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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

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

Below you’ll find an update on some items we’ve been working on in Lansing as we head into the holiday season.

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.

From my family to yours, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Rick Outman
State Senator
33rd Senate District


Legislature approves “Make it in Michigan” plan

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The Legislature recently passed legislation aimed at making Michigan more competitive for new investments and jobs. The “Make it in Michigan” plan is a responsible and transparent way to keep manufacturing jobs in Michigan and bring sustainable, domestic manufacturing back to the United States.

Senate Bill 769 would create the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) fund within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO). The SOAR program would receive funds through a legislative appropriation. Funds from SOAR would be transferred into the Critical Industry Program (CIP) or Michigan Strategic Site Readiness Program (MSSRP).

House Bill 5603 would create the MSSRP to provide grants, loans, and other economic assistance for eligible applicants to conduct eligible activities to create investment-ready sites. SB 771 would create the CIP, which would provide funds for qualified investments to qualified businesses for deal-closing, gap financing, or other economic assistance that create new qualified jobs and/or make capital investments (not for administrative purposes).

In addition to an unprecedented level of transparency, this plan establishes reporting requirements to allow the public and the Legislature to make sure companies are meeting their commitments and funds are being responsibly allocated. A report on each of the three funds must be sent to the Legislature, the governor, the clerk of the House, the secretary of the Senate, and the Senate and House fiscal agencies by March 15 of each year. If the report is not transmitted by March 15, no dollars from the unreported fund will be disbursed until the report has been transmitted.

The legislation, along with a funding measure to fund the effort was signed into law by the governor earlier this week.


Snowmobile season is underway!

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2021-2022 trail permits are now available!

The snowmobile program is 100% funded with your trail permit dollars. A $52 snowmobile trail permit is valid for one year and covers the cost of trail grooming and signage; bridges, culverts and grading; trailhead maintenance and more.

State-designated trails are open Dec. 1 through March 31 and will be groomed as enough snow accumulates.

Permits can be purchased:

• Online through eLicense.
• Online with the Michigan Snowmobile and ORV Association.
• In person at one of these DNR license agents and dealers.


Senate Republican no-fault reform leads to MCCA refunds for Michigan drivers

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The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) has announced a plan to refund Michigan drivers $400 per vehicle early next year.

The refunds come as a direct result of landmark reforms passed by the Legislature in 2019 to reform Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system. As part of the 2019 reforms, the Legislature directed the MCCA to issue refunds to drivers every three years following an audit by the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS); the first refunds were previously expected to be issued following a 2022 audit.

The MCCA levies assessments each year to cover claims for those catastrophically injured in car accidents. The association’s surplus has grown from $2.4 billion at the end of 2020 to $5 billion by June 30.

The MCCA board voted on Nov. 3 in favor of issuing refund checks following an analysis that found about $3 billion of the surplus could be returned to policyholders. Refunds will be issued to every Michigan resident with an auto insurance policy in force as of 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31.

MCCA will turn over surplus funds to insurance companies by March 9, 2022, and the insurers will be responsible for issuing checks to eligible policyholders 60 days after the transfer of funds.


Driving uninsured? Time is running out to get penalty-free auto insurance

If you’ve been risking driving without insurance, you have until Jan. 1, 2022 to get auto insurance without paying any penalties. After Jan. 1, drivers can once again be charged a penalty or increased premium if they purchase auto insurance after letting their insurance lapse.

As a result of Michigan’s new auto insurance law, there’s never been a better time to shop for insurance. There are new, lower-cost insurance options available so be sure to shop around for savings. If you’ve let your auto insurance lapse, you can get insurance without paying a penalty or increased premium – but you must apply before Jan. 1, 2022. Drivers who miss the deadline will still be able to purchase insurance but may face additional penalties or premium increases.

If you are interested in learning more or have questions, visit or call the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services at 833-ASK-DIFS (275-3437).


Outman supports historic water infrastructure plan

The Michigan Senate has passed legislation to invest $3.34 billion in making critical improvements to the state’s water quality and infrastructure.

Senate Bill 565 would use $2.37 billion in federal funding, $680 million in state resources and $290 million in repurposed state bond funds to improve Michigan’s dam infrastructure, wastewater systems and groundwater protection and provide clean drinking water.

The bill features $1 billion to replace lead pipes throughout the state, $700 million to upgrade local drinking water and wastewater facilities, $100 million in grants to remove PFAS chemicals from “orphaned” sites, $50 million to help well owners connect to a community water system or increase the depth of their well if their water was contaminated or their well failed after a disaster, and $85 million for filtered water stations in schools.

SB 565 would also designate $680 million for dam infrastructure, including $650 million for projects prioritizing dam risk reduction, $15 million for emergency response activities by the state where a dam owner fails to pay for necessary work, and $15 million for a grant program for dam rehabilitation or removal.

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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‘Jail diversion’ legislation heads to governor

Earlier this year, I joined state Sen. Stephanie Chang in introducing legislation seeking to improve the state’s response to mental health-related emergencies and improve access to mental health care for those in the criminal justice system.

Addressing mental health-related emergencies and the criminal justice system’s response is something I’ve been speaking to local law enforcement in my district about for quite some time. The law enforcement community has been incredibly receptive to the idea because it gives them more tools to help deal with mental health emergencies instead of just tossing the issue on the backs of our already-overworked officers.

Senate Bill 637 would create a Community Crisis Response Grant Program that would provide grants to assist local units of government with the implementation of alternative methods to dealing with mental health emergencies — such as sending unarmed mental health professionals to respond to behavioral health-related emergency calls. These individuals are trained to respond to such medical issues and can provide the necessary and helpful resources needed to deescalate the situation and provide meaningful care.

SB 638, which I sponsored, would establish the Behavioral Health Jail Diversion Grant Program for local units of government to help establish or expand behavioral health jail diversion programs that seek to keep people suffering from mental health issues out of jail.

These bills acknowledge the overlap between criminal justice and mental health issues and take a deliberate step toward finding a better solution.

I hope the governor decides to support not only those who need critical help, but our state’s dedicated law enforcement officers as well. Signing this bill would be a major step in the right direction toward modernizing and better equipping the criminal justice and mental health systems.


Our District

The 33rd state Senate District includes Clare, Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta, and Montcalm 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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