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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Welcome to the most recent edition of my monthly e-newsletter. Thank you for allowing me to represent you in the Michigan Senate. I am grateful each and every day to work for the people of the 33rd Senate District.

Budgets are moving forward, and my colleagues and I continue to look at ways we can get some relief into the hands of Michiganders who have been hardest hit by this pandemic. I have also pledged to work with the state’s unemployment insurance agency to make meaningful changes to the agency’s operating procedures and improve their customer service for state residents.

You can read more about recent news in Lansing below!


Rick Outman
State Senator
33rd District


Outman announces May office hours

My office recently announced office hours meetings for the month of May!

I will be available to answer questions and provide information and assistance, as well as take suggestions on issues affecting communities and businesses in the district. No appointment is necessary.

If you plan to participate, please follow social distancing and other recommended guidelines.

For more information or to contact my office, please visit or call 517-373-3760.

Next week’s office hours are as follows:

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Monday, May 17
10 – 11 a.m.
Surrey Township Public Library
105 E. Michigan St.

1 – 2 p.m.
Morley Community Center
151 Seventh St.

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Friday, May 21
11 a.m. – noon
Richland Township Library
8821 Third St.

1 – 2 p.m.
Thompson Home Public Library
125 W. Center St.

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Library
301 S. University Ave.
Mt. Pleasant


Senate action brings 2022 budget one step closer to completion

The state Senate recently finished approving subcommittee appropriations budgets, which brings the fiscal year 2022 budget one step closer to completion as lawmakers continue hashing out the final details.

The plan would invest $15.8 billion in K-12 education, a total increase of $249 million. The bill increases per-pupil payments for students and includes additional funding to help schools deal with side effects of this pandemic, including the growing mental health issues among young people.

The Senate increased funding beyond the governor’s recommendations to support a permanent wage increase of $2.35 per hour for direct care workers. The Senate proposal would also fund a $2 per hour increase for front-line workers employed by child-caring institutions.

Transportation funding also remained a priority for the Senate. In an effort to continue the overhaul of Michigan’s crumbling roads, the Senate dedicated more resources for state road and bridge construction and $2.2 billion for local transportation infrastructure projects.

I also joined lawmakers in calling for the secretary of state and unemployment offices to be opened as well. These offices have had their doors closed for over a year and it’s causing nothing but problems for the people both agencies are supposed to be serving. People are waiting months to transfer a title and countless eligible recipients are being denied benefits as the UIA shells out billions in fraudulent payments. Opening these offices, at least in part, could have prevented the fraud plaguing the UIA and eliminate the logjam in service we are seeing with both departments.

Other measures included in the budget are money for local health departments to maintain their ongoing efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic; more revenue sharing funding for local governments; funding to restore Gov. Whitmer’s cuts to the Animal Agriculture Initiative, which assists farmers and ensures food safety; money to train 120 new Michigan State Police Troopers, including resources for de-escalation techniques; funding for grants to help struggling veterans with expenses; and $77 million to assist with child care costs for struggling Michigan families.

Our central focus is getting our state back to normal. We’re working to continue getting relief to those in need, funding important measures, and furthering our resurgence from COVID-19 — all without raising taxes. We’ve cut a lot of spending from the budget as a way to tighten our belts. I think we are in a good place financially as we continue to manage the uncertainties of the pandemic and our future.


Speak up against Gov. Whitmer’s endless emergency!

When MIOSHA put their COVID-19 emergency workplace safety rules in place last October, they said these rules were to help stop the spread of the virus and keep workers safe. Now, the governor and MIOSHA are trying to make their COVID-19 emergency workplace rules permanent.

Under the proposed permanent rules, employers would still have to adhere to many directives like requiring that their employees wear masks at all times, that social distancing be enforced and that employers create a policy prohibiting in-person work to the extent that work can be feasibly completed remotely, among others. Additionally, the department could keep these directives in place after the state’s emergency orders have been rescinded.

If you believe these rules are an overreach and will hurt already struggling Michigan businesses, make your voice heard! Michigan workers and job providers have the opportunity to speak out against these proposed rules.

We recently launched a website where you can provide your input on the proposed rules and speak out against Gov. Whitmer’s endless emergency. The information you provide on the website will be sent directly to the department on your behalf as a public comment. Visit our website at to submit your public comment. Comments must be submitted by May 26 at 5 p.m.

We need reasonable, long-term solutions that recognize the COVID-19 emergency will end, not a one-size-fits-all set of rules that are overly burdensome and do not account for increased vaccine availability. Our businesses and communities are struggling. Michigan needs to move forward, not be handcuffed by permanent restrictions that will negatively impact our economy and further damage our already struggling communities.


MDARD pesticide application registry now live

I worked with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to institute a new policy that will allow folks to be added to a pesticide registry that alerts residents when an application will take place nearby.

Residents can subscribe to receive email alerts that will alert them to aerial application, as well as things like Eastern Equine Encephalitis or West Nile Virus outbreaks.

The concern was originally brought to me by beekeepers in my district who were unhappy with the current notification system. Previously, they had relied on announcements in the newspaper or on the news that didn’t always give them an adequate time frame to set up measures to protect their hives.

I began discussions with the department and we mutually agreed that we could do better to serve Michiganders.

The idea is to get folks an official alert via a modern method that tells them if they are in an area that will be treated and roughly when the application will occur.

More information and the form to sign up for alerts can be found here.


Outman supports legislation to expand broadband access in rural communities

The state Senate recently approved legislation to help folks in rural communities get access to fast, reliable internet. Unfortunately, Gov. Whitmer vetoed this legislation for a second time on May 13.

Data has shown us that nearly half a million residents don’t have reliable internet service or any internet service at all. The internet is becoming a necessity just to get by in your day-to day business like banking, taxes, paying bills, or when using the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency or trying to make an appointment at the secretary of state.

Senate Bill 46 would have helped close the gap between Michigan communities and assisted with connecting rural Michigan to reliable internet access. However, twice now the governor has actively chosen to let communities like ours fall behind.

She vetoed a previous version of this bill highlighting concerns with speed requirements. We acknowledged and accepted her concerns in good faith and put forth another bill to reach common ground. However, the governor again chose to veto that legislation. The governor now claims her office is doing enough to solve the lack of reliable internet that plagues so many communities across the state and that this legislation isn’t needed. Again, and again we see a ‘go it alone’ attitude out of our governor. She has, without a doubt, proven that she has no interest in collaborative work.

The pandemic has really highlighted the need for reliable internet access. Folks in rural communities have been forced to rely on poor internet connections and inconsistent internet service — and at times even no internet service — for their children’s schooling or to be able to do their jobs remotely. But because the governor has access to triple-digit speeds in her taxpayer-funded home, she doesn’t believe this legislation was needed and folks in our community can wait until her office gets around to helping.

She has routinely turned her back on rural Michigan, and this is just another glaring example.


Outman votes to approve Long Term Care Ombudsman accessibility

Over the course of the past year, many Long-Term Care Ombudsmen and their volunteers were not able to access facilities due to the lockdown measures put in place during the pandemic. As a result, many facilities went unchecked.

Senate Bill 213 would allow the ombudsman or a representative to enter a facility for an investigation without restriction if a facility’s visitor restriction lasts longer than seven days. For restrictions shorter than seven days, the facility would have to make a good faith effort to facilitate a virtual visit.

The bill, which is supported by the ombudsman, would align Michigan law with federal regulations to allow the same access hours for the ombudsman and representatives and access to residents’ guardian contact information.

The bill is now in the House of Representatives for consideration.


Wildlife Habitat Grant application period now open

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Now through June 4, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Habitat Grant Program is accepting applications for habitat improvement and enhancement projects.

Funding is available for local, state, federal and tribal governments, profit and nonprofit groups, and individuals through an open, competitive process. Minimum grant amounts will be set at $15,000, with the maximum being the amount of funds available for the grant cycle. The 2021 overall available grant amount is approximately $1 million.

The Wildlife Habitat Grant Program began in October 2013 and is funded from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses. The DNR administers the program to enhance and improve the quality and quantity of game species habitat in support of the Wildlife Division’s strategic plan.

Applications will be accepted from April 19 to June 4 through the MiGrants system. Projects enhancing game species habitat will be given priority. Successful grant applications will be announced in August 2021.

More information and the detailed program handbook is available at


Outman reminds residents about website to assist with pending UIA claims

My staff and I are still working diligently to assist constituents with their unemployment claims.

I can be most helpful if I have all of the information about your claim, so I created a form on my website for you to submit all of your concerns at once. Please share this link with anyone in the 33rd District who still needs help with UIA.

You can find the form by visiting my website or at:

Outings with Outman

Mt. Pleasant Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast

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I had the pleasure of attending the Mt. Pleasant Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast where I had a chance to speak with local officials and provide an update on what’s happening in Lansing!

62nd Annual Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival

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The Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival is an event I look forward to every year.

Unfortunately, the pandemic made things a bit different than we are accustomed to, but it was a terrific event none-the-less.

I want to thank the volunteers who work hard every year to put this event on and create an atmosphere for residents of the community to enjoy!

A well-deserved retirement!

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I recently had the humbling experience of recognizing the service of and celebrating the career of one of the 33rd District’s most dedicated public servants.

It is with great respect for his 39 years of service with the St. Louis Area Fire Department that we honor Chief Richard Apps. After years of distinguished service to Michigan, Richard is leaving to enjoy a well-deserved retirement. On behalf of the people he has served so well, we thank him.

I was pleased to join my son, Rep. Patrick Outman, in presenting Richard with a tribute honoring his decades of service.


Our District

The 33rd state Senate District includes Clare, Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta, and Montcalm Counties.

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the 33rd 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 33rd District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Rick Outman
4400 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Visit my website at: