Senator Brandenburg District Update

Senate adopts Asian carp Senate Concurrent Resolution 7

Invasive species already cost the Great Lakes region more than $100 million a year to control. If Asian carp were to breach the Great Lakes system, the cost would be catastrophic.

I recently supported a Senate resolution to back the recommendations of the Chicago Area Waterway System Advisory Committee to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. Already, juvenile Asian carp have been identified only 47 miles from Lake Michigan.

Asian carp out-compete native fish, and once established, they are nearly impossible to eradicate. Their arrival would seriously threaten the viability of the Great Lakes $7 billion sport and commercial fishery.

Sen. Brandenburg backs new law to provide better health care and access

Under a new law, patients in rural communities will have better access to quality health care.

Public Act 499 of 2016 expands the scope of practice for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), allowing them to provide more services under the delegation of a physician. APRNs include nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialists. The new law also incentivizes APRNs to serve in Health Resource Shortage Areas, typically rural areas, to increase access to medical care and lower health care costs. The law takes effect on April 9, 2017.

Fostering Futures Scholarship application period now open

Many teens who emancipate from foster care want to attend college, yet less than 10 percent who graduate from high school actually enroll in college.

The Fostering Futures Scholarship provides some help with college expenses such as tuition, fees, room, board and books when no other assistance may be available. Since 2012, nearly $900,000 has been raised and awarded to students through individual and group donations, sponsorships and other volunteer-based fundraising events. From now to June 30, eligible students enrolled at a Michigan college or university have an opportunity to apply for a scholarship up to $3,000. To learn more, visit www.fosteringfutures-mi.com.

Senate legislation under consideration would provide for an income tax checkoff contribution to the Fostering Futures Scholarship trust fund.

Overview of Michigan forest health

Michigan forests cover approximately 20 million acres and rank among the top ten states in land area. This important natural resource not only adds natural beauty and supports valuable wildlife habitat but plays a leading role in the state’s recreation, forest products and tourism industries.

The 2016 Forest Health Highlights report recently issued by the DNR provides an overview of Michigan’s forests, breaks down current threats to their health, including insects and diseases, and details what’s being done to protect and improve our forest system. Check out the report at www.michigan.gov/foresthealth.