By State Rep. Brandt Iden

The last several weeks have been busy and exciting! I have settled into my office in Lansing and am learning the ropes of being a State Representative. Since taking office in January, I have attended the Governor’s State of the State address, began work on my legislative priorities, cast my first votes on issues important to our community, and introduced my first bill. If you are ever in Lansing, I hope you will stop by and say hello!

On Jan. 14, I was honored to be joined by my parents and sister as I was sworn into office by the Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, Mr. Robert Young, Jr. It is a privilege to serve our community and I am reminded of the faith placed in me every time I take my place on the floor of the House of Representatives.

After being sworn in, we received our committee assignments for this term. For the next two years, I will serve as the Vice Chair of the House Committee on Communications and Technology and will also serve on the House Committees on Regulatory Reform, Tax Policy, and Talent & Workforce Development. These committees will discuss and review legislation that is important to growing jobs and keeping Michigan’s economy moving forward.

On Jan. 20, I was honored to be joined by Dan Yoemans from Amicus Management for the Governor’s Fifth State of the State Address. I appreciated the opportunity to hear the Governor’s ideas and his vision for Michigan’s future and continued success.

Following the Governor’s Budget Proposal in early February, my colleagues from the House Republican Caucus and I unveiled our Action Plan for this term. This plan, built on the pillars of Fostering Job Growth and Strengthening our Economy, Creating a Brighter Future of All, Preparing Students for Tomorrow, Making Government More Accountable, Getting Michigan Moving and Powering its Future, and Eliminating Obstacles Created by Government, will serve as our road map as we move through this legislative session. You can read more about the House Republican Action Plan here.

March has brought an uptick in legislative activity. I introduced my first bill, House Bill 4365, which reduces the amount of tax vouchers that the state can issue for the Michigan Venture Fund. HB 4365 passed out of the House Committee on Commerce and Trade on March 24.

I have also co-sponsored several pieces of legislation, including two bills that reform Michigan’s wage garnishment process to protect employers from liability for their employees’ debt in the event of mistake, error, or oversight on the part of the employer in responding to a writ of garnishment. This common sense reform has passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate and has been sent to the Governor for his signature.

March also brought us the Special Olympics Polar Plunge. I was pleased to be joined by Ronnie Stephenson from my office as we, along with almost 50 other Legislators and Legislative Staff, took the plunge to help raise money for Michigan’s Special Olympics Team. Combined, Ronnie and I raised more than $1,000 for the Plunge and placed first in funds raised, raising more than the 9 other registered teams. The day, and the water, perfectly fit the definition of “polar,” but we were thrilled to be involved in helping to support such a great cause.

There are several ways you can get in touch with my office and follow the legislative happenings in Lansing: e-mail, brandtiden@house.mi.gov; phone, (517) 373-1774; mail, PO Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909; office, N-995 House Office Building, 124 N. Capital Ave., Lansing, MI 48909; website, http://gophouse.org/representatives/southwest/iden/ ; Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/StateRepresentativeBrandtIden?fref=ts

It is a privilege and an honor to represent our community in Lansing. I am pleased to be joined in my Lansing Office by my Legislative Director Reka Holley and Constituent Relations Assistant Ronnie Stephenson. My team and I stand ready and willing to be of assistance in any way we are able. Please feel free to reach out to us. We’re looking forward to working with you to keep Michigan moving forward!