01-02-2020 Letters and Commentary

New beginnings

I wish I could say that my New Year resolutions in the past have all been successful. Actually, they haven’t. I’m not going to reveal what they’ve been, but I’m also not going to be too bummed about it either. Even if New Year resolutions are not totally successful, they do have advantages enough to continue to make them. So, what are the advantages? First, they make me stop and honestly think about where I am. They are a reality check. Where am I with various aspects of life? Relationships. Health. Education. Leisure. Physical fitness. Spiritual fitness. Mental fitness. Career. Or even retirement. By honestly evaluating where I am I establish a new starting point, a baseline foundation on which to build where I want to be. Identifying areas for progress leads to the next advantage – writing down specific goals and the steps to their accomplishment. Writing down goals forces us to materialize our thoughts into bite-sized commitments. Documented, measurable steps encourage us to push on. “I’ve come this far” we can say. Another advantage is that establishing meaningful goals helps us get control of our lives in new tangible ways we can increasingly experience. Not that we should give ourselves excuses before we even start, but even “failed” resolutions get us farther than no resolutions at all. We also need to understand that failure need not be permanent. So we missed this step or that short-term goal. Life is a cross-country race, not a sprint. Get back on track, and “pick them up and put them down”. There is some Biblical guidance about this subject too (no surprise). Here’s one thought: Proverbs 16:9, “The mind of man plans his way, but the lord directs his steps”. Maybe this time ask for help directly from God in establishing the right goals and for accomplishing them. There’s another advantage – increased interaction with God. A real winner.

Return of the Legislature

After taking some time with family and friends to enjoy the holidays, I’m looking forward to the Legislature returning to session next week to pick up right where we left off – working to improve the lives of the hardworking people of our state. The year 2019 ended with a spirit of bipartisan cooperation and the signing of meaningful, good-government budget reforms that will significantly improve the way we do business in our state. After one of the most contentious budget battles we’ve seen in a long time that included cuts to programs that are vital to Southwest Michigan families, I was relieved that these programs received their proper funding in the final budget agreement. Thanks to our newly enacted budget reforms, I’m confident that future disagreements will be worked out in a timely manner. As I prepare to return to Lansing, I have a full legislative agenda that I will be pushing on behalf of the people of our community. I look forward to getting my expungement package out of the Senate and signed into law; my commercial fishing bill out of the House; the introduction of my legislation to help Southwest Michigan’s craft

brewing industry; introducing legislation to provide financing flexibility to local governments for public parks and recreational improvements; and much more that is still in the early stages of development. I understand that this office belongs to you and that I’ve been sent to Lansing to do the job you want me to do. As new issues come before the Legislature in the New Year, I encourage you to reach out to my office via phone at 517-373-1403 or email at PaulineWendzel@house.mi.gov to share your thoughts and opinions with me.