Senator Jim Stamas E-Newsletter

Serving You
This Sunday is Mother’s Day, and I want to express my appreciation to all the great Michigan moms who do so much for all of 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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Reducing car insurance rates
Michigan drivers pay the highest auto insurance rates in the country — 83% higher than the national average. It’s a burden on many households and one of the most common issues I hear about from area families.

I recently supported bipartisan legislation to reduce car insurance rates by providing drivers with more coverage choices, cracking down on fraud and lawsuit abuse and addressing medical costs — while ensuring accident victims receive the medical care they need.

Currently, Michigan drivers must carry unlimited, one-size-fits-all personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Senate Bill 1 would require auto insurers to offer drivers at least three new PIP options, including the ability of drivers with qualified medical coverage — such as health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid — to opt out of PIP coverage since they already have medical coverage for injuries.

This reform would give drivers the ability to choose the auto insurance coverage that best meets their needs and budget — for the first time in over 45 years. With this increased flexibility and depending on the choices made, Michigan drivers could save as much as 90% on their car insurance.

SB 1 would also reduce out-of-control medical costs that are passed on to drivers via higher rates, cut fraud and conflicts of interest in the auto insurance system, and reduce the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) fee by approximately $180 per vehicle. 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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Remembering our fallen heroes
We owe so much to the men and women who answered our nation’s call of duty and protected our lives at the cost of their own. For the 25th consecutive year, the Senate will hold a special ceremony to pay tribute to the Michigan service members who lost their lives defending liberty here and around the world.

I am proud to once again be a part of the Senate ceremony, which will be held Thursday, May 23 at 10 a.m. You can watch it streaming live online by clicking here or by visiting www.senate.michigan.gov to access Senate TV. The service and sacrifice of our fallen heroes must never be taken for granted or forgotten.

Giving schools ‘snow day’ flexibility
I recently voted to approve legislation giving more flexibility to many schools that were forced to cancel several school days this winter due to unusually harsh weather. House Bill 4206 is an appropriate balance between ensuring students receive the instruction they need and allowing schools to always protect students during extreme weather.

Michigan requires schools to provide a minimum of 180 days and 1,098 hours of instruction per year. Schools are currently forgiven up to six “snow days” when school is canceled due to dangerous weather, and schools can get a waiver from the state superintendent for three additional forgiven snow days.

HB 4206 would effectively forgive schools up to four additional snow days this year for any days schools canceled during the governor’s declared state of emergency (Jan. 29 — Feb. 1). The bill would only apply to the 2018-19 school year. It has been sent to the governor.

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A centennial celebration!
This weekend will mark the 100-year anniversary of the Michigan state parks system. On May 12, 1919, the Legislature established the Michigan State Park Commission to acquire and maintain public lands for state parks.

A century later, our 103 state parks continue to provide fantastic recreation opportunities for families. Special events are planned throughout the year to celebrate the parks. Visit www.michigan.gov/stateparks100 for more information.

Senate passes local public safety bill
I recently supported legislation to allow more local public servants — who are trained and willing to serve — to help save lives in their communities.

Currently, a public servant of a township, city, village or county with 25,000 or more residents cannot serve that community as an EMT, firefighter, police officer or public safety officer. Senate Bill 19 would extend the population limit to 40,000 to allow more local board or council members to serve in these roles.

Many rural local governments in the 1990s were struggling to find volunteer firefighters or EMTs — a problem made worse by the fact that they could not consider trained board members for these positions. The law was changed to provide more flexibility, but now communities just above the population limit are having the same issues in finding enough first responders and police officers.

SB 19 would help improve safety and put in protections to ensure elected officials serving in public safety positions are not also participating in collective bargaining negotiations.

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Stroke Awareness Month
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in America and is the nation’s top cause of disability, yet many people cannot name any of the signs of a stroke or know if they are at risk of having a stroke.

I supported adoption of Senate Resolution 18 recognizing May 2019 as Stroke Awareness Month. The critical information for people to know are the F.A.S.T. warning signs and symptoms of a stroke: Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, and Time to call 911.

It is also important to raise public awareness of the steps people can take to reduce their chances for a stroke, such as managing blood pressure, controlling cholesterol, reducing blood sugar, getting active, eating better, losing weight, and stopping smoking.

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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