State Rep. Matt Hall Legislative Update
So has all this winter weather caused problems with the flow of things at the State Capital in Lansing? State Rep. Matt Hall, R-63rd District, says it has had an impact on the schedule. Hall was a guest on the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show with Tim Collins.
"We had Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day and we had three days where the state government was shut down, so we've been working on some short weeks." Hall says, "When it's your first month in office, every minute counts to get the office up and running."
Hall says he's had some great responsibilities given to him. "I've been appointed chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which is very rare for a freshman (legislator)." Hall says the committee is responsible for making sure government follows the law. He says departments can fail to follow the law for a number of reasons. "It can be innocent, where they don't understand the legislative intent, it could be maybe that they don't have enough resources, or there could be a negative reason where they just aren't doing their job."
He says the House Oversight Committee has to figure out why these things are going on and either help the department with a plan to solve it or if its not clear, then work to pass a new law.
The committee also makes sure we're spending tax dollars appropriately, and looks for possible fraud or misuse of funds.
Hall has also been appointed to the House Republican Campaign committee. Hall says he was also appointed to the National Uniform Law Commission for the State of Michigan, which will have him working on areas of law that should be the same in every state.
Hall talked about the Legislature overriding the governor's directive to dissolve environmental panels that were set up in the Snyder administration.
"These panels are an opportunity for the people that I serve to have a voice. These are representatives of the farming community, small businesses, and local governments, who have an opportunity to give input before a new environmental regulation takes effect. I think these panels created extra transparency and also allow the taxpayers and those affected to have a voice, " said Hall. He said the panels help prevent some unintended consequences before the new laws take effect. Hall says we need to identify the top priorities in our budget and fund them accordingly. "Roads and infrastructure, education and public safety should be fully funded before we go and fund other areas of government. And I believe all of the gas tax should go to roads before anyone even proposes a tax increase (to pay for roads.")
Hall says he agrees with Governor Whitmer that colleges and universities should not be draining the school aid fund, but should instead be competing for general fund dollars.