Sen. Hansen welcomes Asparagus Queen to state Capitol

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, welcomed Courtney Kokx to the state Capitol on Wednesday, June 17. Kokx was crowned the Asparagus Queen at the 2015 National Asparagus Festival in Hart. She was in Lansing for the annual Royal Luncheon hosted by the Michigan Festivals and Events Association on the Capitol lawn.

Note: The photograph of Hansen welcoming Asparagus Queen Courtney Kokx is available by clicking on the image or by clicking “Photowire,” above.

Sen. Hansen welcomes Muskegon pastor to Senate session

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, welcomed Duane E. Bennett (left) to the Michigan Capitol on Wednesday. Bennett is pastor of Mount Zion Church of God in Christ of Muskegon and gave the invocation before the start of Senate session.

Note: Click the image for a print-quality version. This photo and others are also available by clicking the Photowire link, above.

Hansen: Fish for free June 13¬–14

LANSING, Mich. — Michiganders and out-of-state visitors can enjoy two days of free fishing this weekend, June 13 and 14, said state Sen. Goeff Hansen.

The twice-per-year event, put on by the state Department of Natural Resources, waives all fishing license fees so participants may fish both inland and Great Lakes waters for all species of fish at no charge. All fishing regulations do still apply.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for family and friends to get together and enjoy Michigan’s beautiful outdoors,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “It doesn’t get any better than fishing for free in Michigan.”

Michigan offers some of the finest freshwater fishing in the world, with more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes and 36,350 miles of rivers and streams.

For more information on the Winter Free Fishing Weekend, including a list of activities across the state, visit www.Michigan.gov/FreeFishing.

Hansen speaks on recommendations in Third Grade Reading Workgroup report

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Goeff Hansen, one of three Senate members of Michigan’s Third Grade Reading Workgroup, spoke Wednesday about the group’s recommendations on ensuring literacy in Michigan.

“These recommendations, and associated funding, will help position Michigan as a national leader in reading proficiency and ultimately help our children to succeed and compete in a 21st Century global environment,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “I’d like to thank the governor for making this early literacy initiative a priority of his Fiscal Year 2016 budget recommendation.”

In March, Gov. Rick Snyder convened the workgroup to identify the factors that cause too many of Michigan’s third grade students to lack reading proficiency, and to recommend data-proven solutions that will change outcomes by improving the foundation upon which reading proficiency is built.

The workgroup released its report Wednesday at a press conference in Lansing.

Hansen, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on K-12, School Aid, and Education, said one of the many items the subcommittee funded in this year’s budget is this targeted investment in early literacy.

“Michigan’s children, parents and teachers deserve additional tools to improve Michigan’s early literacy system,” he said.

Suggested strategies for improvement in the workgroup’s report include:
•    Increase the amount of classroom time spent on reading comprehension, assess skills often, and intervene with additional strategies as early as possible;
•    Ensure every teacher has the training necessary to use diagnostic and growth tools to determine where each student is in terms of their level of reading proficiency, and help them form an individualized action plan to help the student;
•    Engage parents in developing their children’s early literacy skills by providing them the tools they need, specifically during summer months and afterschool hours;
•    Give each K-3 student who is one or more grade levels behind additional time and intervention so they can get back to grade level as quickly as possible; and
•    Provide Michigan teachers and leaders with data that shows how our students and schools are performing in growth and proficiency compared to other states, and an annual report on our progress toward the highest early reading proficiency in the nation.

The full workgroup report is available at www.Michigan.gov/Snyder.

In addition to Hansen, workgroup members include Autocam Corp. CEO John C. Kennedy III, the chairman of the group; Sens. Phil Pavlov and Hoon-Yung Hopgood; Reps. Amanda Price, Tim Kelly, and Adam Zemke; Budget Director John Roberts; Budget Administrator Robbie Jameson; and Darin Ackerman, Karen McPhee and Tyler Sawher of the Executive Office.

Note: Click the image for a print-quality version. This photo and others are also available by clicking the Photowire link. Video of Hansen speaking at the press conference will also be available on this website. Click on Video under the Media Center tab.

Sen. Hansen addresses seniors at Older Michiganians Day

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, spoke to nearly 500 seniors Tuesday on the Capitol lawn as part of Older Michiganians Day, an annual event that brings together seniors, aging service providers and senior advocates from across the state to express to the Legislature the concerns and challenges of older adults.

Note: Click the images for print-quality versions. These photo and others are also available by clicking the Photowire link, above.