Government Matters: The week in review

Congressman Bill Huizenga’s Listening Tour is March 6 in Grand Haven

Congressman Bill Huizenga announced that the second stop on his listening tour will take place on Monday, March 6th in Grand Haven. The town hall style listening session will be held in the auditorium of Lakeshore Middle School and begin at 7 pm. This event is open to all residents of Michigan’s Second Congressional District. Media is asked to RSVP to Brian.Patrick@Mail.House.Gov.

  • Who: Congressman Bill Huizenga
  • What: A Town Hall Listening Session
  • Where: Lakeshore Middle School Auditorium – Lakeshore Middle School is located at 900 Cutler Street in Grand Haven
  • When: Monday, March 6th Doors at 6:15 PM, Town Hall from 7-9 pm

Signs will not be permitted in the auditorium. Those who would like to display signs are welcome to do so outside the middle school prior to the event.


Congressman Huizenga’s first listening tour stop took place in Baldwin on February 25th and was attended by over 300 people.


The State and Local Cyber Protection Act

U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and David Perdue (R-GA) have introduced bipartisan legislation to help state and local governments combat cyber threats by increasing coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The State and Local Cyber Protection Act requires DHS’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) to provide assistance and training for state, local and tribal governments in preventing, preparing for and responding to cyber threats.


According to the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), state governments have identified improving cybersecurity as a top information technology priority. However, state and local governments often lack the resources or technical expertise to defend their networks from cyberattacks. Analysis from the Brookings Institute found that state and local governments vary widely in their abilities to budget sufficient resources and field the technical expertise necessary to respond to increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. The State of Michigan estimates that they detect over 600,000 attempted intrusions to their information systems every day.


“This bipartisan legislation will help ensure every level of government has the necessary tools to protect their networks and respond to cyber attacks,” said Sen. Peters.


Self-driving vehicles

U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Representatives Fred Upton and Debbie Dingell called on the Trump Administration to prioritize the development and testing of connected and self-driving vehicles in the President’s proposed budget for 2018. The Members of Congress sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney and Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine Chao urging them to include $200 million in their 2018 federal budget request for facilities designated by DOT as proving grounds for automated vehicle testing. In January, DOT designated ten sites across the country as national proving grounds, including the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti.


The letter calls for federal funding to help support the development of automated vehicle proving grounds and promote safe testing to validate these self-driving technologies and ensure they are ready for use on American roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 35,000 people are killed on our roads and highways annually. Connected and self-driving vehicle technologies have the potential to reduce accidents and save thousands of lives.


Full text of letter here.


Preparing youth and adults for high-skill, high-demand jobs

U.S. Senator Gary Peters has joined the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, a bipartisan caucus focused on improving and strengthening access to career and technical education. CTE programs help prepare youth and adults for high-skill, high-demand jobs in fields ranging from health care, advanced manufacturing, hospitality, information technology, marketing and sales, public safety and more. Each year, over 100,000 Michigan students enroll in CTE programs across 16 different career pathways.


“In an increasingly dynamic economy, we must invest in education and workforce development to equip workers with skills they need to compete in the 21st century,” said Senator Peters. “Career and technical education helps prepare America’s workforce for the jobs of the future in high-demand, good-paying career fields. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus to continue supporting CTE programs.”