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10/24/2017

Get to Know Your Legislators!

This Month: State Rep. Ben Frederick (R-Owosso)

In an effort to help Michigan chiropractors remain involved in the political process, the eJournal periodically profiles a prominent legislator in our pages. There are a number of changes in the 99th Legislature, including one new member of the Michigan Senate, 42 new members in the Michigan House, and new leadership in the House Republican and Democratic caucuses. This month, we profile state Representative Ben Frederick of Owosso, who is spearheading an effort to make auto insurance more fair and affordable. 

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In mid-September, state Rep. Ben Frederick of Owosso joined a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers representing a wide array of urban, suburban, and rural parts of the state addressing auto no-fault reform with the unveiling of the “Fair and Affordable No-Fault Reform Plan.

“I’ve received hundreds of emails and phone calls from constituents expressing their inability to continue to afford their auto insurance,” Frederick said. “At the same time I have also heard from families devastated by catastrophic auto injuries about how important Michigan’s no-fault benefits are. Michigan drivers and accident victims deserve our best effort to preserve essential benefits while reforming the overall no-fault system.” 

“There is a complex web of issues that drive up auto insurance costs,” Frederick continued. “Every year, the Legislature takes on this issue, but every year, nothing gets done. This year, with a bipartisan approach, we’re pursuing extensive legislation to improve Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance system once and for all.  It’s high time for comprehensive reforms which ensure best practices by both insurance companies and medical providers alike.” 

The Lansing-based Gongwer News Service is reporting that Rep. Frederick has received a fair amount of pushback from his colleagues in the House GOP Caucus for his support of the Fair and Affordable No-Fault Reform Plan, since the Speaker of the House, Tom Leonard of DeWitt, is supporting a competing no-fault reform plan. The major difference is that Rep. Frederick wants to keep the unlimited benefits currently in statute, while the competing plan offers drastically reduced benefits. 

Rep. Frederick is no stranger to the issue, as he has been working on it as a legislative staffer for years. Despite being elected to the Michigan House only in November 2016, he served as a legislative staff member for 14 years in both the Michigan House and Senate, including time as chief of staff to former state Sen. Roger Kahn, MD, of Saginaw. Locally, he served on the Owosso City Council since 2007 and was the city’s youngest mayor, holding that office for seven years. 

This term, Rep. Frederick serves as Chair of the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee and as a member of the Commerce and Trade, Local Government and Agriculture committees. He has been active in numerous organizations over the years, including Saginaw-Shiawassee Habitat for Humanity, Welcome Home Veterans Inc., the Friends of the Shiawassee River, and the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce. Rep. Frederick was named a Chamber Citizen of the Year in 2012 and a “Champion for Life” by The Pregnancy Resource Center of Shiawassee County in 2015. He and his wife, Lydia, have two children. 

State Representative Ben Frederick was first elected in November 2016 to serve the constituents of the 85th House District, which includes all of Shiawassee County and Brady, Brant, Chapin, Chesaning, Fremont, Jonesfield, Lakefield, Maple Grove, Marion and Richland townships in Saginaw County. Currently serving his first term in the Michigan House, he is eligible to serve two additional terms in the House under Michigan’s term limits law.

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