Thursday, July 24, 2014 10:44 AM

Firefighters Endorse Cochran for State Representative

I am proud that my campaign has already been endorsed by many organizations across the state. I am truly humbled by all of their support. I will be announcing these endorsements regularly between now and election day in November.

My first endorsement, from the International Association of Firefighters Local 421,  is near to my heart as I was a member and representative of IAFF 421 during my time at the Lansing Fire Department. It is an honor to have the support of these hardworking and brave men and women. 

Monday, July 21, 2014 10:28 PM

Making Sense of Proposal 14-1

Many people have been asking me at doors and community events about the ballot proposal on the August 5th primary. Here's a summary of the essentials - I hope that you find it useful. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014 9:05 AM

Update on Roads, Budget

After passing its budget for the next fiscal year, the legislature has adjourned for the summer. Legislation that would have increased our investment in our state’s crumbling roads was not advanced in the Senate despite the broad support it had enjoyed in the House. This op-ed will provide a summary of some of the key points of the budget as well as an update on efforts to find a way to fix our state’s roads. 

First, the budget. For the second year that I’ve been a State Representative, we have passed a budget that is balanced and on time. While the new fiscal year does not start until October 1st, passing the budget in June gives schools, who must make hiring decisions in the summer, more certainty as to what their fiscal situation will be going forward. While I would have liked to have seen a greater increase in funding for schools, the School Aid Budget is a step in the right direction. The total School Aid Budget (which provides funding for Michigan’s schools) was about $16 billion and the General Omnibus Budget (which funds everything else) was about $37 billion. 

Here are some of the highlights of the budget:
-Increased revenue sharing to Michigan cities, villages, and townships
-100 additional Michigan State Troopers to keep our communities safe
-Expansion of Healthy Kids Dental to provide 100,000 low-income children with dental care
-3% increase in funding for community colleges
-6% increase in funding of universities with a cap of 3.2% on tuition increases
-At least a $50 increase in per pupil funding for Michigan school districts
-$65 million in funding for early childhood education
-$50 million in film incentives

Moving onto the roads issue, there’s no question our roads and bridges are in a dangerous state of disrepair. Earlier in the year, the House supported a bipartisan package that would have made a substantial investment in our roads without further burdening families. While the package the House passed earlier this year was not perfect, it would have been a strong first step to show the people of Michigan we are serious about solving this problem. The package of bills would have increased competitive bidding requirements for road projects, transitioned to a wholesale fuel tax and implement diesel parity, eliminated loopholes for vehicle registrations, increased fees and fines for overweight and oversize trucks, and expanded warranty requirements to ensure that accountability with your tax dollars.

As you have no doubt heard by now, that legislation was not advanced in the Senate and, as such, the House adjourned without any solution to the problem. I opposed the motion to adjourn for the summer because I believe we owe it to our constituents to see this problem fixed. Instead of taking a vacation, we should be in session until we have solved the problem. Michigan families and small businesses need real solutions.

Sunday, June 15, 2014 8:37 PM

Summer Coffee Hours

As your State Representative, an important part of my job is hearing from constituents like you. Below is the schedule for my summer coffee hours.  

Holt – 9:00-10:00 AM on Friday, June 27th – Biggby 2006 N Cedar Rd, Holt, MI 48842

Williamston – 9:00-10:00 AM on Friday, July 11th – Sunnyside Café  725 W Grand River Ave, Williamston, MI 48895

Lansing – 9:00-10:00 AM on Friday, July 25th – Biggby 2546 E Jolly Rd, Lansing, MI 48910

Mason – 9:00-10:00 AM on Friday, August 15th – Bestseller’s 360 S Jefferson St, Mason, MI 48854

Leslie – 9:00-10:00 AM on Friday, August 22nd – McDonald’s 4500 Hull Rd Leslie MI 49251

Sunday, June 15, 2014 8:23 PM

Capitol Recap: Week of June 9th, 2014

In order to keep you and your neighbors better informed about the legislation we discuss, I am posting the agenda for any scheduled committee meetings at the beginning of the week and an update with any votes that were taken that week in committee or on the House floor. I hope you find this information helpful and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.  

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Tom Cochran
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