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Montmorency County Tribune
Atlanta, Michigan
July 24, 2013     Montmorency County Tribune
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July 24, 2013

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2B Wednesday, July 24, 2013 The Montmorency County Tribune The House and Senate are in the midst of a summer break, so rather than votes this report contains several recently introduced bills of interest. Senate Bill 331: Repeal expanded "emergency man- ager" powers Introduced by Sen. Coleman Young (D), to repeal the 2012 law that greatly expanded the powers of emergency managers appointed by the state to reform the finances of fiscally failed school districts and municipalities. Re- ferred to committee, no further action at this time. Senate Bill 338: Authorize child care subsidy asset cap Introduced by Sen. Judy Emmons (R), to give the state Department of Human Services the authority to estab- lish an asset test for welfare-related child care subsidies. Referred to committee, no further action at this time. Senate Bill 349: Share mental health records with gun buyer background check system Introduced by Sen. Michael Green (R), tO require that information relating to the eligibility of a person who received government-funded mental health services to legally buy or possess a firearm be shared with the na- tional instant criminal background check system for gun purchases. Referred to committee, no further action at this time. Senate Bill 359: Require semi-annual state unfunded liability estimates Introduced by Sen. Darwin Booher (R), to require the twice-a-year "revenue estimating conferences" at which state officials and academic economists estimate how much tax and fee revenue the state can expect to collect (and spend) in the coming year, to also estimate the state's unfunded liabilities. These liabilities are prima- rily the product of "defined benefit" government and school employee pension plans for which the legislature has failed to set aside sufficient money to pay promised future benefits. State employees hired since 1997 receive 401(k) "defined contribution" benefits that create no new taxpayer liabilities, but new school employees con- tinue to be enrolled in these underfunded pension plans and create new taxpayer liabilities. Referred to commit- tee, no further action at this time. Senate Bill 366: Restrict "bounced check" fees Introduced by Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), to prohibit a state bank from imposing more than one overdraft fee per dayregardless ofhowmanychecks a person bounces, and mandate that this fee be charged against the small- est bounced check. Referred to committee, no further action at this time. Senate Bill 368: Authorize "Right to Life" license plate Introduced by Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R), to require the Secretary of State to develop a "Right to Life" fund- raising license plate, with fees collected for the plate going to the Michigan Right to Life anti-abortion organi- zation. Referred to committee, no further action at this time. Senate Bill 369: Require offering "morning after pill" to sexual assault victims Introduced by Sen. RebekahWarren (D), to require emergency room or urgent care clinics to offer "emer- gency contraception" to victims of sexual assault. Re- ferred to committee, no further action at this time. House Bill 4506: B an running for office with outstand- ing criminal fines Introduced by Rep. Douglas Geiss (D), to prohibit a person who has outstanding criminal fines from filing to run for a political office. Referred to committee, no fur- ther action at this time. House Bill 4509: Restrict union "corporate cam- paigns" Introduced by Rep. Peter MacGregor (R), to prohibit local governments from imposing regulations that con- flict with federal labor laws (such as a local "card check" law that eliminates secret ballots in the union certifica- tion process). The bill would essentially prohibit union "corporate campaigns" targeted at the reputation of a particular company and its managers. Referred to com- mittee, no further action at this time. House Bill 4535: Establish "animal abuse registry" Introduced by Rep. Harvey Santana (D), to require the State Police to maintain an "animal abuse registry" con- taining the names of individuals who have been con- victed of an "animal abuse offense" within the past five years. Individuals on the registry would have to pay a $250 annual "fee," and like the state's sex offender regis- try, would have to update the registry every time they move. Referred to committee, no further action at this time. Planning a Garage Sale? Don't forget to advertise it in the Tribune Classifieds. How can younger investors cope with tou AsAmericans, we'reused higher for recent gradu- dollars to your 401(k) or to thinking that we willin- ates. It can take years to other plan, the more you evitably do better than our payoffthese debts, andthe put in, the lower your tax- parents' generation. But, moneybeingusedfordebt able income. Plus, your fornowatleast, thistypeof payments is money thatmoney can grow on a tax- progress may be facing can't go toward building deferred basis. some roadblocks, and this wealthforlong-termgoals. Here's another sugges- inability to gain ground, fi- Wage stagnation: Fortion: Don't be "over-cau- nancially, can have real several years, the job mar- tious" with your invest- implications for today's ket has been pretty bad for ments. Many younger in- younger people and their younger workers. And vestors, apparently net- approach to investing, even those with jobs aren't vous due to market volatil- Before we get to the in- making much headway, ity of recent years, have vestment component, because wages, adjusted become quite conserva- though, let's quickly re- for inflation, have largely tive, putting relatively view the nature of the stagnated for over a de- large amounts of their problem. In a nutshell, cade. Less income clearly portfolio into vehicles that younger Americans, those equates to less opportuni- offersignificantprotection in their twenties and thir- ties for investing and cre- of principal but little in the ties, have accrued signifi- ating wealth, wayofgrowthpotential.Of cantly less wealth than Still, even given these course, the financial mar- their parents did at the somewhat grim realities, kets will always fluctuate, same age, according to a younger people can help and downturns will occur, recent study by the Urban themselves build re- but when you're young, Institute. Here's why: sources for the future and and you have many de- - Bursting of housing make progress toward cades in which to invest, bubble: Many younger their long-term goals. If youhavetimetoovercome peoplewhoboughthouses you're in this group, what short-term declines. To shortly before the housing can you do? achieve your long-term "bubble" began deflating For starters, pay yourself goals, such as a comfort- in 2006 now find them- first. Set up an automatic able retirement, you will selves to be "underwater" paymenteachmonthfrom unquestionably need on their mortgages, that is, your checking or savings some growth elements in they owe more than their account into an invest- your portfolio, withtheex- houses are worth. Conse- ment vehicle, such as an act amount based on your quently, theyhave less op- IRA. At first, you may only risk tolerance and specific portunity to build home be able to afford small objectives. equity, which has been an sums, but, over time, you These aren't the easiest important means of build- may be pleasantly sur-times for young people. ingwealthforpastgenera- prised at the amount Nonetheless, with dili- dons. you've saved, gence, perseverance and a Student-loan debt: The Next, every timeyour sal- measure of sacrifice, you median balance among all ary goes up, try to increase can gain some control over households with student the amount you put into your financial fortunes, so loandebtisnowmorethan your 401(1