LANSING, Mich., April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three Senators were recognized at the M.A.C. Legislative Conference for outstanding service to counties in the legislature. "Friends of M.A.C." awards were given to Sen. Darwin Booher (R-Osceola County), Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Delta County), and Sen. Vince Gregory (D-Oakland County).
The senators were recognized for their tremendous commitment to county government over their careers in the legislature. The have sponsored landmark legislation reforming Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), seeing it through to implementation, are leading the charge on mandate reform, and continue to speak up to protect counties interests in the legislature.
"I want to thank MAC for this award," Booher said. "I am honored to be recognized by an organization that represents our local governments and works to educate policy makers about the impact state decisions can have on its communities."
Booher, elected to the Michigan Senate in November 2010, served three terms in the Michigan House of Representatives and 28 years in local government for Osceola Township. In addition to sponsoring Public Act 604 requiring full PILT payments in a timely manner, Booher sponsored Public Act 619 that changes the criteria for the purchase of state-owned land and provides preference to projects or acquisitions within a local government that supports the acquisition.
In addition to sponsoring Public Act 603, which raised the reimbursement paid to local government for state-owned tax-reverted properties from one hundred percent, Casperson sponsored Public Act 240 and Public Act 622. Public Act 240 places a statewide cap on the amount of land the state can own, while Public Act 622 alters procedures for state surplus land.
"It's a tremendous honor to receive the Michigan Association of Counties Legislator of the Year award," said Sen. Casperson. "MAC plays a critical role in advocating for the voice of local and county government, and working with MAC, we were able to make some critical reforms this past term, like the PILT reform and the Land Cap that provided for some fairness to local governments. By working with MAC, and its dedicated and thoughtful staff, we were able to educate legislators statewide on issues like these to make effective, important and long overdue changes that will allow counties a better opportunity to survive and hopefully thrive in these challenging times. I look forward to continuing to work with MAC and fighting for Michigan's counties on the many trying issues that remain a test for them, such as the state's continued attempts to pass off unfunded mandates on local units of government."
Casperson was also elected to the Michigan Senate in November 2010, after serving in the Michigan House of Representatives for six years. He worked for 27 years in his family's log trucking business, including 12 years as its owner and operator.
Gregory started his career with the Wayne County Sheriff's Department, where he attained the rank of Corporal and then Detective. In 1998, Gregory ran successfully in a special election for Oakland County Commissioner. For the next ten years, he maintained that position, and served on numerous committees. In 2008, Gregory was elected to the State House for the 35th District. And, now Gregory is serving his first term as the State Senator for the 14th District.
"Being recognized as a friend to counties is an honor," Gregory said. "I always keep the experiences I had as a county commissioner in mind while making decisions here in Lansing."
"MAC thanks Sens. Booher, Casperson, and Gregory for their listening ear, firm voice, and staunch support," said MAC President Thom Bardwell (R-Tuscola County), "their tireless work to protect local decision-making and local funding empowers citizens, whom we all serve."
The Michigan Association of Counties (M.A.C.) founded on February 1, 1898, is the only statewide organization dedicated to the representation of all county commissioners in Michigan. M.A.C. is a non-partisan, non-profit organization which advances education, communication and cooperation among county government officials in the state of Michigan. M.A.C. is the counties' voice at the State Capitol, providing legislative support on key issues affecting counties.
SOURCE Michigan Association of Counties