With the state senate set to begin meeting next week, newly-elected State Senator Ed McBroom knows there is a lot work to be done.
The Republican from the town of Vulcan was sworn in last week with his wife and thirteen children in attendance. “Since then, I’ve been busy getting committee assignments and schedules down,” said McBroom. “I’m on seven different committees, especially looking forward to the work on the Natural Resources Committee that I’m chairing and also chairing the Oversight Committee.”
McBroom is home in the Upper Peninsula but is getting ready to return to Lansing where the first order of business will be auto insurance reform. “Already the priority of both the House and the Senate is working on auto insurance (reform). It’s the first bills introduced in both chambers and the House even has a special select committee to study the issue. So there’s going to be a lot of work to do but I’m anxious to get to it,” McBroom said.
Another issue the legislature will have to tackle is the recent lawsuit filed by Gogebic County against the other five counties in the Western UP to get those municipalities to share in the cost of pension plans for the former Western Upper Michigan Manpower Consortium.
McBroom said he is very familiar with the situation and that he had worked with State Senator Tom Casperson to get this situation resolved but the state was unable to do so, which led to the lawsuit. “I understand why Gogebic is pursuing the lawsuit but the State of Michigan is the one who really walked out on its obligation and they need to fulfill that,” he said.
He said will work with State Representative Greg Markkanen to get an appropriation passed to pay the obligation. “The Eastern counties (in the UP) faced the same thing and the state came through and paid their obligation. It’s just not acceptable. We can’t take ‘No’ for an answer. We have to pursue this and get this done.”
The state senate reconvenes for the first time in 2019 on Tuesday, January 22nd.