Sen. Kowall welcomes Pastor Brad Hulcy to Capitol to give Senate invocation

LANSING—State Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, welcomed Pastor Brad Hulcy (center) of Woodside Bible Church in White Lake to the Michigan Capitol on Thursday. Pastor Hulcy gave the invocation before the start of the Senate session.

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Kowall: Fish for free Feb. 14-15

KowallLANSING—Michiganders and out-of-state visitors can enjoy two days of free fishing this weekend, Feb. 14 and 15, said Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall.

The twice-per-year event, put on by the state Department of Natural Resources, waives all fishing license fees so participants may fish both inland and Great Lakes waters for all species of fish at no charge, said Kowall, who sponsored the law establishing free fishing weekends when he was a state representative. All fishing regulations still apply.

“Winter fishing in Michigan is great fun, and it provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us,” said Kowall, R-White Lake. “Since fishing is free this weekend throughout the 15th Senate District and across the state, there is no better time to get out there.”

Michigan offers some of the finest freshwater fishing in the world, with more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes and 36,350 miles of rivers and streams. The 16th Senate District contains 115 lakes and ponds, making it one of the most attractive areas for fishing opportunities in the state.

For more information on the Winter Free Fishing Weekend, including a list of activities across the state, visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing.

Spinal Column: Michigan Senate sets ambitious agenda for 2015

KowallBy Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

The Michigan Senate Republicans recently announced some of their legislative goals for the next three months and beyond.

As a member of the caucus, I am happy with the priorities we chose. Senate Republicans will continue to focus on policies and reforms that encourage generations of Michiganders to work, live and raise families in our state.

Our goals are the goals of our constituents: We want to help stimulate job creation and growth, hold government accountable, improve education and promote policies that improve the quality of life for all Michiganders.

Our agenda includes short-term and long-term goals. Major issues such as repealing the prevailing wage and comprehensive energy reform are top priorities for our caucus but will require lengthy discussion and review. There are also a number of other significant issues that we intend to tackle in the first few months. I expect our short-term list to evolve and change as we achieve our goals.

Our priorities for the year fall into four main categories. The first is job creation and economic development. We aim to strengthen Michigan’s economy with policies that support job providers and foster economic growth. We plan to address current budget challenges and promote and support skilled and vocational training. We also will work to promote tax reform and individual tax relief.

A second category is government efficiency, transparency and reform. We will enact policies to help ensure financial accountability for all state departments and to make government work for all residents. This includes reforming the permitting process to end backlogs and delays, improving civil service and safeguarding personal property rights.

A third priority is education. We will pursue policies that ensure more dollars get to the classroom to help improve what matters most—student achievement and teacher effectiveness. This includes creating a reliable teacher and administrator evaluation tool and reforming truancy laws to increase attendance.

Our final category of priorities concerns quality of life. Senate Republicans will promote policies that focus on the safety, health and well-being of our residents, our communities and our natural resources. Our goals include exempting over-the-counter prescription drugs from the Use Tax and reforming auto no-fault laws and energy policy.

We have an ambitious agenda for 2015. My constituents and residents across Michigan deserve nothing less. I am looking forward to the year ahead.

This column first appeared in the Spinal Column newsweekly. Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the Michigan Senate majority floor leader. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.

Kowall launches ‘Get Well, Governor Snyder’ website

KowallLANSING—Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall launched a website wishing Gov. Rick Snyder a quick recovery after the governor was hospitalized on Thursday.

“He’s doing well, but we’re sending thoughts, prayers and good wishes to Governor Snyder and his family during this time,” said Kowall, R-White Lake. “The governor frequently talks about working in ‘dog years,’ and we hope his recovery is just as fast.”

Snyder has been admitted to St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor for treatment on a blood clot in his leg. The condition is related to Snyder’s recent Achilles tendon injury.

The website, www.GetWellGovernor.com, allows individuals to electronically sign a get-well card. Kowall plans to compile signatures and present the card to the governor in the near future.

Kowall celebrates with Novi Hobby Lobby at ribbon cutting and grand opening

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mike Kowall attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening of the Novi Hobby Lobby on Monday.

“It is an honor to be a part of this ceremony announcing the opening of a store that is going to have a positive impact on the community here in Novi,” said Kowall, R-White Lake. “Hobby Lobby does things the right way, and I am excited to see what the future holds for them here.”

The Novi Hobby Lobby was honored with an official Senate tribute at the event. The tribute reads, in part:

“For more than forty years, Hobby Lobby has emphasized family values over its own profits by allowing employees to worship and spend quality time with their children each Sunday. By placing such excellent values at the forefront of their business, Hobby Lobby continuously fosters a work environment that builds character, strengthens individuals, and nurtures families.

“With its emphasis on excellent customer and community service, this organization exudes professionalism and has a lasting positive impact on those it works with.

“We applaud their accomplishments and long-term commitment to the Novi community and wish much continued success.”

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