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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Welcome to the latest edition of my e-newsletter.

Below you’ll find an update on what is going on in your state Capitol.

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 17th Senate District.

In Liberty,

Jonathan Lindsey
State Senator
17th District

Legislature off to quiet start

Lawmakers have returned to Lansing and formally begun the 2024 legislative session.

This session is off to a slow start because the Democrats lost their House majority and are unwilling to work in a bipartisan manner. Though not many legislative initiatives are being currently considered, I remain committed to conservative values and supporting constitutionally based policies that limit government overreach and empower residents and businesses to help build a more prosperous Michigan.

I am ready to get to work!

In case you missed it, major legislation taking effect soon

The Democrat majority adjourned the Legislature historically early last year, in part to advance the date with which the radical policies they passed take effect.

Without immediate effect, newly passed and signed legislation takes effect 90 days after the last day of session in the calendar year. The measures below, among others, are set to take effect in the coming weeks.

• Income Tax Increase – Republican leadership achieved an across-the-board income tax cut for Michiganders, but the Democrats fought hard to make that tax cut temporary. They relied on the attorney general and the courts to override the Republican legislation from 2015 and raise the income tax for all Michiganders in 2024.

• Green Energy mandates – Late last year, instead of supporting and strengthening our current electrical grid, which has proven to be problematic, the Legislature voted to require the state move toward 100% renewable energy. This puts an extremely large burden on both providers and ratepayers. The Legislature even voted to remove the ability of locals to have a say in what is being built in their own communities. So, if the state wants a solar farm in your community, they get one.

• Right to work repealed – A law repealing Right to Work was rammed through the Legislature and signed into law with little consideration. When passed in 2012, this law opened the door for the freedom to work a job to support yourself and your family. Democrats quickly did away with this law early last term at the behest of their union boss supporters. Expect the repeal of Right to Work to negatively impact economic opportunity in our already struggling state.

• Prevailing wage reinstated – In an effort to promote fiscal responsibility, Republicans did away with prevailing wage requirements, which artificially bloated the cost of government contracts. Upon enactment, taxpayers will immediately get less “bang for their buck” as government waste increases.

• Third grade reading requirement eliminated – Michigan is in the bottom 10% in more than one metric of student performance. Instead of taking a deep look at how we can improve this and better prepare our students, the Legislature voted to repeal a law that required intervention if a student is unable to read proficiently by the end of third grade.

• Gun laws – The Legislature passed a series of efforts that created a red flag system and expanded background checks in Michigan. When these laws take effect, Michiganders will have a harder time defending themselves and their families by exercising their constitutional rights.

• Abortion – The voters of this state approved Proposal 3 to codify abortion rights in Michigan during the last election, however, Democrats took it many steps further and approved measures to create on-demand, no questions asked abortions in Michigan. The new initiative also removes certain safety and health regulations regarding abortion clinics, putting the health of women at risk.

Last year was one of the most partisan years in our state’s history. Instead of listening to families across the state, Democrats took every chance they got to appease the extreme elements of their voting base, ignoring the concerns from the rest of the state. This is no way to govern, this is no way to attract talent, and this is no way to maintain or grow our struggling population. We need to quickly reverse course before Michigan becomes the next California because, unfortunately, we’re well on our way there.

Lindsey continues fight for limited government, conservative priorities

Last year, in contrast to the extreme, destructive policies listed above, I both introduced and supported policies to reign in government, strengthen individual freedoms for Michigan residents, and get our economy back on track. Examples of legislation I either sponsored or supported can be found below.

• Fought for tax breaks for working families – I supported efforts to not only grant people the tax relief they were owed due to the state’s record surplus, but I also introduced an amendment to reduce the state’s income tax from its current 4.25% to 0% I was the only lawmaker to propose an immediate elimination of the state’s income tax.

• Fought wasteful spending – Last term, the Democrat-led state Legislature blew through our state’s record surplus to fund a series of partisan priorities, including corporate giveaways to companies associated with the Chinese Communist Party. I fought against this wasteful spending and instead supported using our once-in-a-lifetime surplus to pay our bills, provide tax relief, and invest in critical, failing public infrastructure.

Senate Bill 642 – Entitled the “Defend the Guard Act,” my legislation would protect the Michigan National Guard by not releasing them into active-duty combat unless Congress has passed an official declaration of war or has acted under the U.S. Constitution to call forth the state militia. The “Defend the Guard” Act would serve as an important check on our failed foreign policy of “forever wars” and constant foreign combat by forcing our elected leaders in Washington to take responsibility for the appropriate use of our most valuable resource — the men and women willing to put their lives on the line to defend our country.

Senate Bill 527 – This would ensure “unratified treaties” could not be implemented at the state level, protecting Michiganders from efforts like the World Health Organization and World Economic Forum’s efforts to usurp our sovereignty by setting public health policy for our citizens.

Senate Bill 115 – The bill would make performing an abortion on a minor without parental consent a felony punishable by imprisonment up to four years or a fine of up to $10,000 or both. I introduced this legislation as part of a package that would take every step possible to protect life, even within the framework of Proposal 3’s passage in 2022.

• Financial Disclosure – The voters of Michigan made it clear when they voted to amend our state constitution to require financial disclosures from state elected officials. The last-minute, rushed law that was passed flew in the face of the purpose of this proposal and left too much able to be concealed in the dark. I supported expanding this effort to make sure voters know who could be influencing candidates or elected officials.

Senate Bill 309 – This measure would repeal the requirement for military members to obtain a concealed pistol license to carry a firearm. I sponsored this bill as part of a package that would create constitutional carry in Michigan.

Senate Bill 584 – I sponsored this legislation to support and uphold the Second Amendment rights granted to us through the U.S. Constitution and make Michigan a Second Amendment sanctuary state.

I remain committed to defending liberty and will fight against policies that allow the heavy hand of government to overbear people’s lives and pocketbooks. We need to return government to its core functions of fiscal responsibility and sound policy that establishes a solid foundation on which Michigan can build a prosperous future.

National security concerns regarding CCP-affiliated companies continue to rise

Multinational corporations associated with one of America’s largest adversaries should not be getting your tax dollars. Bottom line.

From the beginning, I have opposed both the Gotion project and the Ford battery project in Marshall.

I joined the fight against Democrat-led efforts to bring Gotion to Michigan and even held a press conference with former ambassadors Joseph Cella and Pete Hoekstra to discuss the dangers and security concerns associated with the project. I opposed legislative efforts to funnel tax dollars away from state and local priorities to the Gotion development and led the effort to defund the project at the state level.

The Democrat majority time and time again ignored my calls for concern, ignored national security experts, and most importantly, ignored the voices of the countless state residents who said we don’t need China in our backyards. They arrogantly scoffed at the possibility that a nation with a history of industrial espionage might be up to something we should be concerned about or that the hundreds of millions of tax dollars they gave away could be used against us.

Just recently, one of their own, former Secretary of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta — who advised President Barack Obama — again warned about the very valid concerns that many of us have been stating for months. Former CIA Director and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo echoed these concerns, going as far as to say the Gotion project shouldn’t be built at all.

This testimony comes shortly after the chairs of two U.S. House committees sent a letter to the Biden administration calling for the investigation of four Chinese companies allegedly involved in Ford’s planned battery plant. The letter from the committee chairs said four Chinese companies have direct ties to the Chinese military and the Chinese Communist Party, as well as the North Korean government.

In the letter, the two committee chairs said the same Chinese company that is working on the Marshall plant is also providing engineering design services to the Chinese military. The lawmakers also contacted the treasury and state departments alleging the company providing IT support for the project also has ties to North Korea — a nation known for cyber espionage.

Last year, when the Marshall battery plant was being discussed, I forced a vote on my amendment that would have required the review of any relationship between one of the companies involved, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL) and the Chinese government and military. The review would have addressed security threats and human rights abuses, among other concerns with Chinese involvement in the project. Every Democrat senator voted against my amendment.

The Democrat majority owes the people of this state some answers and a much higher level of due diligence into these dangerous projects. It’s time to face reality and stop ignoring the countless voices against these developments. At this point, the only responsible approach would be defunding and canceling both projects and returning the money to Michigan taxpayers.

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The 17th Senate District

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The 17th state Senate District includes Branch, Cass, and St. Joseph counties, along with parts of Berrien, Calhoun, Jackson and Hillsdale counties.

Senator Jonathan Lindsey
3500 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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