Hune thanks attorney general Schuette

For Immediate Release                 
March 26, 2013
                                                                                
Contact: Troy Tuggle
517-373-2420                                                                                                     

Hune thanks attorney general Schuette

LANSING, Mich.— Sen. Joe Hune has thanked Attorney General Bill Schuette, who said Tuesday he would empanel a grand jury to investigate the recent meningitis that has been blamed for numerous deaths in the state.

Schuette has asked the Michigan Court of Appeals to approve a multi-county grand jury to look into the case in which the New England Compounding Center distributed tainted steroids to medical facilities in Washtenaw, Macomb, Genesee and Grand Traverse counties.

“I would like to thank Attorney General Schuette for his empanel of a grand jury to look into this matter that has had devastating consequences on four Michigan counties,” said Hune, R-Hamburg. “This company and their drugs have devastated many Michigan families, and it’s time they be held accountable for their actions.”
 
Hune has urged Schuette to press charges against the steroid manufacturer numerous times over the past several months, including a letter written to the attorney general in early March.

As of March 18, 259 people had been infected as a result of the contaminated steroid and 14 people have died, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health.

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http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5802&District=22

Column: Internet safety

By Sen. Joe Hune

A new concern of parents was recently brought to my attention: intrusive, inappropriate advertising on the internet.

I have heard of complaints from parents about their kids seeing advertisements that often contain alcohol, tobacco, pornography and gambling marketers through different Internet and cell phone inboxes.

Ads like these can be damaging for a small child.

Thankfully, the State of Michigan offers a free program to stop adult advertisements from reaching e-mails, mobile phones (text messaging ads) and instant messenger IDs. The Michigan Child Protection Registry is a free do-not-contact service for Michigan’s families and schools and can be located at www.ProtectMiChild.com.

As a strong supporter of this registry, I would like to encourage you to sign up your entire family for the registry. In addition, your household or organization can easily participate in this important program by doing two simple things: 1) help spread the word by encouraging family friends and colleagues to register and 2) add the www.ProtectMiChild.com site to your “favorites” for easy access to the registry.

Our children are our most important resource and we must maintain their safety in an increasingly digital age. The power and useful resource that the Internet is can no longer be denied, but our children’s safety and security while online are still paramount.

If you have any further questions please email my office at SenJHune@senate.michigan.gov or dial toll-free 1-855-563-4863 and my staff will be happy to assist you.

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.

Column: Volunteering to improve communities

Volunteering to improve communities
By Sen. Joe Hune
3/5/2013

With countless individuals and organizations giving their time and talents to improve the lives of others, Michigan is rich with a culture of volunteerism.  

I’d like to bring your attention to the myriad volunteer opportunities afforded to Michiganders. Many Michigan residents volunteer their time and effort to improve the lives of their friends, families, churches and other community organizations.

Last week the Michigan Civil Service Commission sent me a form to nominate an individual from my district for the 2013 Governor’s Service Award, an award distributed to the individual that has provided a significant contribution to their community through service and volunteerism.

Governor’s Service Awards nominee finalists will be honored this summer at an exciting recognition celebration.

However, awards shouldn’t be the incentive for volunteering one’s time and effort. Volunteerism not only helps individuals in need and organizations that support the community, it also instills a sense of confidence, work ethic and accomplishment in the volunteer. Lessons like this can’t be taught in a classroom.

So take a minute this spring and ask members of your local community about any opportunities to improve our great communities throughout Michigan. Furthermore, ask yourself: “What can I do to better my family, neighbors and community?” I think you might find the answer to be more fulfilling than any paycheck.

Further information on volunteer opportunities can be found at michigan.gov/volunteer.

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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=5762&District=22

Hune reminds residents to appeal tax assessments if necessary

For Immediate Release                 
March 12, 2013
                                                                                
Contact: Troy Tuggle
517-373-2420                                                                                                     

Hune reminds residents to appeal tax assessments if necessary

LANSING, Mich.—Sen. Joe Hune announced Tuesday that boards of review have begun analyzing tax assessments on persons that have appealed their assessment, and he would like to remind residents to appeal possible incongruities before it is too late.

Hune said that residents who believe their assessment is in error may appeal to their local board of review and, if necessary, the Michigan Tax Tribunal. No attorney is necessary.

Hune has included on his website a link to the “How to Effectively Appeal Your Property Tax Assessment” guide for additional information on this process. The guide, along with a willingness to explore all possible mistakes, may help residents obtain a favorable adjustment, the lawmaker said.

“Many miscalculations in tax assessments have happened over the years, and I am urging residents to appeal such assessments if they think there may be a mistake,” said Hune, R-Hamburg. “The boards of review try to review assessments as quickly as possible, and with the tax guide, residents may be able to save money this year.”

Taxable value is the most common item on tax returns that is incorrect or improperly calculated. Taxable value was introduced in 1995. It is the value used to calculate property taxes. Annual growth in taxable value is capped at the rate of inflation, or 5 percent, whichever is less.

The State Equalized Value (SEV) must still reflect 50 percent of a property’s true cash value and may increase (or decrease) by more than the rate of inflation or 5 percent in any tax year.

It is important to remember that property taxes are no longer based on the SEV. Changes to a home’s assessed value will reduce one’s taxes only if it is an amount lower than the taxable value.

You can find the How to Effectively Appeal Your Property Tax Assessment guide, as well as many other helpful guides, at www.SenatorJoeHune.com. Residents can also contact Hune’s office by emailing senjhune@senate.michigan.gov or calling toll free 855-JOE-HUNE.

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http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5764&District=22

Hune requests AG Schuette to go after NECC

For Immediate Release                 
March 7, 2013
                                                                                
Contact: Troy Tuggle
517-373-2420                                                                                                     

Hune requests AG Schuette to go after NECC

LANSING, Mich.— Sen. Joe Hune has urged Attorney General Bill Schuette to file a lawsuit against the New England Compounding Center (NECC), which produced the contaminated steroid shots known to be the cause of the fungal meningitis outbreak in many states, including Michigan.

“I once again demand that action be taken,” said Hune, R-Hamburg. “I would like to see our attorney general investigate this wrongdoing so we can prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. I find this a necessary and imperative action to assure the safety of the citizens of the great state of Michigan.

“It is my request that our attorney general use whatever is in his power to aggressively investigate, prosecute and use the civil court against the New England Compounding Center. Ultimately, it is my desire to see this issue resolved and the victims of this incident reassured that justice will be done on their behalf.”

As of March 4, the total number of fungal meningitis infections resulting from the NECC is up to 253 total cases, including 13 deaths in Michigan. Several of these deaths have taken place in the 22nd District.

“There is absolutely no doubt that Michigan should take action to file criminal charges against the NECC. The safety of families across the 22nd Senate District and the entire state of Michigan is a top priority. I strongly insist that Attorney General Schuette go after the New England Compounding Center.”

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http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5750&District=22

Hune gives budget money back to state of Michigan

For Immediate Release                            Contact: Troy Tuggle
March 7, 2013                                    (517) 373-2420

Hune gives budget money back to state of Michigan

LANSING, Mich.—In a move to further cut spending in Michigan, Sen. Joe Hune recently reported that he has given $2145.14 of his office and three committee budgets back to the state.

Each senator on a committee is allotted an allowance per year for travel reimbursement, including gas and food, as well as other miscellaneous expenses. In addition, each senate office is also allotted a budget for payroll, supplies and similar expenses. Senators are not required to use these funds. Sen. Hune, R-Hamburg, has opted to give his back to the state to help alleviate some fiscal stress.

“As chair of three Senate committees it is my duty to demonstrate true fiscal responsibility,” said Hune, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Senate Insurance and Senate Redistricting committees. “In addition, I feel it is even more fiscally responsible for me to give back the portion of my office allotment that I did not fully use this year. The state of Michigan cannot keep spending money like the economy will magically rebound without making spending cuts and the best way to lead is by example.”

In 2011 Hune also declined to fully use both his allotted committee amount and his allotted office amount, and portions of both were given back.

“It is important that every entity of our government operate within its means,” said Hune. “We are setting an important precedent for the state, other committees and state legislators.

“I am committed to doing my part to help reduce the cost of government, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to get Michigan back on the path to financial prosperity.”

It was also recently announced that Hune joins Sen. Tory Rocca, R-Sterling Heights, as the only senators with a perfect voting record for the 96th Legislature at 1,141 total record roll-call votes taken, with zero votes missed.

The 96th Legislature, which ran from January 2011 through December 2012, had the best voting record since the statistic has been tracked.

“I hope that the 97th Legislature can live up to the precedent set by us this past session and we can continue to properly represent our respective districts,” Hune said.

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http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5751&District=22

Column: Get help with your heating bills

Get help with your heating bills
By Sen. Joe Hune
3/5/2012

With cold temperatures and steady snowfall continuing to hit Michigan this winter, it is crucial to keep yourselves and your loved ones warm.

Home heating assistance is available to Michiganders this winter.

HeatingMyHome.org, a website hosted by the Michigan Propane Gas Association, provides consumers with easy access to federal, state and local home heating assistance programs. These resources are available to households throughout the state of Michigan.

In every county, a patchwork of agencies can be found that provide heating assistance, from the Michigan Department of Human Services to the Salvation Army. The website also provides weatherization information that can save homeowners money on their home heating bills.

Unfortunately, some people illegally adjust their propane tanks to try to save money while others allow their tanks to run completely dry or simply use illegal tanks. By getting home heating assistance, Michigan residents can avoid taking these dangerous risks. The website also provides information on heating the home safely.    

I urge my constituents to take a minute and look at this useful website and make sure your home is properly heated and your family is not wasting energy this winter.

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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.