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      Middle class plan

      After a listening tour across the state, Michigan House Democrats say they have put together a package of bills addressing middle class concerns.

      Tuesday morning, representative of the 109th District, John Kivela, and 110th District, Scott Dianda, presented the plan to an audience at the Peter White Public Library in Marquette.

      A new package of bills is in the works, all representing changes Michigan lawmakers say middle class people are looking for. They cover health care for women, funding K-12 education, and fixing infrastructure.

      The bills will also reform the tax code.

      "Restore the Homestead Property Tax exemption, reinstate the Per Child Tax deduction, restore the Earned Income Tax Credit to eleven percent, and repeal the tax on seniors' pensions," said John Kivela, Democrat Representative of the 109th District.

      Local Republicans say the plan should also include cutting administrative costs.

      "So instead of cutting Meals on Wheels, school busing or where it hurts people the most, we can take out maybe a senior assisted deputy director or a committee that we don't need," said Pete Mackin, resident.

      Residents we spoke to support bills to increase funding for education.

      "Public schools are getting shortchanged--and it seems as though there's a plan to try to make them fail--so that they can come up with some other sort of education for the students of our state," said Earl Eliason, resident.

      The package of bills would offer a constitutional amendment making school aid fund only K-12 education. Other bills would raise the per pupil allowance to $7,316 and would limit class sizes to no more than 30 students.

      "I've been talking to teachers in my district also who are buying cleaning supplies, office supplies to keep their classrooms going. I think we need to start looking at making sure we get back to the priorities that this state was built on," said Scott Dianda, Democrat Representative of the 110th District.

      Kivela and Dianda are planning to continue hearing residents' voices at town hall meetings. They hope to hold one per month.ã??