Politics

Rep. Jim Lower, R-Cedar Lake and Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, speak about the state’s 2017-2018 fiscal year budget during Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Local legislators talk about unfunded pension liabilities

In making their trips to Lansing in recent weeks, Rep. Jim Lower and Sen. Judy Emmons have found their time occupied by the looming state budget. During Monday’s Legislative Update meeting at Montcalm Community College, Lower, R-Cedar Lake, and Emmons, R-Sheridan, discussed their focus on the 2017-2018 fiscal year budget, with a goal to have it passed through the Legislature by Gov. Rick Snyder’s deadline of June 1.

Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard

Voter turnout down in Ionia, Montcalm counties

The most divisive presidential election in recent history resulted in a decrease in voter turnout for both Ionia and Montcalm counties Tuesday. Ionia County saw a 61 percent turnout, while Montcalm County was not much better at just under 63 percent.

Voters enter and exit the Faith Baptist Church voting precinct in Greenville on Tuesday morning. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Local school and township millages pass

Voters in three Montcalm County townships and the Carson City-Crystal Area Schools district approved a handful of fire, road and school millage ballot proposals Tuesday.

Voters wait patiently in line Tuesday at Faith Baptist Church in Greenville as they prepare to cast their votes in the general election. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Schafer elected to preside over the 8th Judicial Circuit Court

A former prosecutor appointed judge was handily elected to the bench Tuesday. Voters chose Ron Schafer of Portland to preside over the 8th Judicial Circuit Court, which rotates between Ionia and Montcalm counties.

Republican Jim Lower of Cedar Lake, who won the election for state representative for Michigan’s 70th District, reviews election results Tuesday evening at Turk Lake Bar and Restaurant with his wife, Kristen. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Lower defeats Hart for 70th District

Republican candidate Jim Lower of Cedar Lake defeated Democratic challenger Ken Hart of Alma in Tuesday’s race for 70th District state representative.

Residents of Greenville cast their votes in the presidential election at Faith Baptist Church on Tuesday morning. — Daily News/Cory Smith

Amash, Moolenaar both returned to Congress

Incumbents in Michigan’s 3rd and 4th Congressional districts were easily re-elected to office Tuesday. Voters returned Justin Amash, a Republican, to the 3rd District, which covers portions of Barry, Calhoun, Ionia, Kent and Montcalm counties.

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Julie Stafford, publisher of The Daily News, and Elisabeth Waldon, news editor of The Daily News, testified before the House Oversight and Ethics Committee on Thursday in support of a new law that would prohibit a public body from suing a person for making a FOIA request. The law was introduced by State Rep. Klint Kesto after Montcalm County sued The Daily News over a FOIA request.

Montcalm County lawsuit leads to proposed change in state FOIA law

When The Daily News utilized the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) as part of primary election coverage this summer, Montcalm County sued this newspaper. Now, state legislators are working on amending the law to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Montcalm County Commissioner John Johansen stands to address Jim Lower, the Republican candidate for the 70th District State House during Monday evening’s Mid-Michigan United Sportsmen Alliance candidate forum. — Daily News/Emilee Nielsen

Forum discusses conservation issues with 70th District candidate

State House candidate Jim Lower had the opportunity to talk conservation with potential constituents Monday evening. Twin Ponds Sports Shop in Stanton hosted what was supposed to be a candidate forum to talk about various conservation issues that affect the 70th District and the state of Michigan as a whole. However, Lower of Cedar Lake was the only candidate to attend.

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Candidate forum set for Monday evening

onservation conscious people will get the chance to hear from 70th District State House candidates at a forum Monday evening. Twin Ponds Sports Shop in Stanton is hosting the forum in partnership with the Mid-Michigan Sportsmen’s Alliance (MMUSA). It starts at 6:30 p.m. and is set to conclude at 8:30 p.m. It is their hope the forum will feature both the Republican candidate Jim Lower and the Democrat candidate Ken Hart.