Senator Jim Stamas E-Newsletter

Serving You
We are hard at work on a state budget that helps build a better Michigan for families, workers and job creators. Serving the constituents 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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Sen. Kevin Daley and I recently welcomed Standish Area Chamber of Commerce President Tara Binder to the Michigan Capitol. She was my guest and spent the day learning more about state government. Tara lives in Pinconning, is a graduate of Unionville-Sebewaing High School and is the bank manager at Independent Bank’s Standish office. Last year, she was honored by Independent Bank with its first-ever Volunteer of the Year Award.

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MCCA fee hike shows need for auto insurance reform
Last month’s announcement by the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) of a nearly 15 percent increase in its assessment illustrated the need to reduce the cost of car insurance in Michigan.

Our state’s highest-in-the-nation car insurance rates are straining family budgets and holding back our economy. This fee increase will only make the cost of auto insurance worse, and it illustrates the need for action to make auto insurance more affordable while ensuring that drivers receive necessary medical care if they are in an accident.

The Senate is taking the lead on reducing burdensome car insurance costs facing Michigan families, and there is now an easy way for residents to let their voices be heard. A new website has been launched to allow drivers to let policymakers know what reducing auto insurance rates would mean to them.

Residents can tell their stories about what lower auto insurance rates would mean to their family at www.IfMiRatesWereLower.com. I encourage drivers to submit their stories as we continue to work on achieving much-needed relief through comprehensive reform that adds flexibility, combats fraud and reduces costs.

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Free Michigan fishing guide
Michigan’s 2019 fishing license season began on April 1. The 2019 Michigan Fishing Guide is now available and features information on licenses, seasons, new and general regulations, county exceptions, inland trout and salmon regulations and more. The publication is available where fishing licenses are sold or online at www.michigan.gov/dnrdigests. The online version is always up to date and available to download.

Anglers can buy their fishing license in person at a local license retailer or online at www.mdnr-elicense.com. The annual fee for a resident all-species fishing license is $26; an annual senior license is available for $11 for residents 65 or older.

Disappointed with attorney general’s power grab
I am disappointed and frustrated that Attorney General Dana Nessel is unwilling or unable to follow the Michigan Constitution or law. The attorney general either doesn’t understand that we have co-equal branches of government where the Legislature makes the laws and the executive branch implements the laws or she simply doesn’t care.

Based on her policies and practices so far, the attorney general is going to do whatever it takes to achieve her own political agenda — in place of upholding Michigan law.

Last month, Attorney General Nessel issued an opinion declaring that a law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in December was unconstitutional “because its provisions go beyond the scope of what was disclosed in its title.”

The fact is that the attorney general never liked the Mackinac tunnel proposal, and her action to overturn the law is a pure partisan power grab based on her personal opinion. The Mackinac Straits utility tunnel is the best option to protect our Great Lakes, maintain a critical supply of energy to Northern Michigan families and provide well-paying Michigan jobs.

Misinformation on principal residence exemption
Unfortunately, while many residents were filling out their taxes, they received false information on social media saying their principal residence exemption is only good for 25 years and they will see a huge tax increase once they hit that mark.

To be clear: Your principal residence exemption (PRE) never expires, and you do not need to refile for it unless you move. A PRE exempts a residence from the tax levied by a local school district for school operating purposes up to 18 mills. To qualify, a person must be a Michigan resident who owns and occupies the property as a principal residence.

State officials and local assessors experienced a surge in inquiries from residents trying to verify the misinformation or submit unneeded paperwork. Contact my office if you have any questions.

Area schools receive 2019 safety grants
A safe and secure school environment is critical to our effort to provide all students with an education that prepares them for success.

Four schools in the 36th Senate District were awarded grants last month from the state’s 2019 Competitive School Safety Grant Program. These grants are the next step in ensuring that every school has the enhanced security needed to keep our students and teachers safe.

In 2018, we invested a total of $50 million into the grant program to help improve the safety and security of school buildings. The Michigan State Police in October awarded $25 million in grants to 188 schools statewide — including over $2 million to schools in Alcona, Alpena, Coleman, Gaylord, Gladwin, Midland, Mio and Sanford.

Last month, the state police awarded another $25 million in grants, including grants to the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District, Beaverton Rural Schools, Tawas Area Schools and Saint Brigid Catholic School in Midland.

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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