Potvin plans for House session
LANSING — State lawmakers reconvened Wednesday in Lansing and vowed to move past bitter feelings over the quick, unexpected passage of the right-to-work law a month ago.
Proof of lingering turmoil was evident at the GOP-controlled Capitol, when legislators were greeted by hundreds of protesters, voicing their concern with the law prohibiting union to force workers to join.
State Rep. Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac, said the beginning of 97th legislature was calm.
“We are all on a fresh slate,” said Potvin. “There is no carry over from the previous session. All the representatives, myself included, are ready to go to work for our communities.”
Potvin reflected on his major accomplishments from the 96th legislative session.
“My proudest moment was the passing of Matt’s Law,” he said. “I worked really hard with all of my co-sponsors to combat bullying in schools.”
“Matt’s Law” is an anti-bullying law requiring all public, private and charter schools to have a bullying policy in place by the beginning of the 2012-13 school year.
As Potvin is looking forward to the new 97th session, he plans to re-introduce some legislation that did not make it through committees last session. Potvin plans to present a bill to remove the requirement for high school students to take alegbra two and two years of a foriegn language to graduate high school.
“I believe these need to be choices, not all students are going to continue on to higher education and will not need these advanced skills,” said Potvin. “All of the superintendents in my counties have asked me to take this to the Capitol, so that is what I plan to do.”
He also wants to protect volunteer and after-hours nurses from frivolous law suits.
“These nurses are volunteers are doing just that, volunteering. People say they are hurt from being poked by the needle too hard, that seems frivolous to me,” he said.
Potvin is not sure when he will begin work on the bills, but will return to Lansing next week for the State of the State address by Gov. Rick Snyder.
“I need to be placed on some committees and learn who the chairs are first,” he said. “Also, I am looking for sponsors to help chair and support causes. Each of my bills has special importance to me. I would like to see them all get passed this session.”