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I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Welcome to the first edition of my e-newsletter for 2022. As we look back on 2021 and forward to 2022, I want to give you a brief review of what we’ve accomplished together.

Serving you in the Senate is an honor, and I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may call at 1-517-373-1636 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.

All the best,
Sen. Ruth Johnson
District 14

Success in a challenging year

Without a doubt, 2021 was a challenging year. We continued to battle COVID-19, grappled with the lingering questions that emerged after the 2020 election and worked to get our economy back on track after months of lockdowns and uncertainty. My Senate Republican colleagues and I have worked hard to push back against the governor’s mandates, pass a responsible spending plan and develop policies that helped students get back in the classroom. Despite our many challenges, we had many successes.


Created a responsible state spending plan

Throughout the last two years, the federal government has provided Michigan with funds to help battle the effects of COVID-19. We have taken the task of appropriating those funds very seriously. It has been our objective to use these dollars effectively and efficiently to improve the health of our communities, our economy and the future of all Michigan families.

In support of healthy families and communities we:

Responsibly appropriated federal funds to increase testing and vaccine distribution, deliver meals to seniors staying home during the pandemic, and provide emergency rental assistance for Michiganders out of work through no fault of their own;
Passed a budget that included a pay increase for direct care workers, so we could attract and retain hospital and nursing home staff;
Introduced bills to fix Michigan’s broken mental health system (SBs 597-598); and
Approved $14.5 million to help ensure residents have access to safe drinking water by removing PFAS.

In support of a healthy economy we:

Passed a balanced state budget that helps Michigan get back on track without raising taxes;
Provided property tax relief for struggling small businesses while protecting revenue for local governments (HB 5351, SB 85);
Approved a $500-per-child tax credit to assist Michigan families hit hard by the pandemic (SB 378);
Passed a balanced state budget that helps Michigan get back on track without raising taxes;
Deposited $500 million into the state’s Rainy Day Fund for emergencies; and
Approved a bill to keep MDOT from issuing billions of dollars’ worth of bonds at taxpayer expense (SB 379).

In support of a healthy future we:

Approved record funding for K-12 schools so they could get kids back in the classroom;
Equalized funding among K-12 schools for the first time since the passage of Proposal A in 1994; and
Appropriated billions in federal funds to tackle learning loss, ensure classrooms are safe, and address student mental health concerns.

To restore balance in state government and ensure the Michigan people have a voice in the laws and policies of their state, we:

Approved the citizen-initiated Unlock Michigan petition to ensure our current and future governors respect our coequal system of government;
Passed a budget that requires full transparency from any governor about decisions made during an emergency;
Approved legislation requiring a governor to properly notify the Legislature when leaving the state and executive authority has been transferred (SB 458); and
Passed bills ensuring parents are the ones making decisions about their children’s health (SBs 600, 601, 602, 603, 428, 457).

Election integrity: Restoring confidence in our election process

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Every Michigan voter deserves the right to fair and secure elections. Unfortunately, after the 2020 election many Michigan voters lost faith in the process. In 2021, we worked hard to improve integrity, transparency and public confidence in our democratic process.

We introduced a 39-bill package that will restore confidence in the fairness and security of our elections and that the results accurately reflect the will of the people. The bills will fix vulnerabilities in our election systems, including strengthening requirements to show ID when voting, enhancing election worker and challenger training, and improving ballot security (SBs 273-311).

MI Safe Drive: Funding to repair Michigan bridges

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In 2021, we passed legislation aimed at fixing bridges most in need of repair. Senate Bill 529 would utilize $1.3 billion in one-time federal recovery funds to repair bridges across the state that are in serious or critical condition.

Of the nearly 12,000 bridges in Michigan, 7,038 are managed by local municipalities and over 400 are in critical need of repairs. The bill also includes over $195 million to cover local road agency revenue losses and $126 million in federal money to improve safety at several intersections between railways and roadways. SB 529 has been sent to the House for consideration.


Protect MI Water: Preserve and protect Michigan’s water quality, infrastructure and environment

The $3.34 billion Protect MI Water plan preserves and protects Michigan’s water quality, infrastructure and environment (SB 565). The plan includes:

$1 billion to replace lead pipes across the state;
$700 million to upgrade local drinking water and wastewater facilities;
$680 million for dam infrastructure, including $650 million for projects prioritizing dam risk reduction;
$100 million in grants to remove PFAS chemicals from “orphaned” sites;
$85 million to ensure students have access to safe water at school; and
$50 million to help with private well testing to ensure families know if their well water is safe and provide options if it is contaminated.
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Governor vetoes important legislation

Despite our best efforts, and our ability to work with our colleagues in the House, ultimately the governor has the final say on what bills will be signed into law. This year we passed good legislation that would have improved the lives of Michigan residents, only to be vetoed by the governor.

A few of her vetoes included:

Legislation to strengthen ID requirements for voting and make it easier for residents to get a free state ID card (SBs 303-304 and HB 5007);
The Let Kids Learn plan, which would have created scholarships that could have been used by families for education or learning expenses — both inside and outside the classroom (SBs 687-688); and
Legislation that would require governors work with the Legislature to determine whether a state of emergency should last beyond 28 days (SB 1).

To see just how many bipartisan bills Gov. Whitmer has struck down, visit

COVID-19 resources

Below is a list of resources available to you if you need any type of assistance. Additionally, you can contact my office at any time for more information.

• Information on the COVID-19 vaccines:
• General information, resources, testing locations and more:
• Coronavirus hotline for health-related questions: 1-888-535-6136 daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 1-800-232-4636 or
• Michigan PEER Warmline for mental health support and substance abuse challenges: 1-888-733-7753 every day from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
• National suicide prevention lifeline available 24/7: Call 1-800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or visit
• Small business resources: or 1-888-522-0103.


Michigan's 14th Senate District

In Genesee County, the 14th Senate District includes the cities of Davison, Fenton and Grand Blanc as well as Atlas, Davison, Grand Blanc and Mundy townships.

In Oakland County, the district includes the cities of Fenton and Lake Angelus as well as Brandon, Groveland, Highland, Holly, Rose, Springfield and Waterford townships.

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the state Senate. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Please feel free to forward this on to others who may be interested in receiving the 14th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Ruth Johnson
7300 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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