Hansen bill helps fund community road projects

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate on Thursday passed a measure sponsored by Sen. Goeff Hansen that would provide money to smaller communities for road preservation and construction.

Senate Bill 1116 would create the Community Service Infrastructure Fund, a matching grant program assisting cities and villages with populations of 11,000 or fewer.

“Coming from a small, rural area, I understand the hardships local governments encounter when finding funds for local roadway projects,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “Currently, there are state programs to address road repairs around the state but none are specific to smaller communities in need. My goal is to aid these areas, which often have aging roads in need of repair.”

Under the bill, the cost for each project awarded funding could not exceed $250,000, and the community would be required to match at least 50 percent of that cost. The funds could be used for reconstruction, replacement, rehabilitation, capital preservation maintenance and similar projects.

Cities and villages would apply for funding through a process determined by the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of Economic Development. The program would be in place for five years, allowing future legislators to evaluate it and make any necessary changes.

SB 1116 has been sent to the Michigan House for further consideration.

Hansen receives Check In Michigan 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Goeff Hansen on Wednesday received the Check In Michigan 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Capitol for his work advancing Michigan lodging and tourism policy.

Check In Michigan was formerly the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association. Check In Michigan President and CEO Deanna Richeson presented the award to Hansen.

“The hospitality industry in Michigan is a vibrant and critical part of our economy,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “It is an honor to receive this award and to have played a part in supporting lodging and tourism.”

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Senate passes Hansen bill to spur job creation

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate passed a measure Tuesday that would attract business investment to Muskegon by enabling the city to use former prison property for industrial purposes, said bill sponsor Sen. Goeff Hansen.

Senate Bill 1118 would authorize the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB) to transfer part of the property where the former West Shoreline Correctional Facility is located to the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority. The Authority could then transfer the property to the city.

“This is great news for the city of Muskegon,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “The city has been working very hard for more than five years to attract new industry to our community, but like many urban communities across Michigan we have lacked readily available land to meet the needs of today’s industrial end users.

“The West Shoreline Correctional Facility property will provide an additional 70 acres of land adjacent to an industrial park, making our region more competitive in attracting new investment and job creation.”

SB 1118 has been sent to the Michigan House for further consideration.

Hansen named Michigan Trails Legislator of the Year

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, (left) on Thursday received the Michigan Trails Legislator of the Year Award at the Capitol for his work advancing Michigan trails policy.

The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance honored Hansen for his sponsorship of the Pure Michigan Trails legislation and legislation updating the state’s railbanking program; for providing for volunteer liability protection; and for his work to affirm the role of trail councils and the value of trails as a public good in a community.

“Michigan’s unmatched system of non-motorized trails offers a marvelous opportunity for those interested in exploring the natural beauty of Pure Michigan,” said Hansen, chairman of the Senate Outdoor Recreation Committee. “It has been a delight to work on legislation promoting our trails, and receiving this award is a great honor.”

Michigan Trails also recognized Hansen as a key proponent of renaming the Hart-Montague Trail in honor of William Field, who purchased the former railroad and donated it for trail use to the state of Michigan.

Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, also received the Legislator of the Year Award for her work as chairwoman of the House Outdoor Recreation Committee; for being a vocal trail advocate for the Muskegon area; and for being a main sponsor of the e-bike bills and bike safety package.

This is the first year of the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance’s annual award program recognizing the exemplary leadership of trail advocates across the state who have helped Michigan become the number one trails state in the nation.

Michigan Trails also presented awards for Volunteer of the Year, State Agency Employee Trail Advocate of the Year, Non-Profit/Local Agency Employee Trail Advocate of the Year and Michigan Trails Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Hansen elected Assistant Senate Majority Leader

LANSING—Sen. Goeff Hansen was unanimously elected by the Senate Republican caucus on Thursday to be the next Michigan Assistant Senate Majority Leader.

“I am happy to have the support of my caucus members and look forward to serving in this leadership role on behalf of the hard-working lakeshore residents I represent,” said Hansen, R-Hart.

Hansen was elected last week to a second term as state senator for the 34th Senate District. He currently serves as Assistant President Pro-Tempore of the Senate and will begin his tenure as Assistant Senate Majority Leader when the next Legislature takes office in January.

Prior to becoming a senator, Hansen served six years in the Michigan House of Representatives in the 100th District from 2005-2010.

Hansen has received numerous honors for his work in the Legislature, including the Legislator of the Year awards from the Michigan Community Action Agency Association, Michigan Food and Farming Systems and Michigan Library Association, along with the Agricultural Advocate Award from the Michigan Agribusiness Association and the 2014 Michigan Broadband Hero Award.

Hansen is a member of the Michigan Farm Bureau, NRA, Ruffed Grouse Society and Ducks Unlimited among many others. Goeff and his wife, Tamara, live in Hart and had two grown sons and four grandchildren.

PHOTO ADVISORY: Hansen promotes Michigan’s Breast Cancer Awareness license plate

LANSING—Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, stands in the Senate chamber holding a sample of the state’s Breast Cancer Awareness license plate, which became available Wednesday.

Money raised by the sale of the plates helps support the Michigan Breast & Cervical Cancer Control Program administered by the Michigan Department of Community Health. Since 1991, the program has provided low-income women access to life-saving cancer screening services and follow-up care, including cancer treatment if needed.

Visit Michigan.gov/sos for information about ordering the plate.

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Lawmakers collect brown paper bags and donations to help end childhood hunger

LANSING—State Sens. Goeff Hansen and Dave Hildenbrand have teamed up to help an organization aimed at ending childhood hunger.

The lawmakers from West Michigan are helping Kids’ Food Basket reach their goal of collecting 50,400 decorated brown paper bags by Sept. 17.

“Kids’ Food Basket is devoted to helping young people learn and live well through ending childhood hunger,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “It is difficult to think of a worthier goal than this one. I am delighted to help them in whatever way I can.”

Hansen and Hildenbrand have provided brown paper bags and crayons to each House and Senate office. The bags will later become “Sack Suppers” filled with meals for children, and the lawmakers are asking their colleagues to help give every Sack Supper a “touch of love” by decorating the paper bags.

“I have helped pack Sack Suppers in Muskegon and I know the positive impact they have on communities,” Hansen said. “When paired with other meals at school, Sack Suppers help round out the daily nutritional requirements for children.”

The pager bags the lawmakers distributed will be collected from House and Senate offices on Tuesday, Sept. 16.

“Kids’ Food Basket provides a vital service to our community’s children,” said Hildenbrand, R-Lowell. “Without this program, a large number of children would not have a stable, healthy source for meals outside of school. Groups like this are just another example of how the Grand Rapids community excels at coming together to help those in need.”

Residents interested in more information on Kids’ Food Basket, including how to help with Sack Suppers, may contact Melissa Yutzey at 517-371-1400.

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Hansen secures $2M in state budget to aid nursing mothers

LANSING—The legislative conference committee on the Michigan Department of Community Health budget on Tuesday approved a bill providing $2 million in state funds to ensure better access to quality equipment for nursing mothers.

In response to the concerns of a number of his constituents, Sen. Goeff Hansen worked to ensure the funds so that Medicaid-eligible women have access to breast pumps to support and encourage breastfeeding.

“I have been involved with the Muskegon County Breastfeeding Coalition for over a year working to resolve concerns about the lack of lactation services and breastfeeding trends,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “I learned that most families in our area do not follow the recommended guidelines for breastfeeding, but that many would do so if the necessary support, such as breast pumps, were available to them.”

Under Senate Bill 763, if a physician prescribes a breast pump for a breastfeeding mother, Medicaid will cover the cost.

According to lactation experts, breastfeeding has many benefits, including helping protect against disease and reducing rates of obesity. Numerous breastfeeding organizations recommend breastfeeding exclusively for six months as part of a healthy diet and as an optimal beginning for overall nutrition and health.

In Muskegon County, where more than 60 percent of births are covered by Medicaid, hospitals reported only 63 percent of families are initiating breastfeeding. Of the families that do breastfeed, only 8.9 percent are breastfeeding exclusively for six months.

“Given these statistics, it is clear our area is lagging behind,” Hansen said. “By specifically making personal electric pumps available, mothers will have the equipment they need to maintain supply, nourish their baby and gain positive health benefits for themselves.”

The conference report for SB 763 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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Sen. Hansen welcomes Muskegon pastor to the Senate

LANSING—Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, welcomes Pastor Christopher Murray (left) to the Michigan Capitol. Murray is pastor of Greater Harvest Baptist Church of Muskegon and gave the invocation before the start of the Senate session.

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Sen. Hansen and guest honor Michigan’s fallen soldiers

LANSING—Sen. Goeff Hansen stands in the Senate chamber Thursday with World War II U.S. Marine veteran Bob Lorenz of Hart.

Lorenz was Hansen’s guest for the Michigan Senate’s 20th Annual Memorial Day Service.

“I was honored to have Bob Lorenz as my special guest for today’s ceremony in Lansing,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “Bob is my father’s cousin, so he is near and dear to me. I am proud to say that he bravely faced the horrors of Iwo Jima and Saipan as his unit stormed the beaches, and he was also active at the Guadalcanal Campaign. Bob is a true American hero.”

Michigan’s military heroes who defended freedom and sacrificed their lives in the past year were honored during the service.

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