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Dear Friends,

Welcome to the final 2020 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 31st Senate District.

This has been a year unlike any other. As I reflect back, I want to give you a brief review of what we’ve accomplished. Most of the Senate’s work this year was related to combatting COVID-19, protecting our communities, and providing the resources necessary for our frontline workers. However, I was also able to pass legislation and secure funding for causes brought to my attention by constituents.

From my family to yours, we hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


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Kevin Daley
State Senator
31st District

COVID-19 Relief Bill

During an unusual Friday evening session, Senate Republicans offered a relief bill that would help Michigan hospitals combating the COVID-19 surge, increase testing capacity and vaccine distribution, and assist the thousands of workers and businesses facing financial ruin due to Gov. Whitmer’s shutdowns.

Republicans are stepping up to help the thousands of Michiganders hurt by the governor’s shutdowns. Our plan creates an Employee Assistance Fund to provide grants to help restaurant workers who are again out of work due to the governor’s shutdowns. We’re also helping local businesses avoid permanent closure by creating Small Business Survival Grants.

The plan includes dollars to facilitate storage and delivery of the coronavirus vaccine for those who choose to receive it but makes clear no resources can be spent to mandate vaccinations.

The relief bill is the latest step in our plan to tackle the pandemic and its impact on Michiganders. We’re already passed bills to extend unemployment benefits into Spring 2021, and to help hospitals hire more nurses at this critical time.

If this latest plan is signed into law, we will have dedicated nearly $4 billion to combatting COVID-19 this year.

A year in review: My team is here for you

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My team and I are dedicated to providing residents of the 31st District the best possible service. Whether you are in need of assistance when dealing with a state department, have an idea for legislation, or want to share your thoughts and concerns with us about a particular bill, we are here for you.

This year my staff worked hard to find new ways to serve you while working from home, adapting to ever-changing COVID-19 protocols, and navigating a difficult and unprepared Unemployment Insurance Agency on your behalf.

We strive to answer each and every question that comes into the office as quickly and efficiently as possible. I personally call business owners and local leaders daily to hear first-hand how different COVID-19 related orders have affected folks back home and how the Senate can best support those who have supported our communities throughout this challenging year.

From Jan. 1 – Dec. 15, my team and I:

• Worked with 439 people to help them access their unemployment benefits;
• Wrote 219 unique letters in response to your questions and concerns about pieces of legislation;
• Mailed over 300 booklets – ranging from Pure Michigan Travel Guides to the Veterans Benefits & Services guide to Getting to Know Michigan coloring books;
• Wrote over 35 special tributes honoring the accomplishments of the people of the 31st District;
• Attended over 70 committee meetings; and
• Had a 100% voting record in Senate session.

Legislative Successes in 2020

Despite the unprecedented nature of this year, I was proud of the legislative priorities I was able to push for on behalf of the people of the 31st District. Here are some highlights:

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Blue Star Family License Plate legislation signed into law:
In February, the Michigan Senate approved my legislation that would create a special recognition license plate honoring Michigan families who have a member serving in the U.S. military. On March 4, Gov. Whitmer signed this bill into law, creating Public Act 51 of 2020.

We can never fully thank the men and women who serve our country or their families for making such tremendous sacrifices. Thankfully, we have organizations like Blue Star Families that dedicate endless time and resources to ensuring families who have a member serving in the armed forces are taken care of.

The Secretary of State has developed and issued a special recognition license plate recognizing Blue Star Families. Residents who are currently serving in the U.S. armed forces — or members of their immediate family — are able to apply for the special recognition plate here. The plate includes a Blue Star Families insignia and the words “Blue Star Family” under the registration numbers.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Cathcart Memorial Highway dedication:
This fall, I had the honor of joining family and friends of Michael Cathcart as the sign for the Sgt. 1st Class Michael Cathcart Memorial Highway was unveiled in Bay City.

Last year, I introduced legislation to name a portion of State Highway M-15 in Bay County after Cathcart as a way to preserve his legacy and honor the sacrifices he and his family have made on behalf of this country.

The Michael Cathcart Memorial Highway ranges from Cass Avenue in Portsmouth Charter Township north to the intersection of State Highway M-15 and Ridge Road in Bay City.

Cathcart was killed in November of 2014 during an operation in Afghanistan.

Funding Secured for Special Needs Vision Clinic:
I was proud to help secure $100,000 in funding for the Special Needs Vision Clinic as a part of the Fiscal Year 2021 budget. The Special Needs Vision Clinic, located in Saginaw, provides specialized optometric services to developmentally disabled and handicapped patients throughout our state. This funding will allow residents of the Great Lakes Bay Region to continue to access these critical services.

Complex Rehab Technology Bill Passes:
I introduced Senate Bill 855 to establish separate recognition for Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) within the Medicaid program to improve access to critical products and related services, like complex rehabilitation manual and power wheelchairs, for children and adults with significant disabilities.

This legislation will create stronger safeguards and help those with severe disabilities throughout the state. This bill has been approved by both the state House of Representatives and Senate. It will now go to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for final approval.

Gravel mining bill defeated

Senate Bill 431 was a selfish bill that would have only benefitted the aggregate mining community while putting local communities in harm’s way. I was strongly opposed to this bill and fought its passage at every turn. I am proud to say that SB 431 did not pass the Senate before the end of 2020, and therefore it will no longer be active as we start a new legislative term in January.

This bill would have allowed sand and gravel mining operations to operate with virtually zero oversight from any level of government — regardless of where the operation is located or its impact on nearby residents, the community, or on water quality. It would have stripped away the limited local authority and all safeguards that currently exist. As a former township supervisor, I understand the frustration our local officials would be facing with this bill.

Those in support of this bill would argue there is a shortage of aggregate in Michigan. That is simply not true. There are already over 1,600 construction grade sand and gravel sites operating in Michigan. While the need to access gravel and other aggregate material is important to our roads, we should not take away the rights of our local officials and residents to have a say in matters like these.

According to a Marketing Resources Group poll conducted in September of this year, more than 78% of people oppose the elimination of local approval for aggregate mining operations. My office heard from countless residents expressing concerns with this bill.

You’re voices matter and are a big reason this bill did not succeed.

Senate Bill 431 would have created a statewide one-size-fits-all process, incorrectly treating all communities and all mining operations alike. But we all know no two communities, or mining operations, are exactly alike. Local units of government know their areas best and are in the best position to determine if a mining operation is safe for their community. I am happy we were able to stop this bill, and my team and I will continue to fight any future versions that may appear.

Vetoed election security bill

This summer in the wake of concerns surrounding the upcoming election, I introduced Senate Bill 977, which would have made it a felony to knowingly submit another person’s name or personal identity information on an absent voter ballot application or attempt to obtain multiple ballots.

Earlier this year, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced she would be mailing absentee ballot applications to each of the state’s registered voters. Many had voiced their concern about the increased likelihood of fraud. My bill would have hindered criminal activity by making people think twice about trying to cheat the system.

Voting is the foundation of our system of government and people need to have confidence in the results. Election security is not a partisan issue. This is something we should have been able to work together and agree on.

Unfortunately, the governor vetoed this legislation that would have given Michiganders an extra boost of confidence in the security of their votes.

My bill passed both the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. Whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, protecting election security should be a no-brainer. It is unfortunate that we could have had an additional safety net in place that could have mitigated some of the concerns we’re currently facing regarding the November election.

Unemployment assistance — how our team is able to help

My team is continuing to work with residents to help them access the unemployment benefits they are entitled to.

If you are having issues with your Unemployment Insurance claim, please contact my office via this webform we created to expedite Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) claims at:

Once a completed form is received by my office, a member of my team will then take your information and send it to the UIA for resolution. Please note we are not personally able to fix any errors on your claim or process payments but we can make sure that you are contacted by a representative of the UIA who can assist you. We will always reach out to you if we have any updates but typically the agency will reach out directly to you once we’ve submitted your form and they’ve had a chance to review your claim.

It can take 12 or more weeks for the agency to review and resolve a case due to the extremely high volume they are experiencing. In some instances, if you have not received any benefits to date, we can request that your case is escalated with the agency. It is the decision of the UIA on whether they accept that request, but we are always willing to try.

We know this has been a frustrating process for many. My staff and I are doing everything we possibly can to get your case resolved. We appreciate your patience and will do our best to help any way we can during this difficult time.

Support the businesses that have supported us

Working hard and putting in the effort to start your own business is a textbook American dream story. Many Michiganders have successfully pursued this dream after years of hard work, breaking even, long hours, government regulations and other hoops small business owners must jump through to survive.

Unfortunately, because of a foreign virus causing a global pandemic, many of these people have had their life’s work taken from them without so much as a chance to survive. I cannot begin to put into words the sadness and frustration I feel for the people who had to go through the experience of locking their doors one last time because they just couldn’t meet the burdens anymore.

We need to do our part to mitigate this disaster and keep our communities thriving — this starts with supporting local businesses. If you are able to, and to do so safely, I kindly ask that you join me in doing our part to keep businesses in our communities alive. Shop at your local supermarket or order your favorite meal from the restaurant down on the corner. For years small businesses have been there to provide excellent service, and now it’s our turn to give back and lend them a helping hand.

Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative grants available

Michigan’s small businesses that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are now able to apply for grants of up to $15,000 through the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Initiative. The program will utilize $10 million in federal U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) CARES Act funding to provide economic assistance to small businesses across Michigan.

Grants of up to $15,000 per eligible business will be awarded, and applications will be reviewed on a “first-in” basis. Information on how to apply – including application questions and instructions and a video tutorial on the application process – as well as eligibility criteria and program guidelines are available at

Celebrating a special occasion?

My office is happy to offer legislative tributes in honor of noteworthy events such as retirement, anniversaries of businesses in our community, awards and public recognitions.

State government resources

• Michigan Senate website:
• Michigan House of Representatives website:
• Michigan Legislative website:

Michigan's 31st Senate District

The 31th state Senate District includes all of Bay, Lapeer, and Tuscola counties.

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StAY IN touch

Senator Kevin Daley
5200 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Phone: 517-373-1777
FAX: 517-373-5871

E-Mail: [email protected]
Visit my website at:

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