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Dear Friends,

To better serve you, I am offering this e-newsletter on what’s happening in the 28th Senate District 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

Once-in-a-lifetime infrastructure investments

Last week, I voted for legislation to invest $4.7 billion in making critical improvements to the state’s water, transportation, broadband and parks infrastructure. This funding agreement represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to make game-changing improvements to our state and our communities that will benefit Michigan families for decades.

Instead of using our one-time federal funds to make unnecessary and unsustainable increases in government, we focused on positive investments to enhance people’s lives — like dedicating $60 million to help reduce PFAS and other contaminants from our drinking water.

These historic investments will improve our aging water and wastewater infrastructure, fix our roads and bridges, replace lead pipes, support more affordable housing, increase access to high-speed internet, and make vital upgrades to our parks and trails — including $55 million for the Grand River Greenway from Grand Rapids to Grand Haven.

Senate Bill 565 would use $4.1 billion in federal funding and $571 million in state resources to make important infrastructure investments across the state, including over $1.7 billion to help communities improve their drinking water and wastewater infrastructure — with at least 25% of drinking water funds dedicated to replacing lead pipes.

The bill also features:

• Nearly $317 million in federal funding to fixing aging roads and bridges.
• $250 million to rebuild dams destroyed or damaged in 2020 and prioritize risk reduction projects at other dams in the state.
• Over $322 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds for small local governments.
• $504 million in federal rental and mortgage assistance funding for those experiencing a pandemic-related financial hardship.
• $250 million to make infrastructure upgrades at state parks.
• $50 million to help install filtered water stations in schools.
• $35 million to fix failing septic systems.
• $92.8 million for airport infrastructure projects.

The bill was signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on March 29.

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A visit to Walker Charter Academy

I recently visited Walker Charter Academy, where I read to several classes and delivered a tribute recognizing the institution on being named a Top 10 Charter Elementary School in Michigan by Niche, an organization that specializes in data and rankings.

It was great to congratulate the students, teachers, staff, and parents for this well-earned achievement. Being honored as a Top 10 Charter Elementary School in Michigan is a testament to their innovation and personal dedication. Principal Steve Bagley and the entire Walker Charter Academy team focus on the belief that achieving great results starts with expecting great results; and their students have proved this theory by accepting nothing less than their best.

Walker ranked in 10th place and received a grade of A in Niche’s rankings based on a rigorous analysis of key statistics and reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. The tuition-free, public charter school has an enrollment of over 700 students in Kindergarten through eighth grade and focuses on four key components: academic excellence through a focus on math and reading, moral focus (character education), partnership with parents, and student accountability.

After presenting a tribute, I had the chance to visit multiple second-, third- and fourth-grade classes to celebrate March is Reading Me.

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Touring the Gerald R. Ford International Airport

I recently visited the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR), where construction has begun on an eight-gate expansion project. As a major economic driver in our region, growth of the Grand Rapids airport spurs economic growth for all of West Michigan.

The $110 million expansion project, which is supported by GRR’s airline partners, will increase the facility’s guest experience, airport capacity, and market competition.

Access to air travel is a major factor in our area’s growth and we must ensure the state is partnering with airports like GRR and not impeding their growth. I look forward to working with airport leaders to investigate improvements to the Michigan Channeling Act, which designates MDOT as the pass-through for all federal transportation funding and has resulted in delays in federal relief dollars reaching airports in a timely manner. We need to focus on reducing red tape for professionally run airports in Michigan.

I was happy to learn during my tour that awareness in Michigan surrounding historical and future impacts of products containing PFAs at commercial service airports like GRR is cutting edge. I will continue working with all stakeholders — including our own state departments and federal representatives — on efforts to remediate harmful PFAs and find long-term resolutions.

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A first-hand look at PADNOS recycling

Last week, I had the opportunity to tour PADNOS’ Wyoming recycling center and get a first-hand look at some of the great sustainability innovations happening right here in West Michigan.

Earlier this year, the industrial recycling and scrap management company announced plans to invest $6.6 million to create jobs and expand its facility in Wyoming. Headquartered in West Michigan, PADNOS has been in business for a century and operates facilities throughout both Michigan and Indiana. It also has a nationwide reach and works with companies to reuse metal, paper, plastic and electronic waste.

I was happy to learn more about how PADNOS has been a leader in recycling and providing sustainable solutions to West Michigan’s recycling needs for decades, including focus on the areas’ waste streams and reducing plastic in the Great Lakes and oceans.

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New law protects road workers

The governor has officially signed my legislation, House Bill 5286, making it law! Now titled as Public Act 52 of 2022, this change allows construction zone speed limit signage to include lights that indicate when workers are present and an adjustable, digital display to showcase the current speed limit. With the authorization of this new signage, we can alert drivers to the presence of workers so that they can observe the posted speed limit and save lives.

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District office hours April 16, 22 and 29

An important part of representing everyone in West Michigan is hearing directly from the people about the issues they are facing. I will be holding in-person office hours throughout the district on a regular basis. 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.

The next three office hours opportunities are Saturday, April 16, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at New Beginnings, 4735 Lake Michigan Drive NW in Grand Rapids, Friday, April 22, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Herman’s Boy, 220 Northland Drive NE in Rockford and Friday, April 29, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Mr. Burger, 5181 Northland Drive NE in Plainfield.

Office hours are open to all residents and no appointment is necessary. Space is limited at some locations, and people are encouraged to take proper health safety precautions. Anyone who is unable to attend the office hours may contact my office.

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Serving the constituents of the 28th Senate district 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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