Senator Jim Stamas E-Newsletter

Serving You
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 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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Szymanski parents support memorial highway bill
It is importation we always remember that we enjoy the freedom we have today because of patriots like Marine Lance Cpl. Steven Szymanski. They answered the call to service and made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our way of life.

I was honored this week to welcome his parents, John and Dawn Szymanski, to Lansing to speak about my legislation to permanently honor their son, who was killed while on duty during a training exercise at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 2014.

Senate Bill 280 would designate a portion of U.S. 10 from Jefferson Avenue to Bay City Road in Midland as the “Marine Lance Corporal Steven J. Szymanski Memorial Highway.” Szymanski was a 2008 graduate of Midland High School and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2013 after earning his associate degree in criminal justice.

This memorial highway would be a lasting tribute of our deep appreciation for his service and his sacrifice.

The bill would have no fiscal impact on the state or local government. Under state law, the Michigan Department of Transportation can place markers indicating the name of a memorial highway only “when sufficient private contributions are received to completely cover the cost of erecting and maintaining those markers.”

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Free fishing this weekend!
This Saturday and Sunday, 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.

The free fishing weekend is a tremendous opportunity for families to pass down the love of fishing to the next generation.

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 for more information.

In addition, June 8-9 marks the first of the state’s two summer free ORV weekends, when off-road enthusiasts can ride on designated routes and trails without an ORV license or trail permit. Riders can find out more at

Grant funding available to protect Michigan waters
About $276,000 in federal funding is available for projects to develop or update watershed management plans to restore and protect our lakes, streams, and wetlands by controlling polluted runoff. Regional and local planning agencies, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and colleges and universities are eligible to apply.

Funded projects must result in a watershed management plan approvable under both state and federal criteria and must include a minimum of 15% local match. Applications are due on July 3, with grants being announced in August.

Visit for the full text of the Request for Proposals — including criteria, required forms and instructions. A separate Request for Proposals offering over $4 million for projects implementing approved watershed management plans will be available later this summer.

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Keep fire safety in mind this summer
Summer means family campfires and cookouts. Yet, it’s also a key time for wildfires, and most of these are started accidentally by people. So far this year, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has battled more than 140 wildfires on 800 acres around the state.

To ensure fire safety, the DNR reminds campers and other outdoor enthusiasts to never leave a fire unattended; always keep a shovel, metal bucket and water source nearby; build a fire in a fire ring; and douse the fire thoroughly with water, repeating until cool when the fire is finished.

For more information, visit the DNR’s new fire safety page, which is also available at Click on Fire Safety.

In addition to campfire safety, the website offers tips on:

• Debris burning. You need to get a permit to burn debris at or by phone at 866-922-2876 if you live in the Northern Michigan. People in other locations should check with local municipalities.
• Firewise landscaping at home. This type of landscaping protects your home or cabin by minimizing the number of shrubs, leaves and trees that are close to the house. You can learn more from the National Fire Protection Association.

New laws ban e-cigarette sales to minors
The number of teens using e-cigarettes continues to climb. In fact, e-cigarette use among high school students increased by nearly 80% between 2017 and 2018, according to a recent survey.

Thankfully, two Senate bills recently signed by the governor will help keep these products away from young people. Public Act 18 and PA 17 ban the sale of e-cigarettes and alternative vapor products to minors and prohibit minors from possessing and using these products. Under the new laws, violators will be subject to fines and penalties.

In addition, retailers will have to store the products behind the counter or in a locked case, display a prominent sign explaining the law and ask for identification to verify the age of the buyer. The new laws take effect Sept. 2.


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

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