Tue November 19, 2013
WestSouthwest: State Representative Kate Segal
Democrat Kate Segal represents Battle Creek and other parts of Calhoun County in Michigan's 62nd state House district. She is in her third term.
Segal sat down with WMUK's Gordon Evans and Battle Creek Enquirer General Manager and Executive Editor Mac McCullough to discuss a wide range of issues.
On possible changes to campaign finance law, Segal says Secretary of State Ruth Johnson deserves credit for a proposal to change the rules on campaign finance and require disclosure of contributions that lead to "issue ads." The state Senate has moved to nullify those rule changes (MLive story). Segal says she doesn't know what will happen in the House. She says the Senate bill puts more money into campaigns by raising contribution limits. Segal says one aspect of the bill she supports is requiring more frequent reporting of campaign contributions and expenditures. But she says that's enough for her support the bill as a whole.
On teacher evaluations, the subject of a recent series by Bridge Magazine, Segal says she wants to hear more from people who are directly involved in education. She says too many of the "best practices" come from people who don't any experience in the clasroom. Segal says education can't be run like a business because public schools have to educate all children. She says that should include improving ways to help children who may be falling "through the cracks." Segal says she looks at "common core" standards as different from "teaching to the test." But she says it's been made more rigid rather than establishing standards for schools across the state and nation.
Segal has been a critic of Governor Snyder's proposal to reform no-fault auto insurance in Michigan (MLive story). Segal says Michigan's auto insurance rates are too high. But she says lawmakers have not been able to see the books of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association. Segal says she fears Michigan residents will lose a benefit without any proof that it will save money and reduce costs.
Legislation to expand the role of Advanced Practice Nurses (MLive story) has narrowly made it out of the Senate, and Segal says she thinks there could also be a contentious debate in the House. Segal says most other states have made the changes to allow nurse practitioners to take on greater responsibility, such as prescribing drugs.
Segal cannot run for re-election to her state House seat next year. She declined to say if she will seek another political office in the future.