Booher welcomes chaplain to Capitol for Senates 17th Annual Memorial Day Service

 

LANSING— Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, welcomes Chaplain Lt. Col. James R. Chapin, Jr. (right) to the Michigan Senate. Chapin, of Farwell, is a chaplain in the Wesleyan Church and the Michigan Army National Guard.

Sen. John Pappageorge, R-Troy, (left) invited Chapin to give the invocation before Senate session. Pappageorge, a retired colonel and airborne ranger in the United States Army, presided over the Michigan Senate’s 17th Annual Memorial Day Service.

 

The above photograph of Booher and Pappageorge welcoming Chapin is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire at:
http://www.MISenateGOP.com/senators/photowire.asp?District=35.

Booher welcomes local veterans to Capitol for Senate Memorial Day service

LANSING— Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, welcomes Air Force veteran John Stocki and Army Vietnam veterans Calvin Murphy (left) and Daniel Pinkerton (right) to the Michigan Capitol for the state Senate Memorial Day presentation.

The veterans are members of Rolling Thunder Michigan Chapter 1 out of Manistee and were the honored guest of Booher on the Senate floor. Rolling Thunder is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting veterans and their families and bringing full accountability of all American Prisoners Of War and Missing In Action.

The above photograph of Booher welcoming the veterans is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire.

Booher: budget places Michigan on road to recovery

LANSING―State Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, issued the following statement Thursday after the Michigan Senate finalized a balanced 2012 state budget:

“This historic state budget eliminates Michigan’s $1.5 billion deficit and places the state on the road to recovery. Most importantly, this balanced budget creates a pro-jobs environment that is critical to true, sustained economic growth.

“Today we have made the tough, but necessary decisions to resolve Michigan’s structural deficit while still providing basic services like public safety and education.

“For the first time in nearly half a century, the state budget has been completed before Memorial Day.  This early foundation gives certainty to job providers frustrated by instability and ineffective leadership, and is important to economic recovery and investment.

“Unlike past years, this budget is truly balanced and does not use one-time fixes or federal bailouts to cover our fiscal reality. To ensure we get the greatest ‘value for the money,’ it is founded on sound budget principles and improved efficiency in state spending.”

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Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sen. Booher are available in the form of a podcast on the senator’s webpage at www.SenatorDarwinBooher.com. Click on “Podcasts.”

Booher: tax reforms will help spur Michigans economy

 

LANSING―Historic tax reforms signed Wednesday by Gov. Rick Snyder will make Michigan more competitive for jobs and bring greater fairness and simplicity to the state’s tax system, said Sen. Darwin Booher, who attended the bill signing.

“This landmark reform charts a new course in how we do business. Most importantly, it will help spur Michigan’s economy and create long-term jobs,” said Booher, R-Evart. “We are finally replacing the job-killing Michigan Business Tax with a simpler tax that will improve the state’s business climate.  This will position Michigan to be strongly competitive in attracting new investment and job creation.”

Public Acts 38-45 of 2011 eliminate the MBT, simplify the tax code, level the playing field among taxpayers and protect low-income families.

Under the new laws, which take effect Jan.1, 2012:

  • The MBT is replaced by a 6 percent Corporate Income Tax. The tax applies only to companies that file as “C” corporations – typically, those that issue stock. Nearly 100,000 small businesses will no longer be double taxed and will now file as individuals.
  • Numerous credits, deductions and exemptions are eliminated.
  • The income tax rate is frozen at 4.35 percent until Jan. 1, 2013, when it is lowered to 4.25 percent. Among Great Lakes states, only Indiana’s flat rate of 3.4 percent is lower.
  • A three-tiered system determines whether retirement income is taxed.  People born before 1946 will continue to receive the current retirement income exemptions, as well as the personal exemption, Social Security exemption and the exemption for dividends, interest and capital gains.
  • Firms wishing to take advantage of previously issued certificated credits may choose to continue paying the tax until their credits are exhausted. The most common certificated credits include brownfield redevelopment, historic preservation, battery, film and Michigan Economic Growth Authority credits.

 

The changes take Michigan from 30th to 16th in the nation in terms of lowest state and local business tax burden, according to the Council on State Taxation. The state’s corporate income tax rate will be the lowest in the Midwest. In addition, Michigan will have the 14th lowest personal income tax burden among the states that have a broad-based personal income tax.

Editor’s Note: A print-quality photograph of Booher at the governor’s bill signing is available on the senator’s photowire.

Booher welcomes Rev. Hansen to state Capitol

Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, and Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley (right) welcome Reverend David Hansen (center) to the Michigan Senate. Hansen is the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Roscommon and delivered the invocation before Senate session.

The above photograph of Booher and Calley welcoming Hansen is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire at:

http://www.MISenateGOP.com/senators/photowire.asp?District=35

Change is tough, but needed to spur economy

 

I take seriously the faith and responsibility that the voters of the 35th District have entrusted in me. As their voice in the Senate, I always put the long-term interests of Michigan first.

Michigan is facing many serious challenges. Solving the state’s $1.5 billion budget deficit, reinvigorating our economy and helping create jobs all at the same time has forced us to make several tough decisions.

State government and its leaders must be innovative and restructure how the state operates if we are ever to resolve our economic and fiscal problems. We are reducing punitive regulations and government interference, and we are finally reducing state spending.  The current state budget is $47.2 billion and the Senate-passed plan for 2012 is only $45.7 billion – a cut of $1.5 billion.

Most importantly, the plan sets a foundation for long-term economic growth and job creation.

It calls for shared sacrifice, which means everyone must pitch in. I personally took a 10 percent pay cut, all senators reduced their office spending by 20 percent, and now public employees need to share in the cost burden of their benefits.

Protecting the students in the classroom is a top priority, so we kept the education reduction to less than 2 percent, compared to cuts of 15-22 percent to higher education, 6 percent to agriculture and 20 percent to the Secretary of State.

When the state revised its revenue estimates in May, we gave the bulk of the extra funds – $330 million – to schools. We also passed reforms that will help save schools millions of dollars.

A common misconception that I hear is that the School Aid Fund cannot be used to help fund higher education. The Legislature is explicitly given that flexibility in the Michigan Constitution. Article IX, Section 11 states: “There shall be established a state school aid fund which shall be used exclusively for aid to school districts, higher education, and school employees’ retirement systems, as provided by law.” That language seems precise and straightforward. 

It should be remembered that since 2000, lawmakers have tapped more than $1.6 billion from the state’s General Fund to shore up K-12 education funding. 

In 2007, Gov. Granholm raised income and sales taxes by more than $1 billion. A month later the sales tax on services was replaced with a 22 percent surcharge on the Michigan Business Tax. A few special interests – like film producers – were given tax breaks, but the vast majority of residents and job providers were hit hard.  The impact on our economy was devastating.

That is why we made important tax reforms, including eliminating the MBT. Many of the northern Michigan manufacturers I have met may actually pay more under the new corporate income tax. The largest beneficiaries of the tax reform will be the locally owned small businesses right in our communities. They create 80 percent of Michigan jobs, but they were hurt the most by the MBT. Thanks to our reforms, small business owners will no longer be double taxed and will continue paying the same income tax we all pay.

Unlike past budgets, this plan is truly balanced. It recognizes that the state cannot afford our current spending, and it does not use one-time fixes or federal bailouts to cover our fiscal reality. The plan is based on sound budget principles and improved efficiency. Holding every program and tax dollar accountable enables us to get the greatest “value for the money.”

The state needs to change how it does business. Change is tough, but it is needed to spur our economy, create jobs and brighten Michigan’s future.

Darwin L. Booher
State Senator – 35th District

Change is tough, but needed to spur economy

 

I take seriously the faith and responsibility that the voters of the 35th District have entrusted in me. As their voice in the Senate, I always put the long-term interests of Michigan first.

Michigan is facing many serious challenges. Solving the state’s $1.5 billion budget deficit, reinvigorating our economy and helping create jobs all at the same time has forced us to make several tough decisions.

State government and its leaders must be innovative and restructure how the state operates if we are ever to resolve our economic and fiscal problems. We are reducing punitive regulations and government interference, and we are finally reducing state spending.  The current state budget is $47.2 billion and the Senate-passed plan for 2012 is only $45.7 billion – a cut of $1.5 billion.

Most importantly, the plan sets a foundation for long-term economic growth and job creation.

It calls for shared sacrifice, which means everyone must pitch in. I personally took a 10 percent pay cut, all senators reduced their office spending by 20 percent, and now public employees need to share in the cost burden of their benefits.

Protecting the students in the classroom is a top priority, so we kept the education reduction to less than 2 percent, compared to cuts of 15-22 percent to higher education, 6 percent to agriculture and 20 percent to the Secretary of State.

When the state revised its revenue estimates in May, we gave the bulk of the extra funds – $330 million – to schools. We also passed reforms that will help save schools millions of dollars.

A common misconception that I hear is that the School Aid Fund cannot be used to help fund higher education. The Legislature is explicitly given that flexibility in the Michigan Constitution. Article IX, Section 11 states: “There shall be established a state school aid fund which shall be used exclusively for aid to school districts, higher education, and school employees’ retirement systems, as provided by law.” That language seems precise and straightforward. 

It should be remembered that since 2000, lawmakers have tapped more than $1.6 billion from the state’s General Fund to shore up K-12 education funding. 

In 2007, Gov. Granholm raised income and sales taxes by more than $1 billion. A month later the sales tax on services was replaced with a 22 percent surcharge on the Michigan Business Tax. A few special interests – like film producers – were given tax breaks, but the vast majority of residents and job providers were hit hard.  The impact on our economy was devastating.

That is why we made important tax reforms, including eliminating the MBT. Many of the northern Michigan manufacturers I have met may actually pay more under the new corporate income tax. The largest beneficiaries of the tax reform will be the locally owned small businesses right in our communities. They create 80 percent of Michigan jobs, but they were hurt the most by the MBT. Thanks to our reforms, small business owners will no longer be double taxed and will continue paying the same income tax we all pay.

Unlike past budgets, this plan is truly balanced. It recognizes that the state cannot afford our current spending, and it does not use one-time fixes or federal bailouts to cover our fiscal reality. The plan is based on sound budget principles and improved efficiency. Holding every program and tax dollar accountable enables us to get the greatest “value for the money.”

The state needs to change how it does business. Change is tough, but it is needed to spur our economy, create jobs and brighten Michigan’s future.

Darwin L. Booher
State Senator – 35th District

Booher: tax reform plan lays the foundation for Michigans economic recovery

LANSING―State Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, issued the following statement Thursday after the Michigan Senate approved Gov. Rick Snyder’s tax reform plan:

“The status quo isn’t working. Our current system failed to energize Michigan’s economy, create jobs for our residents or give the state the stability needed to support critical priorities.

“This reform makes major changes in the way we do business.  By replacing the job-killing Michigan Business Tax, we are improving the state’s business climate from 30th to 16th in the nation – making our state competitive in attracting new investment and job creation.

“Most importantly, this tax reform lays the foundation for Michigan’s economic recovery and long-term job creation.  I believe these important changes are the best plan to restore hope for future generations and put Michigan workers back to work.”

Joan Antle testifies in support of Booher bill to help ensure kids are ready for kindergarten

LANSING— Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, listens to former kindergarten teacher Joan Antle of Leelanau County tell Senate Education Committee members about the need to ensure children are ready for school by requiring that a child is age five by the beginning of the school year unless parents and teachers determine the child is prepared. 

Antle has 30 years of experience as an educator. She told the panel that given the demanding curriculum students must meet, it is time that Michigan children be a least five when they begin their 13 year formal school education.

Senate Bills 315 and 316, sponsored by Booher, would require a child to be a least five on September 1, rather than December 1, in order to enroll in kindergarten beginning with the 2012-13 school year. 

Parents of children who would be affected by the change would be allowed to apply for a waiver. A committee of two teachers and an administrator would evaluate those children based on their readiness and notify the parents on their decision by July 1.

 

A print-quality photograph of Booher and Antle is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire.

Joan Antle testifies in support of Booher bill to help ensure kids are ready for kindergarten

LANSING— Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, listens to former kindergarten teacher Joan Antle of Leelanau County tell Senate Education Committee members about the need to ensure children are ready for school by requiring that a child is age five by the beginning of the school year unless parents and teachers determine the child is prepared. 

Antle has 30 years of experience as an educator. She told the panel that given the demanding curriculum students must meet, it is time that Michigan children be a least five when they begin their 13 year formal school education.

Senate Bills 315 and 316, sponsored by Booher, would require a child to be a least five on September 1, rather than December 1, in order to enroll in kindergarten beginning with the 2012-13 school year. 

Parents of children who would be affected by the change would be allowed to apply for a waiver. A committee of two teachers and an administrator would evaluate those children based on their readiness and notify the parents on their decision by July 1.

 

A print-quality photograph of Booher and Antle is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s photowire.