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Dear Friends,

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Michigan fall. We Michiganders are surely fortunate to have such a beautiful state to explore and call home.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share some updates from the Legislature as we continue to work hard on your behalf. You can read below about efforts to support Michigan students, invest in our aging water infrastructure, ensure election integrity and more.

I encourage you to contact me with any state issue. You may call 517-373-0793 or email [email protected]. 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,

Aric Nesbitt
State Senator
26th District


National Popular Vote petition drive is bad for Michigan

Senator Nesbitt led the effort to collect signatures from 57 Republican members of the state Senate and House who recently signed a letter to Michigan voters vehemently rejecting an effort to have the state promise its presidential electors to a National Popular Vote compact.

The National Popular Vote would allow a few large population states and cities to overwhelm the rest of the country when choosing a president. Our Constitution’s electoral college system allows for the meaningful participation of voices in Michigan and middle America.

We need to have more input and voices than just those from the country’s four or five biggest population centers. Make no mistake – Michigan would be a big loser in a national popular vote arrangement. It’s not the right approach for our state or our residents.

It is imperative that the candidate who receives Michigan’s electoral votes is determined by Michiganders. Let’s stop the left’s latest power grab.


Senate approves Let Kids Learn plan

The Michigan Senate recently passed the Let Kids Learn plan, designed to work side-by-side with our schools to rethink what it means to deliver effective learning tools, give parents control over their child’s education and refocus on students and outcomes.

The Let Kids Learn plan, created in Senate Bills 687 and 688, would establish scholarships for eligible K-12 students in Michigan to use for certain educational expenses. Scholarships are prioritized for children receiving free and reduced lunch, children in foster care, and students with disabilities.

The COVID-19 pandemic created unique challenges for educators, parents and students — with students from across the state experiencing the pandemic differently. Students are still recovering from a wide range of issues, from learning loss to mental health issues, and parents need to be able to decide on the right school or education program for their child.

Funds available through these scholarships could be used by families for education or learning expenses — both inside and outside the classroom, including tuition and fees for public, nonpublic or online K-12 schools; career and technical education programs; Wi-Fi and laptops; textbooks and materials; transportation; occupational, behavioral and speech therapies; tutoring services; mental health services; and more.

The funds would be strictly for school-related expenses, and any refunds, returns or rebates would be credited back to a student’s scholarship account for future educational use. Annual reports would be required by the Department of Treasury to ensure proper use of scholarship funds by the scholarship granting organizations. If enacted, Michigan would join several other states that offer, with great success, similar education savings accounts and tax-credit scholarships.

SB’s 687 and 688 were approved by the Senate and now in the House of Representatives for further consideration.


Senate panel considers historic water infrastructure bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee recently launched hearings around a $2.5 billion water infrastructure spending bill that focuses on investing our remaining federal recovery funds into repairing dams, replacing water treatment infrastructure, and more.

Much of the figures are still under discussion, but Senate Bill 565 would currently invest $600 million into a grant program for replacing lead pipes across the state, $700 million for upgrading local drinking water and wastewater facilities and $85 million for filtered water stations inside of schools.

The water plan would also make hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding available to:

• Repair dams in critical condition to mitigate and avoid costly catastrophes like what happened in Midland last year;
• Assist communities with upgrading and replacing water treatment infrastructure and homeowners to replace failing septic systems;
• Conduct surface water monitoring, including wetland mitigation, and
• To implement recommendations included in the Groundwater Use Advisory Council Report.

The Michigan Water Environment Association said the last time an investment similar to this plan was made was after the federal Clean Water Act was enacted in 1972.

Click here to watch the committee hearing.


Senate approves voter ID reforms

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Lawmakers recently voted to pass commonsense legislation to require showing a photo ID to vote. Michigan residents across all demographics and political parties overwhelmingly support showing a photo ID when voting. Poll after poll shows a majority of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats agree. It's a commonsense way to protect and preserve our right to vote. These bills would also make it easier for residents to get a free state ID card.

A 2021 poll, conducted by the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Glengariff Group, showed 79.7% of Michigan voters support requiring voters to present a government-issued ID in order to vote.

Senate Bill 303 would require voters to show proper identification when voting in person and require absentee voters to write their Michigan driver’s license number or state ID card number on their absentee ballot application to verify their identity. Under the bill, voters could also write the last four digits of their social security number on their application or present their ID to their clerk to get an absentee ballot. SB 303 would also prohibit the use of third-party money for elections administration in Michigan and ban the secretary of state or other government officials from sending unsolicited absentee ballot applications to voters.

SB 304 would allow in-person voters without proper identification and absentee voters who fail to fill in the identifying information to cast a provisional ballot and return to their local clerk within six days after the election to verify their identity so their vote can be counted.

House Bill 5007 would make getting or renewing an official state identification card free of charge to Michigan residents.

These bills have been approved by both the House and the Senate and have been sent to the governor for her signature.


Gov. Whitmer: Michigan’s most partisan governor

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With nearly 100 vetoes of bipartisan bills, Gov. Whitmer has become the most partisan governor in our state’s recent history.

In 2021 alone, 28 out of 29 of the governor’s vetoes have been on bipartisan bills that would have helped Michiganders with autism, fixed our crumbling roads, and protected seniors in nursing homes — just to name a few.

Gov. Whitmer is averaging more vetoes (35 per year) than even Gov. Granholm (25 per year) did in her time in office. Gov. Snyder only averaged 16 vetoes annually in his first three years.

To see just how many bipartisan bills Gov. Whitmer has struck down, visit


Supporting Life

It was a great evening and turnout at the Van Buren Right to Life Banquet on Oct. 18. Thank you to all who came out to support life and advocate for the pro-life cause.

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Honoring our firefighters

The Paw Paw Volunteer Fire Department annual dinner took place on Oct. 7. The event has been a tradition for the fire department for over 150 years and recognizes the volunteers who help keep the community safe.

Sen. Nesbitt and state Rep. Beth Griffin presented a special tribute from the State of Michigan to Bud Johnson for 50 years of service, Ron Douglas Sr. for 60 years of service, and Ron Douglas Jr. as Firefighter of the Year.

Paw Paw Quick Response Team Leader John Redmond was presented with an award from the Paw Paw Fire Department for his outstanding years of service to the community. Brandon Hall and Steve Holden were recognized for 10 years of service, Lloyd Manning for 40 years of service, and Jim DeGroff IV was presented with the Judges Award.

God bless them and keep our first responders safe.

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We loved the pancakes

My family had a great time at the Hartford Fire Department Pancake Breakfast on Oct. 3 thanks to the wonderful food and fantastic company! We already look forward to seeing you all there next year!

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Welcome to the Capitol

It was great to talk with Allegan County Area Technical and Education Center Principal Rich Okoniewski during the Career and Technical Education Advocacy Day on Sept. 28. Principal Okoniewski and his team are leading up local efforts to train the next generation for quality careers and add flexibility to the state’s merit curriculum.

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Happy 100th Birthday

Happy 100th birthday to Pastor Emeritus Raymond Bartels, who served as pastor at Peace Lutheran in South Haven for 37 years and continues to be active in the congregation and community. Because he is affectionately known as the “Pie and Cookie Pastor” for all his baking, the congregation sent more than 100 dozen cookies to our military service members as part of his birthday celebration.

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Welcome to the Michigan Farmers’ Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Shelly and Dennis Hartman for their induction into the Michigan Farmers’ Hall of Fame on Sept. 11. I am proud of both of you and all your hard work to promote farming, value-added processing, and giving back to our community.

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Updates have been made to Michigan’s online career tool

Pathfinder, Michigan’s online career exploration tool, has received a major update to make it easier for residents to use.

Pathfinder is a free tool that provides information to students, their parents and guidance counselors, to help them make informed choices about educational and career options. This free tool uses current labor market information, wage data, and other data and metrics, to allow users to match skills and interests with career paths and jobs. The recent update allows users to choose and compare multiple paths and even print or email completed paths to use later. For more information or to try the Pathfinder tool, please visit


October is National Apple Month

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With more than 14.9 million apple trees across 34,500 acres, apples are the largest and most valuable fruit crop in Michigan. Growers dedicate their lives to the industry, operating 775 family-run farms throughout the state.

This year’s Michigan apple crop is expected to yield 766.5 million pounds. Most of those apples will be sold at Michigan’s 150 farm markets and cider mills, and in more than 12,000 retail grocery stores in 32 states.

Not only is farming an important part of Michigan’s economy, visiting farms and orchards in the fall is part of our culture. Many of us have memories of visiting apple farms with our families or classmates, drinking cider, watching the cider press and picking apples. October is a great time to share those traditions with friends and family by visiting an apple farm or a cider mill in your area.


Reminder: 10-digit dialing began on Oct. 24

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

The change is 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.


Sunday is Halloween

This Sunday is Halloween. I hope everyone has a safe and fun evening however you celebrate. Drivers, please stay alert this weekend and watch for trick-or-treaters.

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Michigan's 26th Senate District

The 26th State Senate District includes all of Allegan and Van Buren counties, as well as the city of Kentwood and Gaines Township in Kent County.

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the 26th 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 26th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Aric Nesbitt
6100 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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