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Dear Friends,

Thank you for subscribing to my e-newsletter on what’s happening in the 14th Senate District and across our state.

If you have any questions or need to get in contact with me, feel free to call my office at 517-373-1636 or email me at [email protected].

All the best,
Sen. Ruth Johnson
District 14

State to expect $3.5B more in revenue

After state fiscal and economic leaders met on Friday for the state’s annual May Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference, they announced their revised state tax revenue projections. Largely due to federal relief funds and increased consumer spending, we have $2 billion more in revenue than initially expected for this fiscal year and will have $1.5 billion more in 2022 than estimated in January.

The historic amount of funding available comes with a responsibility to use it in a smart and effective manner. With these official revenue projections in hand, we can now take the next step in working with the House and governor to finalize a state budget on time that puts our taxpayer dollars to productive use to meet our current needs, support our people and economy, and invest in a brighter future.

Senate passes budget plan

The Senate recently passed a responsible 2022 budget plan that prioritizes support for our students, communities and workers without increasing the burden on Michigan families and small businesses struggling to make ends meet after a very difficult year for everyone in our state.

It’s also part of the process to enact a new state budget on time and within our means — while we also continue to work on a separate measure for using federal COVID-19 relief funds this year to help people and businesses seriously impacted by the pandemic.

The 17-bill budget plan includes $72 million for competitive and need-based scholarships for higher education students, $40 million in the Going Pro program to provide grants to support employee training, $30 million for the Michigan Reconnect program to provide support for community college and vocational training, $77 million to provide child care for more families, and $161 million for wage increases for direct care workers and front-line workers at child care institutions.

Senate Bill 83 would invest $15.8 billion in K-12 education, an increase of $249 million. The bill would increase the minimum foundation allowance to $8,361 per pupil, dedicate an additional $20 million to assist students dealing with mental health challenges and boost preschool funding by $32 million to help reduce class sizes. It also dedicates $1.7 billion to help cover the costs of school employee retirement.

The bills prioritize more revenue sharing funding for local governments, more resources for state road and bridge construction, $2.2 billion for local transportation infrastructure projects, a 50% boost for grants to help struggling veterans with expenses, and a new program to incentivize local governments to reduce their long-term debts. SBs 77 and 79-94 have been sent to the state House for consideration.

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SOS must reopen branches under Senate budget

Michigan secretary of state branch offices that have been closed to walk-in customers for over a year would be required to reopen under the budget passed by the state Senate. I supported the requirement after Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced her plan to continue only serving residents with an appointment even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

People are literally waiting three months or more for an appointment. It’s causing so many issues for people. They can’t transfer a title when they buy or sell a vehicle. People are driving on expired licenses. They can’t get in for certification exams they need to do their jobs, such as mechanics.

Many branch offices do not have any available appointments for months. On the day this was passed by the Senate, the West Grand Boulevard branch in Detroit showed the first available appointment for a driver’s license renewal as Oct. 29.

During my time as secretary of state, I launched as an online alternative to branch visits for many transactions, but some services still require an in-person visit such as getting a new driver’s license or state ID or renewing them when an eye exam or new photo is required. Other transactions, like transferring a vehicle title, generally require an in-person visit as well.

Click on the links under the station names to see some recent TV coverage on this topic by WEYI-TV 25, FOX 2 Detroit and WXYZ-TV 7. You can also click here to hear my interview on WJR on this important topic.

MIOSHA proposed permanent rules rescinded

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While Gov. Whitmer was telling the people about her plan to lift the restrictions as vaccination rates improved, she was also working to make the state’s current COVID-19 emergency workplace rules permanent.

After the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in October 2020 that Gov. Whitmer did not have the authority to continue issuing executive orders by declaring a state of emergency, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration used its ability to put in place COVID-19 emergency workplace safety rules. Due to limits on emergency rules, MIOSHA had announced it was taking steps to make the rule permanent.

Thankfully, after hearing from the Michigan people and the Legislature, the governor decided to have the MISOHA rescind those plans!

I want to thank everyone who submitted comments about making the workplace rules permanent. Your voices were heard, and the governor has agreed to work with us on emergency rules going forward.

LifeChanger of the Year award nominations

LifeChanger of the Year is an annual program recognizing K-12 educators and school employees across the country. The program, sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, celebrates those who are making a significant difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership. This award is for any school district employee who is retiring at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Click here for more information or to nominate someone.

Nominations for the 2021-2022 program will remain open through June 7, 2021.

National Stroke Awareness Month

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Here is a graphic with warning signs of someone having a possible stroke. Call 911 immediately if you see someone is having a stroke.

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COVID-19 resources

Below is a list of resources available to you if you need any type of assistance. Additionally, you can contact my office at any time for more information.

• General information, resources, testing locations and more:
• Up-to-date information about COVID-19 vaccine distribution:
• Coronavirus hotline for health-related questions: 1-888-535-6136 daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 1-800-232-4636 or
• Michigan PEER Warmline for mental health support and substance abuse challenges: 1-888-733-7753 every day from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
• National suicide prevention lifeline available 24/7: Call 1-800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or visit
• Small business resources: or 1-888-522-0103.


Michigan's 14th Senate District

In Genesee County, the 14th Senate District includes the cities of Davison, Fenton and Grand Blanc as well as Atlas, Davison, Grand Blanc and Mundy townships.

In Oakland County, the district includes the cities of Fenton and Lake Angelus as well as Brandon, Groveland, Highland, Holly, Rose, Springfield and Waterford townships.

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the state Senate. 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 14th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Ruth Johnson
7300 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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