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Legislation including funding to boost northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula tourism enacted

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Last week, I joined with my fellow Upper Peninsula lawmakers in supporting a funding measure that includes resources to support Northern Michigan and U.P. tourism.

Senate Bill 565, which contains funding for much-needed road and water infrastructure repairs, also included funds for local park projects across the state. SB 565 includes $20 million for the restoration and development of the Copper Peak ski jump facility in Gogebic County. The world-class facility will attract international ski competitions and provide sports-related tourism to the region. The ski jump is expected to generate $50 million for the region in visitor revenue over its first four years of competitive events.

The western U.P. has been dealt many blows economically for years, the most recent of which was the untimely and unnecessary closure of the Ojibway prison. The state has made many promises of economic investment and thanks to the great U.P. legislative team and partners across the U.P. and downstate, we are seeing a tremendous investment in a transformational project for our area.

The funding measure also garnered support from local organizations, including Bob Jacquart, who serves as chairman of the Copper Peak Organizing Committee.

“We are thrilled that a portion of the funding for local and state parks and trails will help the U.P. become a global destination for competitive ski jumping,” Jacquart said. “Recently, the International Ski Federation selected Copper Peak to become the exclusive, year-round competition and training venue for Olympic-level skiers. Funding in the bill will help cover the cost of extensive renovations that the Copper Peak Ski jump must undergo to meet competition requirements.”

The legislation has been signed by the governor.

McBroom supports $4.7B infrastructure plan

The Michigan Senate passed legislation to invest $4.7 billion into making critical improvements to the state’s infrastructure.

Senate Bill 565 would use $4.1 billion in federal funding and $571 million in state resources to make important infrastructure investments across the state, including over $1.7 billion to help communities improve their drinking water and wastewater infrastructure — with at least 25% of drinking water funds dedicated to replacing lead pipes.

The bill features $450 million to make infrastructure upgrades at state and local parks, over $322 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds for small local governments, nearly $317 million in federal funding to fix aging roads and bridges, $250 million to rebuild destroyed or damaged dams and prioritize risk reduction projects at other dams in the state, and $250 million to help improve broadband connectivity to more households and small businesses.

Communities throughout the U.P. are grappling with problems from aging water systems, especially old lead pipes. The historic funding will help make transformational changes to these water systems and those throughout the state, benefitting residents now and in generations to come.

SB 565 also designates $50 million to help install filtered water stations in schools, $60 million to help reduce PFAS or other contaminants from drinking water, $35 million to fix failing septic systems, and $92.8 million for airport infrastructure projects.

Michigan needs to expand open records law

Sen. Jeremy Moss and I were recently awarded the 2022 Peter Pettalia Memorial Sunshine Award from the Michigan Press Association.

My colleague and I marked the occasion, in conjunction with Sunshine Week, by renewing our call for swift passage of legislation that would shine more light on state government.

Michiganders should not feel they are in the dark when it comes to what their government is working on, which is why voting on legislation to create paths for open communication and government transparency is such a priority.

Michigan is one of only two states that does not allow FOIA to apply to the executive and legislative branches of state government and has ranked dead last among all states in ethics, transparency and accountability according to the Center for Public Integrity.

Being recognized for prioritizing government transparency is an honor, especially when the award is in the spirit of a dear friend and colleague whom I regularly miss. I look forward to continuing to work with Sen. Moss, as well as the rest of my colleagues, on pushing this legislation forward.

Sunshine Week is recognized yearly to raise awareness about accessible transparency in government, as well as the value and role it plays in our democracy. We have pushed these bills to subject the governor and Legislature to records requests from the public since the 2015-2016 legislative session.

The Peter Pettalia Memorial Sunshine Award is given annually by the Michigan Press Association to public servants who strive to promote and protect an open government. The award is named after former state Rep. Peter Pettalia of Presque Isle, who tragically died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash in 2016 and who was passionate about keeping the public informed through a transparent government.

UP basketball teams represent the region well – we are proud of them!

On March 17, I was proud to welcome the Baraga High School girls basketball team to the Senate chamber in advance of the team’s state semifinal matchup against Fowler at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

You can watch video of the team’s visit to the Senate here:

Also, for the first time in over 25 years, the U.P. was represented in both the Division Three and Division Four boys basketball state finals! The Menominee Maroons team visited the Capitol on March 25 ahead of its game the next day. Ewen-Trout Creek Panthers were also in the state finals.

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While the teams all unfortunately lost, they have much to be proud of. My congratulations to these young people for making it to the final four in what was a remarkably successful season for them all. Their success is a great example of what can be accomplished through hard work, determination and working as a team. On behalf of all Upper Peninsula residents, I say job well done!

McBroom, Senate approve gas tax pause; Whitmer vetoes income tax cut

Over the last several weeks, Republicans in the Legislature have approved multiple initiatives to bring immediate financial relief to Michigan residents.

The Legislature recently approved House Bill 5570 to suspend the state’s gas and diesel taxes. The bill would suspend the fuel taxes through the remainder of the state’s fiscal year and save drivers a combined $750 million according to estimates. The plan has been sent to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has said she will veto it despite having asked Congress to pause the federal gas tax just days before the Legislature’s vote.

In early March, I voted in favor of Senate Bill 768 to provide needed tax relief to Michigan families. Unfortunately, the governor vetoed the plan. This historic bill would have helped every Michigan family by reducing the state’s income tax from 4.25% to 3.9% and creating a $500 tax credit for each child under the age of 19. It would also have created a tax deduction for seniors up to $40,000 for individuals and $80,000 for couples and lower the age threshold from 67 to 62.

Over the last decade, Republicans have insisted on responsible spending. This means Michigan’s budget is in a strong position, with a multibillion-dollar surplus. However, crippling inflation and out-of-control spending in Washington have increased the price of everyday necessities.

Now is the time to provide needed relief so Michiganders can afford everyday necessities.

Senate resolution urges US energy independence

I supported Senate Resolution 114, a resolution urging policies that will lead to energy independence and lower energy costs in the United States, including ending the state’s efforts to shut down Line 5.

Efforts by the Whitmer and Biden administrations to crush domestic energy production are forcing gas prices to soar, inflation to rise and affecting the budget of every Michigan household. SR 114 urges the governor and Attorney General Nessel to “immediately cease their efforts to shut down the Line 5 pipeline and instead work proactively to lower energy costs for the residents of this state.”

You can watch my speech in support of the resolution from the Senate chamber here:

Federal drinking water grants available

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $20 million in grant funding to assist communities and schools in removing sources of lead from drinking water.

As part of the federal Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, the EPA announced the availability of $10 million for projects to conduct lead service line replacements or implement corrosion control improvements and $10 million for projects that remove sources of lead in drinking water (e.g., fixtures, fountains, outlets and plumbing materials) in schools or childcare facilities.

This grant opportunity consists of a competitive, Request for Application process. Click on to apply. Applications are due by April 19, 2022. For more information on the WIIN grant programs please visit

Celebrating Michigan agriculture

The agriculture industry is a critical economic driver for our state.

Michigan farms contribute billions to our economy each year through products grown, harvested, processed and prepared in Michigan. Farms also employ a significant portion of the state’s workforce.

March 22 was Ag Day — an annual celebration to recognize the importance of Michigan agriculture to our economy and show our support for Michigan’s hardworking farmers, whose hard work feeds Michigan families and helps keep our grocery store shelves stocked.

An online newsletter with more details about Michigan agriculture is available on my website here.

This year, be sure to support your local family farms and purchase some ‘Made in Michigan’ products!

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McBroom supports bill to alleviate substitute teacher shortage

The Michigan Senate recently passed a bill to allow retired school employees to return to the classroom as substitute teachers after only four months. Current law requires them to wait at least one full year.

Senate Bill 726 would reduce the wait time from 12 to four months for retired school employees to return to work as substitute teachers without impacting their retirement benefits. The bill also eliminates the cap on earnings for those who return to substitute teach for two years and eliminates the requirement that the district pays toward the unfunded liability in the retirement system on behalf of the retired employee.

SB 726 has been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Leftover spring turkey licenses available for purchase

From Jan. 1 to Feb. 1, hunters in Michigan applied for one limited-quota license, for a specific spring turkey hunt unit during specific season dates. Drawing results were announced on March 7. Beginning March 21, leftover licenses became available for purchase.

Leftover spring turkey licenses and the Hunt 0234 license are available for purchase online at eLicense or at a retail license agent.

Hunt 0234 is a guaranteed license that allows the holder to hunt the entire month of May on public and private lands statewide, except for public lands in Unit ZZ (southern Lower Peninsula). This license is valid to hunt Fort Custer military lands with permission.

Information about Hunt 0234 and spring turkey hunting is available in the 2022 Michigan Spring Turkey Digest.

McBroom supports resolution recognizing April as Donate Life Month

Senate Resolution 120 was approved unanimously by the Michigan Senate to designate April as Donate Life Month in Michigan.

Donate Life Month will help to raise awareness about donation, encourage residents to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors, and honors those who have saved lives through the gift of donation.

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.

Michigan residents can register as organ donors online or by visiting their local secretary of state’s office.

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Senator Ed McBroom
7200 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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