Download images to view this photo

Dear Friends:

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and provide updates about what is going on at Michigan’s Capitol.

I am the state senator for the 18th District – covering all of Barry County and parts of Allegan, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent and Ionia counties. Please feel free to contact me with any issues related to state government at [email protected], or by calling 517-373-1734 or toll-free at 855-347-8018.


Download graphics to view this image

Thomas Albert
State Senator

Lansing Democrats pass another disappointing budget

Democrats in Lansing have once again used their position in the majority to pass an unsustainable and irresponsible budget plan that creates more debt, fails to support students, and leaves taxes higher than they should be.

After blowing through a record $9 billion budget surplus last year, Democrats are using costly gimmicks to continue their inflated spending in the new fiscal year. They chose to return Michigan’s income tax rate to 4.25% instead of keeping it at the lower 4.05% that was in place for 2023 — costing state taxpayers roughly $700 million. Democrats also raided $670 million from the teacher retirement fund, which will lead to higher debt payments and less money for the classroom in the future.

The out-of-control spending will make inflation worse and won’t make our state a better place to live. Perhaps the most surprising disappointment is that for the first time in over a decade, Michigan’s classrooms will not receive an increase in per-pupil funding. Additionally, this budget reduces investment in school safety and student mental health. All of this could have easily been avoided. It is the worst school aid budget in my eight years in Lansing, and it likely will lead to layoffs in many school districts.

The budget also creates about 450 new state government positions and continues wasteful spending on corporate welfare, which will put a strain on state finances for years to come.

I outline my opposition to this budget plan in this press release, and in speeches on the Senate floor.

Senate votes to expand FOIA

The Senate recently voted to pass historic, bipartisan legislation to increase government transparency by expanding Freedom of Information Act applications to include the governor’s office and state Legislature. I supported this legislation.

Michigan is one of only a few states that does not require its Legislature and governor to respond to record requests under its FOIA laws. This oversight earned the state an F-grade in government integrity from the national Center for Public Integrity in its 2015 report.

Senate Bills 669 and 670 would add the governor, lieutenant governor, and Legislature to the list of public bodies subject to FOIA. The bills now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Check for updates on avian influenza

Avian influenza – sometimes called “bird flu” or HPAI – continues to be an issue in Michigan, which is impacting livestock and poultry exhibits on this summer’s fair circuit.

A new order from state officials took effect July 1. Exhibits of birds and animals at fairs are generally permitted, but with safeguards and restrictions in place to protect health. People attending fairs this summer are likely to notice signs related to this order. Some fairs are deciding to alter or cancel exhibits, so if you plan to exhibit this summer, stay in touch with your local organizations.

Because this is an ongoing situation, it is subject to change at virtually any time. To track developments, please visit this website from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. You can sign up for emails here. The website includes a section on frequently asked questions, a map updating where avian influenza has been detected, and many other resources.

Weekly fishing updates available from DNR

As fishing enjoys a boost in popularity, more people across Michigan find themselves asking: Where are the fish biting?

The Department of Natural Resources can help answer that question through this website. The weekly fishing report is intended to give anglers an idea of conditions around the state, including updates compiled over the previous seven days.

You can also sign up for email updates to get the fishing report sent to your inbox each week.

More options for Michigan license plates

The Michigan Legislature recently approved the creation of new fundraising license plates for the benefit of charitable causes. These plates will benefit 4-H and sickle cell anemia research. Some of these plates will be new, others will be renewals.

The Legislature also approved the development of a special registration license plate for individuals who were or are members of the United States Merchant Marine.

This legislation would take effect if signed into law by the governor.

For a full list of license plate options available in Michigan, visit this Secretary of State website.

Michigan's 18th Senate District

Download images to view this photo

Senator Thomas A. Albert
4500 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Visit my website at:

Privacy Policy   |   Unsubscribe