Column: Severe weather

By Sen. Joe Hune

With spring upon us, the season of rain and storms is also here. In the Midwest, we tend to get severe weather most often in spring and summer.

Thunderstorms affect relatively small areas when compared with hurricanes and winter storms. The typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes. Despite their small size, ALL thunderstorms can be dangerous! Of the estimated 100,000 thunderstorms that occur each year in the United States, about 10 percent are classified as severe.

Although tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, they are found most frequently in the United States. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes cause an average of 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries in the U.S. each year.

Due to this, I would like to inform all of my constituents of the local and state services concerning severe weather and emergency management.

Steps can be taken to prepare before severe weather strikes to minimize damage and ensure safe evacuation or shelter, such as understanding severe weather warnings and terms, preparing an emergency supply kit, making an emergency plan and creating an emergency contact list.

In the case of imminent emergencies, Livingston County 911 Central Dispatch / Emergency Management is able to assist in the safety and quality of life of the people in Livingston County by coordinating a comprehensive all-hazard emergency operational plan and by providing professional, effective and efficient telecommunication response to calls by citizens and then dispatching the appropriate public safety responders.

With Gov. Rick Snyder proclaiming April 6-12 as Severe Weather Awareness Week, the Michigan State Police’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division is encouraging Michiganders to prepare before severe weather strikes this spring and summer.

For more information about what to do before, during and after an emergency or disaster, go to www.michigan.gov/beprepared or follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS.

As always, please feel free to email my office at SenJHune@senate.michigan.gov or dial toll-free at
855-JOE-HUNE and my staff will be happy to assist you.

Sen. Joe Hune is chair of the Senate Agriculture and Insurance Committees. 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: Republican Legislature moving Michigan forward

April 3, 2014
           
By Sen. Joe Hune

The Republican-led Michigan Legislature has passed many bills to be proud of so far this year. I would like to highlight a few recent measures that I think will help move Michigan forward.

A bill I sponsored, now Public Act 51 of 2014, ensures that those benefiting from public assistance are giving back to the community that is providing them with the helping hand they need. The measure codifies into law that cash assistance recipients, who are not exempt from the Partnership Accountability Training Hope (PATH) program, have to participate in community service.

Another policy to be proud of is the repeal of the punitive personal property tax (PPT). Michigan business leaders and local government officials agree that this archaic tax made funding local government much more difficult and needed to go.

I was proud to co-sponsor this package because it is a bipartisan solution to eliminate the onerous PPT and fully replace revenue to local governments.

Last month the Michigan Legislature set in motion an effort to create a balanced budget at the federal level. The bill is the first step in officially petitioning for a federal balanced budget amendment which would require that the federal government balance their budget each year and avoid the disastrous debt we are incurring on ourselves, and more importantly, our children.

Twenty two other states have already approved the resolution. Once adopted by fifteen more, it becomes binding on Congress to issue the call. Families across American make tough choices in order to balance their budget. Michigan balances its budget every year. It is time that Congress does the same.

I think most will agree that the Michigan Legislature has the best interest of Michigan in mind. As we move forward, I will work to pass further legislation with the aim of putting Michigan back to work.

As always, please feel free to email my office at SenJHune@senate.michigan.gov or dial toll-free at
855-JOE-HUNE and my staff will be happy to assist you.

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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.
 

Column: Another successful March is Reading Month

By Sen. Joe Hune
March 27, 2014

March 2014 proved to be another successful month for the annual March is Reading Month effort in Michigan.

Reading is vital to a successful education and lays the foundation to a rewarding and successful future. Teaching children to read at a young age is key to future success in both their school and career.

That is why this March I visited as many elementary school classrooms as possible. Sharing my love of reading with the next generation is the focal point of my 2014 March is Reading Month activities.

I encourage parents to join in the effort to help our children succeed through reading. Parents can check with their children’s school and local libraries about activities and programs and even ask about ways they can take part in reading activities along with their kids.

Try to keep this reading trend going past March as well. Delving into a few good books in the warm sunshine is a great way to enjoy summer break.

If you were unable to participate this March, please keep an eye out for next year’s efforts and please be aware of some resources our friends at the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) have available to us, including suggested reading materials. By considering skill levels and developmental range, as well as the needs and interests of students, educators can select books that appeal to the broad spectrum.

Acquiring a core of books, magazines, and reference materials is the first step in engaging students and mastering Michigan’s learning requirements.

The MDE resource page can be found at: www.michigan.gov/mde.

Also, don’t hesitate to visit the Fowlerville Library for a wealth of materials and information. The knowledgeable and courteous staff will be on hand to assist you in any way possible.

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.