August 2013
clock tower with students




Just a few more days until we welcome back our students and we are excited and ready for the Fall Semester to begin.   


We look forward to continuing our work on behalf of our wonderful students and thank you for your support. 


To help us in our efforts, if you have not already done so, please join the Bronco Legislative Network.  If you are a member, please login and update your information. 

Thanks again for your support,

Go Broncos!


Student Loan Interest Rates Reduced    


After months of debate and gridlock, Congress has student loans authorized legislation that will retroactively reduce student loan interest rates effective this fall.  


The senate passed the legislation in July and President Obama has indicated he will sign the legislation into law.


The bill passed by Congress would lower interest rates for all types of student loans.  

  • Undergraduate loans issued for the coming school year would carry a rate of 3.86 percent,  
  • Graduate and PLUS loans would be offered at 5.4 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively.  

The bipartisan deal locks in the interest rates for the life of each loan and offers slightly lower rate caps - undergraduate loan interest rates can never surpass 8.25 percent, while graduate loans are capped at 9.5 percent and PLUS loans are capped at 10.5 percent.


State Functions Consolidated 


New executive office programming recently announced will consolidate state functions based on geographical regions. Citing a top concern of Governor Snyder that several state departments and agencies had differing state regions - sometimes within the same department - for their service delivery programs, the program was created to promote regional collaboration.    


capitol Stating the "experience in economic development over the last 18 months is that there is a real thirst for greater collaboration within the regions across the state," while arguing the change was "about the most efficient and effective use of limited resources," the new map divides the state into 10 "prosperity" regions. The regions are not mandated to change current policies, however, it has been suggested that aligning with the State and leveraging federal, state and local resources will carry advantages.


More information and the newly redrawn regions can be found at

Right to Work Applies to State Employees

RTW vs Unions A State Court of Appeals panel has ruled that the Legislature has the authority to impose Right-to-Work provisions on state classified workers.  In UAW v. Green, the two-member majority held that the Legislature has the authority to enact legislation on agency fees and that Public Act 349 of 2012, which imposed right-to-work provisions on state workers, could be enacted.   


The ruling rejects a claim levied by the unions representing state workers that only the Civil Right Commission could impose employment conditions on classified state workers.  While the ruling was viewed as a major win for the Snyder Administration, Appellate Judge Elizabeth Gleicher argued in her dissent that the majority opinion unconstitutionally infringes on the constitutional powers of the Civil Service Commission.   


Under the Right-to-Work statute, an employee cannot be required to join a union or pay union dues as a condition of his or her employment, but he or she is still entitled to the same employment benefits and conditions enjoyed by union members. 

In This Issue:  


Student Loan Interest Rates Reduced


State Functions Consolidated  


Right to Work Applies to State Employees 




Weekly Updates:
Interested in weekly updates on what's happening around the State Capitol?

The Bronco Legislative Network has a weekly legislative update with detailed articles of the top stories in the legislature.

  The Bronco Legislative Network     

Upcoming Events 


August 30:  WMU vs MSU at MSU, 8:00 p.m.


September 3:  Classes begin


September 7:  CommUniverCity, WMU vs Nichols, 7:00 p.m. 


September 13Bronco Bash, 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Sangren Pedestrian Mall 



Bronco Spotlight   

  Frank Waters

Frank Waters 

 Bachelor of Business Administration 


What do you do at the state Capitol?

I am the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs Director for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). I assist with the development of department legislative priorities. I work with department staff, the Governor's Office and legislative offices to implement those priorities. I am also responsible for overseeing the resolution of legislative constituent issues involving LARA program areas.


How did you become involved in this business?

I've loved politics since a very young age. I was the kid who started watching the nightly news in elementary school. My major was Business Management but I received a minor in Political Science because I enjoyed the classes. Ultimately after I left WMU my interest in politics led me to pursue a career in the political arena. I got a job working for former Governor John Engler and from there I've held positions in the Michigan House and Senate before coming to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.


What do you like best about your work?

I like the fact that being a part of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs I am able to work on a wide variety of issues. The department is involved with a host of different subjects such as the licensing of health and occupational professionals, unemployment insurance, liquor control and construction codes. These are just a few of the issues I've worked on in the last year.


What challenges do you face working in the Capitol in 2013?

Time. The biggest issue I've found is sometimes the process can move very slowly which can be quite frustrating, but in other instances the time to work on a particular issue can be far shorter than what I would consider ideal.


What is your advice for citizens who want to advocate for an issue in the state Capitol?

Know the issue you are advocating. Too often legislators are bombarded with constituents who don't really understand an issue. The best way to affect change is by knowing your issue backward and forward which will help to articulate your passion in a well-reasoned though out manner.


Favorite campus activity or Bronco memory?

I have a million great memories spending time with friends on an off campus. I'm still friends with many of the same people that I met at WMU.

A few items that stick out are  

  1. The Central vs. Western football game. To this day I try not to miss that game, especially when it's in Kalamazoo.  
  2. The first really nice days in spring, when the whole campus comes alive and people are out everywhere enjoying the great weather.
  3. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention nights out that ended with a trip to the Big Burrito.

What do you miss most about Kalamazoo/WMU?

Everything! I don't think I appreciated how special WMU and Kalamazoo are when I was in school. The one thing I say about Kalamazoo is that it's different than anywhere else in the state. It's a totally unique town. My wife is from Portage so fortunately I get back to the area quite a bit. I love it.


Any inspirational faculty or administrators at WMU that influenced your college career?

Dr. Alley. I had a significant team project that I was in charge of and it didn't really come out very well. I felt responsible for letting a group of people down and I felt just awful about it. As much as I didn't want to, Dr. Alley made me discuss the project with him and he helped me realize that one failure isn't the end of the world and you can learn from your mistakes and grow from them. It's something I haven't forgotten and it has helped me make positive outcomes out of difficult situations since that time.

Friends of WMU

The Friends of WMU is an all volunteer bi-partisan state political action committee, registered with the Michigan Secretary of State, and established to promote the interests of Western Michigan University.  The Friends of WMU understands that the state of Michigan needs to be a stronger financial partner with the university and provides support to legislators that place a priority on WMU.  If you are interested in learning more, please visit their website at  Friends of WMU.

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WMU Home Page 





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