Categories: LaFave News,News 25Jan Rep. LaFave notes state’s progress, but work to be done for U.P. families in 2018 State Rep. Beau LaFave agreed with many of the remarks made by Gov. Rick Snyder during his 2018 State of the State speech Tuesday at the state Capitol, while also acknowledging much needs to be done for residents in south-central Upper Peninsula.Regarding the state’s progress made since Snyder became governor in 2010, LaFave agreed Michigan is a transformed and much stronger state from eight years ago.“Michigan has made it a long way since the ‘Lost Decade’ of the Granholm administration,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain. “The strides we have made have been incredible. We’ve created over 500,000 private sector jobs. We have been able to lower taxes, while also growing our rainy day fund from basically nothing to nearly a billion dollars. That gives us a much stronger foundation to help build our state for an even brighter and prosperous future.”Snyder’s speech noted local programs across the state, with one ‘shout out’ – LaFave’s favorite moment of the night – going to Delta County.“We all know about the great accomplishments that have come from the Angel Program,” LaFave said. “Delta County and prosecutor Phil Strom really deserved our governor’s ‘shout out’ for this initiative to help those seeking to overcome drug addiction in our community. It’s doing tremendous work and obviously is getting notice statewide.”LaFave also hopes Snyder will support House legislation to help foster growing workforce training legislation, in particular better cooperation between education and local businesses.“That is the opportunity we need in Dickinson, Menominee and Delta counties, getting our businesses working closer with our educators to help fill local jobs and keep our future growing here,” LaFave said. “That is why I submitted legislation, such as House Bill 4106 to grant academic credit to high school students for internships, because that will strengthen and build our communities.”As for the rest of 2018, LaFave is already working hard on many key issues.“We need to continue what we were sent to Lansing to do,” LaFave said. “We must continue to budget responsibly, improve our focus on workforce training, and decrease taxes and regulations. I want us to improve our dual enrollment programs with community colleges, expand broadband evenly across the state, and find a way to move Michigan forward in a civil and responsible manner. That’s all within our grasp.”LaFave was disappointed by one omission during the speech, and it’s a top priority for him: the reform of car insurance with the focus on reducing rates and give residents coverage options.“It was surprising that a key barrier preventing us from drawing more people and businesses to Michigan is having the highest rates in the country, but that wasn’t even mentioned,” LaFave said. “This is an incredibly important issue that gouges into the wallets of many U.P. families. I will focus on this reform every day in 2018 until we get the job done.”#####
Guy BissonPay TV subscribers are in declining across a large part of Europe as well as the US as customers cut the cord in favour of other services, according to new research.‘Cord-cutting’ has previously been thought of as a largely US phenomenon, but research house IHS has identified 12 European countries that have suffered an overall decline in pay TV numbers in the first three months of the year.Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, and Poland are the dozen in question and IHS says the subscriber reverses show that cord-cutting is now a reality in Europe.Noting that there is a sustained downturn in pay TV customers in the US and a new group of ‘cord-nevers’ who have never taken a pay TV service, IHS research director of television Guy Bisson said that six of the twelve European markets losing subscribers are going through their second quarter of decline “suggesting a sustained softening of pay TV across much of the region”.However, of the big five European pay TV territories of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, only Italy registered a pay TV downturn. France, Germany, Spain and the UK are all growing above the European average.“Hardest hit are the Benelux and Scandinavian markets along with some of the smaller Central and Eastern European markets where recent strong growth is now reversing,” IHS noted.It added: “While individual markets like Italy and the Netherlands have had several quarters of decline, a sustained two-consecutive-quarter decline in such a wide-range of markets is a worrying trend for the industry as a whole.”The cord cutting cannot, IHS said, be attributed solely to the entrance of over the top players such as Amazon and Netflix. “The current trend is likely a combination of factors including an over-hang from the recent economic downturn and the wider impact of new technology in the home broadening the consumption choices of the average consumer,” according to IHS.