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Dear Friends:

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and provide updates about what is going on at Michigan’s Capitol.

I am the state senator for the 18th District — covering all of Barry County and parts of Allegan, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent and Ionia counties. Please feel free to contact me with any issues related to state government at [email protected], or by calling 517-373-1734 (toll-free at 855-347-8018).


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Thomas Albert
State Senator

What to watch for this week at the state Capitol

It is likely to be an extremely busy week at Michigan Capitol. While we do not know for sure, there is a strong possibility that Democrats will choose to end the legislative year as early as Nov. 9. An early ‘sine die’ adjournment would enable legislation to take effect allowing Democrats to hold a presidential primary on their preferred date of Feb. 27. I believe adjourning this early would be a disservice to taxpayers and residents, but regardless, it means there potentially are several major issues that might come up for votes in the next few days. Among them:

Clean energy and local control. The House last week approved bills that would take away local control for deciding where large-scale wind and solar projects are located. Decisions for where those projects are located would be up to the Michigan Public Service Commission, an unelected board appointed by the governor. I oppose House Bills 5120 through 5123, which are now headed to the Senate, because I believe local communities should have the power to make these decisions themselves. This is all part of the Democrats’ master plan to have 100% clean energy from utilities by 2040 — whether Michigan communities want it or not, and no matter what it will cost. This type of centralized planning does not work in government.
Pro-abortion legislation. The House and Senate have each approved legislation that would eliminate health and safety regulations for abortion clinics, and allow late-term abortions, among other changes. There are differences between the two versions. A key issue to watch is whether Democrats will try to repeal the state ban on partial-birth abortions. I continue to oppose the Democrats’ legislation on this issue, which could be finalized this week. The measures go beyond what was called for in Proposal 3. Key bills to watch include Senate Bill 474 and House Bill 4949.
Transparency from elected officials. In 2022, Michigan voters approved Proposal 1 — a constitutional amendment to require state legislators and other elected state officers to file annual financial disclosure reports. It is aimed at preventing conflicts of interest and increasing transparency for the residents and taxpayers of Michigan. The Legislature is required to approve legislation to implement this by the end of this year. The Senate has approved a version of this legislation, but the House has not.

There are several other issues that likely will be jammed through the Legislature this week, but those are the ones likely to garner the most statewide attention. Other legislative topics, such as proposed changes to Michigan’s corporate welfare system, appear less likely to be addressed in the next week — but we simply do not know for sure at this point. To follow the progress of legislation and to see calendars of bills that could be acted upon, visit

Higher taxes won’t fix Michigan’s population crisis

Earlier this year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer established a new council purportedly to come up with suggestions to reverse Michigan’s population decline. Our state has lost population over the past couple of years, and it has hovered around the 10 million mark for a couple of decades.

I had very low expectations for this council to begin with because adding government bureaucracy rarely if ever solves problems. And while this council’s work is continuing, early signs are not promising. Reports from work groups indicate the council might recommend tax increases as part of its strategy.

Raising taxes is not the way to entice families or job providers to move to our state. Raising taxes is not the way to convince young adults who grew up here to stay here. It’s the latest in a long string of proposed policy changes that would make our state a less attractive place to live, work and raise a family.

To truly boost Michigan’s population, we should lower taxes so people can keep more of their own money and invest in their own futures. We should embrace economic growth through competitive tax rates, commonsense regulation and worker freedom instead of handouts to corporations and union bosses.

The council now has until Dec. 15 to come up with recommendations. Let’s hope they take the additional time to steer clear of tax hikes.

Legislature approves more spending bills

The Legislature approved two supplemental budget bills last week that I opposed. Like most budget bills, there were individual line items in the legislation that were worthy of support. But taken as a whole, House Bill 4292 and Senate Bill 174 contained too much wasteful spending.

The items I disagreed with needlessly grow state government. For example, the legislation funds the start-up costs for a new Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential created by an executive order from Gov. Whitmer. We already have state departments to deal with issues that would fall under this new bureaucracy, and it is completely unnecessary.

Veterans Day

On Nov. 11, our nation will pause to pay tribute to all American veterans and offer our gratitude to those who served their country honorably during war or peacetime. As a former Marine, this is a day that is particularly meaningful for me.

In 1918, during World War I, an armistice, or temporary interruption of fighting, was declared between the Allies and Germany on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Armistice Day was commemorated in many countries the following year and declared a federal holiday in the U.S. in 1938. In the years following World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became known as Veterans Day.

I am grateful to every man and woman who served our nation and protected our freedoms through their military service. I would like to make sure everyone knows about this Veterans Benefits and Services publication. It explains how to obtain veteran benefits and services from federal, state and local agencies.

Follow high school sports tournaments

Michigan high schools are wrapping up the fall sports season. That means football playoffs and volleyball tournaments, in addition to cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, and tennis competitions. While a few of these competitions have concluded, others are continuing for a few weeks.

I love to keep track of local teams, and a great resource is the Michigan High School Athletic Association website. Attending these events is a great way to show support for your community.

Michigan's 18th Senate District

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Senator Thomas A. Albert
4500 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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