Senator Jim Stamas E-Newsletter
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Visitors to the Capitol

This week, I had the opportunity to welcome a couple of friends from Northern Michigan to the Michigan State Capitol! Matt and Ken Debrosse stopped by to see me on the floor and observe the ways of the Michigan Legislature. Michelle Edrington from the Iosco County Road Commission was in Lansing for the County Road Association of Michigan Annual Conference. And Brianne Becker was honored by the Michigan Community College Association and is pictured with her parents. Great to see all of you!

Matt and Ken Debrosse
Rep. Pettalia and Michelle Edrington from the Iosco County Road Commission
Brianne Becker and parents

I had the pleasure of having Ms. Melissa Fairchild, a political science student from Gaylord, Michigan, join me to experience a day in the life of a state senator. Best of luck the rest of the semester! Hope you learned a lot and enjoyed the day!

Melissa Fairchild and me on the Senate floor


Joint Flint water committee meeting held in Flint

The Joint Committee on the Flint Water Public Health Emergency, which I am honored to chair, held a public meeting in downtown Flint to take testimony from officials, medical professionals and members of the public on the city’s water emergency.

This was an important and meaningful hearing to help the committee fulfill its obligations to review findings concerning the water emergency and mistakes made at all levels of government that led to this situation and explore potential legislative actions to prevent a similar disaster in the future.

Joint Flint water committee meeting held in Flint The Joint Committee on the Flint Water Public Health Emergency, which I am honored to chair, held a
Flint committee hearing

Senate Bill 444 signed into law

Senate Bill 444
Sen. Stamas, Midland Fire Department Chief Chris Coughlin, Roxanne Affholter of Michigan Crisis Response Association and Gov. Rick Snyder

Our emergency service providers — like our police, firefighters and EMS workers — work in high-stress professions and many times need assistance dealing with that stress. That is where Michigan’s Critical Incident Stress Management teams come in. They help our public safety workers deal with critical stress, such as a traumatic event or loss of a co-worker.

This new law is part of an effort to encourage more of our first responders to use these tremendously helpful services.


Governor signs Stamas bill for Alpena Regional Medical Center partnership with MidMichigan Health

Legislation to pave the way for a partnership of Alpena Regional Medical Center (ARMC) and MidMichigan Health has been signed by the governor.

This has always been about making sure that Northern Michigan residents continue to have convenient access to local, comprehensive health care, and I thank everyone who helped make it a reality. With the signing of this reform, Alpena Regional Medical Center and MidMichigan Health will now be able to enter a partnership that improves the long-term future of the hospital and enable it to provide the best care possible to its patients.

Senate Bill 644, now Public Act 45 of 2016, allows the ARMC board to convert the community-owned hospital into a nonprofit corporation subject to the state’s nonprofit law. The new act will enable the Alpena Board of Commission to work with ARMC to pursue an agreement with MidMichigan Health.

Bill funds firefighter cancer treatment

When entering a burning building, firefighters come in direct contact with many toxins and carcinogens. Some types of cancer affect firefighters at greater rates, including lymphatic, respiratory, skin, brain, blood, bladder, kidney, thyroid, testicle and prostate cancers.

The Senate recently passed legislation to add $1 million to the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund, which assists firefighters with the specific types of cancer that can be linked to their job.

I am pleased to see funding put in place to help our first responders and will work to ensure continued funding as part of the budget process. Senate Bill 802 has been sent to the House Committee on Appropriations.

Bill to boost organ donations

More than 3,500 people in Michigan are currently awaiting an organ transplant. Oftentimes, the transplant helps save a person’s life.

I recently supported legislation to help increase the number of registered organ donors. Senate Bill 541 would require the secretary of state’s office to ask individuals applying for a driver’s license if they would like to be added to the Michigan organ donor registry. The bill has been referred to the House for consideration.

For information about organ donation or to join the registry, visit


Natural Resources Trust Fund projects

The Michigan Senate approved legislation to allocate $27.96 million from the Natural Resources Trust Fund for 70 projects across the state.

The plan includes $300,000 toward a $2,089,600 improvement to the Alpena to Hillman Rail Trail. The enhancement will improve surfacing and bridge crossings for 13.5 miles of the trail from Franklin Street in Alpena to M-65. The project will increase access to the trail for multiple types of users and provide fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities.

In Iosco County, $296,000 in trust fund dollars will go toward a $1,373,300 trail project. The development of a 2.2-mile trail and pedestrian bridge that is part of the Iosco Exploration Trail and Iron Belle Trail will connect Oscoda to the Oscoda Schools complex. The trail will cross the Au Sable River and run through the Huron-Manistee National Forest.

An Oscoda Township project in Iosco County calls for the NRTF to contribute $416,200 toward the $562,500 acquisition of more than two acres immediately north of Oscoda Beach Park.


Jobless rate falls to lowest rate in 15 years!

Michigan’s unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent in February — below the national average! The jobless rate was well below the February 2015 rate of 5.9 percent.

Over the year, Michigan’s labor force increased by nearly 2 percent, outpacing the national growth rate of 1.3 percent since February 2015.

The news followed an unemployment rate decline in January to 4.9 percent, the lowest state monthly rate since June 2001. Both the state’s workforce and total employment rose during January. State officials reported notable increases in manufacturing, leisure and hospitality services and financial activities. In fact, January’s increase in manufacturing jobs continued a trend seen throughout 2015, with jobs growing in the manufacturing sector for nine of the last 12 months.

Graduation rates continue to improve

Michigan’s four-year high school graduation rate increased to nearly 80 percent for the 2014-15 school year. The upward trend continued for five-year and six-year graduation rates as well. Graduation rates are calculated by following individual students from the time they first enroll as ninth-graders and are a good way to measure school accountability.

Dropout rates also declined, continuing a positive four-year trend. Find graduation and dropout rates for schools and districts at in the Kindergarten – 12th Grade section.

Road construction projects set

The 2016 Paving the Way state construction map is now available online at The map details the major road repairs scheduled this season on state highways and trunk-lines, along with the construction dates.

State construction information and up-to-date traffic information is also available on the Mi Drive website at, as well as the Mi Drive mobile app, available on iTunes and Google Play.

MI Fishing Guide

Michigan fishing guide now available

With 153 species of native or naturalized fish, Michigan offers the most diverse and high quality freshwater fishery in the country!

Get to know fishing rules, seasons, regulation changes, license information and more in the official 2016-2017 Michigan Fishing Guide. As this is a two-year guide, always check online for the most recent information, including any new regulation changes at

The guide is available where fishing licenses are sold or online at


Senate District 36 Map

The 36th Senate District

The 36th Senate District is made up of 10 counties, which includes: Presque Isle, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Oscoda, Alcona, Iosco, Arenac, Gladwin and Midland counties.

Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the 36th 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 36th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website or via Facebook.

Senator Jim Stamas
920 Farnum Bldg.
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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