Senator Jim Stamas E-Newsletter

Serving You
Monday is Memorial Day. I encourage you to take a moment to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice defending us. Serving the people of the 36th Senate District is very important to me, and I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may call toll-free at 1-855-347-8036 or email senjstamas@senate.michigan.gov. Also, please check out my Facebook page. Let me know if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

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Senate holds 25th Annual Memorial Day Service
For the past 25 years, the Michigan Senate has suspended its session activities for one day around Memorial Day to remember the men and women who have died in service to our country.

I was honored to welcome Sgt. Joseph McLosky from Hope to the state Capitol for this year’s ceremony, which paid tribute to Michigan’s fallen soldiers. McLosky served in the U.S. Army from 2003 until 2012. In October 2007, he was injured by a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq. He was awarded the Combat Action Badge and the Purple Heart.

During the Senate ceremony, I recognized Pfc. Michael A. Thomason, a soldier from Michigan who was killed in April while serving in Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria.

We owe so much to the men and women who answered our nation’s call of duty and lost their lives defending liberty. Their sacrifice must never be taken for granted or forgotten.

Auto insurance reform sent to governor
Michigan drivers current pay the highest auto insurance rates in the country — 83% higher than the national average — but that is about to change. Bipartisan legislation to guarantee lower auto insurance rates is on its way to the governor to be signed.

I have long supported reforms to reduce Michigan’s highest-in-the-nation car insurance rates, which are having a tremendous impact on family budgets throughout our state. This historic and bipartisan reform guarantees lower car insurance rates for Michigan drivers while ensuring that accident victims still receive the medical care they need.

Senate Bill 1 cracks down on fraud and lawsuit abuse, includes cost containments, gives drivers the ability to choose the auto insurance coverage that best meets their needs and budget — for the first time in almost five decades — and cuts the announced $220 annual Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) fee by $180 per vehicle for all options other than unlimited coverage.

The bill would require auto insurers to offer Michigan drivers five new personal injury protection (PIP) coverage options with guaranteed PIP rate reductions:
• A PIP opt-out option for drivers with qualified health coverage, such as employer health insurance or Medicare — 100% PIP reduction.
• A $50,000 coverage option for Medicaid-eligible drivers — at least 45% PIP reduction.
• A $250,000 coverage option — minimum 35% PIP reduction.
• A $500,000 coverage option — minimum 20% PIP reduction.
• An unlimited option like what is currently required — at least 10% PIP reduction.

SB 1 would also ban the use of several nondriving factors in setting insurance rates and reduce fraud and conflicts of interest in the auto insurance system. People already receiving care through the MCCA will continue to get lifetime care under their current unlimited benefit policy as promised.

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Senate passes balanced budget plan
The Senate recently approved a responsible fiscal year 2020 budget plan that uses existing resources to help improve Michigan for families, workers and job creators.

The plan increases funding for our roads and schools to record levels without depending on a massive $2.5 billion tax hike on Michigan families. In fact, under this plan, we will have increased our annual transportation spending by more than $1.75 billion in a decade and boosted annual state funding for schools by more than $2.6 billion over the past several years.

The K-12 School Aid budget would invest $15.2 billion in education, a total increase of nearly $400 million.

Schools would see a foundation allowance boost of between $135 and $270 per pupil — the largest per-pupil increase in 18 years and $107 million more of a foundation allowance increase than the governor’s plan.

We are also investing an additional $132 million entirely to local roads — fully implementing $1.2 billion from the 2015 roads plan a year ahead of schedule. Discussions can and will continue on additional funding for our roads, but we need to press forward and fulfill our other responsibilities with the resources that we currently have. It’s one of our top jobs to pass a balanced budget on time — and we owe that to all Michigan families.  Read More

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Enjoy free fishing, off-roading June 8-9
In June, Michigan residents and out-of-state visitors can enjoy the state’s Summer Free Fishing Weekend as well as a free off-road vehicle weekend and free entry into all state parks.

Anglers can fish without a license on these two days, though all other fishing regulations still apply. Entry into state public boating access sites, state parks and recreation areas is free of charge. Visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing for more information.

In addition, June 8-9 marks one of the summer’s free ORV weekends. Off-road enthusiasts can ride Michigan DNR-designated routes and trails without an ORV license or trail permit. Find out more at www.michigan.gov/orvinfo.

Anglers can find information on fishing licenses, seasons, general regulations and more in the 2019 Michigan Fishing Guide.

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Need ideas for a summer getaway?
Spring is in full swing, and summer is just around the corner. Whether you enjoy warm weather fun on the water, in the woods or at the golf course, Michigan has it all!

The 2019 Pure Michigan Spring/Summer Travel Guide features lighthouses, tiny towns, national forests and Great Lakes shore experiences as well as craft beer and urban destinations. The publication also includes a seasonal calendar of festival events.

Residents can order a printed guide or download a digital version at https://www.michigan.org/travel-guide.

Remember to drive carefully in work zones
With vacation season nearly here and road construction season already underway, it’s a good time to remember work zone safety. Last season, an estimated 18 people died and 1,972 were injured in work zone crashes in Michigan.

Most crashes are caused by distracted drivers. Safety officials advise drivers to minimize distractions, obey road crews and signs, pay attention to other drivers, obey speed limits, keep a safe distance and expect the unexpected when driving through a work zone. Motorists can check current and future lane closures and active incidents on state highways at www.michigan.gov/drive.

THE 36TH DISTRICT

Senate District 36 Map

The 36th Senate District is made up of 10 counties, which includes: Presque Isle, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Oscoda, Alcona, Iosco, Arenac, Gladwin and Midland counties.

Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the 36th Senate District of Michigan. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Please feel free to forward this on to others who may be interested in receiving the 36th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website or via Facebook.

Senator Jim Stamas
100 N. Capitol Ave., Room S-324.
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Visit my website at: www.SenatorJimStamas.com

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