Big Valley Ford - Call 906-988-2323

Farm Produce Insurance Authority approves $3.9 million in Lapeer Grain producer claims

At a March 5, 2015 meeting of the Farm Produce Insurance Authority (FPIA), the board approved 122 producer claims for $3,869,381 in farm produce losses resulting from the October 28, 2015 failure of Lapeer Grain Company (Lapeer Grain).

On October 31, 2014, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) issued a summary suspension of the grain dealer’s license for Lapeer Grain and their five locations in Lapeer, Imlay City, Jeddo, Palms and Capac for failure to satisfy financial requirements of the Grain Dealers Act, PA 141 of 1939, as amended

Based upon legal notice of failure and letters sent to all known producer creditors, 132 claims were submitted for eligibility review. The Farm Produce Insurance Act, PA 198 of 2003, as amended, requires that a claim from a failure of a licensee be found valid by MDARD, and approved by the FPIA, less all credits and offsets.  PA 198 also requires a producer to submit a claim within two years of the transfer of title of the farm produce to the licensee.

The FPIA was established in 2003 to provide for reimbursement to a participating producer for losses suffered when a grain dealer declares insolvency or is otherwise unable to pay its claimants for grain delivered and sold but not paid for.  The FPIA is chaired by the Director of the MDARD and consists of a 10 member (eight voting) board representing farmers, industry and banking interests. Covered commodities include corn, soybeans, dry beans, small grains and cereal.

The FPIA has a current balance of $6.3 million. Upon disbursement of claim payments that reduce the balance below $3 million, the premium collection in addition to the administrative assessment may be reinstated at a rate equivalent to $2 per $1,000 of the net value of all commodities sold to licensed grain dealers until the balance reaches a minimum of $5 million.

Prior to the Lapeer Grain failure, the FPIA has paid more than $930,000 in claims to 92 producers and has recovered $600,000 from bankruptcy and probate proceedings.

If you have any questions or would like more information about the FPIA, call (517) 284-5642 or visit www.michigan.gov/graindealers.

Bill to Avoid Unfair Court Matters and Hold State Departments Accountable Announced

LANSING-Mich.—Sen. Tom Casperson announced Thursday that bills to make sure state departments do not unfairly push matters into court and to hold departments accountable if legal action is pursued and the department loses were introduced in the Michigan Senate.

Senate Bills 189 and 190 would make most state departments, including the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Natural Resources, responsible for paying all court costs of a resident or business that prevails in court against a department.

“Too often we see state bureaucrats failing to truly work in good faith with citizens and businesses on issues such as permits and tax matters, and instead they simply challenge people to take the department to court if they disagree with the department’s opinion,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba.”

“When departments set ultimatums and leave court action as the only avenue to help with requests from Michigan residents, which often concerns the use of their personal property or an inadvertent mistake that was made, the citizen is currently responsible for paying what could be a significant amount of money to defend their private property rights or correct an inconsequential or unintentional mistake.”

 

Sen. Dave Robertson joined Casperson as sponsor of the legislation.

 

“I am for great efficiency in the state departments being responsible for the issuance of permits involving private property owners,” said Robertson, R-Grand Blanc. “They are taxpayers and land owners, and we owe them effective delivery of services. What I am not for, and what I loathe, are the state departments using courts and the legal system in an unnecessary or frivolous fashion. This legislation should serve as an effective deterrent to this practice.”

Casperson said that many constituents have raised concerns that they do not have what seems to be the same limitless resources available to them that state departments have, so they often drop the issue they are trying to fix or just comply with the department—even if the department is wrong—because it is easier than fighting the department in court.

“As we work on this legislation, I look forward to ensuring that state departments face some consequences when they fail to work with people and instead push matters into court,” Casperson said. “These bills hopefully will cause them to think twice and really work hand-in-hand through issues with Michigan residents and small businesses in a more professional, expeditious manner.”

 

SBs 189 and 190 have been referred to the Senate Elections and Government Reform Committee.

Senators Stabenow, Peters Applaud $1.1 Million Investment to Combat Invasive Species in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Great Lakes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow, Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force, and Gary Peters, member of the Great Lakes Task Force, today applauded the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative announcement to allocate $1,152,384 to help the Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation & Development Council and the Alger Conservation District control and combat invasive species that could harm our land, water, and wildlife habitat. This funding comes through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

“Fighting invasive species is a major part of the effort to restore the Great Lakes and improve wildlife habitats throughout the Upper Peninsula,” said Stabenow. “Today’s announcement further underscores the importance of partnerships like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which invests in the health of our Great Lakes and waterways.”

“Keeping invasive plant species out of the Great Lakes is critical for the ecological health of the Upper Peninsula’s shorelines and waterways,” said Senator Peters. “I am glad the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is targeting these investments to focus on community outreach and developing long-term strategies to combat these infestations that threaten this vital resource.”

The Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council and Alger Conservation District are two of five groups chosen in Michigan to receive a total of more than $2.5 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative awards to combat invasive species. The Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council will receive $964,922 to fight invasive plant species along 800 acres of coastal shoreline and wetlands in the Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior watersheds. Alger Conservation District will get $187,462 to control invasive species on 130 acres of land in the Lake Michigan and Lake Superior basins.

Sens. Stabenow and Peters have been strong advocates for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is a multi-year plan to restore and preserve the Great Lakes by eliminating toxins, combating invasive species, restoring habitats, and promoting the general health of the Lakes. Just last week, Sen. Stabenow introduced and Sen. Peters co-sponsored the Defending Our Great Lakes Act, which would give federal agencies broad authority to take immediate actions to stop the spread of Asian carp and other invasive species.

Matthew Blakely Named Legislative Liaison for MDARD

LANSING, Mich. –Matthew Blakely was named legislative liaison for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Director Jamie Clover Adams announced today.

In this role, Blakely will develop and advance MDARD’s policy initiatives.  Blakely begins his new position on March 9, 2015.

“Matt’s strong legislative and policy experience will make him a great addition to our team,” Clover Adams said. “I know he will be instrumental as we move forward with our department’s legislative efforts.”

Blakely comes from state Rep. Peter Pettalia’s office, where he served as legislative director. Prior to that, Blakely worked as a legislative aide within the House of Representatives.

Blakely earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Aquinas College and his masters of science in public administration at Central Michigan University.

Blakely lives in Haslett with his wife.

Senators Stabenow, Peters Applaud $1.2 Million Investment to Combat Invasive Species in Southeast Michigan, Lake Erie Basin

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow, Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force, and Gary Peters, member of the Great Lakes Task Force, today applauded the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative announcement to allocate $1,257,350 to help The Nature Conservancy and Wayne County Department of Public Services control and combat invasive species that could harm the Lake Erie basin. This funding comes through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. ‘Fighting invasive species is a major part of the effort to restore Lake Erie and improve wildlife habitats throughout Southeast Michigan,’ said Stabenow. ‘Today’s announcement further underscores the importance of partnerships like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which invests in the health of our Great Lakes and waterways.’ ‘Keeping invasive plant species out of the Lake Erie basin is critically important for Southeast Michigan’s environment and economy,’ said Senator Peters. ‘I am glad the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is making these targeted investments that will support local partners working to combat the infestations that threaten the ecological health of this vital resource.’ The Nature Conservancy and Wayne County Department of Public Services are two of five groups chosen in Michigan to receive a total of more than $2.5 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative awards to combat invasive species. The Nature Conservancy will receive $622,594 to eliminate invasive plant species from about 400 acres of land in Michigan’s Oak Openings Region and Ohio’s western Lake Erie watershed. Wayne County Department of Public Services will get $634,756 for a pest management program along the Rouge and Detroit Rivers that will help control invasive species. Sens. Stabenow and Peters have been strong advocates for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is a multi-year plan to restore and preserve the Great Lakes by eliminating toxins, combating invasive species, restoring habitats, and promoting the general health of the Lakes. Just last week, Sen. Stabenow introduced and Sen. Peters co-sponsored the Defending Our Great Lakes Act, which would give federal agencies broad authority to take immediate actions to stop the spread of Asian carp and other invasive species.

Read more here:: Senators Stabenow, Peters Applaud $1.2 Million Investment to Combat Invasive Species in Southeast Michigan, Lake Erie Basin

Senators Stabenow, Peters Applaud Investment to Combat Invasive Species in West Michigan, Lake Michigan Basin

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow, Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force, and Gary Peters, member of the Great Lakes Task Force, today applauded the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative announcement to allocate $153,314 to help the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission control and combat invasive species that could harm the Lake Michigan basin. This funding comes through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. ‘Fighting invasive species is an important part of the effort to keep Muskegon Lake and Bear Lake healthy and to protect wildlife habitats in the area,’ said Stabenow. ‘Today’s announcement further underscores the importance of partnerships like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which invests in the health of our Great Lakes and waterways.’ ‘Controlling invasive plant species near Muskegon Lake and Bear Lake is critically important for West Michigan’s environment and economy,’ said Senator Peters. ‘I am glad the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is making these targeted investments and working with local organizations and community members to combat these infestations that threaten this vital resource.’ West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission project – one of five groups chosen in Michigan to receive a total of more than $2.5 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative awards to combat invasive species – will control invasive plant species along approximately 50 acres of shoreline wetlands near Muskegon Lake and Bear Lake in the Lake Michigan basin. Sens. Stabenow and Peters have been strong advocates for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is a multi-year plan to restore and preserve the Great Lakes by eliminating toxins, combating invasive species, restoring habitats, and promoting the general health of the Lakes. Just last week, Sen. Stabenow introduced and Sen. Peters co-sponsored the Defending Our Great Lakes Act, which would give federal agencies broad authority to take immediate actions to stop the spread of Asian carp and other invasive species.

Read more here:: Senators Stabenow, Peters Applaud Investment to Combat Invasive Species in West Michigan, Lake Michigan Basin

Senators Stabenow, Peters Applaud $1.1 Million Investment to Combat Invasive Species in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Great Lakes

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow, Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task Force, and Gary Peters, member of the Great Lakes Task Force, today applauded the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative announcement to allocate $1,152,384 to help the Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation & Development Council and the Alger Conservation District control and combat invasive species that could harm our land, water, and wildlife habitat. This funding comes through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. ‘Fighting invasive species is a major part of the effort to restore the Great Lakes and improve wildlife habitats throughout the Upper Peninsula,’ said Stabenow. ‘Today’s announcement further underscores the importance of partnerships like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which invests in the health of our Great Lakes and waterways.’ ‘Keeping invasive plant species out of the Great Lakes is critical for the ecological health of the Upper Peninsula’s shorelines and waterways,’ said Senator Peters. ‘I am glad the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is targeting these investments to focus on community outreach and developing long-term strategies to combat these infestations that threaten this vital resource.’ The Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council and Alger Conservation District are two of five groups chosen in Michigan to receive a total of more than $2.5 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative awards to combat invasive species. The Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council will receive $964,922 to fight invasive plant species along 800 acres of coastal shoreline and wetlands in the Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior watersheds. Alger Conservation District will get $187,462 to control invasive species on 130 acres of land in the Lake Michigan and Lake Superior basins. Sens. Stabenow and Peters have been strong advocates for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is a multi-year plan to restore and preserve the Great Lakes by eliminating toxins, combating invasive species, restoring habitats, and promoting the general health of the Lakes. Just last week, Sen. Stabenow introduced and Sen. Peters co-sponsored the Defending Our Great Lakes Act, which would give federal agencies broad authority to take immediate actions to stop the spread of Asian carp and other invasive species.

Read more here:: Senators Stabenow, Peters Applaud $1.1 Million Investment to Combat Invasive Species in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Great Lakes

NASA Research Suggests Mars Once Had More Water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean

A primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean, according to NASA scientists who, using ground-based observatories, measured water signatures in the Red Planet’s atmosphere.

Read more here:: NASA Research Suggests Mars Once Had More Water than Earth’s Arctic Ocean

Senator Stabenow Calls for Enrollment Period to Make Sure Pregnant Women Have Access to Prenatal and Maternity Care

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the Finance Committee’s Health Subcommittee, urged the Department of Health and Human Services to make sure pregnant women have full access to the comprehensive, affordable health coverage guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act. In a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Sen. Stabenow and 36 other Democratic Senators called for an enrollment period for women who become pregnant at a time outside of open enrollment and are uninsured, or enrolled in a grandfathered plan that does not cover maternity services. Pregnancy would be a ‘qualifying life event,’ like marriage, divorce, a job change, or birth, which allow people to add or remove others from their health plans.
Sen. Stabenow is a long-time advocate of maternity care and fought to ensure that it is one of the 10 Essential Health Benefits included in all health care plans sold in the individual and small group markets. However, some women still lack access to maternity care, which can cost between $10,000-$20,000 for a pregnancy without complications.
Full text of the letter follows below. Dear Secretary Burwell,
We write to support your efforts to ensure that women have full access to the comprehensive, affordable health insurance coverage guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The ACA has made historic progress towards ending discrimination against women in the health insurance market by requiring private health insurance plans to include maternity coverage as an Essential Health Benefit. This is a critical protection – good maternity care is essential for the well-being of children, and studies show that maternal mortality rates are three to four times higher for women who do not receive prenatal care. Millions of women have benefitted from this protection, and we appreciate your leadership in getting this done.
However, if a woman becomes pregnant at a time outside of the Open Enrollment period and is uninsured, or enrolled in a grandfathered plan that does not cover maternity services, then she will not be able to access coverage for maternity care. Without access to maternity care coverage, these women are forced to either forgo this critical care or face significant out of pocket costs.
We appreciate your efforts to address this problem in the recently released Final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2016, in which you acknowledge many advocacy groups’ request for a special enrollment period in the insurance marketplaces for pregnant women and describe how the flexibility afforded by §155.420(d)(9) allows you to address the issue through sub-regulatory guidance. We encourage you to use that authority to create a special enrollment period to maximize women’s access to coverage.
We appreciate your timely attention to this matter and look forward to working with you to ensure that all women and families have access to this Essential Health Benefit.

Read more here:: Senator Stabenow Calls for Enrollment Period to Make Sure Pregnant Women Have Access to Prenatal and Maternity Care

Senator Wayne Schmidt Announces March “Coffee Hours”

LANSING, Mich. – State Sen. Wayne Schmidt announced he will be holding several “coffee hours” throughout the 37th District this month.

“I look forward to meeting with northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula residents to hear their comments, concerns and ideas about state government,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City.

The senator will be available to answer questions and provide information and assistance, as well as take suggestions on issues affecting communities and businesses in the district. No appointment is necessary.

For more information or to contact Schmidt, please visit SenatorWayneSchmidt.com or call 517-373-2413.

Sen. Schmidt’s March coffee hours are as follows:

March 9
4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Grand Traverse Pie Co.
316 E. Mitchell St.
Petoskey, MI

March 13
11 a.m. to Noon
Cup of the Day
406 Ashmun St.
Sault Ste. Marie, MI

March 16
5 to 6 p.m.
Grand Traverse Pie Co.
101 N. Park St.
Traverse City, MI

 

March 27
3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
State Street Coffee
211 W. State St.
Cheboygan, MI

 

Powered by WordPress