Rep. Julie Calley (R-Portland) issued the following e-newsletter recently:
As your State Representative, I appreciate hearing about issues that matter most to you. I have included several items in this newsletter that are important to our local communities. I appreciate you taking part in the legislative process as we continue to improve the lives of those in our surrounding communities and throughout Michigan.
If you have any questions or concerns about the following issues, or any other state topic, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am grateful for your engagement.
If there is an event taking place in your area, please contact my office. Also, if you know someone who should be recognized for an achievement or milestone, please notify me so that they may be recognized with a special tribute from the State of Michigan. It is my honor to highlight the great accomplishments of our district.
The House passed a package of bills aimed at improving transparency and accountability. This legislation would subject the Executive Branch to the Freedom of Information Act and create a similar but not identical set of rules under the Legislative Open Records Act.
In 2015, a study was released by The Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity which ranked Michigan as 50th for its shortcomings in areas such as public access to information, legislative accountability, and executive accountability. Click on the link here.
Michiganders have clearly communicated their desire for increased transparency and openness, and this legislation is a step in the right direction.
Visit to Vocational Village
In February, Representative Thomas Albert and I toured the Vocational Village in the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia. Inmates are learning skilled trades, earning college degrees, and even training puppies to be leader dogs. More than half of the participants have employment offers waiting for them upon release.
Criminal Justice Reform Package
On March 8, I voted yes on a Criminal Justice reform package. This package of Senate bills, four years in the making, aimed at reducing recidivism. Each inmate costs Michigan taxpayers an average of $35,000 per year. Helping those who are released find another path after incarceration has a threefold benefit.
- They are no longer dependent on the taxpayers;
- Once employed, they are participating in the taxation system and therefore supporting other citizens; and
- Most importantly, if there is no new crime, there are no additional victims.
This package of bills was presented to the Governor on March 21 and currently awaiting his signature.
Pastor Steve Miller of Inter-Lakes Baptist Church in Delton gave the invocation to open Session. I deeply appreciate his willingness to minister in that capacity.
He was joined by his wife Ashley. It was an honor to host them in the Capitol.
March is Reading Month
During the month of March, I visited several local elementary schools as students throughout Michigan observed March is Reading Month. I had reading sessions with over 300 students as Southeastern and Central Elementary schools in Hastings, Saranac Elementary, Oakwood Elementary in Portland, and Delton Kellogg Elementary in Delton.
April Office Hours
I value feedback from community members, along with the opportunity to address questions and concerns. Therefore, office hours took place in March, in both Hastings and Lake Odessa.
For April, additional office hours are available. Attendees will first hear a legislative update. Then, if residents have individual concerns of a confidential nature, I will be available for individual meetings of ten minutes each.
Office hours are scheduled for the following dates:
- Monday, April 17, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the Barry County Courthouse, Commissioners’ Chambers, 220 W. State St., Hastings
- Monday, April 17, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Portland City Hall, 259 Kent St., Portland
Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the 87th House District of Michigan.
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