Some small business owners say part of last year’s health care overhaul requires a burdensome amount of tax paperwork. A portion of that legislation would require businesses to report purchases of goods worth $600 or more, if it goes into effect next January.
Laurie Moncrieff is President of Adaptive Manufacturing Solutions and Schmald Tool & Die, based in Genesee County. She says she hopes the requirement is repealed.
“I am hopeful that legislators are cognizant of the fact that job creation is going to come out of small business, and we need to do everything in our power to assist small business in growing and allowing us to create the jobs that I believe are going to come out of small business.”
Moncrieff says if the reporting requirement goes into effect next January, it would be a burden for business.
“It’ll just put a more onerous and rigorous amount of paperwork on our business. We don’t need to add any more overhead or cost. It’s just not a good time, and it serves no real purpose, in my opinion.”
Senator Debbie Stabenow sponsored legislation to repeal that requirement. The Senate passed the bill two weeks ago, and a House committee has begun considering it.
The Senator says she’s heard from some small business leaders, who have told her that the reporting requirement could take time and attention away from helping a business grow.
“As they are struggling with getting access to capital to be able to expand, or to be able to just survive as the economy continues to inch forward — it’s getting more positive, but very slowly — the last thing they need is to have a whole bunch of new paperwork dumped on them. So this is something that I think is a welcome relief for small businesses.”
Eighty-one Senators voted to do away with the requirement, and Senator Stabenow says she’s confident the House will also vote to repeal it.
Senator Stabenow met Tuesday with members of the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce to discuss repealing the requirement. She plans to meet Wednesday with members of the Midland chamber.
State officials say 2010 was the safest year on record for Michigan hunting seasons.
“The 2010 hunting season in Michigan turned out to be one of the safest hunting seasons we’ve had on record. We only had 14 incidents reported to us — that included three fatalities. We had 19 accidents in 2009,” says Mary Dettloff, a spokesperson for the state Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
She says although there were also slightly fewer hunters, the decrease in accidents is due to more attention to safety.
“The decrease in hunting accidents we attribute more to the fact that we do have a requirement that you take hunters safety if you’re born after 1960, and also the hunter orange law, which has really helped reduce the number of fatalities we’ve had over the years. If you go back, we had easily ten times as many folks getting killed before the hunter orange law was put in place.”
Dettloff says the state began recording hunting accidents more than seventy years ago. She says the number of incidents has consistently dropped over the past several years. Most accidents occur in deer seasons, which are most popular.
BY: GINNY BEAUCHAMP
CMU Public Radio News
In today’s economy it can be argued that it’s tougher for college students to make ends meet. Many students resort to obtaining a state issued bridge card for food assistance.
However, it was announced yesterday that the state Department of Human Services will no longer offer food assistance grants to college students unless they have children.
The Department says it’s attempting to thwart the current misuse of the system. College students receive cards regardless of whether they have a real need for assistance.
The Department has decided that student status doesn’t always equal need.
The new policy does not go into affect until April, but students at Central Michigan University were abuzz with feedback about the issue yesterday.
All over campus, students were talking about the new bridge card provisions. Quite a few strong opinions were thrown around.
Lauren Haas was sitting in a corridor of Anspach hall waiting for her next class when she heard the news. The senior from Farmington says college students shouldn’t be allowed to have bridge cards because most of them don’t really need one.
Haas says her roommates all have their own cards and the fridge is always bursting with food they don’t eat. She says she’s glad college student status alone won’t qualify a person for a card.
“I’m for it, I’m okay with that. I think they should ban them anyway, for college students. It makes me upset when it’s just kind of cheating the government.”
Katie Laskowska was walking to her class in Pearce Hall when she heard that her own bridge card may be discontinued in April. The junior from Clarkston says that her card makes paying her rent and bills so much easier, especially when she doesn’t have to worry about setting money aside to feed herself.
“I understand that they’re trying to crack down on people who are abusing the cards, but I think that they’re taking them away from the wrong people.”
Laskowska says it should be non-college students who should be punished, like people who are not contributing to society or people who illegally sell their cards to others to use. She says she would have a difficult time adjusting if she no longer had her card.
“I guess I would just eat less. But, I mean, I would obviously figure something out, but it would just make things harder on me.”
Jackson senior Lindsay Adams was reading in the education building when she had to think about life without her bridge card. The full-time student is putting herself through college and working a part-time job in the education building office.
Adams says she gets $200/month on her card. Although she says she is grateful for that amount, she doesn’t need that much. In terms of disqualifying college students without children from receiving cards, she says she has mixed feelings.
“I agree because I feel like a lot of college students do take it for granted, especially since like everyone I talk to has a bridge card. You know, what I don’t need could go to somebody else who needs it. But then I also kind of disagree because like in my situation, I don’t have those extra funds to be able to buy what I need.”
Ryan Ehlke and Chad Weaver heard the news in Moore hall working in a co-curricular office. Ehlke, a junior from Waterford, looked shocked as he took it in.
“I’m a little upset after hearing that news. I’m gonna raise some hell. I kind of need it, I mean I don’t have all the time in the world to, you know, pay off all the bills that I need to, so to take something like this away from me would just kind of discourage me a bit. And it would be back to bologna sandwiches 24-7 for me.”
Ehlke currently says he works at the Big Boy in Mount Pleasant about 30 hours per week. He says having a bridge card takes stress off of working even more hours to pay for everything a college student needs.
Ehlke says he feels the current system isn’t fair. He receives $75 a month. He’s a full-time student and says he’s constantly working. But he says his roommates get $200 a month on their cards when they don’t work and get constant funding from their parents.
Chad Weaver, a St. Charles senior, says the 200-a-month he gets on his bridge card allows him to work less and spend more time on extra curricular and academics. Things that he thinks will help him get a job after he graduates.
“You know, when you think of all the other people getting the bridge card and the amount of time they’re staying on it, I think it’s awful because my whole reason behind originally not wanting a bridge card is because I think it’s a crutch. And that crutch allows people to be lazy, in general. So I think college students who are actually using it for a means to an end to get somewhere, to help themselves get by, you know, to get to that next step in life, I think it’s an awful thing to do to take that away from them, I mean it’s something they need.”
Weaver says that if he didn’t have a bridge card, he wouldn’t be able to maintain his healthy eating because fresh produce is expensive. He says it would be back to a Ramen Noodle diet.
Whether students are truly in need of a bridge card or not, they may have to come to terms with a new reality – life without it.