What are your lawmakers doing for you?

Among his many accomplishments working with the Michigan Legislature, Rep. Cole would like constituents to know a new website has been launched to give Michigan residents the opportunity to help improve the state's auto insurance issues.

Here is a look at what Michigan 105th District Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) has been working on lately.


Rep. Cole on State of the State: Governor’s proposals lack details

State Rep. Triston Cole of Mancelona tonight issued the following statement after the governor’s State of the State address:

“The governor spent 12 years in the Legislature and ran for governor implying that she had a plan for roads. Frustratingly, we still have yet to hear anything that includes details. It’s hard to make much progress until we know more, including specifics on where the money is going to come from.

“We’re hearing talking points hitting emotional hot buttons and pulling at heart strings, but there’s no sausage in the casing. Honestly, we haven’t even seen a list detailing any of the ingredients.

“The Republican-led Legislature’s smart decisions over the past several years have fueled Michigan’s economic comeback. We must continue our momentum and stay focused on the things that matter most to all Michiganders, like lowering car insurance rates and making continued investments in our roads and infrastructure.”


Expanding texting-while-driving ban to restrict social media use will make Michigan roads safer

State Rep. Triston Cole this week introduced a plan to reduce accidents caused by distracted driving with an important update to Michigan’s texting-while-driving ban.

Cole’s plan would add reading an email or sending a message on cellphone social media apps to the list of banned activities for drivers. The legislation would expand a ban that already includes texting on a cellphone while behind the wheel.

“It’s time we put our cellphones away while driving – and that includes checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the rest of it,” Cole said. “Social media can wait until the driving is done. Making this important change to Michigan law will keep our roads safer for everyone by eliminating potential distractions for drivers.”

Cole’s plan also limits new drivers under the age of 18 or with a level 1 or level 2 graduated license from talking or listening to a cellphone call while driving except in the case of an emergency.

“Establishing healthy habits early with drivers will help save lives,” Cole said.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers talking on a cellphone are up to four times as likely to crash while those who text are up to eight times as likely to be involved in a crash.

House Bill 4198 has been referred to the House Transportation Committee.


Rep. Cole seeks Michigan Supreme Court opinion on minimum wage, paid time off laws

State Rep. Triston Cole today called on the Michigan Supreme Court to weigh in regarding the constitutionality of two laws enacted in December 2018.

Cole, of Mancelona, said the action taken by the Legislature last year to adopt and later amend the ballot issues on minimum wage and paid time off was the right thing to do for Michigan workers and voters, and perfectly in line with the Legislature’s role.

“Democratic leaders and the attorney general are raising questions about the bills we passed in an attempt to raise doubt about a cut-and-dried legal issue. They’re trying to pick a fight and create false doubts for political reasons,” Cole said. “By asking the Supreme Court to weigh in, we will be able to put these concerns to rest and eliminate any potential confusion on the issue once and for all.”

Cole said the original ballot initiatives on minimum wage and paid leave were written by out-of-state interest groups, and the Legislature had a duty to step in and protect Michigan workers.

“The ballot issues brought to the Legislature last year were poorly written and needed work. They had sloppy language and technical mistakes that needed to be fixed, so the Legislature stepped up and did its job to fix them,” Cole said. “It was the right thing to do, and I have no doubt it was legal. But the new administration and the AG have decided to make it about politics. I am asking the Michigan Supreme Court to provide an opinion so we can stop the gamesmanship and avoid wasting taxpayer dollars on an expensive legal fight.”

House Resolution 25 has been referred to the House Government Operations Committee for consideration.


Rep. Cole welcomes grant for brownfield redevelopment

State Rep. Triston Cole of Mancelona announced today the 105th district has received two grants from the Brownfield Redevelopment Program. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality approved applications for two brownfield sites in Northern Michigan, awarding over $150,000 for expenditures relating to the project.

“I am excited to see investments assisting environmental cleanup projects provided for our communities,” Cole said. “This is an excellent example of how grant programs can be used effectively at the local level to improve our way of life in Northern Michigan.”

The money will be used to redevelop the Boyne Automotive and Go North Properties sites.

Leading the Way: Our 2019-2020 Action Plan

I joined my Republican colleagues this month in unveiling our action plan called “Leading the Way for an Even Better Michigan.” This plan includes our priorities that will guide us over the next two years.

Some of the priorities include:

· Lower car insurance rates

· Investments to improve schools and job prep programs

· Road and water improvements

· More accessible mental health support services

The plan is available to the public on the Michigan House Republican website.

State of the State Address

The governor delivered the 2019 State of the State Address on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Though the address highlighted many important issues facing our state, I would have liked to hear more specifics about the governor’s plans to fund road and bridge improvement projects statewide.

Michigan has improved significantly over the past eight years, and that success will continue if we continue to set our sights on school funding, government transparency, auto insurance reform, water quality, strengthening our workforce and empowering our local communities.


We want to hear YOUR ideas for auto insurance

The House has launched a special website designed to keep people informed about the House Select Committee on Reducing Car Insurance Rates and to give YOU the chance to have your voice heard.

Michigan drivers currently pay the highest car insurance rates in the country. The committee was established to help lower rates and give people relief.

The website allows anyone to easily offer input that they believe could help shape future legislation. This is a great opportunity for Northern Michigan residents to tell their personal stories and ideas for lowering car insurance rates. Together we can find a solution.


Bipartisan effort to reform juvenile justice

A bipartisan plan to transform the way 17-year-olds are treated in Michigan’s criminal justice system was introduced in February.

Michigan is one of just four states to automatically prosecute 17-year-olds as adults when they’re accused of breaking the law. Eliminating this outdated practice will help rehabilitate young offenders and reduce the likelihood of them breaking the law again in the future.

Studies show young offenders have much better outcomes when subjected to age-appropriate resources aimed at rehabilitation.

The proposal would raise the age at which individuals are considered adults for the purposes of prosecuting criminal offenses, allowing 17-year-olds to be treated as minors within the juvenile system in most circumstances. Prosecutors will continue to have some discretion, allowing them to waive minors who commit violent crimes into the adult system when appropriate.


Increased protections for senior citizens

Bipartisan representatives have come together to launch a plan combating elder abuse and increasing protections for Michigan’s senior population.

Elder abuse is a serious crime. These additional protections and increased criminal penalties will ensure people think twice before targeting or taking advantage of older adults.

Senior citizens are one of our most vulnerable populations, and they’re increasingly becoming targets of crime. We must establish stronger deterrents to protect our seniors and empower others to help them.

The eight-bill bipartisan plan will add legal protections for adults age 65 and older and establish increased criminal penalties for individuals who financially or physically abuse vulnerable and elder adults.


March is Reading Month!

As part of March is Reading Month, I will visit schools throughout the 105th District to read aloud to students.

Reading is a critical part of education and this special month give us the opportunity to show kids how much fun it can be!


Contact information

Serving the people of Antrim, Charlevoix, Montmorency, Oscoda, and Otsego Counties is very important to me. I encourage residents to contact my office with any state or local issues by calling (517) 373-0829, emailing TristonCole@House.mi.gov or visiting my website at www.reptristoncole.com


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