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Bill honoring Sen. Tom Casperson, Ben Lauren and Don Riling approved

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My bill to rename the bridge on U.S. 2 that crosses the Escanaba River as the Senator Tom Casperson Memorial Bridge was recently approved.

Tom Casperson meant so much to so many people in the UP. His passion for people and our way of life was amazing. His legislative accomplishments are literally unparalleled by any UP legislator and likely never will be surpassed. This memorial bridge offers a lasting tribute to him for all to see. It is special to him in many ways: Wells Township and Escanaba, his home communities; the route to the paper mill he drove for 30 years; a river he helped restore from a dangerous, 120+ year-old bridge; and new bridge which he helped secure the construction.

The bill would also rename a portion of M-35 in Forsyth Township as the Ben Lauren and Don Riling Memorial Highway.

Forsyth Township Fire Department Captain Benjamin Lauren, 23, of Gwinn, died in the line of duty while fighting a structure fire on March 13.

Don Riling was a professional firefighter with the U.S. Air Force and volunteer firefighter with the Forsyth Township Fire Department who died while fighting a house fire in the township on March 19, 1988.

Ben Lauren and Don Riling were fearless public servants who lost their lives while helping to save others. Designating the Ben Lauren and Don Riling Memorial Highway along M-35 will help honor their sacrifice and ensure future generations are reminded of their selfless bravery. I thank everyone from Forsyth Township for their encouragement in getting this bill passed and I am hopeful it will become law soon.

Senate Bill 921 now goes to the governor for signing.

2020 Accomplishments

In an unprecedented year for our state and nation, my colleagues and I worked very hard to provide the necessary resources to combat COVID-19, and to help Michiganders recover from its physical and economic effects.

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Bill to authorize sale of former Ojibway Correctional Facility approved

Legislation that would allow the state to sell the former Ojibway Correctional Facility, which was hastily shuttered by the state Department of Corrections in 2018, was finalized last Friday, said Sen. Ed McBroom.

It is my hope that, through this legislation, the former Ojibway Correctional Facility can find new life. The prison’s closure was a great loss to Marenisco and Gogebic County, including hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity — losses that are still being felt. It’s past time the state sells the property, so a private company can rebuild, repurpose and reemploy hardworking U.P. residents. I strongly urge the governor to sign the bill as soon as possible.

Senate Bill 1075, which would authorize a potential sale of the facility by the state Department of Management and Budget, has been sent to the governor for signature.

Additional McBroom bills approved at the end of legislative session

Senate Bill 1133 – Would create a statewide propane check-off program to support the propane industry.

Senate Bill 1254 – Would permit a first drunk driving conviction to be set aside, or removed, from an individual’s record, and also allow the set aside of violations by drivers under age 21 of a law that prohibits them from driving with any level of alcohol in their system.

Senate Bill 986 – Would allow commercial construction to use liens and pursue remedies if they have built a mixed use residential unit without the proper license.

Senate Bill 592 – Would allow retired state prison employees to collect a pension while working as independent contractors in the corrections field.

Senate Bill 1051 – Would amend the Corrections Code to require that parole conditions be individually tailored to the specific parolee and is part of a package of bills to implement the recommendations of the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration.

Senate committee continues hearings on elections oversight

The Senate Oversight Committee has continued to meet and focus its attention and effort on hearing from the many citizens who contacted the chair’s office to share their experiences related to the election.

Every American citizen deserves to have faith in the integrity of the election process and its outcome. It is our responsibility, as elected public servants, to assure the people of Michigan of the process’s integrity through complete transparency and the faithful investigation of any allegations of wrongdoing, fraud or abuse.

Members of the committee have already called on the secretary of state to conduct an independent and thorough audit of the election. As this process continues over the next few months, I will be working with my colleagues in both the House and the Senate to seek further legislative changes to ensure the integrity of future elections in our state.

Senate Republicans remain committed to helping restore confidence in Michigan’s elections processes and improving the system by providing an outlet for concerns to be reviewed and new policy to be proposed.

You can view the most recent Oversight Committee hearing at

MacPass toll cards retiring, new stickers now available

For those who regularly travel across the Mackinac Bridge and have a MacPass toll card, the Mackinac Bridge Authority (MBA) is urging MacPass account holders to get the new stickers before the end of the year, as the old cards will no longer work after Dec. 31.

The new windshield-mounted stickers are the quickest and easiest way to pay tolls when crossing the bridge. The stickers, which are automatically scanned when drivers pull up to the toll booth, were introduced in September 2019 as part of the MBA’s new toll software system.

Stickers can be linked to a single account for multiple vehicles and cost $1 each. Existing customers do not need to open a new acount; they can add a sticker tag to their exisiting MacPass account. New passenger vehicle MacPass accounts require an initial deposit of $80 and a $7 one-time setup fee; commercial accounts require a $200 deposit and the same $7 one-time setup fee.

Customers can obtain the sticker tags in the MBA administration building at the north end of the bridge around the clock, seven days a week. They will need to provide the license plate number, make, model, color and year of each vehicle that will be linked to the account, though new vehicles can be added later.

For more information, including other benefits of owning a MacPass, visit

Continued cuts in auto insurance rates great news for Michiganders

The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) recently announced it is lowering the assessment charged per vehicle to $86 for the period beginning on July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 for people who choose to maintain unlimited lifetime personal injury protection benefit coverage.

This announcement brings a 14% reduction, on top of the 55% reduction from the prior year with a total reduction of 61%, down from a high of $220 per vehicle. The MCCA stated that the reduction in the rates is primarily due to the savings created by cost controls for medical treatment and other changes made to Michigan’s no-fault insurance law. These changes have resulted in an estimated reduction in MCCA liabilities of $3.5 billion and eliminated a deficit position.

The insurance reform bill was signed into law in June 2019. These critical reforms continue to save money for Michigan’s drivers, families and seniors.

Home heating help

With the winter heating season in full swing, some households may need help with their heating bills. Energy assistance programs to help prevent shut-offs include:

• Winter protection plans for senior citizens and low-income customers;
• State emergency relief;
• Medical emergency shut-off protection; and
• Shut-off protection for active duty military personnel.

COVID-19 resources

Below is a list of resources available to you if you need any type of assistance. Additionally, you can contact my office at any time for more information.

• General information, resources, testing locations and more:
• Coronavirus hotline for health-related questions: 1-888-535-6136 daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 1-800-232-4636 or
• Michigan PEER Warmline for mental health support and substance abuse challenges: 1-888-733-7753 every day from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
• National suicide prevention lifeline available 24/7: Call 1-800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or visit
• Small business resources: or 1-888-522-0103.

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.

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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

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