Download graphics to view this image

McBroom: Senate disapproves of Heartwell appointment to NRC

Download images to view this photo

The Michigan Senate exercised its constitutional authority to reject the appointment of former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell to the state’s Natural Resources Commission (NRC) on Thursday.

I spoke on the Senate floor about my concerns with the appointment and I voted to disapprove of Governor Whitmer’s appointment of George Heartwell to the state Natural Resources Commission. The commission is one of the most powerful and impactful government bodies in this state, especially for the Upper Peninsula, where use of the natural resources affects so many parts of our daily lives. Recent policies from the NRC have made law-abiding citizens throughout our state frustrated and distrustful of these decisions and of the people who are making them.

I received hundreds of calls, emails, visits and letters from my constituents, expressing their anger and frustration over Mr. Heartwell’s appointment, especially given his stance and actions on guns and his association with anti-hunting groups. His appointment was seen by many Second Amendment advocates, hunters, anglers and outdoorsmen and women as a threat to their rights and unfit to represent their positions.

Given the NRC, a citizen’s commission, regulates the taking of game and fish, designates game species, establishes the hunting seasons and advises other DNR policies — decisions that directly impact thousands — it is important that we have commissioners whom the people can trust. I am hopeful that future appointments will be independent, critical thinkers about our state’s natural resources policies and will not have a background that leads to such a huge level of mistrust.

The Senate also recently rejected the appointment of Anna Mitterling to the NRC.

The Michigan Constitution grants the state Senate with the advice and consent role to either approve or disapprove gubernatorial appointments within 60 session days of the appointment.

Pfotenhauer returns to the 38th Senate District

I am pleased to share that Linda Pfotenhauer has returned to serve the 38th Senate District as the constituent relations director in my office. Linda previously served in this role for former Sen. Tom Casperson during his eight years in the Senate and six years in the House of Representatives.

During that time, Linda gained a wealth of knowledge and experience, making her an invaluable member of my team. Also, Linda grew up in Escanaba, so she has firsthand knowledge of the issues that are common to residents in the Upper Peninsula.

If you are in need of help on an issue related to the state, please feel free to reach out to my office at and ask for Linda.

Battle of the Bridge hockey game a win for vets

Download images to view this photo

The Battle of the Bridge veteran hockey game in Houghton on Feb. 22 between the Michigan Saginaw Spirit Warriors, represented by Sen. Ken Horn, and the Michigan Upper Peninsula Veterans Hockey Club, represented by me, was held at Dee Stadium, which is known as the birthplace of professional hockey.

It was an exciting night of hockey and family fun, and even better, it was a unique opportunity for our military veterans to showcase their athletic talent and help support their fellow veterans living at the D.J. Jacobetti Home in Marquette.

The best part of all? The U.P. team won!

As I mentioned in a previous announcement, Sen. Horn and I made a friendly wager on the game — the senator representing the winning team will receive a meal from the losing senator’s hometown. Since the U.P. team won, Sen. Horn will be providing me with a chicken dinner from Frankenmuth.

I hope all of you who were able to attend had a fun night.

Fighting the meth epidemic

My bills to help combat the spread of methamphetamine abuse in Michigan were recently approved by the state Senate.

Senate Bills 170 and 599 would place restrictions on the amount of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine a person may purchase per month and per year. The bills would reduce the amount a person may purchase over the counter from 9 grams to 7.2 grams per month and would cap the amount someone could purchase in a year at 61.2 grams.

The adjusted limits would allow for cold- and allergy-suffering Michiganders to retain the necessary amounts they need to make it through two allergy seasons in a year and align with allowable amounts that may be taken currently. Should a larger dosage be required, a prescription may be ordered.

Meth abuse and addiction has been absolutely devasting, particularly in rural communities in the U.P. and throughout our state and country. Limiting the amount of this key meth ingredient that a person can purchase will help combat this modern epidemic, while still allowing for its intended use to treat people with allergy symptoms.

Meth abuse and addiction affects people from all walks of life, and combating its spread is something that we can all agree on. That’s why I worked so hard on this issue with my friend and former colleague, the late Representative John Kivela. These bills were the conclusion of his work and will always be a part of his legacy.

I know that getting these bills signed into law would have made him proud, because he cared so much for the well-being of his fellow Upper Peninsula residents. I am hopeful that the House of Representatives will approve the bills, and the governor signs them, soon.

Road improvement policy reforms approved by Senate

I recently supported important infrastructure policy reforms that would maximize road funding efficiency to ensure we use our tax dollars effectively, improve the ability of our local and state road agencies to better meet our growing infrastructure needs, protect Michigan taxpayers from waste, and ensure our roads are built to last.

Federal transportation dollars often come with burdensome requirements that can cost local agencies substantial time and money — resources better used to fix the roads. By allowing local road agencies to swap federal funds for state funds, we can help local agencies save up to 30% on their projects.

The Senate Republican road policy reforms would:

Maximize the use of federal transportation funding that the state receives;
Improve the current road warranty program to provide better value;
Require the state to study the feasibility of tolls on Michigan bridges or roadways;
Improve collaboration between the state and local roads agencies by extending local asset management horizons and ensuring the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) continues to supply long-range plans;
Require MDOT to develop a road construction inflation index to measure changes in cost within the highway construction industry annually; and
Establish a local road agency grant program to assist local agencies in funding technical engineering assistance.

SBs 515-520 and 522 have been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Road bonding kicks can down the road, offers no local road repairs

Last month, the governor addressed the Legislature in her State of the State address, where she announced her plan to issue $3.5 billion in road and bridge building bonds to fix our state’s crumbling roads. After proposing a 45-cent gas tax increase that the people of Michigan overwhelmingly opposed last year, the governor’s new plan is to go around the Legislature.

To make matters worse, the $3.5 billion can only be used on state-owned roads. That means our local roads — the roads we use every day to travel to work, school and the grocery store, and the roads that are in most need of repair — will not receive any of this additional funding.

Bonding is a financing mechanism, not a funding source, and it certainly isn’t a long-term road funding plan. Borrowing $3.5 billion now just to pay that plus interest back later, with none of that money going to local roads, is not the answer.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 22 was recently introduced stating that the Legislature's intent is not to increase future debt service spending above the levels authorized in fiscal year 2020 and not to authorize spending for debt service on bonds longer than 10 years.

I remain committed to moving Michigan forward and working with my colleagues in both the House and Senate on a comprehensive, long-term solution that improves all the roads in our state, instead of relying on adding more debt that our children will have to pay off.

March is Reading Month

Download images to view this photo

March is Reading Month and a great time to reinforce the benefits of reading with young students.

Reading is the foundation for success in school and beyond. I look forward to visiting many local elementary schools in March as a guest reader to share the fun and importance of reading. I also have special bookmarks available to encourage the reading habit! Please let me know if you would like to receive one.

Taxpayer preparation guide

Download images to view this photo

My office offers a free resource that may be helpful in filling out state income tax forms for the 2019 tax year.

Though not a substitute for the Michigan Department of Treasury tax instruction booklets, the new Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide contains information on the Michigan individual income tax, including state income tax credits, and the property tax.

You can download yours for free at and look for the Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide link.

Alternatively, you may contact my office for a printed copy.

Michigan's 38th Senate District

The 38th State Senate District includes the counties of Alger, Baraga, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, and Schoolcraft in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula.

Download images to view this photo

Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the state Senate. 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 38th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

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

Visit my website at: