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Land-based industries economic roundtable highlights future opportunities for U.P.

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There is a tremendous opportunity on the horizon for the Upper Peninsula, especially in the current economic climate given the increasing need for materials and the push for new technologies. Our traditional land-based industries, like U.P. mining, are ripe to partner with the technology industry and help Michigan be a part of new technologies from the raw materials to finished products.

That is why I hosted an economic development and land-based industries roundtable on the campus of Michigan Technological University this week to discuss these important opportunities with lawmakers and industry leaders.

I was glad to welcome my legislative colleagues, state Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, who chairs the Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee; Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, who chairs the Senate Transportation, K-12 and Department of Education appropriations subcommittees; Rep. Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, and Rep. Greg Markkanen, R-Hancock.

Roundtable participants heard from individuals and organizations across the U.P., ranging from mining companies, timber organizations, economic and development authorities, battery manufacturing and recycling specialists, university and research personnel, and transportation/rail professionals.

The roundtable discussion also highlighted the global push happening to increase production of electric vehicles, resulting in an exponential need for mined metals — demonstrating the need for land-based industries — more than ever to make this transition happen.

Participants said it is important that policymakers look at ways to incentivize mining companies to do more research on ore bodies and create partnerships with research universities to explore new ways to process ore that are more efficient and sustainable.

Toward this goal, Upper Peninsula legislators introduced a mining bill package this summer to help match back a portion of state taxes paid by land-based industries directly to Michigan universities to incentivize the continual research and development of best practices.

I was encouraged about the tremendous possibility for partnership and innovation following the roundtable’s discussions. We would like to thank Michigan Tech for hosting this event and look forward to further conversations on these issues.

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Historic education budget signed into law

Recently, the fiscal year 2023 education budget was signed into law, which includes increases in funding for K-12 schools and boosts the per-student investment to a historic level.

Senate Bill 845 features a nearly $2.6 billion increase in K-12 school funding and boosts the minimum foundation allowance to $9,150 per student. It also provides $295 million to address student mental health, $305 million in scholarship funding to help address teacher shortages, and $168 million in school safety grants.

SB 845 also includes a 5% increase for university and community college operations, $300 million to pay down debt in the higher education retirement system, and $250 million in a fund for a new student scholarship program, details for which will be negotiated this summer.

Family-friendly fishing

Michigan is home to over 36,000 miles of streams, more than 11,000 lakes and ponds and more than 150 different fish species. The DNR offers an interactive “Family Friendly Fishing Waters” map to help families locate family-friendly fishing locations across the state.

The family-friendly locations are easy to access and have a high likelihood of catching fish. Locations can be filtered by the type of fish you want to catch, what kind of fishing you are looking for (boat, pier, shore), what amenities you would like (swimming, restrooms, etc.) and entrance fee.

U.P. residents beware new text message phishing scam

The Michigan Unemployment Agency is warning of a new text message phishing scam targeting Michigan residents who may have filed for unemployment insurance during the pandemic.

If you have filed for unemployment benefits and receive a text message claiming to be from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, ignore it — it’s a scam. UIA does not use text messaging to correspond with claimants or to process payments.

The agency’s anti-fraud investigators have learned of a recent phishing scheme to try to steal money and personal information from Michigan workers. The text message comes from an out-of-state phone number and provides a link to claim back payments. Do not click on the link. Report it as junk or spam and delete the text.

UIA communicates with claimants through their Michigan Web Account Manager account, letters mailed to the current address on file or by phone.

The suspicious text message is from a phone number with a 210 Area Code, which is in Texas. The message reads in part: “MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY: Your back payment deposit of $2,800 is now pending on your profile.” It then instructs the recipient to click on a strange link to receive payment. The link is to a fake, replica UIA website.

This is an example of a government imposter scam. More information on these types of scams can be found on the Attorney General's Consumer Alerts page.

Below you will find some additional tips from the UIA that can be helpful with protecting your personal information:

• Scrutinize the webpage URL or link that you receive. If it is not an official website, do not use it.
• If you do not trust a website or information, call UIA’s Customer Service at 1-866-500-0017 to verify what you are seeing.
• You should only link to UIA information or services through
• UIA will never ask a claimant to send information to our personal emails.
• UIA will never ask a claimant to text information back.
• Keep your MiLOGIN and MiWAM information secure, do not provide it to anyone.
• If someone calls and you are suspicious about the intent, hang up and call UIA at 1-866-500-0017 and request staff to send information to you through your MiWAM account.
• If a caller provides information that sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Hang up.
• Make sure your contact information is current should UIA staff need to reach you.

If you suspect fraud or identity theft, report it by clicking on the Report Fraud and Identity Theft link at and fill out a referral form. Be sure to fill out all the information and make sure it is current. You can also view this video from the UIA that explains how to report identity theft.

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Free ORV weekend

Ride Michigan’s 4,000 miles of off-road trails or the state’s five scramble areas during the second Free ORV Weekend of 2022.

Michigan residents and visitors can ride DNR-designated routes and trails from Aug. 20-21 without an ORV license or permit. All other ORV rules and laws still apply, and the Recreation Passport is required where applicable.

Fall turkey license applications now available

While it may seem like summer has just arrived, fall turkey hunting is right around the corner. Fall turkey hunting license applications for the 2022 season are now available through Aug. 1.

Applications are available for $5, online through eLicense or anywhere DNR licenses are sold. Applicants will be automatically notified of drawing results on Aug. 15 via email.

Senator Ed McBroom
7200 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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