Download images to view this photo

Michigan Spark Grant update

Download images to view this photo

Earlier this year, Senate Bill 565 was signed into law. The bill, which became Public Act 53 of 2022 upon the governor’s signature, provides $680 million for the creation of grant and loan programs to repair the most critical of Michigan’s dams and make major investments in the state’s public water systems and efforts to clean up and protect the environment.

The Michigan Spark Grant is a $65 million grant program to help local communities across the state that want to create, renovate or redevelop public outdoor opportunities for residents and visitors — especially those communities adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications for the Michigan Spark Grant will be open from Oct. 24 to Dec. 19, with an informational webinar for prospective applicants on Oct. 28. Eligible applicants must be local units of government or public authorities legally designated to provide public recreation or regional or statewide organizations of such entities working together.

Individual grant amounts will range from a minimum of $100,000 to a maximum of $1 million and will be distributed in three rounds:

• Round one: $15 million during the week of Jan. 30, 2023.
• Round two: $25 million in the spring of 2023.
• Round three: $25 million in the summer of 2023.

All projects must be completed by Dec. 31, 2026. For more information, including program details and information about the Oct. 28 webinar, please visit the Michigan Spark Grant website.

MI Achievement Scholarship

The Michigan Legislature recently voted to pass Senate Bill 842, allocating funding from the fiscal year 2023 budget to a new scholarship program, helping students cover the cost of school at one of Michigan’s higher education institutions.

The MI Achievement Scholarship would provide opportunities for students as costs continue to rise in all facets of our lives, including the cost of attendance at community colleges, universities, and trade schools.

Under Michigan’s current financial aid programs, approximately 60,000 students receive some form of financial aid. With full implementation of the MI Achievement Scholarship, that number is expected to double, reaching more than 120,000 students.

The MI Achievement Scholarship would cover a maximum of $2,750 per year for up to three years at a community college; a maximum of $5,500 per year for up to five years at a public university; a maximum of $4,000 per year for five years at an independent or nonprofit college or university; and a maximum of $2,000 per year for up to two years at a qualified occupational training program or private trade school.

Election security legislation signed

Once again, the House and Senate have passed commonsense, bipartisan election reform. This time, the governor signed the measures into law.

House Bill 4491, now Public Act 195 of 2022, requires county clerks to update the Qualified Voter File at least once a month, and no later than the second business day of each month. It also requires the secretary of state to send an electronic notification to the proper city or township clerk notifying them of each canceled registration. The local clerk will then complete the cancellation of the voter registration.
The reform also requires the county board of canvassers to approve the containers used to transport and hold the absentee ballot secrecy envelopes and establishes a secure process for activeduty military members serving overseas to electronically return their ballot.

In 2021, the governor vetoed a similar measure, Senate Bill 277, which would have helped to ensure dead people were efficiently removed from the voter lists.

Bipartisan road safety bills signed into law

A package of bills aimed at increasing road safety was recently signed into law.

House Bills 5569, 5732 and 5772, create a stable funding source for the Secondary Road Patrol (SRP) program and will allow county sheriff offices to provide improved highway safety across their counties.

Taken together, these bills will increase the SRP fund by $5 million each year, up from $10 million to $15 million. This increased, dedicated funding will now come from the liquor fund so the SRP fund is not reliant on unpredictable fees or general fund dollars.

The additional funding will be used to add officers to the road, and the consistent funding source will allow sheriff departments to plan better and give officers more employment stability, improving their recruitment and retention efforts. The funds can be used for employing additional personnel, purchasing equipment, enforcing laws in state and county parks, and providing selective motor vehicle inspection programs.

The fees that previously funded the SRP will now be redirected to fund law enforcement training grants.

2022 Bear cooperator patch now available

The 2022 bear management cooperator patch is a great way to commemorate the recent bear season.

Michigan’s bear cooperator patch program is a cooperative effort between the DNR and the Michigan Bear Hunters Association. Proceeds from patch sales will be used for education and outreach.

Patches can be purchased by adult hunters and patch collectors for $7. Hunters 17 years of age or younger who have a valid bear hunting license can receive a patch for free. For more information, or to order a patch online, visit the Bear Management Cooperator website.

2023 patch design contest
Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 bear patch design contest. K-12 students from Michigan are eligible to enter. To learn more about the patch design contest, visit the Bear Management Cooperator Patch website. The contest entry deadline is Dec. 1.

Deer population explained

Have you ever wondered about Michigan’s deer population? Or how the DNR makes decisions about various regulations? The DNR’s deer population dynamics video outlines the current state of Michigan’s deer population and the rationale behind recent changes to deer hunting regulations.

SkyBridge Michigan now open!

A new attraction, SkyBridge Michigan, is now open in Northern Michigan! The 1,200-foot open-air bridge is said to be the longest timber-towered suspension bridge in the world.

Located within the Boyne Mountain Resort, the bridge is positioned above the Boyne Valley between the peaks of McLouth and Disciples Ridge, providing visitors with glorious panoramic views of Northern Michigan. The center of the five-foot wide walkway includes 36 feet of glass panels allowing pedestrians to view the valley 118 feet below.

The SkyBridge will be open year-round. For more information including hours of operation and ticket pricing, visit

Download images to view this photo

Clean Boats, Clean Waters grants

Clean Boats, Clean Waters grants supply up to $3,000 to organizations committed to aquatic invasive species prevention. Funds are provided through a partnership between the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and MSU Extension.

Grants are available for passionate organizations dedicated to aquatic invasive species education and the protection of Michigan’s waterways. Organizations such as lake associations, watershed groups, nonprofits and local and tribal units of government, are encouraged to apply.

Up to $25,000 is available for the 2023 grant program. Funding requests can range from $1,000 to $3,000 and do not require a local match or cost sharing.

The grant application period is now open. The deadline to apply is Dec. 16, 2022. Please visit Clean Boats, Clean Waters for more information or to apply.

Don’t move firewood

October is Firewood Awareness Month. Tree-killing insects and diseases cannot move far on their own but can hide in or on wood. When infected firewood is moved, diseases or invasive pests move along with it, introducing forest pests to new areas. By choosing to buy firewood where you burn it you help prevent the spread of tree pests and diseases.

According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, there are 140 pests and diseases that can be moved with firewood. Some are already present in Michigan, including the spotted lanternfly and beech leaf disease, while others like the Asian longhorn beetle, are infesting nearby states.

By following these simple rules, you can help prevent the spread of harmful invasive species:

• Buy firewood where you’ll burn it.
• Buy certified heat-treated firewood.
• Gather firewood on site when permitted.

Download images to view this photo

October is National Apple Month

With more than 14.9 million apple trees, across 34,500 acres, apples are the largest and most valuable fruit crop in Michigan. Growers dedicate their lives to the industry, operating 775 family-run farms throughout the state.

Farming is an important part of Michigan’s economy. This year’s Michigan apple crop is expected to yield 1.239 billion pounds – well above the crops harvested over the last several years. Those apples will be sold at one of Michigan’s 150 farmers markets and cider mills and in more than 12,000 retail grocery stores in 32 states and 18 countries.

For generations, Michigan natives have visited apple farms and cider mills for apple picking, cider and donuts. October is a great time to share those traditions with friends and family by visiting an apple farm or a cider mill in your area.

Download images to view this photo

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

Visit my website at: