Sen. MacGregor welcomes the Rev. Michael Cisler to state Capitol to give Senate invocation

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, welcomed the Rev. Michael Cisler and his family to the Michigan Capitol on Wednesday. Cisler serves as pastor at North Kent Bible Church of Rockford and delivered the invocation before Senate session.

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Editor’s note: Print-quality versions of the above photos are available by clicking on the images or by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorPeterMacGregor.com. Click “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

Top photo caption: MacGregor (left) and his guest, the Rev. Michael Cisler, who delivered the first Senate session invocation of 2018.

Bottom photo caption: MacGregor (right) with the Rev. Michael Cisler, his wife Melinda, and their children Makenna, Charles and Angela. Cisler is pastor at North Kent Bible Church in Rockford.

Sen. MacGregor issues statement on fraudulent therapy dog legislation

Sen. Peter MacGregor

Sen. Peter MacGregor

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, issued the following statement on Senate Bill 663:

“I fully support the use of therapy animals. We’ve learned that they can be incredibly helpful for someone suffering from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, among other conditions.

“Recently, we’ve heard complaints and discovered the existence of several fraudulent or uncertified entities offering false certifications for these animals.

“Under this legislation, in order to have an emotional support animal, one would need only to obtain a doctor’s note stating the animal assists in day-to-day activities that the individual would otherwise not be able to do.

“The goal of this legislation is to maintain the integrity of these very important service animals for those who truly need them.

“Landlords who allowed animals under the previous belief that they were a certified support animal could also evict the tenant if the tenant is found guilty.

“As this bill continues through the legislative process, I encourage those with questions or concerns to contact my office at 855-347-8028.”

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Sen. MacGregor, Rep. Afendoulis facilitate PFAS budget supplemental through both chambers

Sen. Peter MacGregor

Sen. Peter MacGregor

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Wednesday approved a measure aimed at addressing the recent growth of groundwater issues caused by perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) throughout the state.

“Unfortunately, many parts of the state, including parts of my district, were included in these recent findings,” said state Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford. “I am happy to see this issue being addressed and to see a bipartisan effort to find a solution.”

This funding will enable the state to assess the size and scope of the water quality issues regarding these compounds. This will ensure that the Departments of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Environmental Quality (DEQ) have the resources to analyze drinking and surface waters for PFAS.

This action comes in the wake of Gov. Rick Snyder announcing the creation of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART). MPART was formally created by Executive Order 2017-4 and its members have been tasked with finding a timely and comprehensive solution to the recent increase of PFAS chemicals in groundwater systems across Michigan.

House Bill 4320, a supplemental to the 2017-2018 budget, includes an additional $23.2 million to address the PFAS problem. This money will go toward response and mitigation efforts, laboratory and testing equipment, water sampling and other measures.

Currently, Michigan does not have the capacity to perform drinking water testing at the levels recommended by the DEQ. A portion of this funding will go to expand state labs to provide comprehensive PFAS testing; allowing agents from DHHS and DEQ to better protect the public and identify potential problems.

“Testing for these compounds is relatively new and only 12 labs across the country are currently certified to perform such tests,” said MacGregor. “This supplemental is just the first step in getting our hands around this issue. When more data is available we can come back and reevaluate whether additional resources are needed.”

Rep. Chris Affendoulis also praised the approval of the funding measure.

“Senator MacGregor and I have worked diligently for several months to secure this funding,” said Affendoulis, R-Grand Rapids Township. “I’m thrilled to see both chambers come together to provide the much needed funding to address this issue.”

HB 4320 will now go to Gov. Rick Snyder for approval.

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Governor announces creation of Michigan PFAS Action Response Team

Sen. Peter MacGregor

Sen. Peter MacGregor

LANSING, Mich. — As various instances of contamination emerge across the state, on Monday Gov. Rick Snyder announced the creation of the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART).

MPART was formally created by Executive Order 2017-4 and members are tasked with finding a timely and comprehensive solution to the recent increase of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in groundwater systems across Michigan.

“There have been numerous communities throughout the state that have been negatively impacted by these recent outbreaks,” said state Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford. “Unfortunately, parts of my district were included in this unfortunate situation. I am happy to see this emergency action being taken and hope it quickly leads to a solution.”

The team will be led by retired Michigan Chief Deputy Attorney General Carol Isaacs and also include representatives from the Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality; Health and Human Services; Military and Veterans Affairs; and Agriculture and Rural Development. Additional support will be provided by the Michigan Departments of State Police; Natural Resources; Technology, Management and Budget; Treasury; Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; and Education.

Because all levels of government are involved in maintaining public health, the team’s primary task will be enhancing cooperation and coordination among local, state and federal agencies and ensuring resources are being used as efficiently as possible. Officials will work with the Kent County Health Department and other government entities to not only determine contamination zones, but also to ensure the public continues to be updated on the evolving situation.

“The most important part of this is making sure everyone in the community knows what’s going on and knows what they need to do,” said MacGregor. “The Kent County Health Department has done a fantastic job keeping people updated and I am happy to work with them to spread this information to anyone who may need it.”

The Kent County Health Department maintains a website with up-to-date information that can be found here. The state has also created a website where the public can find out information about PFAS contamination and the ongoing efforts to address it in Michigan. The site will be continually updated as additional information becomes available.

MacGregor also announced that the Kent County Health Department will be hosting its second town hall meeting in the upcoming weeks. The meeting will take place on Nov. 29 at the Rockford Freshman Center located at 4500 Kroes St., Rockford. Beginning at 4:30 p.m., residents who have questions or concerns will be able to speak directly with various experts from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Wolverine Worldwide, Rose and Westra GZA, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Kent County Health Department (KCHD).

At 6 p.m. the town hall meeting will begin in the center’s gymnasium.

The latest information and information about the upcoming town hall can be found here.

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MacGregor awarded Legislator of the Year by Michigan Restaurant Association

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Restaurant Association (MRA) on Thursday presented Sen. Peter MacGregor with the organization’s 2017 Legislator of the Year Award.

“The food and beverage industry is incredibly important to Michigan. These establishments provide over 400,000 jobs as well as contribute nearly $16 billion to the state’s economy,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “I am honored to have been selected as this year’s Legislator of the Year. As a former small business owner, I recognize what goes into creating a successful establishment and I try to reflect that in my voting record.”

MacGregor was recognized for his continued support of the Michigan restaurant and foodservice community since taking office and most recently for introducing legislation that would protect the entire foodservice community by preventing local governments from levying an additional tax on certain meals or beverages.

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Editor’s note: A print-quality version of this photo will be available for download at SenatorPeterMacGregor.com/photowire.

PHOTO CAPTION: State Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, accepts the Michigan Restaurant Association’s 2017 Legislator of the Year Award from Tom Bramson, who serves on the association’s board as an honorary member.

 

 

Sen. MacGregor issues statement on House Street Disposal, House Bill 4205

Sen. Peter MacGregor

Sen. Peter MacGregor

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, issued the following statement on Tuesday regarding growing concerns over water contamination in Plainfield Township:

“My utmost concern lies with the residents who live in the area surrounding the former landfill on House Street and making sure they have all of the resources and information they need.

“Currently, the Michigan Departments of Health and Human Services, Environmental Quality, Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development are working directly with the Kent County Health Department, Plainfield Township and Wolverine Worldwide to remedy the situation and provide residents with both short and long-term solutions. Weekly updates are provided on the Kent County Health Department’s website.

“Additionally, the Department of Environmental Quality continues to test the area surrounding the site and Wolverine Worldwide is providing water filters to those in need.

“House Bill 4205 would allow a process by which department directors could request standards that exceed those outlined by the federal government. This bill was not introduced or approved by the Senate Committee on Oversight in response to the current situation, nor can it be retroactively applied to the ongoing issue in Plainfield Township.”

MacGregor urges residents who would like more information, or have questions to click here, or visit www.AccessKent.com and click on the ‘Health Department’ link under the ‘Departments’ tab.

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MacGregor attends turkey tract dedication at Flat River State Game Area

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Peter MacGregor recently joined the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Department of Natural Resources in introducing the second turkey tract in southern Michigan.

The dedication was the formal opening of the tract at the Flat River State Game Area.

Turkey tracts are designed to highlight public hunting areas where intensive habitat management for turkeys has been conducted. Management practices include timber harvest, selective use of herbicides, invasive species treatment and removal, and controlled burns that reduce the potential for severe wildfires by clearing accumulated debris.

“Wild turkeys are found in all 68 counties of the Lower Peninsula and most of the Upper Peninsula as well,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “In recent years harvest numbers have pushed Michigan into the top ten turkey hunting destinations, landing at number eight. Hunters are coming from all over to experience our beautiful natural resources and take part in this historic wildlife conservation story.”

Michigan’s 2017 fall turkey hunting season runs Sept. 15 to Nov. 14. There are 51,350 licenses available, including 4,650 general licenses and 46,700 private-land licenses.

Information about fall turkey hunting, including drawing results and leftover license availability, can be found at mi.gov/turkey.

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Editor’s note: Print-quality versions of these photos will be available for download at SenatorPeterMacGregor.com/photowire.

PHOTO CAPTION: State Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, stops for a photo in front of the kiosk at the site of the new turkey tract at the Flat River State Game Area. The kiosk gives hunters information about the newly dedicated tract and was built by students at Belding High School.

 

 

Sen. MacGregor issues statement in response to tragic death of Rockford trooper

Sen. Peter MacGregor

Sen. Peter MacGregor

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, issued the following statement following the confirmation that Michigan State Police Trooper Timothy O’Neill of Rockford died on Wednesday as a result of an on-duty crash:

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Trooper Timothy O’Neill.

“Trooper O’Neill began with the Michigan State Police in 2014 and served the community of Rockford for the entirety of his career.

“Our law enforcement officers work tirelessly every day to keep our communities safe and unfortunately, Trooper O’Neill made the ultimate sacrifice — and for that his family will never be the same.

“This is a huge loss, not only for his family, but for both the community of Rockford and the Michigan State Police as well. I ask that we all stand together and pray for his family and colleagues during this most-difficult time, especially his bride-to-be.”

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Senate honors fallen heroes during Memorial Day Service

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Thursday welcomed veterans, Blue Star Mothers and family members of fallen soldiers to the Capitol for the annual Senate Memorial Day Service.

The event, which is held every year on the Thursday before Memorial Day, serves as an occasion to remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as pay tribute to the families of fallen soldiers.

“It is always a humbling occasion to welcome all of the brave men and women who fought on our behalf to the Capitol for this event,” said state Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford. “Some of us will never know the feeling of a loved one giving their life in defense of our freedoms, but for those who have, they will forever be affected by this loss, and the rest of us will forever be in their debt.”

Thursday’s ceremony marked the 23rd anniversary of the Memorial Day service, which began and was first hosted by former state senator and U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers. This year’s keynote speaker was Major General Gregory Vadnais, the adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard and the director of Military and Veterans Affairs for Michigan.

The event also serves as a special recognition for those from our home state who have lost their lives during the past year.

“Unfortunately we did have one fallen hero from Michigan at this year’s ceremony,” MacGregor said. “My heart goes out to the family of Lt. Col. Flando Jackson in this most difficult time. Jackson, who was active duty with the Washington Air National Guard exhibited the highest form of patriotism and is no doubt a hero to each and every one of us here in this chamber.”

MacGregor added that life as we know it would not exist without the heroic actions of the men and women of the armed services.

“As we stand here today, we honor those who served, those who are currently serving, and especially those who gave it all,” MacGregor said. “There is no greater sacrifice — and to those who answered our nation’s call and put themselves in harm’s way, we will forever be indebted.”

Video of Thursday’s ceremony can be found here and photos can also be found online by clicking here.

Reminder: Lawmakers honoring Vietnam era veterans at Grand Rapids event

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall, R-White Lake; Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell; and Sen. Pete MacGregor, R-Rockford on Saturday reminded interested parties of a Vietnam veteran lapel pinning ceremony next Saturday, March 4 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

The legislators are hosting the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event to Thank and Honor Vietnam Veterans and Their Families” in Grand Rapids to give long-overdue recognition to Vietnam War era veterans and their families. They encourage all interested residents and veterans to join them in paying tribute to the men and women who were too often forgotten when they returned home.

Kowall said the event is made possible in part by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration and hosted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3946 and American Legion posts 2, 258 and 356. It will be held at noon on Saturday, March 4, at the American Legion Boat and Canoe Club 401 N. Park St. NE, in Grand Rapids. American Legion Post 258 Color Guard will present the colors.

Those who are interested in attending should RSVP to American Legion Post 356 Commander Fred Chambers at 616-443-7630 or skysoldger@aol.com.

The lawmakers will provide a Vietnam War Commemorative Lapel Pin to U.S. veterans who served on active duty at any time from Nov. 1, 1955 – May 15, 1975, regardless of location.

Hot dogs and hamburgers will be prepared, available for purchase and served by the Sons of the American Legion (SAL) Post 258. Singer-songwriter Kelly Trudell will sing the national anthem, the “Armed Forces Medley” and “The Sound of Hope.” Trudell has been awarded the President’s Lifetime Volunteer Service Award for her work with veterans, soldiers and their families.

Kowall has held numerous lapel pinning ceremonies, in both Lansing and throughout the state. The ceremonies are held in a variety of locations, including Veterans of Foreign Wars/American Legion posts, veteran memorial parks and banquet halls. Kowall often partners with the senator of the district where the event is being held.

Information regarding the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration can be found at www.vietnamwar50th.com.