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Dear Friends,

Welcome to this month’s edition of my e-newsletter. It is an honor to serve the people of Hillsdale, Lenawee and Monroe counties as your voice in the Michigan Senate. I am eager to get to work as we begin the 102nd Legislature and will work with my colleagues to find common ground on responsible and effective solutions to meet our challenges and improve the lives of all Michigan families.

The goal of this e-newsletter is to help keep you informed about what’s happening in the 16th Senate District, in Lansing and across our state. I will also be sharing the latest information on my official Senate Facebook page. If you have any questions or need to get in contact with me, feel free to call my office toll-free at 1-855-347-8016 or via email at [email protected].

Working for you,

Joseph Bellino, Jr.
State Senator

Sworn in, elected associate president pro tempore of Senate

My wife, Peggy, brothers Mark and Mike, niece Emily, and nephew Ben joined me on the first day of session as I was formally sworn in as senator for the 16th District by Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Elizabeth T. Clement.

I was also elected as associate president pro tempore by the full Senate. In the position, I will be the highest ranked Republican to lead the chamber during session when the lieutenant governor is absent.

I’m honored to be chosen by my colleagues for this leadership role, which will help in my efforts to work with senators on both sides of the aisle to achieve real results that improve our great state.

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Senate office is open

I thank you for entrusting me with the responsibility of being your senator, and my office is open and ready to meet your needs.

My excellent staff includes Chief of Staff Joe Martin, Constituent Relations Director Margie Roggelin, and District Liaison Tracey Oberleiter. Our top priority is to provide you with the best service possible, and they will help tremendously to achieve that goal.

For people wishing to visit our office in person, we’re located in Room 5300 of the Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building, at 201 Townsend St. in Lansing, across the street from the Michigan Capitol.

The mailing address is Sen. Joseph Bellino, P. O. Box 30036, Lansing, MI 48909.

Additional information is available on my official Senate website at

Click here or on the image below to see a video I recorded welcoming you to my office and outline a few of my priorities.

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Bellino applauds anticipated income tax rollback

Every January, state and economic leaders come together to offer their economic and state tax revenue projections at the first of at least two annual Consensus Revenue Estimating Conferences. The second conference is held the third week in May.

The January 2023 conference once again revealed that the state of Michigan is bringing in more tax revenue than economists projected last year. Responsible, Republican management of taxpayer dollars has led to a strong state budget outlook.

Despite Democratic previous inaction to help struggling families and seniors, the state’s revenue forecast is expected to trigger a permanent individual income tax rate reduction. The trigger would take effect for the 2023 tax year and could possibly lead to an individual income tax rate reduction from 4.25% to 4.05%, according to the non-partisan House and Senate fiscal agencies.

Supported tax relief for working families, opposed bill limited to public retirees

I recently voted to support legislation to increase the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) while opposing a bill that would inequitably cut taxes for people receiving public retirement benefits.

Senate Bill 3 would increase the state’s EITC from 6% to 30% of the federal EITC beginning with the 2022 tax year. Taxpayers would not actually claim the extra 24% for the 2022 tax year on their tax returns. Instead, for the 2022 tax year, the state would figure the amount owed to the taxpayer that is above the current 6% and provide that credit as a tax refund.

This would provide the average working-class household with an additional $600 a year at a time when inflation continues to impact family budgets across our state. Thankfully, the bill was amended before being passed to provide this relief immediately, instead of forcing people to wait four years to get the full benefit. It is a huge step forward to using some of our historic budget surplus to help Michigan families keep more of their hard-earned wages.

I voted against SB 1, which would unfairly exempt certain retirement income from the state income tax, such as public retirement or pension benefits.

I have long supported ending the retirement tax, but all our seniors should get this relief — not just those who worked for the government. Since SB 1 doesn’t provide relief to all seniors, I could not support it.

Whether a Michigan senior worked for the state, owned a small business, built cars on the line, or is still working, they should be treated equally. Working for state government for 30 years shouldn’t entitle a retiree to lower taxes than someone who repaired cars for the same amount of time.

Below is a video of my floor remarks on an amendment I offered to SB 1 that would have created a $500 per child tax credit to help all working-class families around our state. The Democrats voted down my amendment.

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Free snowmobiling weekend Feb. 11-12

This year, Michigan will be hosting a free snowmobiling weekend.

The free weekend is set for Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 11-12. It is the result of Public Acts 55 and 56, which were passed by the Legislature in 2022. During these two days, snowmobilers can operate their machines without the need for a snowmobile registration or trail permit.

For more information on snowmobiling in Michigan, including trail maps, visit

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Catholic Schools Week

I recently sponsored Senate Resolution 3 designating Jan. 29 through Feb. 4 as Catholic Schools Week in the state of Michigan to celebrate the tremendous impact that Catholic schools have on thousands of Michigan children.

Our Catholic schools were created to help educate Catholics and immigrants when Protestantism permeated the public schools and Catholic children were ridiculed and often punished for their beliefs. What resulted was the creation of the largest parochial school system in the world. Today, there are 49,269 students attending 212 Catholic elementary and high schools throughout our great state.

Catholic schools instill a broad, values-based education, emphasizing the lifelong development of moral, intellectual and social values in young people — making them responsible citizens of our state and nation. These schools also educate many students who are non-Catholic and many who are economically disadvantaged.

We support the continued dedication of Catholic schools across Michigan toward academic excellence and the key role they play in promoting and ensuring a brighter, stronger future for our students and our state.

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Winter Free Fishing Weekend is Feb. 18-19

Michigan’s annual Winter Free Fishing Weekend is this month. On Feb. 18-19, all fishing license fees will be waived, but all fishing regulations still apply.

Residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing on both inland lakes and the Great Lakes for all species of fish.

Visit for information on special events and activities. A state Recreation Passport will not be required at any state park or recreation area during the free fishing weekend.

Remember that ice fishing can be dangerous if people do not follow safety procedures or head out on the ice unprepared. Click here for information on ice fishing.

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Senator Joseph Bellino, Jr.
5300 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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