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Outman supports deal to resolve budget deficit

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I recently supported supplemental budget bills to resolve a $2.2 billion deficit through spending cuts, hiring freezes and using a portion of the state’s “rainy day fund” while also directing federal funds to education and vital services that were hit hardest by the cost of COVID-19.

The bipartisan plan will save $936 million by reducing state spending and will direct additional federal COVID-19 funds to cover expenses by schools and local governments due to the virus, including:

• $555 million for schools;
• $200 million for universities and community colleges; and
• $350 million for local governments.

The measures also include a net increase of $175 per pupil to help schools address the challenges posed by COVID-19 as we look toward the future of education in Michigan.

The Michigan Senate has now approved over $3 billion in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds that have been used to help Michigan schools, businesses, workers and families affected by this pandemic.

This is a bipartisan plan that puts the needs of Michiganders first and responsibly uses federal money and funding from the state’s savings to help get our state back on its feet.

While we have not seen eye-to-eye with the governor on many issues over the last several months, I am proud that we were able to get Senate Bill 373 and House Bill 5265 signed into law to help balance this historic mid-year deficit, all without raises taxes. These were not easy decisions to make, but by working together we were able to get it done.


Outman supports 33rd District recreation projections

I was happy to support legislation that includes funding for outdoor recreation projects in the 33rd District and the state of Michigan.

Senate Bill 145 outlines funding for Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) projects throughout the state, including popular attractions in and around the district.

The bill includes projects in the following communities:

Mecosta Township: The Dragon Trail at Hardy Dam — $205,400
City of Alma: Alma Park Restroom Accessibility Project — $173,000
City of Stanton: Veteran’s Memorial Park trailhead development — $300,000
Montcalm County: Stanton State Game Area Acquisition — $550,000

You can read more details about the projects by clicking here.


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.


Outman legislation updating funeral director guidelines signed into law

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The governor recently signed my bill that will update guidelines and requirements for funeral directors in Michigan.

The idea for the legislation was brought to my attention by an individual from my district who was having some issues with the way state law addressed this particular issue. Small towns and rural communities often struggle with everyday issues because of their size and location. These same issues are forcing rural funeral homes into difficult positions — some even risk closing their doors.

Senate Bill 696, now Public Act 138 of 2020, will allow an individual who manages one funeral home to apply for a waiver to manage a second home in certain circumstances.

This is a commonsense reform that eliminates several burdensome requirements and assists funeral homes across Michigan, while ensuring folks have access to the services they provide.


Be counted, Michigan!

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Once every decade, the U.S. Census works to count every person living in the country. Every Michigander needs to be counted because census numbers affect our communities and everyone in Michigan — including our seniors, students, kids, parents and businesses.

Responding to the census is quick and easy, and people can respond by mail, phone or online. The census is 100% confidential and secure, and your information will not be shared with anyone. For more information on how the census affects your community, visit


Gov. Whitmer vetoes bill prohibiting COVID-19 patients in nursing homes

I was proud to support a bipartisan resolution to undo Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Orders 2020-50 and 2020-84, requiring all long-term care facilities in the state at less than 80% capacity to create COVID-19 units and to accept and/or retain COVID- 19-infected patients.

Under the governor’s orders, nursing homes and long-term care facilities were home to more than 1,900 deaths — more than a third of all Michigan deaths from the disease.

I also supported Senate Bill 956, which sought to prevent such a tragedy from occurring again by banning the admission and retention of people who have COVID-19 in any nursing home facility, unless the facility has a state-approved designated area and program to care for the patient.

Unfortunately, the governor vetoed this extremely important and commonsense legislation. Politics should not prevail over the health and safety of our seniors and health care workers.

I hope that my colleagues in the Senate and House consider passing a veto override. We should do all we can to help prevent further needless deaths.


Free ORV Weekend

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Off-road enthusiasts can take advantage of the second Free ORV Weekend of the year on Aug. 15-16. Michigan residents and out-of-state visitors can ride DNR-designated routes and trails, including the state’s five scramble areas, without an ORV license or trail permit. All other ORV rules and laws still apply and the Recreation Passport is required where applicable.

Michigan’s large public ORV trail system covers nearly 3,700 miles of trails and routes through the state. For more information, including ORV trail maps and a link to the Michigan ORV Handbook, visit


Our District

The 33rd state Senate District includes Clare, Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta, and Montcalm Counties.

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the 33rd Senate District of Michigan. 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 33rd District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Rick Outman
4400 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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