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Home Heating Assistance

As we roll into December and our temperatures begin to drop, the state of Michigan offers several energy assistance programs to help eligible senior and low-income households keep utilities in service or have service restored. Immediate relief may be available through a network of nonprofit organizations and other financial assistance programs.

• Customers can contact 211 or their utility company to see what programs are available in their area. Dial 211 or go online to for information about available services.
• To apply online for Michigan Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) and the State Emergency Relief (SER) program, visit the MI Bridges website.
• For assistance with county-specific programs, contact the MDHHS county office where assistance is needed.

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Veteran Property Tax Exemption Bills Pass Senate

Earlier this term I introduced Senate Bills 783 and 784, which would reform Michigan’s property tax exemption for 100% disabled veterans by shifting the tax burden from local units of government to the state. In June, the governor vetoed a bill tie-barred to my legislation, making it so that my veterans property tax exemption legislation would not take effect. Since the denial of this plan, I reintroduced what was included in Senate Bill 784 as Senate Bill 1084.

Now, Senate Bills 783 and 1084 would maintain the same level of tax relief for 100% disabled veterans and would transform the benefit from a property tax exemption to an income tax credit to ease the burden on local governments while keeping the process to claim the credit for eligible veterans the same. Veterans do not need to have an income to benefit from this exemption, they just need to file an affidavit with their local unit of government, like they currently do.

In late November both Senate Bills 783 and 1084 passed the Senate and will be transferred over to the House of Representatives for consideration. If these bills pass the House, I am hopeful the governor will sign them into law and give much needed financial relief to our local units of government and ensure our veterans get the property tax relief they deserve.

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Training grants for pre-K to 6th grade teachers

The 2023 School Aid budget, Public Act 144 of 2022, includes funding for the continuation of a science of reading professional learning initiative that began in 2021.

The Michigan LETRS Science of Reading Professional Learning Course provides sustained and job-embedded professional learning about the science of reading, at no cost to educators. The training develops an expertise in language and literacy and provides instruction in the science of reading.

Any Michigan pre-K to sixth grade teacher currently teaching in any Michigan public school or public charter school is encouraged to apply.

For more information on LETRS and to register for Cohort 4, please visit the Michigan LETRS website.

MI Future Educator Fellowship

Public Act 144 of 2022 also includes $305 million to support the Future Educators Fellowship program. This scholarship funding will help students in public and private teacher preparation programs working to earn teaching certificates.

The MI Future Educator Fellowship offers scholarships to aspiring teachers to eliminate or lower the cost of tuition while they train to be educators. Awards cover the cost of tuition and fees up to $10,000 and are renewable for up to three years. Students that receive the award commit to teaching in a Michigan classroom for at least three years after graduation.

Scholarship funds are limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications are now being accepted. For more information, full eligibility requirements and to apply, visit the MI Future Educator Fellowship site.

The MI Future Educator Stipend provides stipends for full-time student teachers to help pay for tuition and other costs while student teaching. Starting in fall 2022, student teachers can earn $9,600 while they complete their final semester(s) of teacher preparation.

For full eligibility requirements for the MI Future Educator Stipend, or to apply visit the MI Future Educator Stipend site.

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Application now live for grants to open and grow child care facilities

The application for the Caring for MI Future: Child Care Facilities Improvement Fund is now open. Eligible applicants include licensed child care providers located in Michigan who are newly licensed providers or existing providers expanding their licensed capacity.

Those who are interested in starting or expanding a child care facility can apply for a grant to reduce the cost of converting space that meets child care facility guidelines. The $50 million to open and grow new child care facilities as part of the state’s Caring for MI Future initiative grants will range in size from $50,000 for home-based child care and $150,000 for center-based programs and will help providers complete minor renovations and improvements to meet licensing and quality standards.

The Child Care Facilities Improvement Fund will help child care facilities address issues related to heating and cooling, ventilation, noise, lighting, classroom furnishings, and outdoor play areas.

The grants were made possible through funding provided in Senate Bill 82, now Public Act 87 of 2021. Visit for a full breakdown of eligibility requirements and information on the application process.

Michigan Spark Grant Still Open

Earlier this year, the Michigan Department of Natural Recourses announced the Michigan Spark Grant. The grant program was created through the passage of Senate Bill 565, which I sponsored, and was signed into law on March 30 by the governor.

SB 565 provided an allocation of $65 million to help communities across the state to redevelop or create outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and visitors. Applications for the Michigan Spark Grant are open now through Dec. 19. Eligible applicants must be local units of government or public authorities legally designated to provide public recreation or regional or statewide organizations of such entities working together.

Individual grant amounts will range from a minimum of $100,000 to a maximum of $1 million and will be distributed in three rounds:

• Round one: $15 million during the week of Jan. 30, 2023.
• Round two: $25 million in the spring of 2023.
• Round three: $25 million in the summer of 2023.

All projects must be completed by Dec. 31, 2026. For more information, including program details and to watch a recorded informational webinar, please visit the Michigan Spark Grant website.

Bumstead highlights upcoming events in the 34th District

I want to remind area-residents of the following events taking place throughout the 34th District in the upcoming weeks.

Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber Holiday Kick-Off Party
Thursday, Dec. 1
4:30 – 7:00 PM
The Culinary Institute of Michigan
336 West Clay Ave.
Muskegon, MI 49440

Description: Kick-off the holiday season with Hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and networking. A $5.00 optional donation will be collected at the door. More information here.

Season of Hope Charity Auction
Thursday, Dec.1
5:30 PM-9:30
The Center for Hope & Healing
601 N Evergreen Dr
White Cloud, MI 49349

Description: an action in order to provide Veterans and their families with a getaway. More Information here.

Christmas Walk Newaygo 2022
Friday Dec 2, 2022
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM EST
Road Closes at 5:30pm
Event Opening Ceremony Starts 6:00pm at Brooks Park
Downtown Newaygo

Description: Christmas walk focusing on local stores. More Information here.

Christmas Small Business Sale
Saturday, Dec. 3
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Whitehall Viking Athletic Center
541 E. Slocum Street
Whitehall, MI 49461

Description: Our first annual Small Business Vendor Event! Find all those last-minute gifts. More information here.

Christmas in Croton 2022
Saturday Dec 3, 2022
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM EST
Walter F Howarth American Legion Post 381
6812 Croton Hardy Dr
Newaygo, MI 49337

Description: Christmas walk at Township Campground, Outdoor Ornament Hunt, Visit Santa & Mrs. Claus, Horse & Wagon ride, Make & Take Craft, Hot Cocoa & a Treat. More Information here.

Super Saturday at the Muskegon Museum of Art
Saturday, Dec. 10
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Muskegon Museum of Art
296 W. Webster Ave.
Muskegon, MI 49440

Description: Join us the second Saturday of every month for free general admission at the MMA all day!  Come see the exhibitions and pick up supplies for an exciting art and exhibitions related to STEAM. More information here.

Senator Jon Bumstead
4600 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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