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Michigan State Employees Association
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Ken Moore
Michigan State Employees Association

Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez, Jr.
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Michigan State Employees Association

Michigan Delegation Pressuring For Soo Locks Review Print
Friday, 20 March 2015 12:12
This week, a Michigan delegation of 11 Congressmen, led by U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Crystal Falls) and including U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release a "sensitivity analysis" review that studies the cost and benefits of replacing the Poe Lock in Sault Ste. Marie.  The 48-year-old Poe Lock is the only one big enough to move the largest of the Great Lakes freighters passing between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes.  The Poe Lock handles approximately 70% of goods transiting the Soo Locks.  Delegates want the lock replaced before maintenance issues interrupt commerce.  The estimated impact of a 30-day unscheduled outage due to closure of the Soo Locks is approximately $160 million.  Replacing the Poe Lock has long been sought.  In 1986, Congress authorized a replacement lock and preliminary work began in 2009, but the $580 million project stalled due to lack of funding.  In a Great Lakes Navigation Report issued in February, the Army Corps addressed security concerns inherent in the lock system, noting that "vessles are capable of seriously damaging or destroying locks through acts of terrorism."  The navigation report called construction of a new Poe-sized lock "inconsistent with administration policy" based on an internal benefit-cost ratio study. However, the report says the Army Corp. is considering whether to re-evaluate that policy.
--edited from
Bills Introduced To Regulate Police Body Cameras Print
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 10:38
Rep. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake) has introduced a bill that would prohibit the release of certain video from police body cameras, making most footage taken in places defined as private, exempt from disclosure under the state's Freedom of Information Act.  Runestad said he wants to prevent embarrassing or invasive releases of footage that have occurred in other states from happening in Michigan, and that his bill would provide guidelines for local police that choose to use body cameras.  Currently, officers in Detroit are testing them and Grand Rapids is buying 200 body cameras.  Another bill, sponsored by Rep. Rose Mary Robinson (D-Detroit), would require local police to use body cameras and for the Michigan State Police to reimburse them for it.  But it isn't clear where the State Police would get the money.