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Lansing Connection

 by State Senator Nancy Cassis



Reflection on leadership
during difficult times

As the end of the year approaches, so does my time as a state legislator – a role I never dreamed would be my destiny. Reflecting on what we’ve accomplished by working together, I must start by recalling the events that propelled a girl born on Long Island, NY to the Michigan State Senate.

After graduating from Ohio University and the University of Michigan, I poured my heart and soul into educating and guiding our youth for 19 years. My political career began when some incredible Novi women urged me to run to Novi City Council. I was elected in 1985 and served my hometown at the local level for nine years.

Following a series of events – tragic and dramatic – I found myself running for state representative when Rep. Bullard decided to run for an open senate seat. Ever since winning that election and beginning my 14 years of service in the Legislature, my priorities have been clear: reduce taxes, improve transportation and support education.

I entered the Michigan House in the minority, but through building friendships and working relationships with both sides of the aisle, I was successful in getting my amendment adopted to reconstruct two antiquated I-96 interchanges at Beck and Wixom roads.

As the first woman chair of the House Tax Policy Committee and later the Senate Finance Committee, we accomplished much. Most significant were eliminating the Single Business Tax, authoring the Michigan Entrepreneurial Credit and the alternative business tax, and bringing transparency and reform to the Michigan Economic Growth Authority credit program.

While serving on the Senate Education Committee, I was able to enact the SAVE the Children legislation to provide early intervention as a means to help struggling students succeed. We also were successful in requiring schools to create and implement a parental involvement plan and criminalize hazing in our schools and universities.

No story would be complete without honoring those who journeyed with me and made that journey possible. My enduring gratitude and love to my husband, Victor, who first encouraged me to run for state representative and has been ever present at my side. To my children and grandchildren, my love surrounds you.

I also want to give a special thanks to my hardworking, talented staff – both in the Senate and the House – and to all the central staff who have giving me assistance and advice over the years.

Most importantly, to the people of Novi and the entire 15th district, I want to thank you for the privilege of serving as your state senator. It has been one of the greatest honors in my life.

Although Michigan has faced unprecedented challenges over the last eight years, we’ve made strides to revitalize our economy, protect our communities, educate our children and make state government more accountable and efficient.

More work lies ahead, but seeing what we have done in the most difficult of times, I am optimistic for Michigan’s future.

Best Wishes and God Bless.

For more information, visit my Web site at
Or contact me toll free at 1-888-38-NANCY.


State Senator Nancy Cassis, a Novi Republican, represents the 15th Senate District, which includes the townships of Commerce, Highland, Holly, Lyon, Milford, Novi, Rose, West Bloomfield and White Lake; as well as the Villages of Holly, Milford and Wolverine Lake; and the cities of Novi, Northville (the portion in Oakland County), Orchard Lake, South Lyon, Walled Lake and Wixom.