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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

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

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 32nd Senate District.

This email highlights the important work we have been doing in Lansing this past month.

Jon Bumstead
State Senator
32nd District

MPSC approves Line 5 tunnel permit

The Michigan Public Service Commission approved the permit for Enbridge to build an underground tunnel for the Line 5 pipeline, a critical energy source that currently runs underneath the Straits of Mackinac. The regulatory agency found there is both a public need for the energy products Line 5 carries and to protect the Great Lakes. The commission also recognized that alternatives were both costly and high-risk.

The Great Lakes Tunnel Project, originally scheduled to begin in 2021 and be operational in 2024, is critical to ensuring energy affordability and stability in Michigan. Final approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is still necessary before the project can begin.

Line 5 supplies more than half of the propane Michigan residents use to fuel their cars and heat their homes. The pipeline is also responsible for tens of thousands of jobs in downstream industries such as refineries, manufacturers, airports, and businesses, representing more than $464 million in labor income.

Home heating assistance

With colder temperatures setting in, residents may find themselves in need of help keeping the heat on this winter.

The state of Michigan offers several energy assistance programs to help eligible senior and low-income households keep utilities in service or have service restored. Immediate relief may be available through a network of nonprofit organizations and other financial assistance programs.

• Customers can contact 211 or their utility company to see what programs are available in their area. Dial 211 or go online to for information about available services.
• To apply online for Michigan Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) and the State Emergency Relief (SER) program, visit the MI Bridges website.
• For assistance with county-specific programs, contact the MDHHS county office where assistance is needed.

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Winter driving safety

Michigan’s winter weather can make driving dangerous. A little preparation before you head out can go a long way to ensure you arrive at your destination safely.

Always check the road conditions before you leave and allow yourself plenty of time to get to where you are going. Drive slowly and allow extra space between vehicles. It is also a good idea to keep an emergency car kit in your vehicle in case of an emergency. Some items to keep in your car include water bottles, jumper cables, a battery charger, warm blanket, ice scraper and shovel. Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for more information and tips for driving in winter weather.

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Snowmobile season is underway

State-designated trails are open to snowmobiles Dec. 1 through March 31. Snowmobile permits for the 2023-24 season 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, signage, bridges, culverts, grading, trailhead maintenance, and more.

Snowmobile permits can be purchased:

• Online through eLicense (your sticker will be mailed to you within 7 to 10 days).
• Online with the Michigan Snowmobile ORV Association (MISORVA processes permit orders daily Monday through Friday).
• In person at one of these DNR license agents and dealers.

While riding this winter, keep the following safety tips in mind so you make it home to your family and friends. Always ride at a safe speed, on the right side of the trail and sober. Remember to anticipate and yield to trail groomers.

Winter birds

Winter in Michigan is a great time for birding. Not all Michigan birds fly south to warmer climates, many stay in the state year-round. Michigan also welcomes many new visitors from the north, making winter an exciting time to watch birds.

Be on the lookout for snow buntings, horned larks, and dark-eyed juncos. Owls are also exciting to watch for when birding. Snowy owls, great gray owls, northern hawk owls and boreal owls make their way into the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula at this time of year.

Michigan is home to nine birding trails, and our state parks, recreation areas, game areas and wildlife sanctuaries are perfect for winter bird watching. Visit these sites for more information about winter birds in Michigan and even more places to view winter birds.

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Bumstead highlights upcoming events in the 32nd District

South Course Snow-K Food and Fun Run
Saturday, Jan. 6
10 a.m. — 2 p.m.
Arcadia Bluffs South Course
13637 Northwood Hwy.
Bear Lake
Description: Help raise money for the Lions Club of Arcadia with an untimed run/walk and kid’s fun run. Learn more here.
Chamber Business After Hours
Wednesday, Jan. 10
5 — 7 p.m.
Jamesport Brewing Company
410 S. James St.
Description: This event is open to all business representatives in the local area who wish to connect with other professionals. Learn more here.
Benzonia Academy Lecture Series: “The Home Front During World War II”
Thursday, Jan. 11
4 — 5 p.m.
Mills Community House
891 Michigan Ave.
Description: A lecture on American society during World War II presented by Michael Nagle. Learn more here.
Be the Light! Night Hike
Thursday, Jan. 11
5:30 — 6:30 p.m.
Gales Pond County Park
E. Filmore Road
Description: Oceana Conservation District and the Oceana County Parks Commission invite you to bundle up and get out into the woods on a winter night in Oceana County. Learn more here.
Benzie Area Chamber “Off the Clock” Event
Wednesday, Jan. 17
5 — 7 p.m.
Benzie Area Christian Neighbors
2804 Benzie Hwy.

Description: A networking event hosted by the Benzie Area Chamber of Commerce. Learn more here.
Western Michigan University’s Gold Company
Friday, Jan. 19
7:30 — 9 p.m.
West Shore Community College
3000 N. Stiles Road
Description: Enjoy an internationally regarded and award-winning vocal jazz ensemble from Western Michigan University. Learn more here.
Cookbook Book Club
Monday, Jan. 22
Noon — 1 p.m.
Mills Community House
891 Michigan Ave.
Description: Bring a dish to pass and the cookbook you used to make it. Learn more here.
Mozart and Beethoven
Friday, Jan. 26
7:30 p.m. start time
Frauenthal Center
425 W. Western Ave. #200
Description: Enjoy a night of classical piano when Terrance Wilson joins your West Michigan Symphony. Learn more here.
Pure Ludington BRRRewfest
Saturday, Jan. 27
1 — 6 p.m.
Legacy Plaza
112 N. James St.
Description: A must-attend event for beer enthusiasts. Enjoy a variety of unique brews from 20 Michigan brewers. Learn more here.

Senator Jon Bumstead
4600 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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