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Dear Friends,

Parents, students and teachers across the state are working to navigate a difficult start to this school year.

These are difficult times, and I know that stress levels are at an all-time high. My colleagues and I are returning to Lansing this week to continue working on the state budget, helping schools and getting Michigan back on track during these trying times.

As always, my office is open and my staff and I are available to assist you. You may contact us by emailing [email protected] or by telephone at 1-855-347-8034. Let me know if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Also, please check out my Facebook page for updates on what’s going on in our state’s Capitol.


Jon Bumstead
State Senator
34th District

Bumstead announces that office hours will return in September

I am tentatively planning to hold office hours again during the month of September.

Over the past few months, I have put office hours on hold to ensure the health and safety of constituents during the coronavirus pandemic. I am excited to be able to hold these monthly meetings with constituents again. Making myself accessible to the people I represent and hearing their thoughts and concerns has always been important to me.

Office hours are held throughout the district, where I will be available to answer questions and provide information and assistance, as well as take suggestions on issues affecting communities and businesses.

September offices hours will ultimately be dependent upon the restrictions in the governor’s executive orders. My priority will be making sure I can hold these events while protecting the health and safety of anyone who attends.

I encourage everyone to regularly check my website to see the latest office hours dates and locations.

In the meantime, my office and staff are always available to help with any issues that you may have. My office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at 517-373-1635 or [email protected].

Bumstead highlights the 2020 fiscal year revenue estimate

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a huge impact on the health and income of families, small businesses and our state budget. The special August Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference (CREC) revealed some positives and negatives as we work to balance the budget for the 2021 fiscal year.

The August figures are providing a much better outlook for the state than the numbers from the May CREC, but we still need to make some tough decisions in order to balance the budget. In May, the CREC showed the state would be facing a fiscal year 2021 General Fund deficit of $1.9 billion and a deficit of $1.2 billion in the School Aid Fund. The total state budget deficit was expected to be over $3 billion but the August CREC estimates show a $384 million General Fund deficit and a School Aid Fund surplus of $372.2 million.

A large reason the state has been able to make a quick economic turnaround is the additional funding we have received from the federal government. Federal funding has been critical in our state’s recovery, and the aid has helped Michigan families, workers and schools affected by COVID-19.

The federal funding allowed us to invest in the following:

• $100 million to help businesses reopen;
• $15 million to support farms;
• $200 million for local governments for public health and safety costs;
• $100 million for hazard pay for local public safety officers;
• $120 million to increase pay for nursing home and Area Agencies on Aging workers;
• $25 million for protective equipment and testing in nursing homes;
• $29 million for additional workers to handle unemployment claims;
• $43 million for schools to help with the cost of plans to restart school in the fall;
• $125 million to reduce the cost of child care for families; and
• $42.5 million to replenish the Hospitality Employee Fund.

While we still have some work to do in the coming months, Michigan’s recovery has been remarkable. Michigan’s consumer spending is outpacing the national average significantly and I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish economically, while also being able to keep our residents safe.

MDHHS Announces $25 million in grants for personal protective equipment

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Friday announced a $25 million grant program to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to medical and other facilities to keep their staff and patients safe.

This program allows eligible Michigan health and human services providers to receive grants to cover costs for up to 90 days of PPE for frontline employees. It is funded through a $25 million allocation from the federal CARES Act. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services created the grant to help mitigate the financial impact on health and human services providers impacted by COVID-19.

The grant will assist facilities facing increased costs for PPE as they provide critical health care services to Michiganders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible facilities include long-term care facilities, dialysis centers, outpatient medical facilities, home health care providers, dental offices, pharmacies, EMS providers, funeral and mortuary services, long-term acute care hospitals, and residential congregate facilities.

Grant awards of up to $250,000 will be made based on the number of client-facing workers at each facility. Applications will be accepted through Tuesday, Sept. 8. The application is available on the Michigan PPE Grant Program webpage.

A full list of eligible provider types and qualifying purchases can be found in the program Frequently Asked Questions.

Mental problems and substance abuse on the rise – help is available

Thankfully, many of the numbers related to coronavirus – cases, hospitalizations and deaths – have been trending downward since the virus’ peak in our state. However, other numbers associated with the crisis are going in the wrong direction.

According to experts, the increased isolation, unemployment and anxiety associated with the outbreak and economic downturn contribute directly to a spike in mental health problems and substance abuse.

Last fall, Michigan experienced its first decline in opioid-related deaths in six years. But from April to June of 2020, EMS calls for opioid overdoses jumped by 26%. As people seek to cope, alcohol and marijuana sales have drastically increased as well.

Those who typically receive mental health or substance abuse assistance may have found in-person services limited or unavailable during the shutdown. However, help is available. If you, a loved one or a friend need assistance during this difficult time, please visit for a full list of services.

Be mindful of high water, beach warnings

Time on the water with family and friends is one of the best things about the Great Lakes State, but safety must come first. Fluctuating water levels can put even the strongest swimmers in danger, conceal hazards like fallen tree limbs or rocks and make it difficult to navigate under low-hanging objects or around logjams.

It’s important to understand the risks of high-water areas, pay attention to the beach-flag warnings and always wear a life jacket during any water activity. Click here for more information on how to stay safe while out on the water.

Returning to the classroom

Since the governor declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus, the Michigan Legislature has been trying to work with the governor on the best plan to safely reopen the state, including the K-12 school system.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to alter our daily lives, how we work and how we provide education to our children. The Return to Learn package (House Bills 5911–5913) was introduced with the intention to provide flexibility to schools that will not return to normal in-person instruction this fall. I stand with school districts, school administrators, teachers, students and parents and voted NO on the Return to Learn package. Unfortunately, the governor recently signed the plan into law.

I do not believe mandates from Lansing are best for our schools. I trust that our local school districts have their students’ best interest in mind and should have flexibility to come up with their own plan to deliver a quality education to their students. Each school district in our state has unique needs, and Lansing should not deliver a one-size fits-all approach to reopen schools.

As school districts resume classes this fall, a tracking tool will allow you to search how individual districts are handling the start to the school year. Most schools across Michigan will be starting class online this fall.

Click here for a list of district plans throughout the state. The list will be updated regularly as more districts finalize reopening plans in the coming weeks.

The budget for the upcoming 2020-21 school year is still being finalized. As a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on K-12 and Michigan Department of Education, I have an active role in shaping the budget for public K-12 schools. I will continue to work with parents, teachers and administrators to makes sure that they have the resources available to ensure student’s health and safety, and to ensure that students receive a quality education.

I will continue to advocate for local control for our schools and ensuring that our schools receive the funding that they deserve.

Free online courses available for CLEP and AP test prep

More than 75% of all Michigan jobs will soon require at least some education beyond high school. To better serve Michigan’s adult population, the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) is partnering with Modern States Education Alliance and the College Board to offer Michigan residents free online courses to prepare for any of the College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) or Advanced Placement (AP) tests. This opportunity gives Michiganders the chance to earn college credits at Michigan universities and community colleges without taking or paying for coursework.

The only responsibility that falls on program participants is to complete the Modern States coursework and then take the CLEP exam in their area of study. Click here to find out how you can accelerate your career and education by signing up for one of 10,000 offerings from Modern States to take the CLEP tests for free!

Health care worker immunity bill vetoed by governor

I am disappointed the governor recently vetoed legislation I supported to legally protect health care workers during a state of emergency or disaster.

By vetoing this measure, the governor is making it harder for medical professionals to do their job. As this global pandemic continues, our doctors and nurses should be able to focus on providing the best care possible for their patients without worrying about possible lawsuits.

Senate Bill 899 would have clarified that health care professionals and facilities who render services during a disaster or emergency declaration are not considered liable for the death or injury sustained by a person by reason of those services.

The immunity granted would not have applied in the event of willful misconduct, gross negligence, willful or intentional criminal misconduct, or intentional infliction of harm.

Prior to final passage, a subsection was added to specifically address medical liability pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill’s immunity protections would have extended until Jan. 1, 2021 for a death or injury that resulted from an act or omission by a health care provider or health care facility under certain circumstances during the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michigan's 34th Senate District

The 34th State Senate District includes the counties of Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana.

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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 34th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

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

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