Legislative Luncheon Remembers State Rep. Kivela

A special luncheon was held in Lansing Thursday to remember state representative John Kivela, the Marquette Democrat who passed away earlier this year.

Upper Peninsula state senator Tom Casperson tells the Radio Results Network that lawmakers from both sides of the aisle were at the event, because Kivela often crossed party lines to work with Republicans on issues important to the U-P.

Also on hand were Kivela’s wife, Sandy.

“This kind of activity was never really who she was, and she was a little uncomfortable with it,” Casperson (R-Escanaba) told RRN News. “But it was done so well today that she was very appreciative, and it was just, I think, a nice closure for the whole family.”

Kivela’s two children were also at the memorial luncheon.

Casperson says Kivela epitomized bipartisanship.

“It’s been a long-standing tradition within the U-P, and John was just one of those guys that just carried that on,” Casperson said. “Not just carried it on, but he actually amplified it a little bit and he really opened the door for everybody to join in and really highlight it. I think that’s the legacy that he’ll leave.”

Also in Lansing Thursday, Governor Rick Snyder signed Kivela’s legislation that increases penalties for people who illegally bring deer, moose, and elk carcasses into Michigan from other states where chronic wasting disease is a problem.