<![CDATA[Rep. Harold L. Haughs' Site Feed]]> http://022.housedems.com <![CDATA[House Dems Concerned About Electoral College Legislation]]> http://022.housedems.com/news/article/house-dems-concerned-about-electoral-college-legislation <p>LANSING – State Representative Harold L. Haugh (D-Roseville), minority vice-chairman of the House Elections and Ethics Committee, along with committee members Reps. Andy Schor (D-Lansing) and Marilyn Lane (D-Fraser) voiced their concern over House Bill 5974, which would change the way Electoral College votes in presidential elections are allocated in Michigan by eliminating the current winner-take-all system of awarding presidential electors and replace it with a proportional system of awarding electors among the top two candidates of the popular vote count. The committee took testimony today on the bill.</p> <p>“I always was taught that you play by the rules of the game and if you don’t win, you don’t get to change the rules of the game” said Rep. Haugh.</p> <p>Under the bill debated today in committee, nine of Michigan&#8217;s current 16 Electoral College votes would go to the presidential candidate who won the state and the other seven would be distributed based on a percentage of the margin of victory.</p> <p>The change is seen by many as a way for Republicans to turn the tide in their favor when it comes to GOP presidential hopefuls performing better in Michigan. Republicans claim the change is necessary for Michigan to become more relevant to presidential candidates in both parties.</p> <p>“This bill does nothing to attract presidential candidates and resources to Michigan,” said Rep. Schor. “In fact, it lowers the possibility. In a close race, this proposal would have the top two candidates competing for 2 or 3 electoral votes instead of our current 16. In a state of almost 10 million people, our influence would be reduced to that Delaware (925,000 people). It seems to me that the Republicans are throwing up the white flag, saying they can never win Michigan, and taking what they can get instead of competing for all 16 electoral votes.</p> <p>“Also, this hasn’t worked in other states, and they have not attracted presidential candidates.”</p> <p>In the 2012 presidential election, President Barack Obama won the popular vote in Michigan over Mitt Romney, 2,564,569 to 2,115,256, thus earning all of the state’s 16 electoral votes. With this legislation, President Obama would have won Michigan’s 12 electoral votes, giving Romney four.</p> <p>&#8220;Fundamental to our democracy is the concept of one person, one vote,” Rep. Lane said. “This legislation undermines that principle and threatens Michigan&#8217;s influence in presidential elections. Candidates should win on their merits, not by rigging the system.&#8221;</p> <![CDATA[Rep. Haugh Shares Federal Assistance Information for Communities Hit by August Floods]]> http://022.housedems.com/news/article/rep-haugh-shares-federal-assistance-information-for-communities-hit-by-august-floods <p>As a result of the flooding that occurred in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties in August, President Barack Obama recently declared a major disaster for our area. The president&#8217;s declaration means that people, businesses and governments in the affected communities may qualify for federal assistance.</p> <p>If you, or someone you know, needs immediate assistance you can apply for grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to recover from the effects of the flooding.</p> <p>You MUST register for assistance within 60 days of the federal disaster declaration, which was made on Sept. 25. This means that Nov. 24 is the deadline to apply and be eligible for federal disaster relief.</p> <p>Disaster survivors and business owners must register for assistance online at <a href="http://www.disasterassistance.gov">www.disasterassistance.gov</a> or by calling the toll free hotline at (800) 621-FEMA (3362). TTY users may call (800) 462-7585. The hotline is available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. Recovery support sites have also been set up in our communities. The site covering House District 22 is located at the Warren Fire Station, 23293 Schoenherr Road, Warren, and is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Oct. 9.</p> <p>When you register and apply you will need the following:</p> <ul> <li><p>Social Security number</p></li> <li><p>Phone number where you can be reached</p></li> <li><p>Address of damaged property as well as current mailing address</p></li> <li><p>Brief description of flooding related damages and losses</p></li> <li><p>Private insurance information</p></li> <li><p>Direct deposit information to help speed delivery of funds if approved</p></li> </ul> <p>Home and business owners as well as renters may also be eligible for assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). By registering with FEMA, eligibility for Small Business Administration assistance will also be checked. Affected residents and businesses can also:</p> <ul> <li><p>Apply online using the ELA - Electronic Loan Application - at <a href="http://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/">disasterloan.sba.gov/ela</a></p></li> <li><p><u>Call</u> the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or by emailing <a href="m&#97;&#105;&#108;&#116;&#111;&#58;&#100;&#105;&#x73;&#x61;&#x73;&#x74;&#x65;&#x72;&#x63;us&#116;&#111;&#109;&#101;&#114;&#115;&#101;&#x72;&#x76;&#x69;&#x63;&#x65;&#x40;&#x73;&#x62;a&#46;&#103;&#111;&#118;">&#100;&#105;&#x73;&#x61;&#x73;&#x74;&#x65;&#x72;&#x63;us&#116;&#111;&#109;&#101;&#114;&#115;&#101;&#x72;&#x76;&#x69;&#x63;&#x65;&#x40;&#x73;&#x62;a&#46;&#103;&#111;&#118;</a>.</p></li> </ul> <p>Individuals living or working in Macomb, Oakland or Wayne counties and whose employment was lost or interrupted due to the severe storms and flooding on Aug. 11-13, may be eligible for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). Before applying for the federal DUA benefits, individuals must first apply for regular state unemployment benefits online at the unemployment agency website at <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/uia">www.michigan.gov/uia</a>. <u>This deadline is Nov. 3, 2014.</u></p> <p>Local units of government and nonprofit organizations may be eligible for grant dollars via Public Assistance to partially cover some costs from emergency work, debris removal and damage to public buildings and infrastructure like roads and schools.</p> <p>For updates and the latest information regarding additional dates, times and locations FEMA teams will be available to provide in-person support visit <a href="http://www.fema.gov/disaster/4195">www.fema.gov/disaster/4195</a>.</p> <![CDATA[Macomb Mall Revitalization to Provide Boost to Roseville Economy]]> http://022.housedems.com/news/article/macomb-mall-revitalization-to-provide-boost-to-roseville-economy <p>LANSING <strong>-</strong> State Representative <strong>Harold L. Haugh</strong> (D-Roseville) believes that the recent approval of a significant community revitalization brownfield incentive by the state for the Macomb Mall will have a significant positive economic impact in Roseville and the surrounding communities. The project, when completed, is expected to create 295 permanent full-time equivalent jobs and about $8.4 million in total capital investment to the almost 50-year old Macomb Mall.</p> <p>&#8220;The Macomb Mall redevelopment project will provide a huge boost to the Roseville community and to Macomb County,&#8221; said. Rep. Haugh. &#8220;These are jobs for the residents of Roseville and Macomb County with the dollars being spent in the community at local businesses. I am excited and confident that this project that will help anchor the revitalization of the Macomb Mall and Roseville.&#8221;</p> <p>The project was approved on June 24 by the Michigan Strategic Fund, which is located within the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The incentive will allow for the local and school tax capture of about $1,592,970 that will go toward the demolition of the former Crowley&#8217;s Department Store at the Macomb Mall to allow for redevelopment and site improvements for a new building that will house a national retailer. In addition to representatives of Macomb County and the city of Roseville, Rep. Haugh also had a staff member present at the recent Michigan Strategic Fund meeting to speak in support of the positive economic benefits the incentive will have on the community.</p> <p>The city of Roseville also recently passed a 10-year Commercial Rehabilitation Act property tax abatement that will provide overall savings of approximately $800,000 to allow the revitalization of the Macomb Mall.</p> <![CDATA[Rep. Harold Haugh Speaks on Scrap Metal Theft Reform Bills ]]> http://022.housedems.com/multimedia/videos/rep-harold-haugh-speaks-on-scrap-metal-theft-reform-bills <p>Rep. Harold Haugh thanks those involved with the bipartisan effort to pass scrap metal theft reform bills. House Bills 4593 and 4595 tighten regulations - and give prosecutors better tools to hold illegal scrappers accountable - by including all types of scrap metals, requirements for scrap metal dealers and sellers to follow and penalties for anyone who buys or sells stolen scrap metal.</p> <![CDATA[Reps. Townsend, Haugh and LaVoy Protect Michigan Small Businesses]]> http://022.housedems.com/news/article/reps-townsend-haugh-and-lavoy-protect-michigan-small-businesses <p>LANSING &#8212; State Reps. <strong>Jim Townsend</strong> (D-Royal Oak), <strong>Harold L. Haugh</strong> (D-Roseville) and <strong>Bill LaVoy</strong> (D-Monroe) voted to advance a bill today that would restore fairness between brick-and-mortar stores and retailers that only exist online. The bill would require online-only sellers to collect the Michigan 6 percent sales tax from customers, just as brick-and-mortar stores already do. The &#8220;Main Street Fairness Act&#8221; now advances to the House Floor for a full vote.</p> <p>&#8220;Michigan&#8217;s government shouldn&#8217;t be in the business of picking winners and losers, yet we currently give online-only retailers an advantage by not requiring them to collect the state sales tax from all customers,&#8221; Townsend said. &#8220;This creates an unfair advantage to longstanding, family-run businesses who don&#8217;t receive that unfair advantage. All businesses should play by the same rules.&#8221;</p> <p>Townsend, Haugh and LaVoy voted today in the House Tax Policy Committee to advance House Bills 4202-4203 to the Floor of the House. These bills would close a tax loophole that would allow about $482.4 million in sales and use tax revenue to go uncollected in fiscal year 2013-2014 from online retailers that are based in Michigan, own property in the state or have a subsidiary here. It would include some major online retailers such as Amazon.com, which operates a subsidiary company in Michigan.</p> <p>&#8220;Any company that does business in Michigan should have the same rights and responsibilities as all other companies in the state,&#8221; Haugh said. &#8220;It&#8217;s not fair to expect your local grocer or flower shop to play by the rules and then allow an online retailer to get a 6 percent advantage simply because it takes orders online.&#8221;</p> <p>Currently, Michigan residents are expected to pay the 6 percent sales tax on items bought online when they complete their state income tax return. The Michigan Treasury has said it collected $5.87 million from 108,600 taxpayers who paid that tax in 2013, while estimating it would miss out on more than $482 million that should be paid in fiscal year 2013-2014.</p> <p>&#8220;We&#8217;ve already given corporations in Michigan a $1.8 billion tax break in recent years,&#8221; LaVoy said. &#8220;We can&#8217;t continue to give unfair advantages to major corporations. Our locally run, small businesses are struggling. They deserve a level playing field.&#8221;</p> <![CDATA[State Rep. Haugh Introduces Bills to Improve Michigan Fireworks Safety Act]]> http://022.housedems.com/news/article/state-rep-haugh-introduces-bills-to-improve-michigan-fireworks-safety-act <p>LANSING &#8212; State Representative <strong>Harold L. Haugh</strong> (D-Roseville) introduced House Bill 4743 and 4744 today which will make changes to the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act to provide additional local control, more reasonable time limits on usage and to ensure firefighters are receiving the funds necessary for proper training in accordance with the intended purpose of the act.</p> <p>&#8220;After listening to constituents and meeting with all interested stakeholders, I believe that leaving the fireworks ordinance decisions up to the local units of government is the best course of action,&#8221; said Haugh.</p> <p>The legislation will make the following improvements to the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act:</p> <ul> <li><p>Establishes set hourly parameters and more flexibility at the local level for the discharge or use of consumer grade fireworks via local opt-in. More specifically, local units of government still retain full control over the 335 days they currently have. On the days of, day before, and day after a national holiday (30 days), local units of government may enact an ordinance prohibiting the use of consumer grade fireworks from 12 a.m. to 8 a.m. and could also enact an ordinance expanding the hours of usage but not decreasing them on the 30 days.</p></li> <li><p>Ensure that 100 percent of the Fireworks Safety Fee be distributed to the Firefighter Training Council for training purposes and allow local units of government to carry out inspections of consumer-grade firework facilities;</p></li> <li><p>Require retail facilities to display a sign informing customers where to find a copy of state law and to contact their local unit of government for local ordinances;</p></li> <li><p>Require retailers to submit their fireworks safety fees at the same time as their sales tax payments; and</p></li> <li><p>Eliminate the sunset on the application fees for permanent structures and tents, keeping them at current levels.</p></li> <li><p>Address bad actors who try to skirt paying their sales tax and fireworks safety fee yet try to set up shop in a different manner the next year by providing Treasury the authority over the &#8220;??collection of all past due money&#8221; owed to the state or state departments.</p></li> </ul> <p>&#8220;This bill addresses many concerns raised about the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, but most importantly, it restores the original integrity of the act by guaranteeing all of the fireworks safety fees go towards fire safety, training and inspections,&#8221; continued Haugh. &#8220;I am confident that this bill will get broad support once it is taken up by the full House.&#8221;</p> <![CDATA[Statement from State Representative Harold Haugh (D-Roseville) on the passage of legislation expanding the Educational Achievement Authority in Michigan:]]> http://022.housedems.com/news/article/statement-from-state-representative-harold-haugh-d-roseville-on-the-passage-of-legislation-expanding-the-educational-achievement-authority-in-michigan <p>&#8220;I strongly opposed this legislation as it represents a backward step for our public schools and children. Much like the Emergency Manager law, the EAA legislation takes local and parental control away and shifts these powers to the state and for-profit corporations. The EAA decision making process should be open to the public and the EAA should be held accountable for how these schools are run and the student achievement they do or do not produce.&#8221;</p>