Howard Walker en Senate putting finishing touches on Common Core resolution <p>Lawmakers in the state Senate hope to move forward this week on a plan to fund the implementation of new school standards.</p><p>Republican leaders in the Senate had hoped to introduce a resolution last week to fund the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. But Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe) says it was a good idea to wait because there were so many concerns that had to be addressed.</p><p>&ldquo;I want people to have a good look at it and hear from some other experts before we do anything,&rdquo; said Richardville. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s always on our radar screen because it&rsquo;s an important issue. We&rsquo;re not going to let that one drag out forever.</p><p> Mon, 14 Oct 2013 15:49:45 +0000 Jake Neher 14831 at Senate putting finishing touches on Common Core resolution Michigan Senate adds exemption to workplace smoking ban <p>The state Senate has amended a budget bill to add a new exception to Michigan&rsquo;s workplace smoking ban.</p><p>The Senate version of the human services budget would prohibit spending money to enforce the smoking ban against an annual charity cigar dinner in Traverse City and other events like it.</p><p>Republican state Senator Howard Walker sponsored the budget amendment.</p><p>&quot;It has to do with non-profits that have been in business for over 10 years for their charity which will help some of the needy folks in the community,&rdquo; Walker said.</p><p>Specifically, the amendment would allow the Father Fred Foundation cigar dinner to go forward without running the risk of a citation.</p><p>Organizers have been trying to find away around the smoking ban since 2010.</p><p>Right now, the only exceptions to the smoking ban are the casinos in Detroit and on tribal land.</p><p>Anti-smoking groups oppose the exception. Tue, 24 Apr 2012 20:50:00 +0000 Rick Pluta 7179 at Michigan Senate adds exemption to workplace smoking ban Republican led state Senate introduces first draft of K-12 schools budget <p>Republican lawmakers in Lansing are taking feedback on <a href="">their first draft of the budget for K through 12 public schools</a>. The plan cuts less per student than Governor Rick Snyder&rsquo;s proposed budget.</p><p>Senator Howard Walker chairs the appropriations subcommittee on K-12, School Aid and Education. He says instead, the Senate version gets rid of line items funds in the budget that cover specific things like school bus inspections, adult education, and money for districts with two consecutive years of declining student enrollment.</p><blockquote><p>&nbsp;&ldquo;We&rsquo;re not making broad-based cuts to programs, that we&rsquo;re not increasing class sizes too broadly so that the delivery of good educational opportunities is not affected.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>School districts get a certain amount of money from the state for each student. Currently, $7,316 is the minimum per pupil allowance a district gets. Governor Snyder is proposing to cut that amount by $470 (including making permanent a $170 cut made last year) for all school districts. The plan before the Senate would cut that per pupil allowance by $290. Thu, 24 Mar 2011 14:41:53 +0000 Lindsey Smith 1772 at Republican led state Senate introduces first draft of K-12 schools budget