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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Welcome to the most recent edition of my monthly e-newsletter!

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 34th Senate District.

This email highlights the important work we have been doing in Lansing this past month.

Jon Bumstead
State Senator
34th District

Renewing the call for Gov. Whitmer to approve Muskegon casino

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Last year Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delayed her decision to approve or disapprove the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ Muskegon County casino project until June 16, 2022. But there’s nothing holding the governor back from saying yes right now — the project is shovel ready and approving the casino today would send the message that Muskegon matters, and we’re open for business.

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ casino is a major job-creating project that will attract visitors to the region each year. Estimates indicate the project will create 1,500 construction jobs and 1,500 high-paying full-time jobs, and upon completion attract 1.8 million visitors to the region each year and generate $15 million in tax revenue for the state and millions more for local governments.

I’ve been a constant supporter of the casino, because it’s a win for Muskegon, for west Michigan and for the entire state.

Many state and local officials, as well as countless residents, have voiced support for the project, which has been in the planning for many years. After a lengthy approval process, the federal government gave the go-ahead in December 2020. Since the federal government’s approval, the decision on whether to proceed has been on Gov. Whitmer’s desk.

I am encouraging residents who have not already voiced their support for the casino to submit written comments at to have their thoughts sent directly to Gov. Whitmer’s office.

Bumstead’s judicial reforms signed into law

A pair of bills I introduced to make needed judicial reforms in our communities were recently signed into law by the governor. One will add a judgeship to the 14th Circuit Court in Muskegon County and the other will restructure the judicial districts within Newaygo, Lake, Mason, and Oceana counties.

Senate Bill 694, now Public Act 8 of 2022, adds the additional circuit court judge starting on Jan. 1, 2023, bringing Muskegon county’s total to five circuit court judges. The initial term would be for eight years to stagger the judgeships, so that no more than two of the judges are up for re-election in the same year.

Circuit Courts across our state are backlogged and don’t have enough judges to keep up with their current caseloads. This legislation will ease the workload for our circuit courts and ensure the backlogs being experienced today don’t happen in the future, which will ensure residents have access to justice.

Restructuring the courts in Newaygo, Lake, Mason, and Oceana counties will both improve judges’ workloads and help ensure the best access to justice for West Michigan residents, while maintaining efficiency.

Currently, Newaygo and Oceana counties share the same judicial courts, and Mason and Lake counties share the same courts. Under SB 654, which is now PA 7 of 2022, the judicial courts will be restructured so Newaygo and Lake counties will share their courts, and Mason and Oceana counties will share judicial courts.

I worked closely with local judges and court administrators to restructure the courts under this new law, and I am confident doing so will have a positive impact for the 34th Senate District.

Supporting $1.2B in health care funding

Earlier this month, I voted to approve a fiscal year 2022 supplemental bill to provide an additional $1.2 billion in federal funding to address COVID-19 health care issues across the state.

The latest supplemental builds on the funding we have already provided to fight the effects of the coronavirus by providing resources to keep our kids in school safely, support our health care workers in hospitals and nursing homes, and provide funding for early COVID-19 therapies to help take the strain off our hospitals around the state.

House Bill 5523 would invest $1.2 billion in federal funding in the current fiscal year, including:

$300 million for recruitment, retention and training grants to help health care facilities address staffing issues;
$100 million for early COVID-19 therapeutic treatments;
$150.8 million to support screening and testing activities to facilitate the reopening and safe operations of schools; and
$39 million to make nursing homes safer by converting multi-resident rooms into single rooms and improving air quality.

For more information about what is included, visit

Gov. Whitmer proposes new budget

Earlier this month the governor announced her executive budget recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.

Michigan is in a strong financial position because of years of smart budgeting, wise spending, and an influx in one-time federal funding. Today’s state revenues exceed expectations, but I believe we would be better off continuing to make efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars that transform our state for the better, including paying down debt and investing in our state infrastructure, instead of simply growing government. This includes reducing taxes for all working and retired people and businesses alike.

The governor proposed to phase out the public pension tax over four years. I am very supportive of providing tax relief for everyone in Michigan, and I believe everyone should be given the same reduction, regardless of the type of retirement income they receive. Additionally, some of our seniors are still working to make ends meet, and they also deserve relief.

I previously introduced Senate Bill 392 to lower the income tax rate on businesses to improve the economy and create more high-paying jobs to assist families across the state. I also voted in favor of legislation to lower the individual income tax rate to 3.9% and provide a child tax credit to families with children 19 years of age and younger. These bills will provide immediate tax relief to low- and moderate-income families, and I look forward to the governor supporting these commonsense solutions as part of our budgeting strategy.

The governor also mentioned building upon the school funding in last year’s budget, which equalized funding among K-12 schools for the first time since the passage of Proposal A in 1994. The Legislature has consistently supported our K-12 schools and funding has increased every year in the last 10 years. I plan to continue this trend and provide schools with the resources they need for our students to be successful.

We should also invest in priorities like rebuilding water infrastructure across our state, and as budget subcommittee chair for the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, I am committed to developing a budget that effectively invests state dollars to improve the safety and reliability of our state’s water infrastructure. It’s why I introduced Senate Bill 565 to invest $3.3 billion to preserve and protect Michigan’s water quality, infrastructure, and vital natural resources; and why I spearheaded a plan to invest nearly a billion dollars to make upgrades and improvements at Michigan’s state and local parks, which will also create jobs and boost tourism.

As vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I look forward to working with the governor’s administration to ensure Michigan passes a balanced, responsible budget that funds these critical priorities and that continues to make our state a great place to live and work.

Relieving attendance requirement for schools under threat

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Earlier this month, I introduced Senate Bill 873 a bill that would relieve the state’s 75% pupil attendance requirement for Michigan K-12 schools that have received and reported a threat to law enforcement. Under the legislation, the 75% pupil attendance requirement would be waived for five consecutive days.

This is a simple, but important bill that would remove a bureaucratic barrier to provide our schools additional oversight and tools to address threats made to district buildings, students, teachers, and faculty. In an emergency situation where lives are potentially on the line, the last thing our school districts should have to worry about is whether they have met an attendance percentage requirement to receive state funding for that day or not.

The suspension of the attendance reporting requirement would apply to reported threats made against school buildings, school-sponsored activities, and school-owned student transportation vehicles.

The bill was referred to the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee for consideration.

Bumstead bill corrects oversight in worker compensation law

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I recently introduced a bill that would allow for part-time police officers and volunteer firefighters to receive expanded worker’s compensation benefits.

Police officers and firefighters in our communities face the same challenges and dangers on the job, regardless of whether they work full-time, part-time or volunteer. These brave individuals should not be treated differently for simply not being full-time public servants. They put their lives on the line for our safety just the same, and they should be given the same workers’ compensation presumptions as their full-time colleagues.

This bill addresses an oversight in the existing law that currently covers full-time police and firefighters who are granted a presumption that respiratory illness or heart disease arose during their employment, to also include part-time and voluntary members of police and fire departments. The presumption places the burden of proof on a workers’ compensation insurance company to show the disease did not arise out of a person’s service.

This same law was amended last year, but a legislative oversight left part-time and voluntary first responders on the outside looking in.

In addition to ensuring our part-time and volunteer first responders are covered by this presumption under the workers’ compensation law, my bill will also help our police and fire departments to both recruit and retain men and women to serve in our communities, which we desperately need.

Senate Bill 877 has been referred to the Senate Insurance and Banking Committee for consideration.

$50k award available in Consumers Energy Foundation ‘Put Your Town on the Map’ Competition

The Consumers Energy Foundation’s Put Your Town on the Map competition seeks to provide $50,000 to three Michigan cities with populations up to 10,000 people for innovative ideas that attract visitors to downtowns, focus on housing, education or employment, create community pride and more.

The competition, which runs through March 18, will select 10 finalists to make their pitch at the Small Town and Rural Development Conference in May. The top three winners will receive grants worth $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000, respectively.

For more information and to apply, visit


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 and months:

Navigating Small Business with Employees
Wednesday, March 2
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
White Lake Community Library
3900 W White Lake Dr
Whitehall, MI 49461

Description: In the midst of challenging times, attracting and retaining top employees is crucial to creating a thriving business. This interactive workshop will help guide you towards hiring smarter and developing cohesive teams. Presented by John Heiss, CSO of WorkWise, who partners with organizations to change how they think, work, and live. More information can be found here.

St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, March 5
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Oceana County Fairgrounds
1025 S. State Street
Hart, MI 49420

Description: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year with a Scavenger Hunt! The Chamber will be hosting an adult scavenger hunt this year, taking place at local establishments throughout the Village! This event is for participants 21 and up. Gather your team and get ready for some fun! The Scavenger Hunt will begin at 1PM! Check back for more information coming soon! More information can be found here.

Shamrockin' In Your Shanty!
Saturday, March 13
12 PM – 5 PM
Downtown Muskegon Social District

Description: Celebrate St. Paddy's Day in downtown Muskegon by bringing your own shanty to the social district! Spend the day drinking and eating with your friends on Western Ave. You can not bring your own alcohol to this event, but you can enjoy social district drinks in your shanty. More information can be found here.

The Power of Branding
Wednesday, March 16
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
White Lake Community Library
3900 W White Lake Dr
Whitehall, MI 49461

Description: Your business has a brand whether you know it or not. Learn how to craft your internal and external brant to prepare your business for future success. The workshop is sponsored by the White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Presented by Jason Piasecki, the CEO of Revel who has experience in every facet of marketing and we design for every industry under the sun. More information can also be found here.

Chamber Orientation
Wednesday, March 16
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce
380 West Western Avenue, Suite 202
Muskegon, MI 49440

Description: What is a Chamber of Commerce? Attend this orientation to network and learn how to get the most out of your Chamber membership experience. Meet your chamber team who will connect you with various business resources. Learn about cost saving programs that are included with your membership. Learn how you can advertise and promote for FREE! More information can also be found here.

Saturday, March 19
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Delta by Marriott
939 3rd St.
Muskegon, MI 49440

Description: MuskeCon is a Comic Book and Toy Convention in Muskegon. We are back for year 4! Invading the Delta by Marriott in Downtown Muskegon! Toys, Comics, Art, Handmade Goods! Cosplay galore! Panels! Demos! More information can also be found here.

River Country Clover Crawl 2022
Saturday, March 19
12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Crawl Locations:
Shamrock Pub & Grill
Schindy's at Diamond Lake
Driftwood Bar & Grill
River Stop Cafe
Sportsman's Bar
River Stop Saloon - Jack Lever Band 1-4
Northern Trails Bar & Grill

Description: After a super successful first year, we are excited to announce the 2nd Annual River Country Clover Crawl! A county wide business, bar, and restaurant crawl! Celebrate the end of winter with us and support local businesses. Trolley's have been set up to take crawlers safely to participating locations listed below. Park close to home and spend the day roaming around the county! More information can also be found here.

Opening Day of the Silver Lake State Park ORV Area
Friday, April 1
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Silver lake State Park ORV Area
8960 W Fox Rd
Mears, MI 49436

Description: Opening Day of the Silver Lake State Park ORV Area More information can be found here.

Michigan's 34th Senate District

The 34th State Senate District includes the counties of Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana.

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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 34th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

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

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