Government Matters: Week in review, March 20-24

Peters, Stabenow, announce $4.6 million to expand Head Start programs for West Michigan children

By WKTV Contributor


U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow recently announced that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $1.95 million to the Grand Rapids Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative to support their Early Head Start Child Care Partnership program, and $2.7 million to the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District to support Early Head Start and Head Start programs for children.


“Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide vital educational and support services to families and children that put them on the path to success,” said Senator Peters. “I’m pleased to help announce this funding that will help expand access to critical medical, nutritional and educational support services for children in West Michigan so they can lead healthy and happy lives.”


“Today’s announcement is good news and will help children in West Michigan get the long-term support they need,” said Senator Stabenow. “Good nutrition, medical care and early childhood education can make all the difference in helping our children succeed.”


Head Start and Early Head Start prepare children and their families for school by offering a variety of services including early learning experiences, family support services and health services. Early Head Start Child Care Partnership programs offer developmental screenings and referrals to medical, dental, nutrition, vision and mental health services, and provide necessities including diapers and formula. Partnership sites receive additional resources to support training and professional development for staff, and improve facilities and upgrade supplies and equipment.


Peters joins colleagues in opposition of proposed EPA cuts

Cuts would eliminate funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and impact EPA’s ability to help Flint


By Allison Green


U.S. Senator Gary Peters joined a group of 37 Senators in opposing President Trump’s proposal to inflict a more than 30-percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget that would have a direct effect on Michigan and the Great Lakes. Included in the budget proposal is a complete elimination of funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which addresses the most serious risks to the Great Lakes ecosystem and supports long-term cleanup goals. The proposed cuts would also significantly hinder the agency’s ability to provide vital technical expertise to the City of Flint as they work to recover from the water crisis and safely transition water sources.


Sen. Peters & colleagues reintroduce bipartisan, bicameral legislation to make college more affordable & accessible

By WKTV Contributor


U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Boozman (R-AR) and Al Franken (D-MN), and U.S. Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Tom Reed (R-NY) have announced they are reintroducing bipartisan, bicameral legislation to help make college more affordable and accessible by expanding opportunities for high school students to earn college credit. The Making Education Affordable and Accessible Act (MEAA) would improve access to higher education by providing grants to eligible institutions of higher learning to create dual and concurrent enrollment and early/middle college programs that allow high school students to earn college credits before their high school graduation.


“Some form of higher education or technical certification is increasingly essential to joining today’s workforce, and the rising cost of tuition should not be a barrier that keeps students from getting the skills and education they need to succeed,” said Senator Peters.


“I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation that helps students save money while getting a head start on their college education. The Making Education Affordable and Accessible Act will help ensure students are well-prepared for their chosen careers and employers have trained workers to fill the jobs of the future.”


Senator Stabenow releases video urging people in Michigan to stand up for the Great Lakes

Stabenow asks Michigan residents to share their stories about the Great Lakes and join her to save critical funding




By Miranda Margowsky


U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) has released a video message urging people in Michigan to join her and stand up to protect critical funding for the Great Lakes. The bipartisan Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which Senator Stabenow helped launched in 2010, provides vital resources to protect and restore the Great Lakes. The program faces elimination in President Trump’s budget proposal.


To submit your Great Lakes story, visit Sen. Stabenow’s website here.


Senator Stabenow announces bipartisan legislation to support U.S. manufacturers, create more American jobs

By WKTV Contributor


U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today announced legislation amending our tax laws to support American manufacturers and to create jobs here at home. The bill makes it clear that both companies using contract manufacturers and the contract manufacturers themselves are eligible to claim tax deductions that reward domestic manufacturing activities in the United States. U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) also introduced the legislation.


“We don’t have an economy or a middle class unless we make things and grow things,” said Senator Stabenow. “This bill makes a commonsense change to our tax policies that will encourage manufacturers to create more jobs here at home.”


Section 199 is one of the largest tax incentives that benefits domestic manufacturing. It provides companies with a 9% deduction on their income from domestic manufacturing activities, giving those activities a lower effective tax rate and making U.S. manufacturing a more attractive investment.


Under current tax law, it is unclear whether a company using a contract manufacturer or the contract manufacturer itself is eligible to claim the deduction. Senator Stabenow’s legislation would clarify tax law to allow both entities to claim the Section 199 tax incentive for domestic manufacturing.


Huizenga examines impact of financial regulation on small business job creation

On March 22, Capital Markets Subcommittee Chairman Bill Huizenga (MI-02) held a hearing to examine how the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has implemented the JOBS Act and what its impact has been on capital formation and job creation. During the hearing Huizenga called for the SEC to stop pursing political objectives outside its core mission and focus on creating a regulatory environment that supports innovation and job creation.


Key Takeaways from the Hearing:

  • The bipartisan JOBS Act is working, but Congress and the SEC must do more to help small businesses, entrepreneurs and emerging growth companies access capital.
  • The SEC has a responsibility to facilitate, not frustrate, capital formation and must work with Congress to eliminate unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations that are restricting access to capital.
  • The Financial CHOICE Act, the Republican plan to replace the Dodd-Frank Act, included numerous provisions to expand access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

For more information, go here.