SWM Lawmakers Look Ahead To 2018

Southwest Michigan lawmakers are looking forward to what they hope will be a busy 2018. WSJM News caught up with several of them and learned auto insurance reform remains a priority. State Representative Dave Pagel of Berrien Springs told us more.

“There’s just a lot of resistance in the legislature with reps who have a lot of ties to hospitals or the insurance industry, but I’d like us not to give up on that,” Pagel said.

Pagel says maybe the legislature can tackle the issue step by step, rather than in one fell swoop. State Senator John Proos, meanwhile, wants to position Michigan to benefit as much as possible from the recent federal tax reform.

“My hope is that we see some real significant trickle-down benefit,” Proos said. “By that I mean are we going to see investment in local municipalities? Are we going to see investment in small businesses? Are we going to see people hired?”

Both Proos and Pagel want to reduce corrections costs in 2018. State Senator Tonya Schuitmaker’s goal for 2018 is to establish a legal definition of truancy.

“You can have more of an interaction when a student is truant,” Schuitmaker said. “Rather than just expelling them, we need to have more of a teamwork approach between the prosecutor, the school, and the court system to find out what is going wrong in that child’s life.”

All three lawmakers are heading into their final year in office due to term limits. Proos says it’s been good to work to help southwest Michigan residents, Schuitmaker hopes to be the next state attorney general, and Pagel says he could have used one more term.