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Representative Martus addresses city council

During the Thursday, Dec. 21 meeting of the Montrose City Council, 69th District State Representative Jasper Martus (D-Flushing) provided an update on the Michigan State Representatives over the past year.

“I’m really proud of what we accomplished,” he said.

Martus reported that the House repealed the State’s pension tax, expanded the urban tax credit at the State level and increased benefits for lower income residents.

Mayor Colleen Brown informed Martus that low-income residents are a huge portion of the Montrose community.

Martus said he wants to make sure communities aren’t left behind.

He explained that the House passed a research and development tax credit for those investing in Michigan. Martus explained that when companies decide where to locate, there are several criteria they check. Most states offer tax credits for research and development. The idea is to recruit more businesses, particularly pharmaceutical and automotive.

On the issue of education, Martus said, “There’s good news and bad news.” He explained that Michigan has the highest per pupil funding, but needs to increase the number of social workers in schools.

As far as Genesee County, Martus reported that the county has the worst prosecutor to caseload ratio, with an average of 245 open cases per prosecutor. The state is going to work on increasing funding for prosecutors’ offices. Martus said, “I have legislation to make funding (for prosecutors’ offices) continuous. Genesee, Wayne, Saginaw and Macomb counties are underfunded in the prosecutors’ offices. That’s not the case in Oakland County. If prosecutors don’t have the funding they need, it means people are going to take plea deals they don’t understand, or people will be released.”

He told the city council that the House accomplished a lot of good things to promote economic development.

“My staff, we are at your disposal,” Martus concluded.

City Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Richard asked Martus, “I expect without American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, the budget won’t be as robust.”

Martus responded, “The ARPA funds are going down. There are going to be some projects that would’ve been easier with more funding. Increased revenue for education and improving revenue sharing are high priority.”

Councilman Robert Arnold addressed Martus about the shortage of nurses. He explained that he knows a nurse who is a critical care nurse who has been watching over 10 patients at a time, when the standard of three to four patients per nurse is recommended for intensive care units. This individual has patients who weigh 300 to 400 pounds and are supposed to be turned every hour. “She can’t do it by herself,” Arnold said.

Arnold said, “The hospitals have been cutting staff for years. It’s a math equation for them. It’s not about people.”

Martus said, “I’ve heard horrible stories about people passing away in hospitals.”

In other discussion, councilman Ryan Heslop said, “I was at the Genesee County Water and Waste meeting. Two generators are needed to make sure our entire water system is impervious from shutdown. We’ve been told it’s still going to be another two to three years. This has been dragging on.”

Martus said, “We’re happy to make a call. Sometimes it’s just a matter of letting them know we’re monitoring.”

View Original Article @ Tri-County Citizen written by