MacGregor attends Senate Memorial Day Service

Sen. Peter MacGregor

Sen. Peter MacGregor

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday held its 24th Annual Memorial Day Service, honoring the state’s fallen military heroes.

One member was memorialized this year with a folded American flag placed in a special basket in front of the Senate rostrum.

“The Senate’s Memorial Day Service is an important, special day when we pause to remember and honor those who gave their lives for our country,” said Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford. “It is truly a privilege to be a part of this wonderful Senate tradition.”

This year’s featured guest speaker was Medal of Honor recipient, former U.S. Army combat medic James McCloughan, of South Haven. McCloughan received the medal last year for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity” during a bloody, two-day battle of the Vietnam War in 1969.

A processional of honored guests, including members from veteran service organizations, the Kalamazoo Pipe Band and a color guard, filled the Senate chamber. Senators were joined at their desks by invited guests, most of whom were veterans from their districts, and by members of the Michigan Army and Air National Guard, among others. A bugler closed out the ceremony with a playing of taps.

The Senate’s Memorial Day Service began in 1994 at the direction of former Senate Majority Leader and Congressman Mike Rogers.

Those interested in watching the Senate Memorial Day Service may do so at MISenate.viebit.com, where an archive will be available to stream or download.

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Sen. MacGregor welcomes State Champion Godwin Heights Marching Band to Senate

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Peter MacGregor welcomed the 2017 Michigan State Champion Godwin Heights High School Marching Band to the Senate on Thursday. The Senator presented the band with a special tribute to mark the occasion.

“It was a pleasure to welcome the Godwin Heights High School Marching Band to the Senate,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “On behalf of my colleagues and our west Michigan community, I extend my congratulations to the band on its outstanding performance and state championship. I wish them all continued success in music, school and life.”

Under the direction of Godwin Heights High School music teacher Jake Castillo, the Fighting Wolverines marching band participated last November in the 2017 Michigan Competing Band Association’s State Championship at Ford Field in Detroit.

With a score of 91.325, Godwin Heights High School earned the top score in their flight. Additionally, the band won awards for Outstanding Visual Performance, Outstanding General Effect, and Outstanding Music Performance.

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Photo caption: Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, welcomed the 2017 Michigan State Champion Godwin Heights High School Marching Band to the Senate. Sen. MacGregor presented the band with a special tribute to mark the occasion.

Sen. MacGregor’s bills improving payment for foster care services signed at ceremony

LANSING, Mich. — A formal bill signing ceremony was held on Tuesday for Senate Bills 529 and 530, sponsored by Sen. Peter MacGregor.

The laws improve the reimbursement process from the state’s Child Care Fund, fixing slow payments to counties and nonprofit organizations that serve foster children throughout Michigan.

The Child Care Fund pays for costs associated with foster care, child welfare and juvenile justice services. Previously, the payment system consisted of a 50-50 cost sharing model between the state and counties for reimbursement of services, in which the counties would pay providers and the state would pay the counties. This system led to delayed reimbursements, among other problems.

Senate Bills 529 and 530 establish a state-pays-first model to transition from and replace the local pay and reimbursement model, to ensure prompt payments to service providers. The laws also establish an expanded list of direct costs that can be reimbursed. Additionally, the laws establish an administrative appeals process for reimbursement disputes.

“These reforms have made the system more efficient and have clarified the reimbursement process,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “I am proud of the work that has been put into this legislation over the past two years to help remedy this reimbursement issue. It is helping to ensure that our foster children receive the care they deserve.”

The bills became Public Acts 21-22 of 2018 on Feb. 14.

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Photo caption: Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, and Gov. Rick Snyder pose for a photo after the governor signed Senate Bills 529 and 530. The laws improve the payment process for services provided by organizations taking care of foster children in Michigan.