471 41st St. Allegan, MI 49010

mailing address: 630 38th St. Allegan, MI 49010

Phone: 269-521-3440 . Fax: 269-521-3440

Cheshire Township

Community News

 

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mary

Auto Insurance Reform Town Hall:
Many Allegan County Residents have contacted me regarding their concerns of Michigan's rising auto insurance rates. Our current auto no-fault system has caused insurance companies to pay more per claim than any other state. With auto insurance costs rising yearly, Michigan drivers expect us to move in a direction that will lead to lower rates and greater protection for auto insurance consumers.

I invite residents to attend an informational meeting and conversation on the need for auto insurance reform with special guest State Representative Lana Theis, Chair of the House Insurance Committee.

Date: Monday, September 18th
Time: 6pm – 7pm
Location: Fillmore Township Hall, 4219 52nd Street, Holland, Michigan 49423

August 2017

Dear Friend,

Hello and welcome to the August edition of my e-newsletter for 2017!

This summer has been filled with community events and meetings with Allegan County residents. I've been able to attend many township and city meetings throughout the district and provide a legislative update of what I have accomplished on your behalf. I'm committed to maintaining an open line of communication and encourage all residents to contact our 80th District office and share your thoughts and concerns so that I can best represent you.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

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Mary Whiteford
State Representative
80th District

September Office Hours:

My next set of monthly office hours are scheduled for Friday, September 8th at the following locations and times:

Time: 9am - 10am
Location: The Trestle Stop, 3366-M-40, Hamilton, MI 49419

Time: 11am - 12pm
Location: Laketown Township Hall, 4338 Beeline Road, Holland, MI 49423

Time: 2pm - 3pm
Location: Casco Township, 7104 107th Ave. South Haven, MI 49090

Michigan House of Representatives C.A.R.E.S. Task Force seeks community input:
As a member of the Michigan House of Representatives C.A.R.E.S. task force, I invite you to provide input to the task force.

Anyone who has suggestions on topics such as veterans' care, substance abuse treatment, mental health courts, the care of developmentally delayed individuals and training for law enforcement, can submit information online at www.house.mi.gov/CARES.

Reminder Summer Reading Contest Coming to a close Sept. 1st:
My second annual summer reading contest is coming to a close. First through fifth grade students who read ten books and fill out the back of the bookmark distributed at local libraries may drop it off at their local library by September 1st to be entered into a drawing. The winner and their family will be invited to join me in Lansing to be a "Representative for a Day."

Completed bookmarks can be returned to any of our local libraries:

Allegan Public Library, 331 Hubbard St. in Allegan;
Salem Township Library, 3007 142nd Ave. in Burnips;
Saugatuck-Douglas District Library, 137 E. Center St. in Douglas;
Fennville District Library, 400 W. Main St. in Fennville;
Hopkins Public Library, 118 E. Main St. in Hopkins;
J.C. Wheeler Public Library, 1576 S. Main St. in Martin;
Otsego District Public Library, 401 Dix St. in Otsego; and
Charles A. Ransom District Library, 180 S. Sherwood Ave. in Plainwell.

Mid-Year Update:
Increased government transparency:
Government should be open and honest with the people it represents. Legislation approved by the House earlier this year would subject the governor and lieutenant governor to the Freedom of Information Act and subject state representatives and senators to the Legislative Open Records Act.

I am proud to have voted in support of this package of legislation.

The plan:
• Makes state government more accountable to you
• Opens the records of the governor and Legislature
• Protects your private information

Expanding career training opportunities:
Legislation passed by the House would add computer science and coding opportunities for students. We also expanded career and technical education programs to provide real-world experiences for our young people and allow skilled trades courses to be an option to fulfill graduation requirements. These changes bring Michigan's education curriculum to the 21st century.

I am committed to developing education opportunities to help our students succeed. Michigan schools need to give children more classroom options that lead to increased future job opportunities.

Auto Insurance for Michigan Residents:
Many Allegan County Residents have contacted me regarding their concerns of Michigan's rising auto insurance rates. Our current auto no-fault system has caused insurance companies to pay more per claim than any other state. In fact, the average personal injury protection claim in Michigan is around $30,000 more than the next highest no-fault state (New Jersey). These costs end up being paid for by Michiganders who pay for their insurance premiums, so this amount increases as costs increase. Spending an excessive amount of our hard-earned money on auto insurance takes away from other financial priorities for families.

Clear reform is needed. That is why I introduced legislation, along with my colleagues in the Michigan House of Representatives, to clarify the Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility (MAIPF)'s claims process. The legislation aims to refine the organization's function regarding eligibility and review of claims for uninsured victims of automobile accidents.

My bill would require the MAIPF to review a claim before making an initial determination regarding eligibility. The intent of this legislation is to ensure that claims are being accurately processed, thus reducing the likelihood of an ineligible claim being accepted.

Furthermore, the bill I'm sponsoring states that if a claimant does not cooperate with the MAIPF, the MAIPF must suspend benefits to the claimant, but may continue benefits after the claimant resumes cooperation. This should come as reassurance for insured drivers, especially since they ultimately pay for benefits from claims of uninsured drivers.

My bill also clarifies that assignment of a claim to an insurer is not a determination of eligibility and that the claim may still be denied later, and clarifies the penalty for knowingly giving false information. This legislation aims to reduce auto insurance fraud across the state.

This reform is an initial step, however, and much more will have to be done to tackle Michigan's complete auto no-fault system. With auto insurance costs rising yearly, Michigan drivers expect us to move in a direction that will lead to lower rates and greater protection for auto insurance consumers.

I pledge to work to implement these common-sense reforms, along with additional policy changes, to bring down the cost of auto insurance in Michigan while ensuring that rate payers' hard earned money is spent effectively.

Michigan 2017-18 School Funding:
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I'm happy to share that, in this budget cycle, schools will receive the highest funding in state history. Our emphasis is to get money back into the classroom, where it does students the most good. We are continuing our commitment to quality education by prioritizing investments to help all Michigan children by increasing funding for every student. The graphic indicates how this directly impacts Allegan County students.

Constituent Connections:

I attended the Allegan County Veteran Stand Down earlier this month. It was great to see so many familiar faces and be a resource to Allegan County veterans. Thanks to those that stopped by!

Earlier this month, I attended a statewide Vietnam Veteran Memorial dedication with my mother. It was great to see so many veterans and community members from the 80th District at the event. It was extremely meaningful to see Jim McCloughan, a constituent of the 80th District, our nation's newest Medal of Honor recipient, and the guest speaker at the dedication. I was also able to visit with Art Orozco from Holland. A heartfelt thank you to everyone on such a meaningful event.

I was able to visit the new exhibit at the Saugatuck-Douglas History Museum. I enjoyed hearing about the history of the Saugatuck and Douglas area.

Congratulations to the Allegan County Farm Bureau on another fantastic Annual meeting at The Trestle Stop in Hamilton!

STATE GOVERNMENT RESOURCES
State Government Links

The Official State, County and City Government Website Locator: www.statelocalgov.net/state-mi.cfm

Michigan Senate website: www.senate.michigan.gov

Michigan House of Representatives website: www.house.michigan.gov

Michigan Legislative Website: www.legislature.mi.gov

Unemployment Issues: If you are having issues connecting with the state unemployment office or receiving your unemployment benefits, please feel free to contact me by calling 517-373-0836. You may also find additional helpful information at the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency website: http://www.michigan.gov/uia/0,1607,7-118-26831---,00.html