A day in the life of Rep. VanderWall.

November 3, 2017

Rep. VanderWall in one of his committee meetings.

A day in the life of Rep. VanderWall.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LANSING — Earlier this week I spent the day at the Capitol with State Rep. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington), who represents the 101st House District (Mason, Manistee, Benzie, and Leelanau counties).

Rep. VanderWall is a first term representative who was elected in 2016 after defeating Democrat Dan Scripps of Northport. VanderWall is former chairman of the Mason County Board of Commissioners and began his term in Lansing in January of this year.

VanderWall is the vice chairman of the house insurance committee and vice chairman of the house tourism and outdoor recreation committee. He also serves on the house natural resources committee and the house financial services committee.

On this particular day, Wednesday, Nov. 1, I met up with VanderWall in his office on the 13th floor of the Anderson House Office Building across the street from the Capitol. At 9 a.m. he was heading to the house natural resources committee. The committee addressed topics such as properly marking ownership of deer blinds and gigging frogs (yes, you read that correctly).

Following natural resources, we took a 10 minute break and then heading into the financial services committee where the committee members took on the topic of allowing financial institutions to inspect the vehicles they have secured when those vehicles have been impounded after abandonment. The state towing industry spoke out against such a bill.

The tourism and outdoor recreation committee consisted of 40 minutes of debate regarding the proper placement of license plates on vehicles with rear side bicycle racks. Apparently many of these bicycle racks cover up license plates (which is illegal) and bicycle enthusiasts do not like to get tickets because of their illegal actions.

A quick lunch was followed by a brisk walk to the Capitol for the 1:30 p.m. session of the House of Representatives. On this particular day, as well as the following day, the House tackled the hot topic of changing the state’s expensive no-fault insurance law. Not too much action took place on Wednesday, with House leadership mostly working behind closed doors trying to negotiate the bill’s passage, the bill was defeated 45-63. After a late night Thursday, they were unsuccessful and Michigan will continue to have the highest vehicle insurance rates in the country.

VanderWall said he has enjoyed his time in Lansing.

“I consider it a real privilege to serve the people of northwestern Michigan,” he told me. “When I head into the office every morning, I glance over at the Capitol and am just amazed that I am here.”

He said one of the biggest things he has learned from the job is that it requires a lot of compromising, but that he will not lose sight that he is there to represent his constituents.

“Really what it all comes down to is being able to sit down in a room and talk to people,” he said. “We may not always agree on every topic, but if we can face each other and discuss our differences, there is often room for compromise.”

Rep. VanderWall may be reached at 517-373-0825 or curtvanderwall@house.mi.gov. His website is www.repvanderwall.com and his office is located in room S-1385 of the Anderson Building in downtown Lansing. He also offers local coffee hours which are posted on this site and MCP’s mobile app calendar.

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