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Dear Friends,

To better serve the great people of West Michigan, I’m offering this e-newsletter on what’s happening in the 30th Senate District and across our state.

I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You can call toll-free at 855-347-8030 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

Fighting for families during budget process

As the Senate gears up to debate a new state budget for fiscal year 2025, I am committed to fighting to ensure that the state spending plan focuses on educating our kids, investing in our future, supporting small businesses and reducing the burden on families.

I have concerns about some of the governor’s budget proposals, such as her plan to cut funding in the state’s teacher pension program. I hope to work with both sides of the aisle to find the best solutions for the state.

Below is a breakdown of some of the major spending items and how that funding might compare to a household budget.

Budget Chart

April is National Donate Life Month

Each year, National Donate Life Month brings attention to the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation. With more than 100,000 patients in the U.S. waiting for a transplant, it is more important than ever for everyone to register as a donor. One donor can save up to eight lives, restore sight to two people through cornea donation, and heal more than 75 others through tissue donation.

In 2023, Michigan became the first state to allow residents to register organ donors on their state income tax return. Public Acts 101 and 102 of 2023 allow an individual to become an organ donor by simply checking the box on their state income tax form.

In addition to marking their income tax form, Michigan residents can register as an organ donor online or at their local secretary of state’s office. For more information about organ donation and the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, visit

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District office hours on April 19 and 26

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.

I met with folks at an office hour in Walker on April 8, and I will be available to meet with constituents at the following dates, times and locations:

• Friday, April 19, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Brody’s Be Cafe, 7267 Thornapple River Drive SE in Ada.
• Friday, April 19, from 3 to 4 p.m. at Grand Coney, 809 Michigan St. NE in Grand Rapids.
• Friday, April 26, from 9 to 10 a.m. at Starbucks, 6370 Lake Michigan Drive in Allendale (located inside Family Fare).

Office hours are open to all residents, and no appointment is necessary. Anyone who is unable to attend the office hours may contact my office.

Supporting outdoor recreation

Last week, I joined my colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee in approving the 2024 land development and acquisition project recommendations for the Natural Resources Trust Fund.

For over 40 years, resources from our state’s Natural Resources Trust Fund have been used to enhance access to public recreation and improve the quality of life for all Michigan families.

Many West Michigan families enjoy spending time outside in nature fishing, hiking, boating, biking, and more. This funding will help increase outdoor recreational opportunities and help make our state an even better place for residents to live, work and raise a family.

The NRTF is supported by interest earnings from the development of state-owned mineral rights. The fund’s dollars are constitutionally restricted to recreation improvements and land acquisitions.

The 2024 recommendations include nearly $10 million for 35 recreation development projects and $18.5 million for 18 land acquisition projects.

Student Advisory Council nominations now open

The Michigan Department of Education is asking Michigan superintendents and school leaders to nominate students for membership on the 2024-25 Student Advisory Council. High school students from traditional public schools and public school academies are eligible for nomination.

The Student Advisory Council was first convened in the summer of 2020. The council serves as a student voice to the state superintendent and other MDE leaders to provide perspective and feedback on new or ongoing MDE initiatives. Meetings take place virtually outside of school hours with occasional opportunities to gather in-person during the day.

Nominations of up to two students per high school can be made online at this link, by April 25. Nominated students will receive an emailed invitation to apply. Applications will be reviewed, and council members will be selected. Students selected to serve on the Student Advisory Council will receive additional information by the end of the school year.

Opioid settlement dashboard

Since 1999, more than 1 million people in the U.S. have died from a drug overdose. Since 2021, more than 75% of overdose deaths involved an opioid. In Michigan, the opioid death rate has increased by an average of 13.9% each year from 2000 and 2020.

The state of Michigan joined with other states filed lawsuits against companies that manufactured, sold, or distributed prescription painkillers for their role in fueling the opioid crisis. Settlements in many of these lawsuits have been reached with corporations like Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart. Funds from these settlements are to be distributed to the state and local units of government for opioid-use disorder treatment and remediation.

The Michigan Department of Attorney General has launched a new website to help residents and local units of government find multiple sources of information in one place. Information housed on the site includes:

• Resources for people struggling with addiction and seeking help.
• Links to each of the settlement documents.
• An opioid settlement payment estimator which outlines approximately how much the state, each county, and each participating municipality will receive year-by-year, by settlement, and in total.
• Links to the Michigan Association of Counties Settlement Dashboard.
• Information on how the money is being used across the state, including links to local dashboards, taskforces, and strategic plans.

DNR seeks input on deer management

Michigan’s deer population has risen an estimated 15% over the last 10 years. At the same time, the number of firearm season hunters has fallen from about 800,000 in the late 1990s to fewer than 500,000 now. The number vehicle accidents involving deer increased by 21% between 2012 and 2022.

Earlier this year, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced plans to create a Deer Management Initiative to evaluate and respond to present-day deer management challenges. As part of the initiative, they are seeking input from the public to better understand Michigan residents’ opinions and perceptions about deer and deer management.

All residents, regardless of their interest in or knowledge of deer or deer hunting, are encouraged to respond to the survey, which will be open now through April 16.

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Serving the people of West Michigan is very important to me and I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may contact me by calling toll-free 1-855-347-8030 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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