ANALYSIS AS PASSED BY THE SENATE
The Michigan Memorial Highway Act provides for the naming of highways in Michigan. Many of these highways have been named after police officers or soldiers killed in the line of duty, or noted community figures. A native of Fremont, Michigan, Marine Private First Class (PFC) Brett Witteveen sustained fatal injuries while conducting combat operations in Iraq. To honor his sacrifice and services, it has been suggested that a portion of Highway US-31 be named after PFC Witteveen.
The bill would amend the Michigan Memorial Highway Act to designate the portion of Highway US-31 in Oceana County beginning at the W. Shelby Road exit 144 and continuing north to the Hart Polk Road exit 149 as the "PFC Brett Witteveen Memorial Highway".
Currently, the portion of Highway US-31 beginning at the border between Michigan and Indiana in Berrien County and extending to the Straits of Mackinac at the county line of Emmet and Cheboygan Counties is known as the "Blue Star Memorial Highway". In addition, the part of Highway US-31 beginning at the county line of Muskegon and Oceana Counties and extending north to the county line of Mason and Manistee Counties is known as the "Pere Marquette Memorial Highway". The bill would exclude from these designations the portion of Highway US-31 in Oceana County beginning at the W. Shelby Road exit 144 and continuing north to the Hart Polk Road exit 149.
Private First Class Witteveen was born on November 11, 1986, in Fremont, Michigan. After graduating from Hart High School in 2005, PFC Witteveen enlisted with the Marines and was assigned to Marine Forces Reserve's 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was deployed to Iraq in October 2006 to serve as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On February 18, 2007, while on patrol in Fallujah, Anbar Province, Iraq, PFC Witteveen sustained injuries while conducting combat operations. He died from those injuries the following day. He was 20 years old.
(Please note: The arguments contained in this analysis originate from sources outside the Senate Fiscal Agency. The Senate Fiscal Agency neither supports nor opposes legislation.)
Private First Class Witteveen exemplified bravery and heroism during his service in operation Iraqi
Freedom and is remembered with affection by family and friends. Naming a portion of US-31 near
his hometown and high school would be a fitting way to commemorate his legacy and his sacrifice.
The bill would have no fiscal impact on State or local government.
This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan Senate staff for use by the Senate in its deliberations and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.