Monday, February 04, 2013

Updates from 110th District State Rep. Scott Dianda

LANSING -- Michigan 110th District State Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) has been busy in Lansing working on his priorities for Upper Peninsula constituents. Here are some updates on his legislative work.

Rep. Dianda co-sponsors bill to help teachers cover classroom expenses

Dianda recently co-sponsored legislation that would create a tax credit for Michigan teachers who use their own money to stock their classrooms with supplies. House Bill 4146 (2013) allows teachers to receive up to a $1,000 tax credit for a single return or $2,000 for a joint return on classroom supplies used specifically "for educational purposes that directly relate to the taxpayer's classroom coursework."

"Our schools have had to do more with less in the classroom after Republicans diverted $2 billion from the School Aid Fund over two years," said Dianda. "Our dedicated school teachers end up having to buy basic school supplies with their own salaries that are also dwindling. On top of the need to invest more in education in our state, we need to invest in our quality educators, and this tax credit will ease some of their added financial burden."

HB 4146 would apply to tax years after Dec. 31, 2012. It has been referred to the House Committee on Tax Policy and is awaiting a second reading.*

Rep. Dianda highlights home heating services

Rep. Dianda is letting his constituents know that services are available to those who need home heating assistance this winter.

"Everyone in the Upper Peninsula knows how bitter cold our winters can get, so I want residents to be informed of the help that is available to them," Dianda said. "We have many more cold months ahead of us, so if you are struggling with heating your home please take advantage of the services our state can provide."

The website www.HeatingMyHome.org provides consumers with easy access to federal, state and local home heating assistance programs. These resources are available to households throughout the state of Michigan. For example, in every county there are agencies that provide heating assistance, including the Michigan Department of Human Services and the United Way, which operates the 2-1-1 help line.

The website also provides weatherization information that can save homeowners money on their home heating bills.

Unfortunately, some people illegally adjust their propane tanks to try to save money while others allow their tanks to run completely dry or simply use illegal tanks. By getting home heating assistance, Michigan residents can avoid taking these dangerous risks. The website also provides information on home heating safety.

If residents need help with home heating assistance or have any questions about qualifications, please call Rep. Dianda's office toll-free at (888) 633-4031 or e-mail him at scottdianda@house.mi.gov.

Rep. Dianda Announces key House Committee assignments

Rep. Scott Dianda, elected last November and replacing former 110th District Rep. Matt Huuki, is now  serving on the Michigan House Transportation and Infrastructure, Natural Resources, and Regulatory Reform committees.

"Fixing our roads and infrastructure is a top priority for Michigan," said Dianda. "I'm fully prepared to tackle the big issue of funding our roads. I will use my spot on the committee fight for our middle-class families and make sure they aren't paying too much of the tab."

Rep. Dianda is a former transportation maintenance worker for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and is enthusiastic to bring the knowledge he gained in that role to the Transportation Committee.

"Serving on the committee for Natural Resources will also provide me the opportunity to work on policies that benefit the Upper Peninsula and the way we do things here. I will fulfill my campaign promise to promote the wise use, not non-use, of Michigan's natural resources," Dianda added.

* Click here to read the present version of HB 4146 of 2013.

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