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Dear Friends,

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have much to be thankful for, and my thoughts are with the men and women serving our country who were unable to be with their families.

To better serve you, I am offering this e-newsletter on what’s happening in our community and across our state.

I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may call toll-free at 1-855-347-8028 or email [email protected]. 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.

Working for you,

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Mark Huizenga
State Senator

Home heating assistance

With the winter heating season in full swing, some households may struggle to pay their winter heating bills. I want to remind area families that help with home heating bills may be available.

First, if you are unable to pay your bills, please contact the utility company ASAP and explain the situation. Being proactive could help keep the heat on and save your life. The Winter Protection Plan safeguards seniors and low-income customers from service shutoffs. It allows eligible customers to avoid shutoffs while paying nothing or just a small percentage of their annual bill during the protection period. To apply, residents should contact their natural gas or utility company.

The state of Michigan also offers several energy assistance programs to help eligible senior and low-income households.

• Customers can contact 211 or their utility company to see what programs are available in their area. Dial 211 or go online to for information about available services.
• To apply online for Michigan Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) and the State Emergency Relief (SER) program, visit the MI Bridges website.
• For assistance with county-specific programs, contact the MDHHS county office where assistance is needed.

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District office hours on Dec. 9

I am holding in-person office hours throughout the district on a regular basis because hearing directly from the people about the issues they are facing is an important part of representing everyone in West Michigan. These meetings give local residents a chance to express their viewpoints about what needs to be done and offer help to people dealing with a variety of state issues.

I will be available to meet with constituents from 8 to 9 a.m. at Herman’s Boy, 220 Northland Drive NE in Rockford, and 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Mr. Burger, 5181 Northland Drive NE in Plainfield.

Office hours are open to all residents, and no appointment is necessary. Anyone who is unable to attend the office hour may contact my office.

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‘Tis the season for holiday scams

The holiday season is a wonderful time to gather with family and friends. Unfortunately, it is also the season for scammers and cybercriminals. I encourage everyone to be mindful of scams and to take steps to protect their personal information.

While the internet has increased convenience for shoppers, it has also made it easier for scam artists to commit financial or identification crimes. To help protect themselves, residents should keep browser and security software up to date, make sure to use only legitimate and secure websites, be wary of clicking on links on social media or in emails and never give out your credit card, bank account or Social Security numbers over the phone.

The attorney general’s office is currently highlighting “20 Days of Scams” on its website, which also includes links to numerous “Consumer Alerts.”

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Celebrating Native American heritage

November is Native American Heritage Month! Signed into federal law by President George H. W. Bush, Native American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the contributions Native Americans make to our country and states' diverse cultures.

Did you know that our state's name, Michigan, derives from the Ojibwe language? In Anishinaabemowin, michigami means "great water." This seems fitting, as we are the Great Lakes State after all!

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Happy Little 5K

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is once again hosting its Bob Ross-inspired Run For The Trees: Happy Little 5K. This very popular event has helped generate a stable source of funding for Michigan state parks.

Race proceeds support tree planting and forest protection efforts — such as invasive plant and forest pest management and early detection surveys — in Michigan state parks and recreation areas. Many of these locations have been affected by tree pests and diseases like emerald ash borer and oak wilt.

Runners, walkers and hikers can complete their 5K anywhere outdoors anytime between April 22-28. For $34 per person, each participant will receive a keepsake Happy Little T-shirt, a commemorative bib number and a finisher’s medal. Registration is now open.

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Winter driving safety

Over the holidays, many Michigan families will travel to celebrate with loved ones. A happy holiday season is a safe one — which starts with being safe while on the roads.

During the 2016 to 2020 winter seasons, there were 202,232 crashes reported in Michigan on icy, snowy, or slushy roads, resulting in 370 fatalities and 2,530 suspected serious injuries. While it’s easy to blame the weather, every driver can improve winter driving safety. Click here to read some simple tips from the state police on how you can make the roads safer for everyone this winter.

Please drive safely, allow extra room between vehicles, brake softly, turn carefully, turn off the cruise control and check out road conditions before heading out. It is also wise to check your tires, make sure your wipers work and keep an emergency kit in the car.

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Serving the people of West Michigan is very important to me and I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may contact me by calling toll-free 1-855-347-8028 or emailing [email protected] .

I look forward to serving you, and I encourage you to contact me if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Senator Mark Huizenga
201 Townsend St., Suite #7200
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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