<![CDATA[Rep. Sean McCanns' Site Feed]]> http://060.housedems.com <![CDATA[Statement from state Representative Sean McCann on his resolution commemorating the life of Nelson Mandela:]]> http://060.housedems.com/news/article/statement-from-state-representative-sean-mccann-on-his-resolution-commemorating-the-life-of-nelson-mandela <p>&#8220;Today, I introduced a resolution to the state House of Representatives commemorating the life of Nelson Mandela. Mandela will be remembered not only as the man who led the fight to overturn a vicious system of racist oppression, but also as the man who then led his country toward peace and reconciliation. In doing so, he demonstrated not only a thirst for justice, but a hunger for mercy as well. I believe we can all learn from Mandela by ridding ourselves of complacency in the midst of others’ suffering while remembering that we must all work together to achieve peace and prosperity.</p> <p>“Michigan has a proud history of backing Mandela’s efforts – Michigan State University was the first public university to divest in apartheid-era South Africa, and our state Legislature was the first to sanction the apartheid South African government, and it did so three times. At the national level, former Michigan Congressman Howard Wolpe helped lead the fight pass the 1986 Anti-Apartheid Act, and he received one of Mandela’s first phone calls after his release from prison in 1990. Nelson Mandela was one of the world’s great leaders, and I am grateful that the state of Michigan will soon honor his life’s work.”</p> <![CDATA[Rep. McCann Introduces Bill Assuring Workers a β€˜Day of Rest,’ Lunch Breaks]]> http://060.housedems.com/news/article/rep-mccann-introduces-bill-assuring-workers-a-day-of-rest-lunch-breaks <p>KALAMAZOO — State Representative <strong>Sean McCann</strong> (D-Kalamazoo) has introduced a House Bill that would guarantee rest days for most full-time workers and lunch periods for those working shifts lasting longer than 7.5 hours. When passed, the bill would ensure that Michigan workers will have regular days off to spend with their families and to tend to personal matters.</p> <p>“No one works harder than Michigan’s men and women – the people who led America into its period of greatest prosperity and who are leading the manufacturing come-back in Michigan,” McCann said. “For all their hard work and dedication, they deserve a break. This bill makes sure they get one.”</p> <p>McCann’s bill would grant one rest day out of every seven days to most full-time workers. Exemptions are made for certain classes of workers, including managers, agricultural workers, those covered by bargaining agreements and those needed to work during emergencies. The bill also provides for one 20-minute meal break for anyone working a shift lasting longer than 7.5 hours. McCann’s bill is mirrored by Senate Bill 486, introduced by Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood.</p> <p>“Several of Michigan’s most productive workers have put in a hard day’s work day after day for weeks on end without rest,” McCann said. “Their dedication and effort deserves to be recognized with a well-deserved break. I urge legislators on both sides of the aisle to give Michigan workers the recognition they are due.”</p> <![CDATA[Award Honors Rep. McCann's Work on Behalf of At-Risk Children, Education]]> http://060.housedems.com/news/article/award-honors-rep-mccann-s-work-on-behalf-of-at-risk-children-education <p>LANSING &#8212; Rep. <strong>Sean McCann</strong> (D-Kalamazoo) received the Michigan Association of State and Federal Program Specialists &#8220;2013 Roberta Stanley Legislative Award&#8221; at a ceremony today. The award from MASFPS, an organization that works to improve educational achievement for all children, recognized McCann&#8217;s commendable efforts to protect children from violence and neglect and to improve Michigan&#8217;s public schools. Previous winners of this award were Rep. Joan Bauer, Sen. Tupac Hunter, and Congressman Dale Kildee.</p> <p>&#8220;I&#8217;m incredibly honored to receive this award from an organization that has done so much to improve the lives of Michigan&#8217;s children and help them achieve their goals,&#8221; McCann said. &#8220;As a father of two children, I know that our children carry with them our hopes for a better future. Keeping them from harm and ensuring that they get the kind of education they deserve are among my top priorities, just as they are for MASFPS.&#8221;</p> <p>McCann&#8217;s work that contributed to his award selection includes:</p> <ul> <li><p>Introduced legislation expanding the list of mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect to include coaches and school volunteers.</p></li> <li><p>Introduced legislation to prevent children being left unattended.</p></li> <li><p>Co-sponsored House Bill 4163 (now Public Act 241 of 2011) requiring schools to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying at school.</p></li> <li><p>Co-sponsored legislation to provide a child care tax deduction for working families.</p></li> <li><p>Co-sponsored legislation for continued funding for the successful Nurse-Family Partnership Program.</p></li> <li><p>Supported legislation to restore the Earned Income Tax Credit to 20 percent for working families.</p></li> </ul> <p>&#8220;I look forward to continuing my work on behalf of at-risk youth and their families,&#8221; McCann said. &#8220;Keeping our children healthy and safe and giving them a good education is the first step to moving Michigan in the right direction. I&#8217;m thankful to receive this award from an organization such as MASFPS that also works to benefit children in Michigan.&#8221;</p> <![CDATA[Reps. Tlaib, Dillon, McCann: School Aid Bill Misses Opportunity to Fund Students]]> http://060.housedems.com/news/article/reps-tlaib-dillon-mccann-school-aid-bill-misses-opportunity-to-fund-students <p>LANSING &#8212; State Representative and House Appropriations Committee Democratic vice chairwoman <strong>Rashida H. Tlaib</strong> (D-Detroit) and committee members Reps. <strong>Brandon Dillon</strong> (D-Grand Rapids) and <strong>Sean McCann</strong> (D-Kalamazoo) said a School Aid supplemental bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee today misses an opportunity to return more funding to Michigan public schools, which are reeling after more than $2 billion in funding cuts over the past two years.</p> <p>&#8220;The lack of school funding has created a crisis in districts across Michigan,&#8221; Tlaib said. &#8220;Two districts have been forced to close already, and many more are in financial distress and facing an uncertain future. To not restore funding to our schools is an abdication of our duty. Our kids, and the future of Michigan, depend on us getting this right.&#8221;</p> <p>House Bill 4229, approved by the House Appropriations Committee in a 24-3 vote today, offers technical fixes to the School Aid bill passed in May. Democratic Representatives Dillon and McCann each offered an amendment that was rejected by the Republican-led committee. Dillon&#8217;s amendment would increase per-pupil funding by $100 per student, while McCann&#8217;s amendment would set aside $5 million to support smaller class sizes. The $158 million needed to fund both the per-pupil increase and McCann&#8217;s proposed grants would have been paid for with existing state revenues and additional anticipated revenues to the state.</p> <p>&#8220;The Republican refusal to properly fund our schools continues to disgrace the state of Michigan,&#8221; Dillon said. &#8220;Our schools have cut as much as they can from their budgets and continue to struggle. Our kids are suffering for our bad decisions. We must restore school funding now.&#8221;</p> <p>As a result of the school funding crisis, thousands of teachers have been laid off across the state, and many school buildings have closed. This has caused classroom sizes to swell as large numbers of students are forced into fewer classrooms.</p> <p>&#8220;Studies consistently show that children learn better when they are in smaller classrooms,&#8221; McCann said. &#8220;It&#8217;s disappointing that the House Appropriations Committee refused to set aside even $5 million to support our kids and better education outcomes. Our children are worth much more than that, and it&#8217;s time our budget reflected our priorities.&#8221;</p> <![CDATA[McCann Introduces Plan Protecting Voters in the Event of a Candidate Death]]> http://060.housedems.com/news/article/mccann-introduces-plan-protecting-voters-in-the-event-of-a-candidate-death <p>KALAMAZOO &#8212; State Representative <strong>Sean McCann</strong> (D-Kalamazoo) today introduced a proposal that would protect voters in the event a candidate dies between a primary and general election. Under state law, votes cast for a deceased candidate are not counted, but McCann&#8217;s bill would postpone the election, giving a new candidate time to take the deceased candidate&#8217;s place and give voters a choice between candidates in the general election.</p> <p>&#8220;No one likes to think about tragic events, such as the death of a candidate in the middle of a campaign. But the fact is, these situations have occurred,&#8221; McCann said. &#8220;Under Michigan law, votes cast for the deceased candidate are uncounted, meaning thousands of votes may be wasted. Voters deserve to have a real choice in any election, even in the extreme case of an untimely death of a candidate.&#8221;</p> <p>The problem has faced Michigan voters before. In 2010, Rep. Robert B. Jones (D-Kalamazoo) died while running for a seat in the Michigan Senate. He died on Oct. 17, 16 days before the general election. The timing of his death made it difficult for a replacement candidate to be selected and run a campaign. Meanwhile, voters who already cast a ballot for Jones or cast a straight ticket had a right to redo their ballot, but the state didn&#8217;t require them to be notified of that right. In his honor, McCann&#8217;s proposal is named the Robert B. Jones Every Vote Counts Election Law.</p> <p>&#8220;My plan simply postpones an election to the next regularly scheduled election day in the sad event of a candidates death,&#8221; McCann said. &#8220;That gives a new candidate a chance to run for office, and voters can be sure to cast ballots that will be counted. Everyone has a right to have their vote counted, and this proposal protects that right.&#8221;</p> <p>McCann said he anticipates the bill will receive bipartisan support in the Legislature.</p> <p>&#8220;These aren&#8217;t partisan issues,&#8221; McCann said. &#8220;The tragedy of an untimely death can strike either party, and fair elections are desired by everyone. We shouldn&#8217;t wait until a similar misfortune strikes again. I look forward to working across the aisle to resolve this oversight.&#8221;</p> <![CDATA[Michigan Democrats Push for Relief on Gas Prices]]> http://060.housedems.com/news/article/michigan-democrats-push-for-relief-on-gas-prices <p>LANSING &#8212; As prices continue to top $4 per gallon across the state, Democrats in the Michigan House and Senate called for action on measures to help struggling consumers. The Legislature has debated options for increasing revenue for fixing roads, but proposals to ease the burden on working drivers have not received much consideration.</p> <p>&#8220;??Every time gas prices spike, it takes more money out of families&#8217; pockets and that means less economic activity at our other local small businesses,&#8221; said Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Flint), member of the Senate Transportation Committee. &#8220;If we&#8217;re going to get people back to work and improve our economy, we need to provide some relief for consumers.&#8221;</p> <p>Ananich has sponsored HB 4270, which would provide a tax break equal to 50 percent of what they spend on gas for workers making less than $50,000 a year. Rep. <strong>Sean McCann</strong> (D-Kalamazoo) is the sponsor of HB 4305, a measure that eliminates a tax loophole that allows companies like BP and Exxon to reap millions in taxpayer revenue even though they already see record-breaking profits. Despite raking in those profits, malfunctioning refineries are often blamed for drastic &#8212; and frequently ongoing &#8212; rises in prices. Democrats are also working on a measure that would allow employers to offer a flexible spending account option to workers that they could contribute into for fuel purchases and see tax relief that way.</p> <p>&#8220;We need to pursue a comprehensive, common sense approach on transportation funding and this legislation is a good start,&#8221; said McCann. &#8220;There are a number of factors for the fluctuation in gas prices, but correcting some flaws in our tax policies should be a piece of the puzzle.&#8221;</p>