your life by ensuring the heat stays on.
 
Further, The Winter Protection Plan safeguards seniors and low-income customers of regulated natural gas and electric companies from service shutoffs and high utility bills between Nov. 1 and March 31. The plan allows eligible seniors and low-income customers to avoid shutoffs while paying nothing or a small percentage of their annual bill during the protection period. To apply, contact your natural gas or utility company.

This deferment plan should help alleviate the burden of high utility bills in the winter. After the protection period, participants must pay off any winter balances owed between April and November.

Under some circumstances the state of Michigan can provide assistance for those who can generally make payments but may need help due to an unexpected emergency. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/heatingassistance. At this site you can also find information about the Michigan Home Heating Credit.

Finally, those still in need of heating assistance may contact The Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency by visiting www.smcaa.com.

Families in need of help with home heating or other programs may always contact my office for assistance toll-free at 1-855-563-4863 or by email at SenJHune@senate.michigan.gov.   

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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.

http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5489&District=22

Column: Thanksgiving— a time for family

Nov. 15, 2012

Thanksgiving— a time for family
By Sen. Joe Hune

Ever since the Pilgrims first sailed for the new world to escape religious persecution, we have celebrated a holiday that has come to be known as Thanksgiving.

After their first harvest in 1621, a celebration was held out of gratefulness for a bountiful harvest. The Pilgrims and Native Americans of the Northeast joined together for a three-day celebration centered around a feast.

This day was in stark comparison to today’s Thanksgiving, which features parades, football games or “Black Friday” sales. The first Thanksgiving was simply a time to give thanks for the fruits that the new world bore.

Though most of us will buy our turkey and trimmings from the grocery store, Thanksgiving is still rooted in the same foundations that it was centuries ago. This Thanksgiving, like the first, is a time to gather with family and give thanks for our many blessings.

Take some time this Thanksgiving and appreciate all that you have in this modern age. Though you may not be spending your Thanksgiving on a plantation in New England, take pride in what and especially whom you have around you this year.

I’d also like to bring attention to one other important event in our community coming up.

The 29th annual Fantasy of Lights parade takes place Friday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. in downtown Howell. The event includes many activities in Howell before the parade, including Christmas Alley, the Fantasy 5k Run and much more. For more information visit the Howell Chamber of Commerce website at howell.org/45.html.
 
I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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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.

http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5478&District=22

Column: Veterans Day November 11th

Nov. 8, 2012    
Veterans Day November 11th

                               
It is that time of year again that we thank the amazing men and women who have served and continue to serve our great nation. Sunday, Nov. 11 marks Veterans Day in America.

President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Veterans Day (then known as Armistice Day) for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the countrys service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”

In that tradition I ask that all the residents of the 22nd Senate District take a moment this weekend and think about all the men and women that you know or have known that served this great country and think about how much they have affected your life and the lives of countless other Americans over the years.
I would also like to draw particular attention to a few Veteran’s Day events that will be taking place around our district.

•    The Brighton VFW Post 4357 and the American Legion will be holding a Veterans Day ceremony at 1p.m. Sunday at the American Spirit Centre, 10590 E. Grand River, Brighton. For more information, please call 810-229-9088.

•    There will be a Veterans Day Ceremony, Sunday at 11a.m. at Livingston County Courthouse in downtown Howell. There will be speakers and a salute by the Marine Corps.

•    There will also be a Veterans luncheon at the Howell American Legion immediately following the Veterans Day Salute at the Livingston County Court House on Sunday. American Legion Auxiliary will host the luncheon from noon to 2 p.m. It is free to all Veterans. The post is located at M59 and Grand River, Howell. For more information, call 517-546-2534.

Times like these express the need for all American citizens to pull together and thank those brave men and women who have served and continue to serve our great nation. I hope that you and your loved ones have the opportunity to thank a veteran this weekend.

http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5475&District=22

Hune bill to solve conflict of interest issue among school board members

For Immediate Release
Nov. 9, 2012

Contact: Troy Tuggle
517-373-2420

Hune bill to solve conflict of interest issue among school board members

LANSING, Mich.—Senate Bill 1051, a measure to prevent a school board member from voting when there is a conflict of interest, passed the state Senate Thursday.

The legislation, authored by Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg, ensures that a board member or a legal counsel or consultant to a school district, intermediate school district or PSA would also have to disclose whether he or she has a conflict of interest and exactly what the conflict of interest is.

“This bill will make sure there are proper safeguards established in our schools so as not to enter into a conflict of interest,” said Hune. “School board members have great responsibility in their positions, and we must make sure that only fair judgments and votes can be cast without outside forces affecting their decision.”

Mounting concerns over local school board members voting on financial transactions when their family members are employees of the school district have been building for some time now.
 
A public school academy board member is currently prohibited from serving if a family member is an employee of the district.

“The bill simply states that if a board member is presumed to have a conflict of interest due to his or her family member having a financial stake in the contract or other financial transaction, that the board member abstain from voting,” Hune said.

SB 1051 now continues to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5474&District=22