State Senator John Proos Talks Education Funding

WKZO – Radio

Roeders ClassThe Michigan legislature may be currently in session, but lawmakers are also traveling around their districts preparing for the November elections. State Senator John Proos says he’s noticed that, as the campaigns heat up, the issue of education funding seems to be the one that everyone’s talking about the most. He told WKZO that state lawmakers have, in fact, been investing in education over the past couple of years, despite what some claim.

“If you just look at the numbers for spending in Michigan, we were spending about 12.1 billion dollars on K through 12 education in 2010,” Proos told WKZO. “Today, since 2010, we are now at 13.1 billion dollars in education.”

Proos said that doesn’t sound to him like education spending in Michigan has been cut, adding that education accounts for nearly half of the state’s budget.

Proos notes that there are a few things the legislature’s managed to get done ahead of taking a break for the elections. He points to a bill that would let patients of terminal illnesses in Michigan try experimental treatments, as well as a recent slew of bills on human trafficking, as matters that have been addressed in just the past week.

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Senator Proos: Roadwork Funding a Priority

WSJM – Radio

Michael Arney Reporting

State lawmakers remain on break until early next week, and are getting the chance to get back out in the communities where they serve. State Senator John Proos joined WSJM’s Pat Moody Tuesday morning and tells us a lot of work remains before the end of the year in Lansing.

Governor Snyder had proposed doubling fees for vehicle registrations to pay for roadwork, with that idea going nowhere. Proos has floated the idea of passing a law to ensure the money paid in fuel taxes goes where it was intended, which is roadwork.

Proos: $440 Million Surplus “Great News”

WSJM – Radio

Jason Scott Reporting

Fiscal experts report revenues are exceeding projections, putting the state of Michigan in the black by $440-million. State Senator John Proos says this is great news, but also asks “where should the state spend it?”

Proos says the better than expected revenue number means efforts to revitalize Michigan are working, and the state remains fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars.

Balanced Budget Amendment is Simple Common Sense

ChamberThe national debt is $17.1 trillion, or more than $54,000 per person. It is increasing by more than $2.6 billion per day and is expected to equal the country’s total annual economic output in 25 years.

Yet, even with America facing a $750 billion deficit in 2014, the federal government shut down this year because Washington leaders refused to stop spending money we don’t have.

That is why the Michigan Senate approved Senate Joint Resolution V to officially petition Congress to take the necessary steps toward passing a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Nineteen states have already approved the resolution. Once adopted by 15 more states, it becomes binding on Congress.

A balanced budget amendment would force Congress to cut up the national credit card, spend tax dollars more efficiently and hopefully begin reducing the nation’s debt burden.

I co-sponsored the resolution because it’s about time the federal government did what Southwest Michigan families and job providers do every month: live within their means. Michigan has a balanced budget because we followed the example of our families and made the tough choices needed to make ends meet; so should Congress.

Another way for Michigan to ensure fiscal responsibility would be to implement a two-year state budget.

I sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 4 to have us do two-year budgeting because it gives schools and local governments the budgetary certainty they need and allows lawmakers to focus more time on improving the economy and reducing spending.

In the end, both these measures are about putting some common sense into federal and state budgeting.

Proos Votes for Federal Balanced Budget Amendment

ChamberWKZO – Radio

The Michigan Senate last week voted in favor of a resolution calling on Congress to hold a constitutional convention to introduce a new balanced budget amendment. 19 other state legislatures have made such a call so far, and if 15 more hold such a vote, then Congress would have to act.

State Senator John Proos says it only makes sense that there be a mandate for a balanced budget. He says that the average household has to budget itself responsibly, so why not the federal government?

The resolution now heads to the Michigan House of Representatives for consideration. Critics of a balanced budget amendment say that it would be practically impossible to follow, and tie the government’s hands in times of trouble.

State Tax Dollars Should Stay in Michigan to Support Michigan Jobs

WorkersMichigan spends more than $30 billion annually on goods and services, and using state businesses to meet our needs can improve efficient use of taxpayer dollars, boost our economy and create jobs.

That is why I co-sponsored a bill to give Michigan businesses a priority for state contracts when possible.

It’s a way to thank those who stuck it out during tough times. Most importantly, it simply makes sense.

Senate Bill 517 mirrors the “Buy Indiana Initiative” that gave a preference of up to 5 percent to Indiana-based businesses.

As we work hard to continue Michigan’s turnaround, we must support our home team. Michigan-based businesses and the workers they employ pay taxes help that support vital services like education and public safety.

We owe it to all Michigan residents that we remain responsible and efficient with their tax dollars. That includes ensuring our Michigan tax dollars first go to support Michigan companies and Michigan jobs.

The 2013 Pure Michigan Travel Guide illustrates the need for a state preference. An Iowa firm won the contract to put together the guide’s three seasonal issues, even though a Michigan-based company’s bid was $300,000 less.

I strongly support Pure Michigan because it helps attract jobs and tourists to our state. That’s why I’m so disappointed that a Michigan company and its workers were not picked to design the state’s travel guide when their bid would have actually saved the state money.

Many businesses and organizations have pledged to Buy Michigan. The state should do the same.

Van Buren County Gets Grant For Swift and Sure

Law Enforcement Endorsement PicWSJM – Radio

Jason Scott Reporting

The Swift and Sure Probation Program is expanding. State Senator John Proos says Van Buren County has accepted a $250,000 grant to set it up, making it the third county in Southwest Michigan to establish the cost-saving program.

Berrien County has had the program for three years. Since its inception positive drug tests have fallen by 70%. Cass County received over $280,000 to establish a similar system back in February.