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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Welcome to the latest edition of my e-newsletter.

Below you’ll find an update on what is going on in your state Capitol.

Thank you for allowing me to represent you in the Michigan Senate. I am grateful each and every day to work for the people of the 17th Senate District.

In Liberty,

Jonathan Lindsey
State Senator
17th District

Lindsey sponsors effort to help shield Michigan from border crisis, ban sanctuary cities in Michigan

The failed policies of President Joe Biden have allowed the free flow of illegal immigrants, deadly drugs and known and suspected terrorists into our country.

I sponsored legislation to help shield Michigan from these issues by taking strong, decisive action against the chaos at the southern border.

The Strong Borders, Safe Communities plan seeks to curb the rise in fentanyl-related crimes and deaths and includes increasing penalties for the production, delivery, or possession of fentanyl. The plan also calls on the president and Congress to put Americans first and immediately and fully resolve the ongoing border crisis.

My bill in the package, which the Democrat majority in the Senate refused to consider, would require every Michigan community to enforce federal immigration laws and end the practice of local governments declaring themselves “sanctuary cities.”

Local governments across the country, including some in this state, have given themselves this self-imposed status and openly displayed their willingness to ignore federal immigration laws and prevent federal immigration officials from doing their job. These policies are overwhelming communities all across the country, pushing their budgets to the limit, and putting the safety of United States citizens at risk. Unfortunately, the entire nation has seen the tragic consequences of this dereliction of duty by local governments who declare themselves a sanctuary for criminals.

The mayor of Denver, a self-declared “sanctuary city,” has recently called for an additional $100 million to help with housing, schooling, and health care for more than 40,000 migrants that have been added to the city’s population of just over 700,000. The city of Chicago has also been overwhelmed by an influx of migrants as parks and community centers have been turned into shelters. The state of Illinois and the city of Chicago have appropriated nearly $800 million to provide services to address this issue.

Unfortunately, the governor has doubled down on her support for the president’s open-door policies by asking people to open their own homes to help with the ever-growing migrant population in this state. This suggests to residents that it is once again their job to bear the burden of failed Democrat policies.

The governor’s tone-deaf, failed leadership on this issue mirrors that of our president as crime is rising across the United States.

I’m committed to preventing this crisis from taking hold of our state. We will not be a safe haven for those who break our nation’s laws and pose a risk to American citizens.

You can view my floor speech after Democrats denied these bills from being voted on by clicking here or on the image below.

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Gov. Whitmer announces 2025 budget proposal

At the beginning of every year, the annual budget process begins in order to prepare state funding for the coming fiscal year.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently laid out her spending plan for the 2025 fiscal year. Unfortunately for Michigan residents, the plan included much of the same tax and spend attitude we have seen from her administration.

I joined my colleagues in fighting to retain an income tax reduction that was previously passed and signed into law by Republicans, and I even introduced an effort to fully eliminate the income tax. Instead, Senate Democrats denied my proposal, and the governor and Attorney General Dana Nessel fought to raise the tax rate on individuals.

This $700 million tax increase wasn’t enough. The governor stated in her budget proposal that she was willing to raid the teacher pension fund to the tune of $670 million to fund her partisan proposals.

Last year, Democrats voted to significantly grow the state’s budget while also spending down a record $9 billion surplus. This year, the governor is proposing more massive, partisan spending that ignores the true needs of our state and forces taxpayers to open their pocketbooks even further. Now that the surplus is virtually gone and additional federal aid from the pandemic era has dried up, she’s desperate for money to spend and she’s coming to you with her hand out to get it.

Simply put: The governor is willing to increase your taxes during historic inflation, risk the retirements of teachers all over the state, and simply pass along more debt to our kids so she can continue her unsustainable and taxpayer-funded spending spree.

The proposal does nothing to help those struggling with inflation and higher costs of living. It does nothing to actually invest in our roads, pay off debt, save for a rainy day, or reel in spending. It does not meet any of the prerequisites of responsible budgeting.

The state has an obligation to taxpayers to use their dollars appropriately. We need to stop growing government at taxpayer expense and focus on responsible spending.

Lindsey legislation would prevent health department overreach

I recently introduced legislation that would limit the authority of the state’s health department and redirect it’s efforts toward being a source of information that empowers communities to make their own health decisions, rather than the blanket, top-down mandates we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer chose to go it alone without input from the Legislature and imposed some of the most restrictive orders in the country. After the Michigan Supreme Court struck down her ability to issue her extreme executive orders, she did an end-run around the ruling and began using the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to issue orders under the guise of public safety.

This essentially weaponized MDHHS against residents and businesses and turned the department into a de facto law enforcement agency rather than a trusted source of information and support. The department remained on the path started by the governor and fined businesses trying to stay afloat, forced many businesses to close their doors permanently, kept Michigan residents locked down, and robbed students of getting the education they deserve.

The virus’ effect varied throughout the state and blanket restrictions placed extreme burdens on communities that didn’t necessarily need them, often causing irreparable damage to people’s livelihoods.

Our country was founded on the basis of liberty and freedom, not having every aspect of our lives dictated by unelected officials in a government agency. My legislation would limit the health department to offering recommendations on public health issues and change its focus to supporting communities across the state rather than ruling over them.

Fighting to reduce tax burdens

I sponsored legislation to make meaningful changes and reduce tax burdens people face when trading in their old vehicles for new ones.

Together, these bills will allow for the total value of an automobile trade-in to be applied against the sales tax of the corresponding vehicle purchase. Michigan is one of a very select group of states that do not allow for the full value of a trade-in to be applied against sales tax. These policies are bad for consumers and force hardworking Michiganders out of thousands of dollars when it comes time to trade in their cars.

It is no secret that the addition of sales tax on vehicle trade-ins has hindered automobile sales in the state of Michigan. This practice hurts retention at local dealerships, allows the hands of government to once again pick people’s pockets, and drives potential auto sales out of state.

People are struggling with the rising cost of everything, cars included. My solution could potentially save thousands of dollars on every trade-in and would save Michigan residents money.

We must work to provide meaningful tax relief, such as this, and keep money in the pockets of people who work to earn it.

Local office hour meetings scheduled for March 8, April 1

Office hours are a great opportunity to speak with residents about issues that are important to them, our community, and our state. My office recently scheduled the latest installment of my office hours meetings for Monday, April 1 in Niles at Michiana Christian Embassy.

I want to remind residents that I will also be hosting an office hour meeting tomorrow, March 8 at Hope Cafe in Coldwater. Both events will take place from 4 – 6 p.m.

I will be available to answer questions and provide information and assistance, as well as take suggestions on issues affecting families, businesses, and communities in the district. No appointment is necessary for either meeting.

For more information, or if you are unable to attend the office hour meeting, please feel free to contact my office at 517-373-3543.

Office Hours
Office Hours

The 17th Senate District

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The 17th state Senate District includes Branch, Cass, and St. Joseph counties, along with parts of Berrien, Calhoun, Jackson and Hillsdale counties.

Senator Jonathan Lindsey
3500 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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