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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Welcome to the latest edition of my e-newsletter for 2023.

Below you’ll find an update on what’s happening in your state Capitol and some additional resources I hope you find helpful.

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 33rd Senate District.


Rick Outman
State Senator
33rd Senate District

Blue Star Mothers

The Senate recently passed my legislation to annually declare Feb. 1 as Blue Star Mothers Day in Michigan.

I’ve sponsored a resolution honoring the Blue Star Mothers on Feb. 1 for a number of years and this year, I decided to sponsor legislation to recognize the work they do and permanently acknowledge their dedication in state law. My legislation would eliminate the need for an annual resolution and would solidify Feb. 1 of every year as Blue Star Mothers Day in the state of Michigan.

Blue Star Mothers of America is made up of mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, foster mothers and female legal guardians who have a family member serving in the military or children who are veterans. The organization was originally founded in Flint in 1942 and has grown to over 200 chapters from every corner of the nation.

Volunteers support our troops, honor U.S. veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice, visit injured service members in the hospital, help care for and provide support to families who have lost a loved one, and many, many more things that are certainly worthy of this recognition.

I want to thank current Blue Star Mothers of Michigan President Jackie Ransom and Sherry Kramer, who currently serves as president of the Thumb Chapter of Blue Star Mothers, for coming to Lansing to share their stories and help grow support for this effort.

My bill was passed by the Senate in a unanimous 38-0 vote and will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Radical new energy proposals

I submitted an op-ed regarding newly proposed legislation to overhaul the state’s energy infrastructure introduced by Senate Democrats.

To no one’s surprise, the proposals will bring with them more government involvement in our utilities and even higher rates.

You can read the complete article here.

Fostering Futures scholarships available

The Fostering Futures scholarship is a fantastic way for students to continue their education beyond high school. Young adults who have experienced foster care on or after age 13 are eligible to apply for a Fostering Futures scholarship.

The application period for the 2023-24 academic year is currently available, and the priority deadline is Aug. 1. Eligible students enrolled at a Michigan degree-granting college or university may now apply to receive scholarship funds for tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies.

Find more information at the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund.

MI Fire Equipment Grant

As part of the fiscal year 2023 budget, the Michigan Legislature appropriated $12 million to establish and operate the MI Fire Equipment Grant Program.

Grant awards of up to $10,000 are available to eligible fire departments in cities, villages, townships or tribal governments or commissions. The application period is now open. Applications are accepted through the Michigan Department of Treasury through July 10.

Additional information, answers to FAQs, program guidelines, and application materials are available at

Campfire safety tips

There is no better way to end a summer day than a campfire with friends to roast marshmallows, make smores, and enjoy a crisp Michigan night.

But a campfire that is not closely monitored and thoroughly extinguished can quickly become dangerous. To keep your family, guests, and the environment around you safe, please keep these campfire safety tips in mind:

• Build your fire in a campfire ring or space surrounded by bare earth.
• Always keep a water source and a metal shovel nearby.
• Never leave a fire unattended, even for a minute.
• When it’s time to turn in for the night, drench your fire with water, stir the ashes and drench again to make sure it’s completely out.

June is Great Outdoors Month

There are over 100 state parks and recreation areas in Michigan and endless miles of shorelines that come from our thousands of rivers, streams, and lakes. It could not be easier to celebrate Great Outdoors Month in Michigan. This month-long celebration reminds us all just how beneficial spending time outdoors can be to our physical and mental health.

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School growth metrics available to the public

Last year, the school aid budget, Public Act 144 of 2022, included a requirement that student growth data be available to the public at the district and school levels and by grade and subjects taught.

The Michigan Department of Education recently unveiled a new website that offers tools to provide teachers, parents and policymakers with a visual representation of growth and achievement for public schools and districts. This information allows for a comparison of schools and districts across the state and includes interactive reports for selecting the data of interest.

The MI School Data website is another available tool that offers various methods to review statewide information or data at the intermediate school district, district, school, or college level. Data are presented in graphs, charts, and trend lines and can be downloaded to make informed decisions to improve student success.

‘Three Free’ weekend June 10-11

With 103 state parks and recreation areas across Michigan, there are endless opportunities to enjoy all that our state has to offer. June 10-11 is Michigan’s “Three Free” weekend.

During these two days, Michigan residents and visitors can grab a fishing pole, ride the off-road trails and visit state parks and boating access sites — all for free. Recreation Passports will not be required for entry into state parks and recreation areas, all fishing license fees and ORV license or trail permits will be waived.

The free fishing weekend is a tremendous opportunity for families to pass down the love of fishing to the next generation. Anglers can fish without a license on these two days, although all fishing regulations still apply. Visit for more information.

All state parks and boating access points are open to visitors without Recreation Passports. In addition, June 11-12 marks the first of the state’s two summer free ORV weekends, when off-road enthusiasts can ride on designated routes and trails without an ORV license or trail permit. All ORV rules and laws apply. Riders can find out more at

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Outings with Outman

Sand Lake Road Repairs

My son, Rep. Pat Outman, and I recently stopped by for a tour of a road repair project in Sand Lake. Village President Mollie Doerr guided us through recent upgrades and remaining needs for road projects in the village.

It was great to meet with Mollie and to have a discussion on potential future developments in Sand Lake.

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Attending Behavioral Health Crisis Center wall breaking

Through their collaborative partnership, Network180 and Trinity Health Grand Rapids are combining their expertise to make the Behavioral Health Crisis Center a reality in Kent County.

The Behavioral Health Crisis Center will provide immediate behavioral health crisis management and be accessible to Kent County adults regardless of ability to pay. Together, Network180 and Trinity Health Grand Rapids are filling a critical gap in crisis care by offering secure, immediate, lower cost crisis care in West Michigan.

I also got to discuss the issue with my friend and former colleague, Kent County Treasurer Pete MacGregor!

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Congratulations to East Rockford Middle School library!

East Rockford Middle School’s library was recently awarded “Exemplary Status” from the Library of Michigan’s “School Libraries for the 21st Century” benchmarks.

Congratulations to library staff Kelly Boston and Jen Frommeyer and to the school for making their community proud and providing students with meaningful resources to advance their academic careers!

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Sheridan Memorial Day Ceremony

Memorial Day is a day of ceremony and remembrance for those who gave their lives to provide us with the opportunities we have as Americans. All gave something and some gave all to ensure our rights survived over generations.

I had the distinct honor of participating in the Sheridan Memorial Day Ceremony and to pay respects to the selfless men and women who gave everything they had defending our freedoms.

It was a humbling event and one I was beyond honored to attend.

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Graduation at the Creative Technologies Academy

I recently joined my son, Rep. Pat Outman, and Creative Technologies Academy Board President Tony Domico and Trustee Jim Comden at the academy’s graduation ceremony.

Congratulations to graduates! It was a pleasure to spend this special day with you all.

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Michigan's 33rd Senate District

Michigan’s 33rd Senate District now includes Montcalm and Newaygo counties, along with parts of Ionia, Lake, Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa counties.

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the 33rd Senate District of Michigan. 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 33rd District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Rick Outman
4400 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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