January 22, 2018

09-01-2016 Columns

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


aric nesbitt column head 02-2015Working for you

 Since 2010 when you chose me to be your State Representative, I have always kept in mind the fact that I work for you. You sent me to Lansing to be your voice and to fight for efficient and effective government. Every day growing up I saw examples of people who worked hard and lived within their means, and expect their government to do the same. I have taken those lessons with me to Lansing and used them to advance the cause of efficient and effective government. You work hard for your income, and I am proud to fight for a state government that respects that fact. While there is still work to be done, I am immensely proud of what has been accomplished since you sent me to Lansing. Michigan has created more than 400,000 new private sector jobs and our unemployment rate has fallen to 4.5%, the lowest it has been since January of 2001. We repealed the job killing Michigan Business Tax on small business and eliminated dozens of special tax breaks and carve outs, including the Hollywood film subsidy. Over 2,000 burdensome regulations have also been eliminated, making Michigan more job and business friendly. We passed responsible, balanced budgets all six years, months before the deadline. We eliminated a perennial $1.5 billion deficit by focusing on long-term reforms instead of patchwork budgeting. We prioritized spending to focus on key areas important to Michigan families, and increased funding to critical areas like road maintenance, education and law enforcement to insure that Michiganders have the best services and programs possible. I will continue to work on your behalf to make Michigan an even better place to live, work, and raise a family. Please do not hesitate to contact my office by calling toll-free at (800) 577- 6212, or emailing me at AricNesbitt@house.mi.gov, if you ever have any questions, concerns, or comments.



health department col header 6-16-2011Nurse Family Partnership

The Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) program, run by the Berrien County Health Department, is a program for women who are having their first baby. The program is designed to help first time parents succeed. Through the program, families develop confidence and skills for parenting and economic self-sufficiency by volunteering to work with a nurse home visitor from this proven program. Specialized nurses visit families regularly during a 2-1/2 year period, beginning in pregnancy.  NFP nurses help families achieve their goals by fostering healthier pregnancies, improving the health and development of children, and encouraging self-sufficiency. Together, nurses and parents create a vision for the future that includes a plan for future pregnancies, steps towards continuing education, and securing adequate employment. Nurse Family Partnership is free to all eligible women in Berrien County. A nurse visits every week or two during the pregnancy and up until the baby is two years old.  Together the nurse and parents work on making their home a safe place for parents and baby to live and play. They also work on getting referrals for healthcare, childcare, job training and other support services available in their community.  Nurse Family Partnership encourages fathers, family members and even friends to be involved in the visits and learn how they can best support the mother.  More than 20 years of research studies demonstrate the Nurse Family Partnership’s power in helping diverse families succeed.   For more information, call the Health Department at (269) 926-7121 or visit www.bchdmi.org.



Tri-City phone scamsnews from lansing col head 2-2-06

 Scam artists are becoming more bold and clever in disguising their fraudulent activity and are increasingly targeting vulnerable populations, like our seniors.  I urge all Southwest Michigan taxpayers to look out for two new phone scams. Criminals are using a cloned Department of Treasury office telephone number or a Michigan State Police phone number to call residents and claim they owe taxes.  The scammers mimic the phone numbers on the victim’s caller ID, so they think the Treasury or state police are calling them.  Under the scams, victims are told they owe money and that it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses, they are threatened with legal actions, including arrest.  The Michigan State Police will never call anyone and demand money. The Department of Treasury will never demand immediate payment without first mailing you a letter and will never threaten to call the police to arrest you for not paying.  The Treasury will not require that residents pay taxes a certain way or ask for personal financial information like PIN numbers, passwords or similar confidential access details for credit card, bank or other accounts.  Anyone contacting you claiming to be from the Treasury or the state police and asking for personal information or threatening you in any way is a fraud. Hang up and report it.  Anyone who believes they have been a victim of these scams may report it by contacting my office at (517) 373-6960. We have been able to help constituents facing these types of scams get the help they need to straighten things out and protect themselves in the future.  As always, I look forward to hearing your comments and feedback on the important issues facing Michigan. You can contact me at 517-373-6960.


Investing in Your Future


Financial Focus: Investors can learn much from workers

 Next week, we observe Labor Day, a celebration of the American worker. And there is a lot to celebrate, because our workers have accomplished great things and, in the process, demonstrated a variety of impressive character traits – many of which also can be useful to investors.  Perseverance – Have you ever read about an inventor who failed dozens of times before finally hitting on a winner? Or a scientist who studied the same problem for decades before discovering a revolutionary solution? All kinds of workers display this type of perseverance, in one form or another. As an investor, you, too, will need this “stick-to-itiveness” because you will face challenges. Markets will drop, individual investments may disappoint, tax laws may change, and so on. But if you are patient, and you follow a long-term strategy that is based on your needs, risk tolerance and time horizon, you can overcome those obstacles that may be blocking progress toward your goals.  Inquisitiveness – During your own work, you have probably found that you can improve your effectiveness simply by asking a few questions or otherwise learning a little more about your tasks at hand. As an investor, you will also find that knowledge is power – because the more you know about investing and investments, the better prepared you can be when making decisions. Sometimes, this knowledge can help you look past the so-called experts who are touting the “next hot stock.” Other times, your curiosity may lead you to find new opportunities. In any case, learn as much as you can, and if you work with a financial professional, ask questions – as many as necessary. The investment world is fascinating, and it can be complex – but it is also understandable to those who make the effort.  Flexibility – When something is not working, you may need to try another approach. Successful workers know this – and so do successful investors. Suppose, for example, you have been trying to boost your overall return by buying and selling investments. After a while, you may realize that such behavior is costly – in more ways than one. You will likely rack up fees and commissions, you may incur the highest rate of capital gains taxes (assessed on investments held less than one year), and you will be disrupting any cohesive investment strategy you have established. Upon recognizing these problems, you could decide to “switch gears” and follow a long-term, “buy-and-hold” strategy. That is flexibility – and that is a great attribute for investors.  Vision – Good workers have a clear picture of what they want to accomplish – and they know what they must do to reach their goal. As an investor, you also need to establish a vision of where you want to go and how you can get there. So when contemplating your retirement, try to foresee the lifestyle you hope to lead – will you travel the world or stay close to home, pursuing your hobbies? Then, use this vision to help guide your actions, such as increasing your contributions to your 401(k) or IRA, or changing the investment mix within these accounts.  Transferring what you learn from the working world to the investment arena can help make investing a less laborious – and potentially more enjoyable – process. So put that knowledge to good use.  This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.


upton col headerSoaring cost of EpiPen Auto-Injectors cause for concern

 EpiPen Auto-Injectors are a critical and often only option for saving kids from the brink of death during severe allergic reactions. And the soaring cost that patients are now facing for these life-saving products is cause for alarm. We need to ensure this vital device is available to all Americans, which includes making sure it is affordable for families.  This is why the Energy and Commerce Committee, which I chair, is taking a hard look at the specifics behind the price increase. We are pressing the Mylan pharmaceutical firm for concrete answers on why the price has skyrocketed. We have also written to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to learn what has delayed approval of generic epinephrine auto-injectors, which could be affordable alternatives to EpiPens.  Last Congress, I worked to usher into law H.R. 2094, the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, to help more children have access to this life-saving device. Our bipartisan law provides financial incentives to encourage schools to keep these emergency supplies available.  Our Committee is also focused on advancing common sense legislation to address the growing problem of rising prescription drug prices. The issue is becoming a major concern for many families I have heard from. Last year, the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act, bipartisan legislation I introduced along with U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colorado. This piece of legislation contains nearly two dozen provisions aimed at bringing more affordable therapies and cures to patients in need. It also works to lower barriers to medical innovation and safely speed up the FDA’s approval of drugs and devices. More innovation and efficient regulation will lead to more cures and greater competition, leading to more choices and lower prices for patients.  As kids here in Southwest Michigan head back to school, it is important that they are safe and have the resources to treat life-threatening allergies.  To learn more about this and other important legislative issues, please visit my web site: upton.house.gov.