Hildenbrand measure should serve as warning to synthetic drug manufacturers

Lansing— The Michigan Senate on Thursday, approved Legislation that would provide prosecutors and law enforcement officials with the tools necessary to address the growing issues surrounding synthetic drugs.

Senate Bill 1082, sponsored by State Senator Dave Hildenbrand, would update Michigan’s law that lists prohibited chemical cocktails typically used by synthetic drug manufacturers and further empower local law enforcement to keep up with the ever-changing nature of these dangerous, addictive drugs.

“This is a growing epidemic that needs immediate attention,” said Hildenbrand, R-Lowell.  “These drugs, which are sold under many different names and marked not for human consumption, are used as alternatives to marijuana and other drugs. These synthetic drugs are just as dangerous, if not more toxic, than the ones they attempt to mimic.”

Current state law makes it a 90-day misdemeanor to possess or use certain synthetic drugs. This law was enacted after problems were first reported with products such as “K-2” and “Spice,” which contained dried herbs sprayed with a chemical that created a high similar to marijuana. However, because synthetic drug manufacturers want to continue to sell their dangerous products, they simply change the chemical makeup of their compounds in order to skirt the state law.

“These drugs are being legally produced and sold across Michigan,” Hildenbrand said. “Many of the users are teenagers who do not fully recognize the risks involved with synthetic drugs. Producers of synthetic drugs are no different than illegal drug dealers and a clear message has been sent that their behavior will not be tolerated. I have worked with local prosecutors, judges and law enforcement and our goal is the same: we must get these dangerous drugs off our streets and we must do so quickly.”

Hildenbrand announces $1.6 million for Grand Rapids Home for Veterans renovations

Hildenbrand announces $1.6 million for Grand Rapids Home for Veterans renovations

Lansing— A long standing goal of renovating a significant portion of rooms at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans (Home) is one step closer to becoming a reality today following actions taken by the Legislature.  State Senator Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell) was successful in his efforts to get $1.6 million in state funds included in the budget that will be used to renovate the McLeish Building at the Home. 

“Currently, some of our veterans are housed four people to a room,” said Hildenbrand. “This arrangement provides for little privacy and dignity for these men and women who have selflessly served our nation.  I visit the Home on a regular basis and have been pushing for these additional resources since being elected to the Michigan Senate.”

The Home began the process of renovating the rooms in McLeish by first completing two "test" rooms.  Unfortunately, due to lack of funds the project has been stalled.  The $1.6 million appropriation is part of the recently announced budget agreement that was reached between the Governor and Legislative leaders.

The McLeish building was built in 1975 when standards of care were very different from those of today.  With this renovation 36 rooms that currently house four residents will be converted to house two residents in a semi-private setting.  Additionally, rooms currently housing two residents will be remodeled into private single occupancy rooms.

“We owe it to our veterans to ensure that they have the best possible living arrangements while in the care of the Home," expressed Hildenbrand. "We have ignored critical capital projects at the Home for too long." "This is a step in the right direction and I will continue to advocate for the funds necessary to make the Home an outstanding facility for our veterans."
 

Hildenbrand supports measure to boost vehicle sales and save consumers tax dollars

Hildenbrand supports measure to boost vehicle sales and save consumers tax dollars

Lansing— The Michigan Senate today approved legislation that will allow individuals to deduct the trade-in value of their vehicle from the state sales tax when purchasing a new vehicle. State Sen. Dave Hildenbrand was proud to vote for and co-sponsor this legislation that will directly impact countless Michigan consumers.

Senate Bill 126 and 127 would amend the Use Tax Act and General Sales Tax Act, respectively, to exclude from taxation the trade-in value of a used car when the trade-in value is applied to the purchase of a new or used car.  The tax benefits implemented under the General Sales Tax Act would be phased in over a six-year period. For the first year, only $2,500 of the trade-in value is exempt from taxation. Each year following that amount is increased by $2,500 until the amount reaches $15,000. After that, the trade-in value is uncapped.

“Anyone trading in a vehicle stands to benefit from this tax reform,” said Hildenbrand, R-Lowell. “Michigan is the only Great Lakes state and one of only six states nationwide that essentially double taxes consumers on vehicle trade in purchases.  This reform is about fairness for consumers. It acknowledges that taxes have already been paid on a vehicle and should be credited when that vehicle is traded in for a new one.”

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Sen. Hildenbrand testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee

Sen. Hildenbrand testifies before Senate Judiciary Committee

State Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell, testified today before the Senate Judiciary Committee on legislation he introduced, Senate Bill 1082.This legislation would update Michigan’s law to prohibit dangerous synthetic drugs and further empower local law enforcement to keep up with the growing threat these drugs pose to our communities.

Senate Bill 349 signed into law

State Sen. Dave Hildenbrand (left), R-Lowell, joined Gov. Rick Snyder at the Capitol Tuesday as he signed Public Act 114 of 2012 (Senate Bill 349) into law. This legislation will ensure that homeowners can more easily utilize the important Principal Residence Exemption when purchasing a home. This exemption is a vital one that lowers individual’s property taxes on their primary residence here in Michigan allowing greater flexibility for individuals applying for this exemption.