News

December 3, 2019

  State Rep. Sarah Anthony is serving her first full term representing the 68th House District, which encompasses part of the city of Lansing and Lansing Township. She currently serves as the Democratic Caucus Chair for the 2019-2020 session. In November 2018, Anthony was sworn into her partial term, making her the first African-American woman to serve in this capacity in Lansing’s history.

  Anthony was born and raised in Lansing and graduated from Everett High School on Lansing’s south side.  Following graduation, she attended Central Michigan University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and legal studies. Rep. Anthony also went on to earn a Master’s of Public Administration degree from Western Michigan University and was later named a fellow of the University of Michigan’s New Leadership Academy.

  After graduation, she immediately returned to Lansing to work for former State Rep. Joan Bauer. There, she served as a Legislative Assistant, working closely with Lansing residents to streamline government services and with neighborhoods to connect them to vital improvement services and funds. In 2010, Anthony began an eight-year service as Deputy Director with the Michigan College Access Network.

  In 2012, Lansing residents elected her to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners, making her the youngest African American woman to serve in this capacity in the United States. During her time as a commissioner, Anthony served in many leadership positions, including chairing the Democratic Caucus and Finance Committee as well as serving as Chair and Vice Chair of the board. She has been a fearless leader for health care access, social justice, services for senior citizens and working families.

Anthony has worked every day to help solve problems for Lansing’s residents. She understands the challenges that so many small businesses, families and residents in the district face on a day-to-day basis, and is dedicated to representing their voice in government.

What IS your number one legislative priority?
My top priority is ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to pursue a postsecondary education or credential—no matter their race, zip code, or socioeconomic status. We have a responsibility to ensure our students and higher education institutions have the support and resources they need to succeed.

What IS the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is connecting with people in my district and bonding over our shared love for Lansing—whether that means attending neighborhood association meetings, honoring exemplary members of the community, or highlighting local businesses. 

What IS the best hidden gem in your district?
I’m really excited about the new Rotary Park on the Rivertrail. The beach and electric forest give the park a unique vibe, and it’s a great space to hang out Downtown with friends and family.

Who is your modern day hero?
Shirley Chisholm. I have one of her campaign posters hanging in my office to remind me to always stay true to my constituents and myself. 

December 3, 2019

  DISTRICT
  State Rep. Michael Webber was first elected to serve the 45th District in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2014.The 45th District encompasses Rochester and Rochester Hills and part of Oakland Township.

  COMMITTEES
  Webber serves as chair of the House Regulatory Reform Committee, and as a member of the Insurance, Oversight and Tax Policy committees.

  EDUCATION
  Webber graduated from the James Madison College at Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. Michael also is a graduate of Rochester Adams High School.

  PROFESSIONAL
  Webber, a licensed insurance agent, also served for over nine years within Michigan state government on the staffs of Gov. John Engler, Speaker of the House Rick Johnson, State Sen. Nancy Cassis, State Rep. John Proos and State Rep. Marty Knollenberg.

PUBLIC OFFICES AND AFFILIATIONS
Webber was elected in November 2007 and served on the Rochester Hills City Council for seven years – the last three as Vice President of the City Council. In 2013, Webber served as the 58th President of the Rochester Area Junior Chamber (Jaycees) where he helped deliver Easter baskets to area seniors, participated in Safety Town, and the Christmas Shopping Tour for disadvantaged children. Webber was named one of Oakland County’s Elite 40 Under 40 in 2013 and an Outstanding Young Michigander by the Michigan Jaycees in 2014.

PERSONAL
Webber is a 28-year resident of the Greater Rochester area. He is married to his wife Julia – a graduate of Rochester High School – and the couple has a son James who was born in March 2013.

Question 1: What is your number one legislative priority?
As Chairman of the House Regulatory Reform Committee, my main goal is to reduce the regulatory burden that the state puts on our residents and businesses. I help guide the committee in a bipartisan fashion to make sound policy decisions in order to keep our state competitive while protecting consumers. For example, the committee currently considering a series of bills that would exclude the state from using criminal convictions as evidence of an individual’s moral character in denying them an occupational license. Breaking down barriers for all Michiganders to re-enter the workforce is a positive step forward for our state. 

Question 2: What is the best part of your job?
Representing my neighbors in my hometown of Rochester Hills in Lansing is one of my favorite parts of my job. Having the opportunity to make decisions that will directly benefit our community and impact our state for years to come is the honor of a lifetime.

Question 3: What is the biggest hidden gem in your district?
The Greater Rochester area is blessed with terrific green spaces and trails. These public spaces are fun for the entire family and provide us with a great way to escape right in our own backyard. I’m very proud of our community and love seeing our neighbors enjoying our state’s natural beauty by using these parks to stay active right here in the Greater Rochester area.

Question 4: Who is your modern-day hero?
Michigan State Basketball Coach Tom Izzo is my modern-day hero. I believe he is a leader that is truly community centered and serves as a terrific role model for all Michiganders. His unique background and leading a diverse group of student athletes to successfully compete in all aspects of the basketball season is inspiring to witness every year. I’m proud to be a Michigan State graduate and knowing that my alma mater is represented by someone with the integrity and commitment to our state that Coach Izzo displays. ###

November 21, 2019

The BFAAM Board of Directors and membership voted to transition the semi-annual newsletter, BFAAM News, from a print publication to a digital publication beginning in 2020 for cost-saving purposes. Be sure to include your email address in your dues renewal so you can continue receiving the newsletter.

Attention Advertisers: As part of this change, BFAAM News will now offer full-color ads that can click-through to your website. Click here to check out the new ad kit! 

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November 21, 2019

To protect the integrity of Michigan apprenticeship programs and ensure adequate training for all apprentices, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined 12 Attorneys General in submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) urging it to revise its proposed apprenticeship rule to strengthen protections for apprentices.

“Apprenticeships have long been a staple in our state’s economy and a driving force behind sustainable paychecks for families across our state,” Nessel said. “It is our responsibility to do everything we can to protect the rigor of these programs and Michiganders looking to start careers in good-paying jobs.”

In their letter, the Attorney Generals point out three key concerns with the proposed rule:

  1. Its failure to include specifics about what an apprenticeship program must include in order to be certified;
  2. Its failure to adequately protect apprentices from low-quality programs; and
  3. Its failure to provide the USDOL proper enforcement authority to act when programs fall short of providing quality training and education.

In Michigan, apprenticeships are a necessary part of the licensing requirements for many occupations, including electricians, plumbers and boiler operators. Michigan’s apprenticeship regulations contain specifics on the required number of hours and the duration of an apprenticeship program, but sometimes also rely on the USDOL’s certification of an apprenticeship program. 

“With more than 1,000 apprenticeship programs in the state and more than 18,000 active apprentices, Michigan absolutely has a stake in strengthening this rule,” Nessel added. “When strict regulations and protections aren’t put in place, some businesses will do everything they can to exploit consumers, taking every advantage of the loopholes half-baked rules leave wide open. I urge the USDOL to revise its rule to make certain these programs remain a viable pathway to endless possibilities for Michiganders and all Americans.”

Nessel co-signed the comment letter with the Attorney Generals of Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.

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November 21, 2019

The Burglar Fire Alarm Association of Michigan (BFAAM) held its Annual Conference in Mid-October at their headquarters in Lansing. The sessions focused on regulatory changes coming from the state of Michigan, industry changes coming from the private sector and an update on the state budget situation here in our state.

Don’t Sleep on the Shutting Down of the 3G Network….

From 2007-2017, data traffic on AT&T’s wireless network has increased more than 360,000 percent. Because of this, AT&T intends to shut down its 3G network effective 2/2/22 in an attempt to reallocate capacity to their more advanced wireless networks. These are official deadlines however the industry has seen pockets where upgrades have already started.

Dean Belisle of Resideo presented to the conference attendees on this change and urged companies to get out in front of this deadline so they can negotiate bulk pricing from manufacturers, utilize the efficiency of their technical staff, and reduce the overall burden on operations.

“Some are seeing this change as a silver lining to engage clients and sell additional services,” Said Belisle. 

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Increase Coming to Michigan. But in What Form?

Jennifer Fields from the Wage and Hour Division at the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) spoke to BFAAM membership about the changes coming for employers and employees as it relates to mandatory paid sick leave, or the “Paid Medical Leave Act” and the increase in the minimum wage, or “Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act.”

Both of these acts were passed by Michigan voters in the 2018 election. Following their passage, the Michigan legislature amended the new laws prior to their implementation. This led to a lawsuit that now sits in front of Michigan’s Supreme Court. Unless there is a ruling from the court, LEO will continue to regulate the acts as amended by the legislature.

For more information on how the acts are currently being enforced, contact BFAAM by calling 517-485-4832.

State Budget in Flux….Even Following the October 1st Deadline

In late September, Gov. Whitmer signed the state budget but not before line-item vetoing 147 funding projects for a total of nearly $1 billion. Frustration had been mounting for months between the Governor and Legislature over a lack of a long-term road funding solution and a breakdown in talks surrounding the budget.

Staff from Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield’s office were on hand at the conference to explain the budget process, discuss the vetoes and attempt to predict a path moving forward.

What Was Vetoed?

  • $375 million in additional road funding dollars
  • $171 million to hospitals across the state
  • $38 million in Michigan Tuition grants
  • $37.5 million out of Pure Michigan
  • $35 million in increases to the public school academies
  • $16 million in Career and Technical Education
  • $15.3 million payment in lieu of taxes
  • $13.074 from Secondary Road Patrol

Following the vetoes, Governor Whitmer directed the State Administrative Board to shift $625 million within state departments, a move that irked legislative leaders. She has since scheduled two meetings of the State Administrative Board presumably to rescind those transfers.

What’s Next?

The Michigan Senate (Democrats and Republicans) is working on several proposals for a “Supplemental Budget” prior to the end of 2019 that would restore several (if not all) of the cuts. Meanwhile leaders in both the House and Senate want assurances from the Governor that transfers aren’t going to become the “norm” for the appropriations process.

BFAAM Business

Tom Kramer, John Romano, Bruce Chapin and Brian Hanley were all re-elected to serve on the BFAAM Board of Directors (BOD) for another 3-year term. Positions within the board will be voted on at the December meeting.

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December 18, 2018

BFAAM invited the Michigan House of Representatives Local Government Chairman, Jim Lower, to it’s 2018 Annual Conference to discuss the work of the committee and provide a legislative update. It was also an opportunity for attendees to hear his vision for the committee and share with the chairman concerns that we face as an industry.

“It’s time for us as a state to take a serious look at the way we organize, fund, and structure local government,” Lower said. “Our basic design of local government was laid nearly two centuries ago. The leaders of the past would expect us to bring our system of government into the 21st century. I consider it an honor, a privilege, and a huge responsibility to help ensure our local governments are successful as we move into the future.”

Representative Lower said one of his main goals as the committee chairman was the need for consistency from municipality to municipality in its regulatory structure. “My hope is that we can get municipalities to agree that there need to be some consistency in how they govern businesses. “We all know that each community is unique but there needs to be a guiding set of rules that are clear to our businesses in order them to prosper,” said Lower. “As a believer in small government, I want to see a favorable regulatory environment that doesn’t pick winners and losers and treats all residents and businesses fairly,” Lower added.

Lower also discussed the minimum wage proposal and mandatory paid sick leave proposals recently adopted by the legislature.  For those who are unfamiliar, the Michigan Legislature adopted two citizen proposals that were set to be on the November ballot.  These proposals will increase the minimum wage, eliminate the “tipped” employees minimum wage bringing them inline with all other Michigan employees and create a mandatory paid sick leave proposal statewide.

“These proposals were adopted with the intent to amend them and make them more palatable to the business community,” said Lower.  While it’s unclear what the final product will look like, there’s no doubt they’ll be the biggest legislative items considered prior to 2019 and will impact all businesses across our state.”

December 18, 2018

Are you struggling to find and keep good talent at your business? You’re not alone.  With an unemployment rate hovering around 4.3 percent in Michigan and decades of eliminating skilled trades classes in high schools and trying to convince EVERY student that they need to go to college for a four-year degree, employers across the state are feeling the pinch when it comes to a quality workforce.

 Our industry is no different which is why BFAAM focused a lot of the 2018 Annual Conference on workforce development and helping our member find the talent they need to run their businesses.

Ed Koledo, the Senior Deputy for Talent Development in Michigan’s Talent Investment Agency (TIA) spoke at length about Michigan’s “Marshall Plan” which is Gov. Snyder’s $100 million investment in the skilled trades. The Marshall Plan this is a revolutionary partnership between educators, employers and other stakeholders to transform Michigan’s talent pipeline and redesign the ways Michigan invests, develops and attracts talent in our state. Michigan currently has over 100,00 unfilled job openings and matching the necessary skills of job seekers to these openings is a challenge.

The pillars of the Marshall Plan are to 1) Increase career exploration, 2) evolve to competency-based learning (i.e. provide skills that are needed in the marketplace), 3) foster business and education collaboration and 4) create multiple pathways for job seekers and employers.

The Marshall Plan will promote Competency-Based Education (CBE) in the schools so that students are getting the skills necessary for the job openings of today and in the future.  Workshops are being hosted at K-12 Schools, non-profit organizations, Career Technical Education (CTE) centers, economic development organizations, post-secondary institutions, businesses and Intermediate School Districts for employers and job seekers. Over 1,500 individuals have participated in these workshops.

Koledo also encouraged employers to look at existing resources for talent. “If you’re looking for “talent Development,” an employee pipeline, please remember to look into existing opportunities that may already exist of could be formed through organizations like local school districts, intermediate school districts, MiWorks! Offices, local economic-growth associations, state (Going Pro) and federal apprentice programs, Michigan’s Workforce Development Agency (under the Talent Investment Agency), and the Talent and Economic Development (Ted) Department.  All are great resources and are working towards more collaboration in building our talent needs of today and the future,” said Koledo.

BFAAM is encouraging its members seeking employees to contact our office so we can get you connected with the correct individuals overseeing the Marshall Plan. If you’re interested in learning more about the Marshall Plan and how it can benefit your business, please visit www.michigan.gov/ted or contact BFAAM.

August 3, 2018

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The BFAAM is excited to announce that they have moved their headquarters as of October of 2017.  Kindsvatter, Dalling and Associates (KDA) purchased and renovated Fire Station No. 3 in Lansing to serve as the new home of BFAAM.

 

Vacant for the previous seven years, KDA President and CEO decided to make a considerable investment to serve as the future of the firm.  The building opened in 1953 and was open to the City of Lansing firefighters for nearly six decades before closing.

 

The staff at BFAAM welcomes members to use one of our two large conference rooms to catch-up on work when you’re in town or just say hello. We promise that you’ll be impressed with the new location. The address is 629 West Hillsdale in Lansing, MI.

 

August 3, 2018

After thirty years on the BFAAM Board of Directors, eighteen of them as President, the BFAAM Board of Directors regretfully accepted Dean Belisle’s resignation at the May board meeting.

Mr. Belisle has taken a position at Honeywell that will no longer allow him to serve on the board or as President. “I’ve greatly enjoyed working on behalf of this entire industry over the past three decades. But what I’ll miss the most is the friends I’ve gained for life,” said Belisle.

Having served on the board since the 1980’s, Belisle has been instrumental in building the membership of BFAAM, establishing and protecting licensure for its members, putting the association on strong financial footing and working with state government and legislators on behalf of the industry.

Mr. Belisle was also a mainstay at political events and functions advocating on behalf of BFAAM. His efforts paid off in 2016 when Governor Snyder signed into law legislation to protect BFAAM members from overburdensome and costly regulations from local governments. “Dean has been a pleasure to work with during my thirteen plus years in the legislature,” said State Senator, Rick Jones. “He was always an honest guy to deal with and brought great prospective to the legislature about his industry.  All trade associations across this state would be lucky to have a guy like Dean in its membership ranks,” Jones continued.

Dean started in the alarm industry in 1976 working at ActNow Alarm for his father Phil.  He became a partner in the company in the mid-nineties and became the majority share holder in 2015. The family sold the company in 2017.  Prior to accepting a position with Honeywell, Dean was employed at Guardian Alarm in Southfield.

“Dean was a tireless advocate on behalf of our association,” said BFAAM Secretary John Romano. “He and the other board members have been in many battles together on behalf of BFAAM over the years. If there was something happening that affected our profession, Dean was there,” Romano continued.

BFAAM Vice-President Tom Kramer will now take over to fill the rest of Belisle’s term.  The BFAAM Board of Directors did appoint Belisle to the open liaison position within the board that is a non-voting position. This allows Belisle to assist the board on its functions.

August 3, 2018

For the second straight year, John Campau of Comtronics in Jackson has been BFAAM’s biggest PAC contributor and for that we owe him a debt of gratitude.  At back-to-back Annual Conferences Campau personally matched all of the donations made to the BFAAM PAC. This makes him by far the biggest contributor to our advocacy efforts.

“John’s generosity and leadership on our political advocacy efforts has been outstanding,” said BFAAM Government Affairs Chairman, Den Belisle. “His contributions to our PAC have allowed us to have a voice in Lansing,” Belisle continued.

Campau alone has contributed over $7,000 to the PAC the past two years.

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