Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073
[email protected]; www.mml.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 25, 2019
Former State Rep. Rob VerHeulen Receives Legislative Award of Merit
Lawmaker Honored by Michigan Municipal League
LANSING, Michigan – The Michigan Municipal League has honored former State Rep. Rob Verheulen (R-Walker) with one of the League’s 2019 Legislative Awards of Merit. The award was formally presented to VerHeulen during the League’s annual Capital Conference Awards Gala March 19 in Lansing.
Rep. VerHeulen represented the state’s 74th House District which encompasses the cities of Walker, Grandville, Rockford, and Cedar Springs, as well as Solon, Tyrone, Sparta, Algoma, and Alpine townships.
“I have had the privilege of knowing Rob for nearly 20 years. I am also fortunate enough to be one of the people who he inspired to enter into public office a few years back” said Gary Carey, Walker city commissioner who presented VerHeulen with the award. “Rob’s selfless devotion to all of us at the local level has been a constant and serves as the blueprint that we should build our own legacies from.”
Former mayor of Walker for 11 years, Rep. VerHeulen served six years in the House until he was term limited out of office at the end of 2018. He served as General Government Appropriations Subcommittee chair in the House for the 2017-18 term, overseeing the Treasury and revenue sharing budgets. In the State House, VerHeulen was a tireless advocate of local government through his role helping shape the General Government budget, personal property tax legislation, work on local court funding concerns, and the costs associated with the new Indigent Defense Commission standards.
He also worked extensively with the League to protect local government budgets and address legislation that could have had negative consequences for local units. He was one of the primary negotiators on changes to the new personal property tax law and he was key in preserving the funding dedicated to local reimbursements and finding ways to dedicate investments into fire protection grant communities to fully fund that program. His commitment to addressing the costs related to funding local court systems led him to introduce legislation establishing a trial court funding commission with a dedicated League appointee on that commission. He applied that same interest in working with the League as he worked on the language in the budget related to the new Indigent Defense Commission standards, and the need to ensure that local governments were made whole for any expenses related to implementing those new standards.
In accepting the award Tuesday, VerHeulen said he was honored and appreciative of working with the staff of the League.
“Thank you MML and Mayor Carey,” VerHeulen said. “I am humbled and very grateful for this award. To those represented by the MML team, I want you to know that you are represented by the best. They have earned the respect of elected officials throughout Michigan.”
About the Award of Merit: Each year, the Michigan Municipal League recognizes and honors a select few individuals with special Awards of Merit for outstanding contributions to Michigan communities.
For photos of VerHeulen receiving the award go to this Michigan Municipal League “Awards and Honors Photos” album on flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/michigancommunities/albums/72157677160400387. Photos can be downloaded from the League’s flickr page for free. We just ask that the following photo credit be given: Flickr Photo Michigan Municipal League/mml.org.
For additional information contact the League’s Matt Bach, director of communications, at (734) 669-6317 (office) and [email protected].
About the League: Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at mml.org.