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Dear Friends,

To better serve you, I am offering this e-newsletter on what’s happening in our community and across our state.

At the Capitol, we’re working hard on next year’s state budget. Senate subcommittees finished their budget plans last week, and the Senate is on track to pass a responsible and balanced budget outline early next month.

Closer to home, our community is still dealing with police-involved shooting death of Patrick Lyoya. As a lifelong resident of West Michigan and a father with a son not much younger than Patrick, my prayers continue to be with his family and our community coping with this shocking loss of life. My focus as your senator has been to reach out to our community leaders, ensure a transparent investigation, and support appropriate actions based on the evidence.

I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may call toll-free at 1-855-347-8028 or email [email protected]. Also, please check out my Facebook page. 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,

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Mark Huizenga
State Senator

Senate approves opioid settlement measures

My legislation was one of three bills in a bipartisan package approved by the Michigan Senate last week to receive and distribute the state’s share of a nationwide opioid settlement.

The abuse of prescription and illegal opioids is an epidemic in Michigan and across our country — deeply impacting our communities and the lives of thousands of families. I am proud to sponsor this legislation as part of an ongoing commitment to do everything we can to help effectively combat opioid addiction in our state, provide people impacted by these drugs the support and treatment they need and increase education to help prevent opioid addiction in our communities — especially by our kids.

Michigan is set to receive nearly $800 million in opioid settlement payments over the next 18 years from three major pharmaceutical distributors Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen, along with opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.

The national agreement is the result of years of negotiations to resolve more than 4,000 claims of alleged misuse and abuse of opioid products and is the second largest multistate agreement in U.S. history, second only to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.

My bill would provide proper oversight of this historic settlement and ensure the funds are being put to smart and efficient use in combating opioid addiction in Michigan.

Senate Bill 993 would create the Michigan Opioid Healing and Recovery Fund to receive dollars from the national opioid settlement or any future opioid case. It would fund abatement practices and support for opioid use disorder and substance use disorder or mental health treatment and related efforts as required by the settlement.

My bill, SB 994, would create the Opioid Advisory Commission within the Legislative Council to review local, state, and federal initiatives and activities related to education, prevention, treatment, and services for people and families affected by substance use disorders and make funding recommendations to the Legislature.

The commission would provide a report by March 30 each year with a statewide evidence-based assessment of funding used to address substance use disorders and mental health conditions and a discussion on how to prevent overdoses, health disparities, and youth substance use.

SB 995 would create the Opioid Liability Litigation Act to fulfill the terms of the settlement agreement.

Click here or on the image below to see a video of my remarks on the legislation following its passage by the Senate.

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District office hours in May

I am holding in-person office hours throughout the district on a regular basis because hearing directly from the people about the issues they are facing is an important part of representing everyone in West Michigan. These meetings give local residents a chance to express their viewpoints about what needs to be done and offer help to people dealing with a variety of state issues.

In May, I will be meeting residents on Friday, May 13 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at New Beginnings, 4735 Lake Michigan Drive NW in Grand Rapids, on Friday, May 20 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Herman’s Boy, 220 Northland Drive NE in Rockford, and on Friday, May 27 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Mr. Burger, 5181 Northland Drive NE in Plainfield.

Office hours are open to all residents and no appointment is necessary. Space is limited at some locations. Anyone who is unable to attend the office hours may contact my office.

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Donating blood

Last month, the Legislature hosted a blood donation drive in partnership with the American Red Cross. There is currently a nationwide blood shortage, and I was glad to do my part in helping address it by donating blood. If you wish to donate blood, contact the Versiti Blood Center of Michigan – which handles blood banks in the Grand Rapids area – at 616-774-2300 or visit their website.

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Visiting Northview Next Career Center

I recently had the opportunity to visit Northview Next Career Center. Through its programming, Northview Next empowers students to develop lifelong learning capabilities and pursue in-demand trade skills. Moreover, the career center provides the support necessary to ensure that all students, regardless of their circumstances, can obtain a Northview Public Schools diploma. Keep up the great work!

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Happy Easter and Passover

As a Christian family, our faith is important to us. I hope everyone who shares our faith was able to enjoy the celebration of Good Friday and Easter earlier this month.

Members of our Jewish community also recently celebrated Passover, which commemorates freedom and the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He laid down his life for us so that we may enter the kingdom of Heaven. Then, on the third day, He rose again from the dead. He ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. He is risen! Christ is victorious, and we have been given new life in Him.

I hope we take the messages of Easter and Passover to heart now and throughout the entire year: God loves us all; freedom is to be cherished; don’t lose faith; and love will prevail – even in the darkest of times. May God bless you and your family.

Autism Awareness Month

April is National Autism Awareness Month.

It is estimated that autism affects 1 in 44 children in the United States today. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, includes a broad range of developmental disorders that can include challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.

Every person with autism can be affected in a different way and have a unique set of strengths and challenges. National Autism Awareness Month is an opportunity to foster understanding and acceptance by sharing the diverse stories of people with autism and to help create a world where everyone can reach their full potential.

Spring birdwatching

Spring is an exciting time for birdwatchers in Michigan. With the return of migratory birds, there are endless opportunities to enjoy the arrival of these feathered travelers.

Michigan’s Grouse Enhanced Management Sites is an interactive mapping tool designed to help bird watchers identify premier bird-watching locations. Each GEMS location is publicly accessible and managed for wildlife habitat and wildlife recreation with abundant food sources and shelter for diverse species, including migratory birds. While these areas are primarily used for upland game bird hunting in the fall, they provide excellent birding and wildlife recreation opportunities year-round.

Each area is complete with walking trails, parking site information and maps. The trails, accessible to people of varying physical abilities, are the perfect location for new birders or hikers to explore.

To learn more about Michigan’s bird species and to plan your birding trip, visit

Travel and Tourism Week

May 1-7 is Travel and Tourism Week in Michigan! It is a time to celebrate all Michigan has to offer tourists and recognize the importance of tourism to our economy. For more information on some great places to check out around the state, visit

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Serving the constituents of our community is very important to me and I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may contact me by calling toll-free 1-855-347-8028 or emailing [email protected] .

I look forward to serving you, and I encourage you to contact me if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Senator Mark Huizenga
201 Townsend St., Suite #7200
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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