Michigan voters will elect a new governor and one U.S. senator in 2018. Elections for the U.S. House of Representatives, state Senate and House, and a number of local elections will also be held in Michigan next year.
Here is what area state legislators have planned for 2018:
State Sen. Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive
Meekhof currently serves as the senator for Michigan’s 30th District. He is term-limited and cannot run for that seat in 2018.
The focus for Meekhof in 2018 will be on passing a balanced budget ahead of time, according to an email from his office.
The Senate will also have a few items that are brought forward by the citizens in the form of initiatives, such as repeal of prevailing wage and expansion of marijuana use to recreational. There will be a significant focus on considering the policy initiatives brought before the Senate and communicating to the citizens about whether or not those are good policies, according to Meekhof’s office.
State Rep. Daniela Garcia, R-Holland
Garcia currently serves as the representative for Michigan’s 90th House District. Although she is not term-limited, she announced in October she will be running for the 30th Senate seat in 2018, now held by Meekhof.
Garcia said she has a lot to work on during her remaining time as a state representative. She said legislation that would modify school seclusion and restraint rules is her No. 1 priority in 2018. The bill would allow school resource officers who are contracted to a school district from a law enforcement department in the region to utilize their training to resolve incidents that may arise at school. The current law calls for specific training of teachers, administrators and education personnel in regulations for seclusion and restraint in emergency situations.
Garcia said she is afraid if the issue at the heart of the legislation isn’t addressed, then local law enforcement will no longer enter into contracts with schools. She said this would up-end community policing.
Other issues Garcia said she would like to take on in 2018 include how teachers are educated and prepared to take on their role in the classroom.
State Rep. Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville
Victory serves as the representative for Michigan’s 88th House District, but is term-limited. In November, he announced he would face off against Garcia and former state Rep. Joe Haveman for Michigan’s 30th Senate District seat.
Victory said he has a number of priorities for his remaining time as a state representative, including the updating of Michigan regulations to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act. Complying with the act will ensure Michigan farmers and producers have access to national and international markets, according to an email from Victory’s office.
Victory will also be pursuing responsible funding for various projects and programs that impact Ottawa County and the state through the appropriations subcommittees he serves on.