The Michigan Association of Timbermen
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Posted on 08.08.2017 Under Legislative

Legislative Report for MAT

Judy Augenstein, Legislative Consultant

August 8, 2017

I have received confirmation from Rep. Gary Howell, R-North Branch that he will introduce the “Right to Business Equity” bill. Rep. Howell has requested I identify and deliver co-sponsors which I am working on this week. I have identified the sponsors from last year and prepared a list of “newbies”–to approach, some have already agreed to co-sponsor. My goal is to have co-sponsors lined up for the August 16 session so that Rep. Howell and I can approach them for their signature. He will work from inside the House chamber and I will work from outside the chamber reminding potential co-sponsors to sign the bill. This is typically how I work to assist legislative sponsors on all legislation I put forth for a client.

As we have worked for months with Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Grand Ledge, to neutralize as much opposition as possible, including LARA, who has been our biggest stumbling block, and to bring all interests on board with acceptable language, the bill draft is ready for introduction. It takes time to complete all “up front work” such as neutralizing concerns before a bill is moved forward; that process appears to be complete and we are ready for the next step in the legislative process which is to finalize legislative co-sponsors.

Legislation is NEVER introduced before resolving concerns of other interest groups, the same process I used to bring the multiple use permit bill this far with little to no opposition. I will be meeting with Senator Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba the week of August 16 to discuss a date to schedule HB 4464 for Senate Transportation debate.

If you recall, the hearing process for HB 4464, was arranged in a smooth, productive manner so that Henry and Jessie could testify and get to the airport on time. The others I arranged to testify were selected and coached in a way so little committee questions were required. Mike Elenz and Mike Sturgill did an excellent job, one representing a bigger business the other a smaller business. I also arranged to have Dave TerBeek, AIS testify as to the impact the bill would have on them. Staff to Rep. Cole and I brought all other transportation interest and MDOT on board with the bill. A very smooth and productive committee meeting. Select legislators were coached as to how to neutralize the concerns of other legislators as the bill was debated and voted on by the full House. A very well organized and orchestrated plan of action took place in the House on HB 4464. I plan to orchestrate the same in the Senate.

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