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Friends and Neighbors,

Serving the people of Livingston and Washtenaw counties is very important to me, and I encourage you to contact me with any state issue you may have. You may email [email protected] or call (517) 373-2420. Also, please check out my Facebook page. Let me know if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Working for you,

Lana Theis
State Senator

In this edition:

• Senate acts to protect parental choice on student masks, COVID-19 vaccines
• Theis encourages Manchester residents to test water for lead
• Theis to Biden DOJ: Parents aren’t terrorists
• Senate committee approves bill keeping critical race theory out of Michigan classrooms
• Theis co-hosting Veterans Appreciation Thanksgiving dinner
• Poll: Michiganders overwhelmingly endorse parental choice in education
• Theis reminds constituents: 10-digit dialing began Sunday, Oct. 24th

Senate acts to protect parental choice on student masks, Covid-19 vaccines

The Senate recently approved legislation affirming Michigan parents’ rights to choose whether their children wear face masks at school or receive a vaccine for COVID-19.

The action comes after the Biden Administration announced its intention to administer the shots to children aged 5-11 at their schools.

Our children are not His Majesty Joe Biden’s subjects. Neither he nor government bureaucrats and school administrators have the authority or the right to make children’s health care decisions for them — including whether they receive a COVID-19 vaccine or wear a face mask. It is solely up to their parents. Period.

Senate Bill 600, sponsored by myself, would prevent Michigan school districts from requiring vaccines that have been authorized under emergency use or an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination for students to attend school or members of the public to attend school board meetings.

SB 601, sponsored by myself, would allow students to receive a waiver from wearing a face mask at school and prohibit schools from testing asymptomatic students for COVID-19 infection to ride a school bus or enter a school building.

SB 602, sponsored by Senator Barrett, would similarly prohibit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services from requiring students to receive a vaccine that has only been authorized under emergency use or an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination, from wearing a face mask and from being tested for COVID-19 if asymptomatic to enter a school, ride a bus or participate in school activities.

SB 603, sponsored by Senator LaSata, would prohibit local health departments from requiring students to receive a vaccine that has only been authorized under emergency use or an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination, from wearing a face mask and from being tested for COVID-19 if asymptomatic to enter a school, ride a bus or participate in school activities. It would also prevent them from requiring individuals from the same to attend school board meetings.

Additionally, and importantly, schoolchildren should not be discriminated or punished in any way for not getting a vaccine or wearing a mask. If a student is asymptomatic, they should be treated just like everyone else, and this legislation will ensure they are.

The bills now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Theis encourages Manchester residents to test water for lead

I encourage Manchester residents to get their water tested for lead after a recent sampling of 19 homes in the village showed seven had enough lead in the water to trigger a public advisory.

Since there is no acceptable level of lead in drinking water, out of an abundance of caution, I strongly encourage residents to get their water tested and consider installing lead-reducing water filters, which are currently being offered for free by the Washtenaw County Health Department. I appreciate Manchester officials for being so proactive in communicating the recent lead level test results with village residents.

For more information and guidance, Theis encouraged Manchester residents to closely read the public advisory, which can be read by clicking this link.

Further information about lead in water is available at

Theis to Biden DOJ: Parents aren’t terrorists

Today, the Michigan Senate adopted a resolution I introduced condemning the Biden administration’s Department of Justice for inhibiting parents’ constitutional rights to free speech.

Senate Resolution 86 comes in response to the Biden DOJ’s recent memo seeking to weaponize federal authorities to investigate parents for expressing their opinions at school board meetings throughout the country.

It is shameful that the federal government would seek to punish parents of schoolchildren for voicing their opinions during public school board hearings. More than ever, parents are being marginalized by elements within the education system that promote a divisive agenda based on false narratives about our country and its history, while forcing mandates that threaten students’ education.

It is no wonder that families throughout our state and nation are angry and eager to let their local school boards know what they think. These parents aren’t terrorists; they’re disenfranchised citizens worried about their children’s future and that of this country.

Prejudicially calling them threats to society will have a chilling effect, not only on school board participation but democracy itself.

A bedrock principle in America is our First Amendment right to express ourselves and to petition our government, and at no time is this more important to defend than when residents express disagreement with government policies. The DOJ memo was a scare tactic to silence parents. I condemn it and anyone who supports this blatant attempt to intimidate parents who are just looking out for their kids.

The resolution previously passed the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee and was adopted by the Michigan Senate on Tuesday, November 2.

Senate committee approves bill keeping critical race theory out of Michigan classrooms

The Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee recently approved legislation that would ban the use of so-called “critical race theory” and its derivatives from Michigan’s K-12 curriculum.

Critical race theory threatens Michigan’s K-12 students with a dangerous false narrative about our country and its place in the world. It is an extreme political agenda that is manipulating academia and now targets private businesses, public institutions and, sadly, our K-12 classrooms.

Our schools should be teaching students our country’s real history, including its faults and flaws, but especially this nation’s founding principles of individual freedom, liberty and equality that so many have given their lives to defend. Critical race theory is an affront to everything our country stands for. Our children should be taught to respect each other equally because of their humanity, not to discriminate based on some identity group or race.

Senate Bill 460 would prohibit local school districts, intermediate school districts and public school academies from incorporating curriculum that includes critical race theory, the 1619 project, or any similar approaches that manipulate history or promote anti-American theories.

The state Department of Education would be required to annually verify districts are not doing so, and those districts found in violation would lose 5% of their state and federal funding. Additionally, the department would be required to submit a report to the House and Senate education committees every year detailing any district that violated the law.

Attempts to incorporate critical race theory into school curricula are spreading across the country. The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting released lesson plans and reading guides that have brought the 1619 Project narrative into more than 3,500 classrooms across the country.  In some cases, this agenda is being pushed without parent input or through a transparent process. In recent months, the National Education Association and State Superintendent Michael Rice have advanced critical race theory, if not directly by name, Theis said.

In a recent letter from the State Superintendent to the State Board of Education and recent NEA Teacher Quality Webinars, during which participants received training on “dismantling the structures, policies and implicit biases that prop up white privilege,” and on “confronting white nationalism in the classroom.”

From the halls of colleges and universities to corporate America and now, in our children’s classrooms, critical race theory is spreading a damaging false narrative of our country and its history. It must be stopped, and my bill will make sure it’s kept out of our classrooms.

SB 460 now advances to the full Senate for consideration.

Theis co-hosting Veterans Appreciation Thanksgiving dinner

I am honored to be co-hosting a Veterans Appreciation Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, November 23 at 5 p.m. at Crystal Gardens in Howell. Veterans and one guest will get a FREE thanksgiving dinner in appreciation for their service! This is for veterans in Livington County.

Veterans must RSVP online by Friday, November 19 at 5 p.m. in order to attend the dinner. Space is limited and seats will be reserved on a first come, first serve basis.

The dinner is graciously being hosted by myself along with Representative Ann Bollin, Sheriff Mike Murphy, Clerk Elizabeth Hundley, Treasurer Jennifer Nash, Drain Commissioner Brian Jonckheere, Prosecutor David Reader, Commissioner Mitchell Zajac, Commissioner Wes Nakagiri, Commissioner Douglas Helzerman, Steve and Patty Gronow, and Lawrence Auto Body.

Veterans can pre-register online at

Poll: Michiganders overwhelmingly endorse parental choice in education

A new poll indicating over 75% of Michiganders support the right of parents to choose what school their children attend is proof Gov. Gretchen Whitmer should sign the Let Kids Learn plan that I introduced along with Senator Tom Barrett.

It’s time for a change in Michigan K-12 education. Parents desire and deserve more of a say in their children’s education, and this new polling data shows Michigan residents think they do too.

Gov. Whitmer should listen to the people, embrace this unique moment in our state and sign the Let Kids Learn plan. It will empower parents to give their children — especially those with special needs or from underserved communities — better opportunities to learn and succeed, no matter what school they choose to attend.

The poll, conducted by Lansing-based Marketing Research Group, asked 600 Michigan residents whether they “support or oppose the concept of school choice, giving parents the right to use the tax dollars designated for their child’s education to send their child to the public or private school which best serves their educational needs.” Over 60% of respondents said they strongly support the concept, and an additional 15% said they somewhat support the idea.

The legislation would provide parents with Student Opportunity Scholarships that could be used for school-related expenses — both inside and outside the classroom — to help improve student achievement.

Scholarship funds could be used for tuition and fees at public, nonpublic or online K-12 schools, career and technical education programs, tutoring services, occupational and behavioral services, textbooks and learning materials, laptops and tablets, uniforms, athletics and more.
If enacted, Michigan would join several other states that offer, with great success, similar education savings accounts and tax-credit scholarships.

Senate Bills 687 and 688 were approved by the Legislature and are headed to the governor for signature.

Theis reminds constitutents: 10-digit dialing began Sunday, Oct. 24th

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Michigan’s telephone customers in the 616, 810, 906 and 989 area codes must now include an area code with every local call.

The change, which took effect Oct. 24, was to prepare for the July 16, 2022 roll out of a new three-digit dialing code — 988 — to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. In July 2020, the Federal Communications Commission designated 988 as the abbreviated dialing code to reach the suicide prevention hotline.

The lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress; prevention and crisis resources; and best practices for professionals. Currently the Lifeline can be reached by dialing 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) from any mobile or landline phone.

Residents are urged to check any pre-programmed safety or security equipment, such as medical alert devices and alarm and security systems that may need to be reprogramed to the 10-digit dialing. Contact your medical alert or security provider if you are not sure whether your equipment needs to be reprogrammed. Other services that may need to be reprogrammed include pre-programed phones, internet dial-up numbers, call forwarding settings, and voicemail services.

For more information on the new 10-digit dialing requirement, including a list of possible updates that you may need to make, please visit the MPSC or FCC websites.

Michigan's 22nd Senate District

The 22nd State Senate District includes all of Livingston County and western Washtenaw County, including Ann Arbor (part), Bridgewater Twp., Chelsea, Dexter city, Dexter Twp., Freedom Twp., Lima Twp., Lodi Twp. (part), Lyndon Twp., Manchester Twp., Northfield Twp., Saline Twp. (part), Scio Twp. (part), Sharon Twp., Sylvan Twp., and Webster Twp.

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! 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 22nd District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Lana Theis
Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building, Suite #7400
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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