MI State Senate District 34

Michigan State Senator Jon Bumstead’s Legislative Update

It’s my honor to serve you


I would like to extend my family’s warmest wishes to everyone in the 34th Senate District during this holiday season. I hope you and yours had the merriest of Christmases and have a happy, healthy New Year. My thoughts are also with all the brave men and women who are unable to join their families this season while serving our country in uniform. Please keep them in your prayers.

Serving as your state senator is a job that I am honored to hold, and I encourage you to contact me with any questions or ideas you may have on state issues. You may call my office at 517-373-1635, send an email at SenJBumstead@senate.michigan.gov, or check out my Facebook or Twitter pages. Please let me know how I can be of service to you.

Gov. Whitmer requests six-month extension for Muskegon County casino project

For much of the past year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been presented with an opportunity to approve a major job-creating project in Muskegon County. Unfortunately, it looks like we’re going to have to wait a bit longer, as the governor formally requested a six-month deadline extension.

The governor’s request for an extension is not the news I was hoping Muskegon County residents would receive. Every day she postpones this project, she is also delaying 1,500 construction jobs and 1,500 high-paying full-time jobs.

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians have been planning to build the casino in our county for many years. After a lengthy approval process, the federal government gave the go-ahead last December. Since the federal government’s approval, the decision on whether to proceed has been on Gov. Whitmer’s desk.

Many state and local officials, as well as countless residents, have previously joined together to support the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians casino project. The collective support speaks volumes about the shared belief in the project’s potential to positively impact our community.

The casino’s residual economic impact will also support additional jobs and businesses, as well as boost tourism in the region with an estimated 1.8 million visitors per year. It is also estimated that the casino will annually generate $15 million in tax revenue for the state and millions more for local governments.

I have been a constant supporter of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians casino project, and I have been encouraging the governor to quickly approve the plan so that construction of this major facility could promptly begin.

My thanks to the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians for their commitment to Muskegon County, and to all local officials and residents who have been so vocal in their support. I strongly encourage West Michigan residents to continue contacting the governor’s office to let your voices be heard. You can reach the governor’s office by calling 517-335-7858.

You can also submit written comments that will be sent directly to Gov. Whitmer’s office. Please visit my website at SenatorJonBumstead.com/casino/ to share your thoughts with the governor and encourage her to support the casino in Muskegon County.

Bumstead supports increase to personal property tax exemption, opposes large corporate handout

Earlier this month I issued the following statement in response to legislation that passed in the Michigan Senate:

I voted in favor of House Bill 5351 to increase the true cash value, from $80,000 to $180,000, of industrial and commercial personal property for which a taxpayer may claim a personal property tax (PPT) exemption because of the positive economic benefit that property owners would receive.

I had initial concerns with this legislation and how the local tax collecting units would be reimbursed for the lost tax revenue. However, before casting my vote, I was assured that the state would hold our locals harmless.

Senate Bill 85 includes funding to hold locals harmless for the revenue shortfall they would see from the change in HB 5351. Unfortunately, this bill also contained $1 billion of unnecessary taxpayer handouts for large corporations, and I voted to oppose the supplemental for this reason. SB 85 ended up passing the Senate by a vote of 25 to 11.

I fully support the concept of increasing the exemption to provide much-needed tax relief to our small businesses and intended to vote to ensure our local governments would not experience a shortfall. However, I could not support a budget bill where the government creates winners and losers by giving away taxpayer dollars for large corporate handouts.

Snowmobile season is underway!

2021-2022 trail permits are now available!

The snowmobile program is 100% funded with your trail permit dollars. A $52 snowmobile trail permit is valid for one year and covers the cost of trail grooming and signage; bridges, culverts and grading; trailhead maintenance and more.

State-designated trails are open Dec. 1 through March 31 and will be groomed as enough snow accumulates.

Permits can be purchased:

▪ Online through eLicense.
▪ Online with the Michigan Snowmobile and ORV Association.
▪ In person at one of these DNR license agents and dealers.

Bumstead highlights upcoming events in the 34th District

Forest Park Ice Skating
Friday, December 31
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Mercy Health Arena
470 W. Western Ave.
Muskegon, MI 49440

Description: Looking for something fun to do FREE? Kids, students and adults of all ages are welcome to join Forest Park Kids Ministry and Forest Park Covenant Church to ice skate at Mercy Health Arena. Skate rental is free but number and sizes are limited, if you have skates please bring them. More information can be found here.

Muskegon Economic Forecast
Friday, January 28
7:45 AM – 9:15 AM
Delta Hotels by Marriott
939 Third Street
Muskegon, MI 49440

Description: Join us for breakfast and a view of the economic road ahead. Presented by Economist Dr. Paul Isely, of the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University. More information can also be found here.

Free Family Movie Days – Soul
Saturday, January 30
2:15 PM – 5:00 PM
Frauenthal Center
425 W Western Ave # 200
Muskegon, MI 49440

Description: The Frauenthal Center invites everyone to attend this family-friendly entertainment series featuring 9 FREE family movies inside the Frauenthal Theater. This series aims to open doors for families in the community to experience the Frauenthal Center together or for those who are simply looking for a free and fun afternoon. More information can be found here.

The 34th State Senate District includes the counties of Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana.

Bumstead Supported Bills Restoring Many of the Governor’s Budget Cuts

from Michigan State Senator Jon Bumstead’s Legislative Update

Last October, the governor vetoed nearly $1 billion from the budget, cutting critical funding for law enforcement, hospitals, local governments, college students, children in charter and rural schools, and more. The governor also used a rarely used administrative board to transfer an additional $625 million in funding.

These cuts hurt Michigan families and communities across the state, which is why I supported legislation to restore much of the critical funding that was vetoed or transferred by the governor.

Senate Bills 152 and 154 restored a total of $573.5 million of the governor’s nearly $950 million in vetoed funding and $625 million in administrative transfer funding.

Additionally, in the wake of the governor’s cuts and funding transfers, I supported legislation to make important reforms to the budget process that will preserve reliability and oversight and restore balance in the funding transfer process.

These bills were signed by the governor on Dec. 31 with immediate effect.

Senate Unanimously Approves Bumstead Legislation to Grow Michigan Beer Industry

from Michigan State Senator Jon Bumstead’s Legislative Update

The state Senate approved legislation I introduced that would create a new license for a limited production of a beer in a 37-0 vote.

This is big news for La Colombe, Norton Shores and breweries across the state. La Colombe picked a site in Norton Shores to house their operations in 2015 and have made great strides in the years since. They employ over 100 people, provide a high-demand service and are always looking at ways to grow their company and give back to the community.

La Colombe, a coffee company with a manufacturing facility in Norton Shores, teamed up with Miller Coors to develop the “La Colombe Hard Brew Coffee.” La Colombe purchased a bulk beer product from out of state and blended the beer with its coffee. It was later brought to the company’s attention by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) that the state does not expressly permit makers to transfer beer from one brewery to another or further process beer that was initially made by another brewery — which then forced La Colombe into a gray area that could have meant legal troubles for the company.

The MLCC later granted La Colombe a one-time exception to complete the order they had already invested time and resources in. That exception is set to expire in April.

After several discussions with company leaders and MLCC representatives, I introduced Senate Bill 711, which would give companies like La Colombe the ability to receive a license that would allow beer to be imported and further manufactured in their facility. The legislation outlines additional guidelines for such collaborations.

With the pending change in state law, La Colombe is already looking at ways to expand their operations in West Michigan over locations in other states. This means more jobs and more growth in the Norton Shores Community. We need to keep Michigan moving forward and create an environment for businesses to call home. This legislation gets government out of the way and will benefit companies across the state.

SB 711 has been sent to the Michigan House of Representatives.

Prepare for State Tax Filing Season

from Michigan State Senator Jon Bumstead’s Legislative Update

mitaxesTaxpayers can get a head start on viewing and downloading the state 2019 tax year forms and instructions at www.michigan.gov/taxes.

Taxpayers can e-file their state returns at www.mifastfile.org. The Department of Treasury reports that 85% of all Michigan taxpayers choose to e-file. Tax officials also note that commonly used paper forms will continue to be available at Treasury offices and most public libraries.

Recreation Passport Fee Increasing to $12 Starting March 1

from Michigan State Senator Jon Bumstead’s Legislative Update

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently announced that the regular Recreation Passport vehicle entry fee for residents will increase from $11 to $12 as of March 1, 2020. This $1 increase is the first Recreation Passport price increase since 2013.

Michigan residents who purchase a Recreation Passport can enjoy vehicle access to more than 100 state parks and recreation areas, 140 state forest campgrounds, hundreds of miles of state trails, historic sites, family-friendly events, hundreds of boating access sites, and more.

To learn more about how the Recreation Passport supports, protects and provides easy, affordable access to Michigan’s great outdoors, visit www.Michigan.gov/RecreationPassport.

Sen. Bumstead Reacts to State of the State Address

from Michigan State Senator Jon Bumstead’s Legislative Update

I appreciated hearing the governor’s vision for Michigan’s future during her State of the State address.

As vice chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, I remain committed to working with my colleagues and the governor’s office to keep Michigan on the right track. We were able to work together to approve landmark reforms to Michigan’s dated auto no-fault law, and I can only hope that 2020 brings more agreements like this, more solutions and a better year for Michiganders.

While we were able to approve reforms that are expected to save Michiganders a great deal of money, last year’s budget process was a spectacle that I hope we never again see here in our state. This year’s focus should be on getting our finances in order ahead of the deadline and putting available resources toward fixing things like roads and funding our schools.

These are two things the governor has campaigned on the most and two things I agree should see a great deal of our focus in the new year. Just as I did last year, I will support responsible measures to fund our schools and start making major repairs to our infrastructure. I believe we need to continue looking at existing funding before turning to taxpayers. Like many of my colleagues, I also have reservations about bonding as a solution to fix our roads. To me, that option just kicks the can further down the road, significantly increases our long-term debt and does nothing to address funding our local roads and infrastructure needs.

As the speech continued, I found myself sharing many of the governor’s concerns about things like clean water and our environment. Michigan leads the nation in efforts to ensure folks have safe drinking water, and as chairman of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy budget, I am committed to continuing these efforts as a priority. We must also continue to monitor the unfortunate situation currently facing the Great Lakes. Lawmakers must seek solutions to mitigate the ongoing high water and erosion issues that impact our public infrastructure.

I look forward to the governor’s upcoming budget presentation and working with her administration to fix our state’s crumbling roads and bridges — without simply passing the cost to hardworking families or passing the buck to our kids. The Legislature has approved major reforms and investments in recent years, and I would like to continue working together to build a better Michigan.

Car insurance Fee to Drop by 55% for Some, Be Eliminated for Others

bumsteadEarlier this year, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 1. The bill reformed Michigan’s auto insurance law, seeking to reduce our highest-in-the-nation rates.

As a result of this new law, the annual Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) fee of $220 will be reduced to $100 in 2020 for drivers selecting unlimited, lifetime coverage. Drivers who choose other levels of coverage will pay no annual fee at all.

SB 1 will for the first time allow Michigan drivers to determine the appropriate amount of coverage they need and will require lower rates for drivers who select limited coverage.

HEARTSafe Schools Named

from Senator Jon Bumstead’s November 1st Legislative Update

heartsafeRecently, 154 schools earned the MI HEARTSafe School designation for the 2018-19 school year.

Schools within our district that have earned the MI HEARTSafe designation include North Muskegon, Holton, Montague and Big Rapids.

To receive this designation, schools must be prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies by having:
• A written medical emergency response plan and team;
• Current CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) certification of 10% of staff and 50% of coaches, including all head varsity coaches and physical education staff;
• Accessible and maintained AEDs;
• Annual cardiac emergency response drills; and
• Pre-participation sports screening of all student athletes.

Currently, 490 schools are designated as MI HEARTSafe Schools. For more information about the program, including a list of participating schools, visit www.Migrc.org/miheartsafe.

Senator Jon Bumstead Backs Autism Awareness Legislation

from Senator Jon Bumstead’s November 1st Legislative Update

I recently supported bipartisan legislation to help bridge the communications gap between law enforcement and people on the autism spectrum. The legislation will help officers improve their interaction with drivers with autism during a traffic stop or similar interaction.

Senate Bill 278 would allow a vehicle owner to choose to put a “Communication Impediment” designation on their vehicle registration, driver’s license or both through the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) system if they or a family member is on the autism spectrum, is deaf or has hearing loss. This voluntary designation would let law enforcement know that the owner or a family member who may be in the car has autism or a hearing issue. Police officers often access the LEIN system during traffic stops; it is not available to members of the public. SB 279 would apply to a driver’s enhanced driver’s license or state ID card.

The bills have been sent to the House for consideration.

Muskegon County Superintendents Testify for Bumstead’s Education Reforms

bumsteadsuperintendentsLast month, I welcomed Fruitport Public Schools Superintendent Bob Szymoniak and Oakridge Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Livezey to Lansing to testify in support of my legislation that would reform the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC).

Our current requirements don’t always allow students to focus on something they find interesting or excel at.

The MMC went into effect in 2006 and created statewide requirements for all high school students. Prior to the MMC being adopted, graduation requirements were left up to the local school districts.

Senate Bills 600 and 601 would eliminate some specific merit curriculum requirements and once again place control of these decisions in the hands of local districts. Specifically, the bills would eliminate the algebra II requirement, giving students the chance to take other classes that might better prepare them for their future.

For years, a four-year degree was pushed as the only avenue to success, and that is simply not true. There are countless available careers in the trades, and many companies are desperate for qualified workers. Allowing for more flexibility in a student’s graduation requirements would provide more opportunities for students to succeed.

I want to thank superintendents Szymoniak and Livezey for making the trip to Lansing and supporting these reforms. This needs to be an effort that involves educators, administrators, parents and students, and I am happy they lent their time and were willing to be a part of this process. I look forward to hearing more input from folks in my district and across the state.

Senator Jon Bumstead Announces Upcoming Office Hours

from Senator Jon Bumstead’s November 1st Legislative Update

As your state senator, I remain committed to maintaining open communication by holding monthly office hours in various communities throughout my Senate district.

I will be available to answer questions, provide information and assistance, and take suggestions on issues affecting communities and businesses in the district.

Please feel free to stop in. No appointment is necessary. If you are unable to make it to the following dates, please contact my office at SenatorJonBumstead.com or call 517-373-1635, and we will get something set up for you.

Upcoming office hours are as follows:

Friday, Dec. 13
9 – 10 a.m.
Sullivan Township Hall
8138 Heights Ravenna Road

11 a.m. – noon
Ravenna Village Hall
12090 Crockery Creek Drive

Bumstead Supports New Laws in the Fight Against Opioid Abuse

jbumsteadThe opioid crisis continues to impact families and communities. In 2017, there were more deaths from drug overdoses than car accidents in Michigan. Over 70% of these deaths were opioid-related.

I recently supported legislation — now law — to allow governmental agencies to possess and administer what’s called an opioid antagonist to someone suspected of suffering an opioid overdose. The drug reverses the effects of an overdose and can help save lives, especially if it is available before emergency medical help arrives. The new laws will allow employees in public places, such as libraries and universities, to be properly trained and granted civil immunity to administer anti-overdose drugs in good faith.

More information for families and individuals about the opioid crisis is available at www.michigan.gov/opioids. The site features information on finding and getting help, including maps showing the location of licensed treatment centers and takeback sites for disposing of unneeded medication.

Hansen Named Michigan Trails Legislator of the Year

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, (left) on Thursday received the Michigan Trails Legislator of the Year Award at the Capitol for his work advancing Michigan trails policy.

The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance honored Hansen for his sponsorship of the Pure Michigan Trails legislation and legislation updating the state’s railbanking program; for providing for volunteer liability protection; and for his work to affirm the role of trail councils and the value of trails as a public good in a community.

“Michigan’s unmatched system of non-motorized trails offers a marvelous opportunity for those interested in exploring the natural beauty of Pure Michigan,” said Hansen, chairman of the Senate Outdoor Recreation Committee. “It has been a delight to work on legislation promoting our trails, and receiving this award is a great honor.”

Michigan Trails also recognized Hansen as a key proponent of renaming the Hart-Montague Trail in honor of William Field, who purchased the former railroad and donated it for trail use to the state of Michigan.

Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, also received the Legislator of the Year Award for her work as chairwoman of the House Outdoor Recreation Committee; for being a vocal trail advocate for the Muskegon area; and for being a main sponsor of the e-bike bills and bike safety package.

This is the first year of the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance’s annual award program recognizing the exemplary leadership of trail advocates across the state who have helped Michigan become the number one trails state in the nation.