Booher’s brownfield redevelopment bill approved by Senate Natural Resources Committee

LANSING?The Senate Natural Resources Committee on Thursday approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Darwin Booher that would give local and state officials the flexibility to renegotiate brownfield redevelopment loans whose terms may not reflect current financial realities.

“Brownfield redevelopment loans are an important tool the state offers local agencies to help support economic growth and job creation while protecting our environment through the reuse of existing property,” said Booher, R-Evart. “The problem is that sometimes market or economic conditions change during the loan period, resulting in local agencies struggling to repay the loan. Unlike with other programs, the state is currently not given flexibility to renegotiate repayment terms for brownfield redevelopment loans. This bill gives them that flexibility.”

Senate Bill 719 would amend the Brownfield Redevelopment Loan Program to allow the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to alter the terms of a brownfield loan, including the length of the loan, the interest rate and the repayment terms. Under the bill, the loan could only be altered if requested by the loan recipient and if there was proof of a financial hardship related to the financed project.

“To ensure that this flexibility is used appropriately and is not abused, the committee-approved bill includes a reporting requirement regarding the loans that are refinanced under the program,” Booher said. “This transparency will require a report to the Legislature on the number of loans refinanced, the local unit involved and the change in the loan terms.”

In previous testimony on the bill, Booher was joined by officials from Harrison and Clare County, who supported the bill and told the committee about their situation.

“This fix would help the city of Harrison in my district and potentially other cities that rely on increased property values to help pay off these loans,” Booher said. “Simply, it gives officials the ability to craft a workable solution that benefits both the state and the local agencies.”

SB 719 has been sent to the full Senate for consideration.

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A print-quality photograph of Booher is available by visiting the senator’s website at: www.SenatorDarwinBooher.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center Tab.

Booher welcomes Pastor Freysinger to state Capitol to lead invocation

LANSING—Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, welcomes the Rev. Robert Freysinger (right) to the Michigan Senate. Freysinger is the pastor at United Methodist Church in Kalkaska and delivered the invocation before Senate session.

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A print-quality photograph of Sen. Booher with Pastor Freysinger is available by visiting the senator’s website at: www.SenatorDarwinBooher.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center Tab.

 

Senate panel OKs Booher bill to help extended care patients in rural areas

LANSING?Extended care patients would not be required to move mid-stay under legislation sponsored by Sen. Darwin Booher and approved on Wednesday by the Senate Health Policy Committee.

Current law allows rural hospitals meeting certain criteria to provide extended care services through the use of “swing beds” if a nursing home bed is not available. Swing beds are hospital beds used for services that otherwise would be provided in a nursing home.

“Swing beds at rural hospitals are helping us meet the extended care needs of all patients, yet previous legislation meant to curb abuse of this service is having unintended consequences,” said Booher, R-Evart.  “Hospitals are now required to transfer a patient to a nursing home bed after he or she has already been admitted into a swing bed.  This has created confusion for patients and families who do not understand why they have to move.”

Senate Bill 446 would clarify state law by stipulating that the nursing home bed must be available at the time a patient requires admission for extended care services. 

“My bill is about clearing up confusion in the law and helping prevent a patient from having to move beds mid-stay,” Booher said. “The intent is to ensure decisions on where to place patients are based on their needs. I have heard from the 11 critical access hospitals across the state, some of which are in my district. The clarification is important to them and the patients they serve in rural communities.” 

SB 446 has been sent to the full Senate for consideration.

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A print-quality photograph of Booher is available by visiting the senator’s website at: www.SenatorDarwinBooher.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center Tab.
 

Sen. Booher welcomes Roger Griner to state Capitol for State of the State address

LANSING—Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, welcomes Benzie County Commissioner Roger Griner to the Michigan Capitol before Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2014 State of the State address. Griner (left) was Booher’s guest for the annual address Thursday night.

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A print-quality photograph of Booher welcoming Griner is available by visiting the senator’s website at: www.SenatorDarwinBooher.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center Tab.

 

Booher reacts to State of the State address

LANSING?State Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, issued the following statement Thursday after Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his 2014 State of the State address:

“I share Governor Snyder’s positive outlook about our great state. We are on our way to a strong recovery, illustrated by the creation of more than 220,000 private sector jobs since 2011 and the outstanding growth in Michigan tourism and our overall economy.

“Everyone should be proud of the accomplishments we have achieved as a state in just three years. We have replaced a $1.5 billion deficit with nearly a billion-dollar surplus. We have taken the state’s rainy day fund from almost nothing to nearly $600 million and reduced the state’s long-term debts by $20 billion.

“To ensure that everyone can take part in a brighter Michigan, we must build upon these achievements. My priorities mirror those laid out by the governor: Support our schools and local communities; improve our infrastructure; and use part of our surplus to provide tax relief to Michigan families.

“Quality roads are safer for drivers and also help attract tourists and job providers to Michigan, which is why I strongly support putting additional resources into fixing our roads.

“Education remains a top priority. In fact, we are spending more than $13.3 billion on K-12 education this year – the largest amount in state history. I am confident we can increase our support so that more of the funds make it into the classroom.

“Supporting education is about more than money. We will continue to ensure our schools meet the needs of all our students, including more options for career and technical education that can help prepare students for success in available jobs. 

“I am enthusiastic about our future, and I look forward to working with the governor to continue Michigan’s comeback by building on our successes and investing in our people.”

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Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sen. Booher will be available on the senator’s website at: www.SenatorDarwinBooher.com. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.
 

Booher reacts to State of the State address

LANSING?State Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, issued the following statement Thursday after Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his 2014 State of the State address:

“I share Governor Snyder’s positive outlook about our great state. We are on our way to a strong recovery, illustrated by the creation of more than 220,000 private sector jobs since 2011 and the outstanding growth in Michigan tourism and our overall economy.

“Everyone should be proud of the accomplishments we have achieved as a state in just three years. We have replaced a $1.5 billion deficit with nearly a billion-dollar surplus. We have taken the state’s rainy day fund from almost nothing to nearly $600 million and reduced the state’s long-term debts by $20 billion.

“To ensure that everyone can take part in a brighter Michigan, we must build upon these achievements. My priorities mirror those laid out by the governor: Support our schools and local communities; improve our infrastructure; and use part of our surplus to provide tax relief to Michigan families.

“Quality roads are safer for drivers and also help attract tourists and job providers to Michigan, which is why I strongly support putting additional resources into fixing our roads.

“Education remains a top priority. In fact, we are spending more than $13.3 billion on K-12 education this year – the largest amount in state history. I am confident we can increase our support so that more of the funds make it into the classroom.

“Supporting education is about more than money. We will continue to ensure our schools meet the needs of all our students, including more options for career and technical education that can help prepare students for success in available jobs. 

“I am enthusiastic about our future, and I look forward to working with the governor to continue Michigan’s comeback by building on our successes and investing in our people.”

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Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sen. Booher will be available on the senator’s website at: www.SenatorDarwinBooher.com. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.
 

Sen. Booher is available for comments following State of the State address

Who:
Sen. Darwin Booher, chair of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee.

What:
Reaction and comments following the governor’s State of the State address.

When: 
The address is scheduled to begin Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m.

Where:
House Appropriations Room
Third Floor
State Capitol
Lansing, MI

Briefing:
Booher, R-Evart, will be available following the State of the State address for comments on issues mentioned by the governor in the address. 

Please call Booher’s office at (517) 373-1725 or Patrick Tiedt at (231) 878-3052 prior to 5 p.m. on Jan. 16 to schedule an interview time with the senator.

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Sen. Booher is available for comments following State of the State address

Who:
Sen. Darwin Booher, chair of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee.

What:
Reaction and comments following the governor’s State of the State address.

When: 
The address is scheduled to begin Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m.

Where:
House Appropriations Room
Third Floor
State Capitol
Lansing, MI

Briefing:
Booher, R-Evart, will be available following the State of the State address for comments on issues mentioned by the governor in the address. 

Please call Booher’s office at (517) 373-1725 or Patrick Tiedt at (231) 878-3052 prior to 5 p.m. on Jan. 16 to schedule an interview time with the senator.

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