Bay City, Mich. -- Associate Speaker of the House Pro Tem Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Williams Twp., in his second term representing parts of Bay and Midland counties in the state House of Representatives, Friday announced his candidacy for the 31st District state Senate seat comprised of Bay, Lapeer, and Tuscola counties, which is currently held by term-limited Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville.
Green earlier this year told the Midland Daily News that he "would be a strong supporter of Gary Glenn" to succeed him in the Senate.
Glenn made the announcement surrounded by supporters at three events held in Lapeer, Caro, and Bay City. Former state Sen. Joel Gougeon, R-Bay City, will chair Glenn's campaign in Bay County, while Phil Green, the current senator's son, will chair Glenn's organization in Tuscola County. Mayfield Twp. Supervisor Dianna Ireland will chair the campaign in Lapeer County.
Glenn said he was persuaded to run for the position by "individuals and major area employers who believe my long-term leadership and impact on public policy, especially energy policy, will help make Michigan more competitive in the future for new industry and new farm and manufacturing jobs."
"The single biggest cost of doing business for Dow Chemical, the single largest employer in mid-Michigan, and for large agricultural processing plants, is the cost of electricity," said Glenn, who serves as chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee. "Among those I asked for counsel, the verdict was unanimous that the chance to serve eight years in the state Senate would allow me to have more impact on that issue and be of more value to mid-Michigan families, farms, employers, and our economy than serving one remaining two-year term in the House."
Michigan's term limits law allows a maximum of three two-year terms in the state House, and two four-year terms in the state Senate.
But Green may vacate the seat as soon as next month, a year before the end of his final term, if and when he receives a long-anticipated appointment to a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with Gov. Rick Snyder expected to call a special primary election to fill that vacancy as early as the first Tuesday in February, with a special general election following in late March or early April. Snyder could also decide to let the Senate seat remain vacant until filled by the regular election process in November 2018.
First elected in November 2014, Glenn was chosen by reporters with the state Capitol's oldest daily news service from among 55 first-term state representatives and senators as "Freshman Legislator of the Year," based on his leadership and impact on energy policy and civil asset forfeiture reform.
The Michigan Schools Energy Cooperative, whose president is Tuscola Intermediate School District Supt. Gene Pierce, last year presented Glenn an award for his leadership in successful legislative efforts to preserve schools' ability to purchase electricity from sources other than the state's two monopoly utilities, Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison, saving public schools $17 million a year. Bay City Schools saves $200,000 a year, and Lapeer Public Schools in recent years have saved $2 million.
Glenn was also named "Legislator of the Year" by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan and by the Propane Dealers Association of Michigan.
He received the American Conservative Union's "Award for Conservative Excellence" for compiling the most conservative voting record in the House on fiscal, social, and veterans-related issues and is consistently ranked by numerous scorecards as among the most conservative members of the House.
In 2015, Glenn was a leader in the campaign against Proposal One, the $2 billion fuel and sales tax increase overwhelmingly rejected by Michigan voters on a statewide ballot in May of that year.
Former state Rep. Kevin Daley, R-Lum, who will be Glenn's opponent in the Republican primary for Green's state Senate seat, voted in favor of the $2 billion tax hike proposal.
Senate District 31 voters overwhelmingly agreed with Glenn and disagreed with Daley on the issue, rejecting the massive tax hike with 85 percent voting NO in Bay County, 88 percent voting NO in Tuscola, and almost 90 percent voting NO in Lapeer!
Glenn was reelected to a second term in November 2016 with over 60 percent of the vote, winning 48 out of 50 precincts in the 98th House District and losing the remaining two by a combined total of six votes. He won all precincts in the Bay County portion of his district.
As chairman of the House Energy Policy Committee, he has pledged to protect the authority of local townships and counties to decide whether to allow the development of industrial wind projects in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
Glenn has also sponsored or cosponsored legislation to:
* Repeal Michigan's ballast water release regulations, which are blocking development of Bay City as a deep water port for the export of farm and manufacturing products from mid-Michigan.
* Repeal so-called "Common Core" standards and allow each local school district to set its own standards.
* Repeal the requirement for a government fee and permit to carry a concealed weapon.
* Repeal the senior citizens pension tax.
Prior to being elected to the House, Glenn had served as president of the American Family Association of Michigan since 1999, during which he coauthored the Marriage Protection Amendment overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2004, and as a School Choice project manager for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Glenn faced a major health challenge during his first term. In January 2016, he was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer which had consumed the next to the last vertebrae in his spinal column. Doctors declared him to be in remission five weeks later, and cancer specialists at the University of Michigan this year characterized the remission as stable. Glenn has never missed a vote, committee meeting, or caucus in Lansing, even while undergoing radiation and five months of chemotherapy which doctors recommended as an insurance policy after his remission.
Glenn was so fatigued by the chemotherapy that he used a wheelchair at the Republican National Convention in July of last year. Now nearly fully recovered, he undergoes an intense workout multiple times a week with a former Army fitness instructor and race walks two or three miles multiple times each weekend.
His destroyed vertebrae, which a neurosurgeon initially said would have to be surgically replaced with a titanium cage, grew back naturally instead, out of nothing. Doctors termed Glenn "unusually responsive," but he credited his recovery instead to the thousands of prayers offered for him and his family and said he again has the strength, energy, and stamina for what's expected to be a hotly-contested primary and general election.
Glenn is expected to face Daley in the Republican primary, and Bay County Clerk Cindy Luczak will run for the seat as a Democrat in the regular November 2018 election process, but will not be a candidate in a special election if one is held earlier next year. If no other candidates file for the seat, Glenn will once again be the only veteran in the race, having served eight years in the U.S. Army Reserves and Army National Guard. He is serving his second term on the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
Glenn and his wife Annette and five children moved to Larkin Township in Midland County in the spring of 1998. After their last child left home in May of this year, the Glenns began looking for a new home and downsized in August to a townhouse located in Williams Township in Bay County. Their second oldest son played two years of football and graduated from Bay City Western High School in Auburn.
"I'd be a strong supporter of (Rep. Gary Glenn) to replace me for whatever reason. I hope he does run if there is an opening."
Sen. Mike Green, Gongwer News, Lansing, July 3, 2017
"When asked about the possible position with the Department of Agriculture, (Sen. Mike) Green's only comment was that, 'If the (state Senate) position opens up, I would be a strong supporter of Gary Glenn.'"
Midland Daily News, July 6, 2017
Eastlawn Elementary School fourth graders, taught by teacher Kelly Kraatz, far right, visited state Rep. Gary Glenn's office at the state Capitol in Lansing this summer. Glenn, back row center, visited the same class in Midland last winter to read Dr. Seuss's 'Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose' during March is Reading Month.
Rep. Gary Glenn, chair of the House Energy Policy Committee, today said he will consider proposals to reform the Michigan Public Service Commission in the aftermath of a ruling he said violates the intent of state law and could raise costs for utility customers.
The committee heard testimony related to last week’s MPSC ruling that Glenn said threatens to undermine Michigan’s electric choice program, which has saved millions of dollars for schools, businesses and residents across the state.
“Unaccountable, unelected bureaucrats are attempting to dismantle an energy law adopted for the people by their representatives in the Legislature,” Glenn said. “We cannot allow this action, which I consider to be illegal under the new state law. It is one of the reasons we intend to come forward with multiple proposals for broad-based reform for the MPSC.”
Those reforms could include adding to the MPSC’s current three-commissioner format to include more representation for ratepayers, qualification requirements for commissioners, stronger protections against conflicts of interest and other improvements to better serve Michigan, Glenn said.
Glenn, R-Williams Township, said the reform proposal will be separate from one already in the works to overturn last week’s MPSC ruling related to in-state power generation requirements.
The MPSC is drafting rules to implement new state energy laws approved late last year. Friday, the utility regulator outlined plans to require alternative energy suppliers who compete with Michigan’s electricity monopolies – Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison – to prove they can supply their customers using electricity generated in Michigan.
While some specifics have not yet been decided, Glenn said the in-state electricity could be far more expensive than if it were generated elsewhere, driving up utility costs for schools, residents and businesses in electric choice programs.
Glenn said lawmakers clearly removed the in-state generation requirement from the new energy law before it was finalized. He disagreed with testimony today from MPSC chair Sally Talberg.
“If that language had not been removed, the Legislature never would have approved the new state law in the first place,” Glenn said. “It was a key compromise to ensure its passage. It seems that everybody knew what the compromise was except the MPSC.”
As stated in a letter this summer to the MPSC from state Reps. Chris Afendoulis and Rob VerHeulen, the final language in Michigan’s new energy law “clearly allows” alternative energy suppliers to use any resource allowed by the Midwest’s federally regulated regional electricity grid manager “to meet capacity obligations without reference to local resources.” The legislators wrote they believe the MPSC’s requirement would be “contrary to the legislative intent and final compromise” of the new energy law.
Schools and business groups are among those supporting Glenn’s position.
The Michigan Chemistry Council and the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce testified in the Energy Policy Committee earlier this month in support of his position. Others who have sent letters to the MPSC sharing Glenn’s view include the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Business Advocating Tariff Equity – a group of major manufacturers including Dow Chemical Company, Hemlock Semiconductor, General Motors, Marathon Petroleum, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and U.S. Steel.
In a July letter to the MPSC, the Michigan Schools Energy Cooperative said its electricity choice program has saved participating Michigan schools over $140 million – or $35 per student per year. That is money returned directly to the classroom.
“This fight is not over,” Glenn said of the efforts to preserve electric choice in Michigan. “This fight is too important to be over.”
Rep. Gary Glenn with Midland City Fire Chief Chris Coughlin and Assistant Chief Josh Mosher as his guests for the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at the state Capitol in Lansing.
WLEW RADIO -- "Last week, the Tuscola County Relay for Life was held at the Stamats Field at Caro High School. ...At the 'Fight Back' ceremony, state Representative Gary Glenn shared that he had become a member of the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network, a non-partisan interest group that stays informed on any cancer legislation that goes through the state or federal legislature. ...Glenn is also a prostate cancer survivor."
State Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Larkin Twp., left, has been named Legislator of the Year by the Michigan Propane Gas Association during the group's annual conference. Presenting the award were Dave Long, Marlette, center, MPGA president, and Wayne Kohley, Fruitport, chairman of MPGA's government relations committee. Brian Lincoln, Gary Shepherd and Jeremy Stanford, all of Stanford L.P. Gas in Midland, also serve as committee chairs for MPGA. The group said it honored Glenn for 'his commitment to a competitive free market and level playing field for production and sales of energy in Michigan.'
Glenn says MPSC abuse of authority could cost public schools and manufacturers hundreds of millions in higher energy costs each year, taking money out of the classroom and making Michigan less competitive for new jobs
Lansing, Mich. -- Associate Speaker Pro Tem and House Energy Policy Chairman Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Larkin Twp., Thursday said the Michigan Public Service Commission is preparing next month to adopt a policy that would violate state and federal energy law and drive up electricity rates -- already highest in the Midwest -- for thousands of public schools and major employers. The move would take tens of millions of dollars out of the classroom each year, Glenn said, and make Michigan's economy less competitive for new business, industry, and jobs.
"This is clearly a back door attempt by unelected bureaucrats to eliminate Michigan's Electricity Choice program by bureaucratic regulation, a protectionist scheme that was pushed by the state's two monopoly utilities in the last legislative session but was expressly rejected by the people's elected representatives," Glenn said.
He said the Public Service Commission "has no legal authority to just make it up as they go along to serve the financial interests of the state's two monopoly utilities, in direct violation of the plain language, spirit, and intent of state and federal law, and at the cost of hundreds of millions in higher electricity costs each year to Michigan schools and businesses."
Glenn says in an August 1st order, Public Service Commissioners instructed staff to develop policy that threatens to require electricity choice providers who compete with the state's two regional monopolies -- Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison -- to prove they can supply their customers using only electricity that's generated in Michigan. Final adoption of the policy is scheduled for September 28th.
"That's like passing a law telling Michigan families, businesses, and schools we can only buy food or products that are grown or made in Michigan, no matter how much higher the price may be out of our family or business or local school budgets," Glenn said. "Our objective should be just the opposite -- to save electricity users as much money as possible, and make Michigan as competitive for new business and industry and jobs as possible, by providing customers the cheapest electricity possible, regardless of whether it comes from a wind farm in North Dakota or an oil well in Texas."
Such a "local clearing requirement" would force competing electricity providers to buy more expensive energy generated in Michigan, which threatens tens of millions in higher costs each year to public schools alone.
In a July 13th letter to the Public Service Commission, the Michigan Schools Energy Cooperative said it "has saved Michigan schools over $140 million -- or $35 per student per year -- through the (Electricity Choice) program, dollars that are returned directly back into the classroom."
The cooperative's membership includes Michigan Association of Independent School Administrators, Michigan Association of School Administrators, Michigan Association of School Boards, Michigan School Business Officials, and Middle Cities Education Association.
"We are certain that the Commission understands that many of the original legislative drafts...included a 'local clearing requirement' (later eliminated from the legislation) that would require alternative electric suppliers to buy all or mostly all of their capacity locally in Michigan," wrote cooperative Secretary-Treasurer Raymond Telman. "As you know, that language would have effectively eliminated the Electric Choice program, as DTE and Consumers own or have purchased virtually all local capacity and could and would either refuse to sell to AESs or sell to AESs at an above market price."
Glenn also cited a July 25th letter to the Public Service Commission by House Majority Whip Rep. Rob Verheulen, R-Walker, and Rep. Chris Afendoulis, R-Grand Rapids Twp., the primary sponsors of the compromise energy package approved by the Legislature in December and signed into law.
The legislation "deliberately removed this contentious ('local clearing requirement') language and in doing so, a compromise was reached," Verheulen and Afendoulis wrote. "The final language clearly allows Alternative Energy Suppliers to use any resource allowed by (the Midwest's federally-regulated regional electricity grid manager, Midcontinent Independent System Operator) to meet capacity obligations without reference to local resources."
"We have strong concerns that the imposition by the Commission of any requirements on AESs in excess of those MISO requires...violates the legislative intent of PA 341 and will place a significant additional burden on schools and businesses in our districts and all across Michigan," they wrote. "It will also threaten the sustainability of the (Electricity Choice) program, the viability and continuation of which was a primary goal of the legislation."
The proposed local generation requirement would directly violate not only the new state energy law, but federal regulations as well, Glenn said, both of which expressly state -- as Reps. Afendoulis and Verheulen referenced -- that a competing electricity provider "can meet its capacity obligations through owned or contractual rights to any resource that the appropriate independent system operator allows to meet the capacity obligation of the electric provider." MISO does not require competing energy suppliers that sell to Michigan customers to sell only electricity that's generated in Michigan.
But the Public Services Commission ignored clear statements of legislative intent and state and federal law, declaring exactly the opposite of the legislative record and text: "The Commission found that a locational requirement is required under (the new state law) and that a locational requirement applicable to individual (competing energy suppliers) is allowed as part of the capacity obligations set forth by the Commission." (See item 3 at: http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,4639,7-159-80741_80743-406252--,00.html )
If competing energy suppliers are no longer allowed to sell cheaper electricity generated out of state and imported into Michigan, Kalamazoo Public Schools, as just one example, could be forced to spend $1 million more each year for electricity, taking that same amount out of the classroom, Glenn said.
Such a move would violate not only state and federal laws and regulations and give monopoly utilities the ability to squeeze their cheaper competitors out of business, Glenn said, but would constitute an unauthorized assumption of law-making power by Public Service Commissioners that simply does not exist in state law.
He cited a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling in a 1993 lawsuit against the PSC by Midland Cogeneration Venture, the largest gas-fueled electricity and steam producing facility in North America, which is located in the legislative district Glenn represents. The Court ruled that the Public Service Commission "possesses no common law powers but is a creature of the Legislature, and all of its authority must be conferred by clear and unmistakable language in specific statutory enactments, because doubtful power does not exist.” Midland Cogeneration Venture v. Public Service Commission, 199 Mich App 286, 295–96 (1993)
The Court of Appeals also ruled in 1999 that “where the Legislature has considered certain language and rejected it in favor of other language, the resulting statutory language should not be held to explicitly authorize what the Legislature explicitly rejected.” MCI Telecom Complaint, 460 Mich 396, 415 (1999).
The following public school and major manufacturing organizations, among others, have also sent letters to the Public Service Commission sharing Glenn's view that the PSC should not attempt to impose a local generation requirement for electricity sold in Michigan, a move they all said would be harmful to electricity users and Michigan's economy:
See the complete record at: http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,4639,7-159-80741_80743-406252--,00.html
* Association of Businesses Advocating Tariff Equity, a group of major manufacturers whose combined electricity and gas bills exceed $1 billion a year in Michigan alone: ABATE's membership includes Dow Chemical Company, the largest employer in Glenn's legislative district, for whom electricity is the single biggest cost of doing business, and nearby Hemlock Semiconductor, the largest consumer of electricity in Michigan. The group also includes General Motors, Marathon Petroleum, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, and U.S. Steel.
* Michigan Chemistry Council, of which The Dow Chemical Company is also a member.
* The Michigan Chamber of Commerce.
* The Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
* Spartan Stores
Glenn said if the PSC proceeds with plans to violate state and federal law and exceed its legal authority, lawsuits in federal and state court are a certainty. "I will recommend that the Legislature itself go to court, if necessary, to reassert that energy policy in Michigan will be set by the Legislature, who are elected by and accountable to the people, and not by an appointed bureaucracy that seems intent on advancing the financial self interests of two corporate monopolies at the expense of Michigan ratepayers and our economy."
BAY CITY, MI -- A member of the Bay City Commission is being called out by a state representative for comments he made about the Republican Speaker of the House.
State Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, is asking Bay City Commissioner Ed Clements, 8th Ward, to apologize for a comment he made on the page of state Rep. Brian Elder, D-Bay City, about state Rep. Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt.
"Why is Tom Leonard allowed to live?" Clements wrote in the comments section on Wednesday, June 21, under a link to a Detroit News article about tax incentives that Elder shared on his page.
Benton Gibson, a former Bay City Public Schools board member, responded to Clements' comment in agreement.
"It may sound bitter, and perhaps it is, but I do think the planet might be better off with some people's departure!"
On Wednesday, July 5, Glenn said Clements and Gibson should "immediately delete their comments from Rep. Elder's Facebook page, apologize to the public as I have on occasion, and assure residents of our community that they won't make public comments in the future suggesting that anyone in elected office shouldn't be allowed to live." He added that Clements' comment posted a week after a man open fired on politicians during a Congressional baseball practice.
In an interview Wednesday afternoon, Clements, who is a registered Democrat, said he "sincerely apologizes" for the comment, calling it a mistake.
"In no way, shape or form do I wish violence upon anybody," Clements said.
"It was after a lot of frustration after six years of Republicans in government not looking out for the people who matter most," he continued. "And after continued attacks on teachers, public education, senior citizens and municipalities, my frustrations go the best of me.
"I sincerely apologize to Rep. Leonard and his family and wish him well."
Clements said he has since deleted the comment. He said he thought he had deleted the comment about 15 minutes after typing it.
"It's deleted now," he said.
Rep. Elder said: "It is my understanding that Mr. Clements' comments have been deleted and he has apologized for them. I agree that these types of comments do not belong in today's civil discourse."
The Bay City Times-MLive was unable to reach Gibson for comment.
CARO, Mich. - The Caro Regional Center is being replaced with a new psychiatric hospital, according to an announcement from State Senator Mike Green and State Representative Ned Canfield.
Construction on the new facility will take place on the center’s current 600 acre Tuscola County site.
The Capital Outlay portion of the fiscal year 2018 budget will include both planning and construction authorization for a new state hospital at the Caro location.
Consideration had been given to building the facility elsewhere in the state, but according to Green’s and Canfield’s statement the legislators convinced the state to stay in Caro.
In April Tuscola County residents made efforts to urge the governor and other state officials to keep the Center open.
Canfield invited Michigan’s Associate Speaker of the House Gary Glenn for a tour of the facility in May.
“The Caro Center has been providing top-notch care for over 100 years, and with over 350 full-time employees, it is a critical employer in Tuscola County. Moving it would devastate the county’s economy and make receiving proper treatment significantly more difficult for many patients,” said Canfield.
According to the statement, data shows more than 80 percent of the center’s patients come from a surrounding county.
Additionally, over 70 percent of its employees live within 30 miles of the center.
“I want to especially thank Representative Canfield for his tireless work in making sure this got done. From Tuscola County and beyond, we would like to personally thank all who contacted the governor to express their commitment to keeping Caro Center," said Green.
House Bill 4323, which includes the project language, will now go before the Senate and House of Representatives for a final vote.
Caro Regional Center is Tuscola County’s third largest employer.