Senator Brandenburg District Update

Senate approves criminal justice reforms

The Michigan Senate recently approved criminal justice reforms to help reduce the cycle of imprisonment while ensuring public protection and safety.

The package of bills addresses issues throughout the entire system — those facing prisoners, individuals on probation or parole and those working to assimilate back into society. Reforms include ways to better track and evaluate recidivism data, speed up medical commutation hearings, and help prisoners transition back into their communities.

Michigan has a recidivism rate 20 percent higher than the national average for probationers and parolees. The bills refocus Michigan’s criminal justice system on rehabilitation to help break the cycle of crime. Many of the reforms are based on the success of programs in other states.

Senate Bills 5-24 and 50 have been sent to the House for consideration.

 

Reading alert!

March is Reading Month and a great time to share the benefits of reading with young students. Each year, I travel to elementary schools in the district to participate as a classroom guest reader and share my love of reading. I am also pleased to provide a colorful bookmark as a reminder to keep up the reading habit! Please let me know if you would like to receive one.

 

Free taxpayer preparation guide now available

I am pleased to provide a free resource that may be helpful in filling out state income tax forms for the 2016 tax year.

Though not a substitute for Michigan Department of Treasury tax instruction booklets, the 2017 Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide provides useful information on Michigan’s individual income tax and property taxes. The booklet also features contact information for obtaining state agency tax assistance and copies of the most commonly used tax forms.  Please visit my website for a link to the tax guide or contact my office for a print copy.

 

Healthy students learn better

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is encouraging those schools taking action to promote healthy eating, physical activity and a tobacco-free lifestyle to apply for the 2017 School Wellness Award.

Healthy schools can help students achieve their academic potential. The deadline for schools to submit applications is midnight, April 19. More information, including the application, FAQs, and a list of the 2016 award winners, is available at http://swa.mihealthtools.org.

Along with MDHHS, partners include the Michigan Department of Education, United Dairy Industry of Michigan, Action for Healthy Kids and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.