U.S. Congressman Bill Huizenga | E-Newsletter

The Huizenga Huddle
March 2018
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U.S. Congressman Bill Huizenga
The Huizenga Huddle:  March 21, 2018
Improving School Safety

Ensuring students have a safe learning environment shouldn’t be a partisan issue. I am glad to see Republicans and Democrats come together to support bipartisan legislation that empowers local school districts to determine how best to improve school safety. The STOP School Violence Act passed the House last Wednesday by a vote of 407-10.

This bipartisan bill takes an important first step in improving ways to identify signs of violence, enhancing intervention resources, and strengthening coordination between local law enforcement, school personnel, and students. The bill now heads to the Senate. 

Keeping West Michigan Students Safe

Our teachers, school administrators, and parents are the most qualified to make decisions regarding school safety for our children. The needs of students in Baldwin are different than the needs of students in Wyoming and we need to recognize those differences.  

To gain a better understanding of these needs, I recently sat down with educators from Kenowa Hills Public Schools, administrators from Kent ISD, and local law enforcement officials from the City of Walker and the Kent County Sheriff's Office to discuss potential ways to improve school safety here in West Michigan. There were a variety of opinions and approaches that I found to be very informative. I plan to continue having these conversations with those who know our children and community best.  

Tax Reform Update

Last week, I joined Stuart Varney to discuss the impact of tax reform on West Michigan, particularly how it is boosting small businesses. A recent survey from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) shows small businesses are "optimistic, ready to hire, and prepared to raise wages" because of tax and regulatory reform. This is good news for our economy, because small businesses are a critical element for sustained economic growth.  To watch the interview, click the picture above. 

Here in West Michigan, we have seen a wave of positive news stemming from tax reform. SpartanNash announced it is raising wages, issuing bonuses, and increasing training. West Michigan-based Mill Steel Co. is giving bonuses to employees. Universal Forest Products is also investing tax savings in expanded benefit packages for employees.  

On top of that, stores with multiple locations in West Michigan such as Costco, Walmart, Dollar Tree, CVS, and Carter's have all announced higher wages, expanded benefits, or bonuses for employees because of tax reform. 

And let's not forget, DTE and Consumers Energy have announced Michigan customers can expect to see lower energy bills to the tune of $390 million because of tax reform. 

Share Your Story

The most recent survey from the University of Michigan found that consumer sentiment rose to its highest level in 14 years largely because of tax reform. Digging deeper in the survey revealed an all-time record number of people (59%) stated they are seeing improved financial progress and the number of people citing income gains rose to a five-decade high. 

If you have experienced an increase in your paycheck because of the reduction in federal withholding, received a bonus from your employer or experienced a wage increase because of tax reform, I would love to hear from you. If you are willing, please share how tax reform has positively impacted you and your family by emailing me at ShareYourStoryMI02@mail.house.gov.

Getting Bipartisan Results

Last month, the House passed the Mortgage Choice Act, bipartisan legislation I authored with Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) by a vote of 280 to 131. Currently some hardworking Americans are being denied access to a qualified mortgage because of a flawed formula that determines how title insurance and escrows are calculated.

The Mortgage Choice Act reforms this faulty "points and fees" provision in Dodd-Frank while maintaining the "ability to repay" provision to prevent lenders from making loans to people who cannot afford them. This bipartisan solution will help low and moderate income individuals attain a qualified mortgage while experiencing and benefitting from the convenience of one-stop shopping during the mortgage process.

To learn more about this important legislation, click the picture above. 

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