Senator Jim Stamas E-Newsletter

Serving You
I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year. 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.

Brief year in review
As we look ahead to a new year of challenges and opportunity, I would like to share a brief look at some important 2017 legislative accomplishments. Please visit www.misenategop.com for more information on these and other legislative efforts.

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Education is a top priority
Education is vital to our future, and we further increased support to schools by more than $415 million while also paying down more than $1 billion in retirement costs to help put additional dollars into the classroom.

Roughly 46 cents of every state tax dollar goes to public education, and Michigan is — once again — spending more this year on K-12 education than ever in state history. Every school is getting an increase in their per-student foundation allowance in the budget, which includes an additional $120 million in at-risk funding to cover more children and a boost in support for career and technical education.

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Fighting back against the opioid epidemic
We took action to help combat the abuse of prescription drugs in an effort to curb the rising opioid abuse epidemic. New laws will better educate patients about the dangers of addiction to doctor-prescribed painkillers and ensure better reporting by physicians.

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Protecting our natural resources
From hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and more, Pure Michigan offers unmatched recreational opportunities. We invested an additional $13 million in the fiscal year 2018 budget in our state parks and trails for continued improvements, upgrades and developments.

Travelers: most rest areas open during winter
Nearly all of the state’s 78 rest areas are scheduled to remain open this winter. The Michigan Department of Transportation has closed five rest areas because of reduced use during winter months and safety concerns. They are all scheduled to reopen in April.

Three of closed rest areas are in northern Michigan, including the St. Ignace Rest Area on southbound I-75 in Mackinac County, the Topinabee Rest Area on northbound I-75 in Cheboygan County, and the Hebron Rest Area on southbound I-75 in Cheboygan County.

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Spring turkey application period is open!
Residents can purchase 2018 spring turkey hunting applications through Feb. 1. Purchases can be made online at E-license or anywhere hunting licenses are sold.

The 2018 spring turkey season runs April 23 through May 31, with several hunt periods to choose from. Hunt 234 offers the most days to hunt, valid from May 7-31. Licenses for that hunt go on sale over the counter on March 19.

The Spring Turkey Digest explains regulations, season dates, and hunt units.

Beginning March 5, applicants can see if they were drawn for a license at www.michigan.gov/turkey. Any leftover licenses will be sold until the quota is met in each hunt unit and hunt period. Hunters may purchase one spring turkey license.

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Home heating help
As the weather turns cold, some households may have trouble paying their winter heating bills. The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) urges customers to first contact their utility company if they are unable to pay their bill on time, before receiving a shut-off notice. Seniors and low-income customers may be eligible for the Winter Protection Plan, a program to protect against service shut-off and high utility payments between Nov. 1 and March 31. Contact the gas or electric company to apply.

Other assistance programs are available for shut-off protection, including the State Emergency Relief program and utility help for active duty military families. Click here for more information as well as weatherization tips or visit www.michigan.gov/mpsc and type in the keywords Be WinterWise.

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Ice fishing safety tips
Michigan anglers can enjoy great fishing opportunities during the winter season. Like any outdoor activity during the colder months, winter fishing has its own set of safety rules.

When fishing on the ice, the Department of Natural Resources urges anglers to test ice thickness and quality with a spud and avoid ice around docks and pilings, and inlets or outlets.

Click here for more ice safety tips, including what to know when venturing out on the ice or if you fall through the ice. Take extra care and enjoy Michigan great outdoors!

Supporting bills to increase road safety
A study last year by CarInsuranceComparison.com ranked Michigan motorists as the eighth-best drivers in the country. Legislation recently passed by the Senate would help make driving on Michigan roadways even safer if signed into law. The legislation includes:

Senate Bill 521 to require drivers to treat intersections where a traffic signal is out as a four-way stop. The bill doesn’t apply to traffic signals that are only active at certain times, such as those outside a school or fire department.
Senate Bill 477 to require drivers to slow down and “move over” when approaching a vehicle with amber flashing lights, such as a utility or tow truck. Drivers are already required to move over if an emergency vehicle with flashing lights is on the side of the road, or if unsafe to do so, pass with caution at a safe, reduced speed.

Both bills have been sent to the House for consideration.

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
201 Townsend Street Suite #5200
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Visit my website at: www.SenatorJimStamas.com

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