LANSING, Mich. (WZMQ) – In August, Governor Gretchen Whitmer laid out her legislative priorities for the fall with her ‘What’s Next’ Address. Following the address, WZMQ spoke with the 38th district state senator about what he hopes will receive more attention in the legislature this fall.
Senator Ed McBroom represents Michigan’s 38th State Senate District, which covers a majority of The UP. As legislators buckle down to finish projects before the end of the year, Senator McBroom says there are a few issues he thinks should be a priority.
“We have a very urgent need in the state dealing with our problems at corrections,” Senator McBroom said. “The shortage of workforce at our prison facilities, there’s an acute need there that’s endangering and harming both inmates and officers.”
Senator McBroom says he’s already introduced legislation to address the issues, but it’s yet to be taken up.
During The Governor’s address, she laid out priorities in addressing the health of people, the planet, the economy, and democracy in Michigan. Senator McBroom says he thinks more pressing issues are being passed over in favor of legislation he says is too ‘one size fits all’.
The senator says a one size fits all approach is too commonly seen in legislation, and fails to acknowledge the differences between rural and urban areas. He says one place he thinks needs a more collaborative approach, is in education.
“Even if a majority of our students are in urban areas, the majority of schools are not.” Senator McBroom said. “Policy should reflect that better.”
Senator McBroom introduced a new piece of legislation last week to strengthen guidelines for government officials in The Freedom of Information Act. He says the bill would lead to higher accountability and more transparency into the way things operate in Lansing
“Your solution might not work the best for everybody, maybe it only works for one group and not everybody else,” Senator McBroom said. “Then we have to either then just direct the solution to that group, or we need to find different ways of delivering a solution to the different people that are affected.”
Senator McBroom also expressed excitement for potential investments into bringing Copper Mining back to the west side of The UP. He said he hopes that he and the other UP legislators can work together towards any votes and move progress forwards as quickly and safely as possible.
“There’s a lot of great opportunities in The UP still.” McBroom said. “Especially if we recognize that natural resources are our biggest strength in The UP, and it’s why we’ve been successful in the past and how I think we can continue to be successful in the future.”