Hansen comments on redistricting plan approved by Michigan Senate

LANSING – Sen. Goeff Hansen made the following statement today after the Michigan Senate approved Senate Bill 498:

“I voted for this redistricting measure because it reflects the overall plan that is fair, legal and constitutional.  The map for the 34th Senate District isn’t about me or making it more favorable to one party or the other.  It’s about the collective 247,218 people in this district that I’ve been elected to represent.  I will continue to do so for as long as the voters of this district will allow me to represent their collective interests.

“Despite population increases throughout the 34th Senate District, overall state population has declined in the past 10 years. Keeping Mason County in the 34th Senate District would have exceeded allowable targeted population thresholds and been inconsistent with other Senate redistricting standards. I’ve always had a strong affinity for Mason County and look forward to continue representing these fine folks for the remainder of my term.

“Despite new district boundaries, it is simply an honor just to hold elective office and represent my fellow citizens.  I will continue to work just as hard for west Michigan residents, focusing my energies on reforming state government, reinvigorating our economy and reinvesting our limited resources so we have a system that is not only working this year and next year, but 10 and 20 years from now.”

Senate Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Committee to hear testimony on the danger of rip currents in the Great Lakes

Who: State Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, and other members of the Senate Outdoor  Recreation and Tourism Committee.  Scheduled presenters include: Bob Dukesherer, National Weather Service, Grand Rapids; Heidi Purcell, Marine Hydrodynamics Lab, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and Dr. Ronald Kinnunen, Michigan Sea Grant Extension, Marquette.

What: Lawmakers are scheduled to hear testimony about the dangers of rip currents in the Great Lakes and potential ways of educating communities and the public. 

When: 12:30 p.m., Thursday, June 23.

Where: Room 210, Farnum Building, 125 W. Allegan St., Lansing.

Why: Rip currents are strong narrow currents moving away from shore.  According to the United States Lifesaving Association, more than 100 people die nationwide each year from drowning in rip currents.

Committee members are eager to learn about the magnitude of the problem, the science of rip currents formation and predictive approaches. By gathering information, the legislators hope to find additional ways of alerting the public to this seasonal threat.

Senate approves Hansen legislation designed to help public employee retirees

LANSING—The Senate has overwhelmingly approved legislation allowing public employee retirees to exempt their Social Security benefits from the Michigan Income Tax, said Sen. Goeff Hansen, who sponsored the measure.

Senate Bill 409 seeks to correct an unintended consequence of the recent changes to the income tax.  The reform is targeted at the more than two-thirds of Michigan’s public safety officers, including police and firefighters, who receive no Social Security benefits because their state or local unit was allowed to opt-out of the Social Security system.

“The pensions of these public employees are probably their only retirement income, unlike most older Michigan residents who have both Social Security benefits and retirement income,” said Hansen, R-Hart.

Some public safety officers may work another decade after retirement in jobs covered by Social Security.  Unfortunately, any Social Security benefits they earn are greatly reduced by special provisions in the law.

“This measure seeks to reverse this hardship and prevent any further financial burden on these public employee retirees,” said Hansen.  “Many of these hard-working people, who served in public safety roles, repeatedly put their lives on the line to protect us.  They deserve to be treated fairly after decades of service, and this reform aims to make that happen.”

SB 409 now goes to the House for further consideration.