Rep. Glenn: Respecting taxpayers and demanding value

By Rep. Annette Glenn
Published in the Midland Daily News

Everything I do as your new representative in the Michigan House is done with energy, optimism and the best interests of Midland and Bay counties at heart.

That's why I am honored to serve on the House Appropriations Committee in the 2019-20 legislative session. This position provides an excellent opportunity to represent and protect taxpayers while responsibly building a better Michigan for today and tomorrow.

The House Appropriations Committee is tasked with helping to shape our state government budget, which in turn affects each and every Michigan resident in countless ways.

The governor and Legislature will begin work on the next state budget within the next few weeks. This is the taxpayers' money -- they entrust it to government to provide the services necessary to ensure the quality of life we've come to expect here in Michigan. Every dollar must be spent wisely and efficiently by a government that lives within its means, because taxpayers deserve the best possible return on their investment.

I serve as vice chair of a subcommittee shaping budgets for state departments related to occupational licensing and regulatory affairs. I believe these departments should protect the health and safety of Michigan residents while allowing job providers to create opportunities for the people of our state without needless bureaucracy.

I am also a member of subcommittees overseeing budgets for health and human services, and also for schools -- where I will focus on results such as improved third-grade literacy and enhanced educational options for all students. The priority is serving our children and helping them prepare for whatever future they choose for themselves -- be that skilled trades, higher education, small business ownership or some other option.

The current state budget includes, for the first time ever, $500,000 in new funding for "at risk" students attending Midland schools, a source of revenue other schools districts in Bay and Midland counties have received for decades. But that new allocation for Midland schools does not provide as much funding per pupil as in other districts. The budget also includes funding for a demonstration project, already successful in improving third-grade reading scores, that employs teaching methods proven effective by the Bay City Dyslexia Center. I'll work to secure funding equity for Midland's "at risk" students, and to expand the third-grade reading project to more districts.

I also serve as vice chair of a subcommittee overseeing state budgets for environmental quality and natural resources to ensure Michigan's water and beautiful resources are clean, preserved and maintained. Hunting and fishing is a huge part of our economy and heritage here in Midland and Bay counties, and I am excited to work on budgets connected to it.

Thank you for the opportunity to represent you on these matters of vital importance to our families, communities, and the entire state. I will be accessible and responsive to you as our state budget process moves forward.

Annette Glenn lives in Williams Township. She represents the 98th House District, which includes portions of Midland and Bay counties.

Click here for the op-ed.