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Dear Friends,

To better serve the great people of West Michigan, I’m offering this e-newsletter on what’s happening in the new 30th Senate District and across our state.

I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You can call toll-free at 855-347-8030 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.

Working for you,

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Mark Huizenga
State Senator

Education budget signed into law

Providing an effective education is critical to the future of our children, our state and the entire country.

The education budget for the upcoming school year was recently signed into law. While not perfect, this budget builds on the record-high support for schools we passed last year, pays down retirement debt, and supports all types of learning — because education is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor.

Senate Bill 173 provides funding for the state’s K-12 schools as well as the state’s 15 public universities and all local community colleges. It features a 5% foundation allowance increase to $9,608 per student and a $200 million deposit into the higher education MPSERS retirement plan.

In the final version of the bill, I was able to secure a $204 million funding increase for at-risk students, a tuition restraint of 4.5% with penalty language, and a 19.8% increase in funding for Grand Valley State University.

The additional at-risk funding will help ensure all our children get the education they need to succeed. While the tuition restraint is not the complete tuition freeze that I proposed in May, it’s an important step in solving the problem of out-of-control tuition increases that are making it harder for families to afford higher education for their children.

Visit to Alpha Grand Rapids’ centers

Last month, I had the privilege of touring the Alpha Women’s Center and the Alpha Men’s Center in Grand Rapids. Alpha Grand Rapids provides free and confidential educational, medical and physical support to expecting mothers and fathers so their families can thrive.

To see a video of my visit, click here or on the image below.

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Improved state budget signed

This week, the governor signed the main state budget bill for fiscal year 2023-24. I am focused on solving problems facing West Michigan, and I supported this improved plan because it will help meet that goal — but I believe our state and its people need a better budget that more effectively uses their tax dollars to meet their needs and enhance their communities.

While this finalized budget is an improvement over the plan passed in May, it still misses the mark in many ways. It is important that we’re further investing in our economy and our communities, but — with a multibillion-dollar surplus — I am disappointed that this plan doesn’t include real tax relief for families struggling with inflation, better help for those most in need, or adequate resources to fix our roads and bridges.

House Bill 4437 is a general omnibus budget bill funding all non-education segments of Michigan state government. In the final version of the bill, I was able to secure:

• $12 million in additional funding to double support for Michigan’s food banks.
• $25.8 million to support crime victims.
• $5 million for the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.
• $13.9 million for ambulance services reimbursements.
• $1 million for the West Michigan Center for Art and Technology.
• $1 million to improve health care through biomedical research.
• $14 million for the John Ball Zoo.
• $1.8 million for the Grand Rapids Ballet.
• $2 million for Junior Achievement in Grand Rapids and Detroit.
• $1.5 million for the Blandford Nature Center.
• $1 million for the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
• $5 million for West Michigan Hispanic Chamber capital improvements.
• $5 million for Special Olympics Grand Rapids
• $3.5 million for Cascade Charter Township Urban/Suburban Recreational Pathway.
• $35 million for Grand Rapids fire stations.
• $1 million for Exalta Health.
• $1 million for a Calvin University workforce development partnership.
• $1.5 million in tobacco prevention and cessation funding.

This funding will help support our children, crime victims and workers, feed the hungry, provide critical emergency care, and enhance the quality of life in West Michigan.

I will continue to work on additional funding that I offered as amendments in May but that were not included in the final budget plan, such as:

• Tripling the 8% reimbursement rate for foster and adoptive families and juvenile guardians.
• Increasing funding for Children’s Advocacy Centers by $12 million.
• Invest $3 million to help prevent wrong-way accidents on highway ramps.

New laws to recruit and retain teachers and counselors

A package of bills first introduced in the Senate to help Michigan schools recruit and retain teachers and counselors was recently signed into law.

Public Act 110 of 2023 aims to address the teacher shortage by expanding the pool of teachers eligible to teach in Michigan schools. This will allow schools to hire teachers with out-of-state certifications and gives educators the opportunity for career advancement by expanding the ways they can earn an advanced teaching certificate.

Public Act 111 of 2023 expands the pool of school counselors by allowing qualified counselors to forgo the guidance counselor’s exam and reducing the requirements to work in Michigan for school counselors from other states.

Going PRO Talent Fund

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity recently announced their 2023 Going PRO Talent Fund awards. Funds are awarded to employers through Michigan Works! Agencies (MWAs) to help businesses provide workers with the training they need to gain and retain high-skill, high-wage careers.

Since the program’s launch in 2014, more than 6,000 Michigan businesses have received Going PRO Talent Fund awards to train 175,000 new and existing workers. Since the program’s inception, worker wages have increased an average of 9% following training completion.

To view a full list of grant recipients for the 2023 fiscal year and learn more about the Going PRO Talent Fund and its application cycles, visit

Family-friendly fishing

Michigan is home to 26,266 inland lakes, 76,439 miles of rivers and streams and more than 150 different fish species. With so many options, the most difficult decision will be where to go!

The DNR offers an interactive “Family Friendly Fishing Waters” map to help identify family-friendly fishing locations across the state. Sites can be filtered by answering questions like what kind of fishing would you like to do, and which amenities do you need?

Each of these locations are easy to access and have a high likelihood of catching fish. Once a location has been selected, a simple click provides site-specific details like the species of fish you can expect to find, restroom availability and descriptions, and even driving directions.

August is National Golf Month

There is no better way to celebrate national golf month than to hit the links on one of Michigan’s more than 650 public courses. Michigan golf courses cover 127,5000 acres of professionally managed greenspace, including 28,000 acres of forest and wetlands that provide wildlife habitats.

With an economic impact of $4.2 billion, the golf industry in Michigan employs 60,000 people, paying more than $1.4 billion in wages. Visit to find a course near you.

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Serving the people of West Michigan is very important to me and I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may contact me by calling toll-free 1-855-347-8030 or emailing [email protected].

I look forward to serving you, and I encourage you to contact me if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Senator Mark Huizenga
201 Townsend St., Suite #7200
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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