Download images to view this photo

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,

Download images to view this photo

Mark Huizenga
State Senator

Standing up for worker freedom

I recently voted to protect the rights of Michigan workers by voting against the repeal of Right to Work. Workers should be able to choose whether or not they want to join a union — without fear of intimidation or threats.

Right to Work was passed to ensure workplace fairness and make Michigan more competitive for jobs and investment, and the results have been positive for workers and our economy. Since Right to Work was enacted, Michigan’s median household income and employee benefits are both up and our state economy recovered from the Lost Decade — adding more than 382,000 jobs from the passage of Right to Work up until the pandemic.

Everyone in West Michigan — from every family to every employer — is facing higher costs due to high inflation. The last thing they need are more government mandates that further increase costs of critical projects.

To continue to attract business investment and top talent to Michigan, we need to continue to improve our roads, educate our kids and protect our water. Bringing back prevailing wage requirements hurts all of those priorities by needlessly making the efforts more expensive.

A return to mandated prevailing wage

Michigan taxpayers should not be forced to pay more for government projects, a negative repercussion of implementing a mandated prevailing wage for such contracts. I voted no against recent legislation to reinstate prevailing wage requirements that cost taxpayers millions more for roads, bridges and schools each year.

Prevailing wage is anti-competitive and is bad for the economy and for Michigan’s workers. Prevailing wage eliminates competition, leading to fewer roads and bridges getting fixed and higher taxes. It also puts an undue strain on contractors and on state and school budgets.

Studies have shown that prevailing wage will cost Michigan’s universities, community colleges and school districts hundreds of millions of dollars more each year.

New videos celebrating National Reading Month

To celebrate National Reading Month and encourage parents to read to their kids, I have once again recorded and posted videos of me reading children’s books to viewers.

Reading is critical to a successful education, and it is important to promote a love of reading this month and throughout the year. Reading to children at a young age can help them develop an interest in learning, foster a creative spirit, and build self-confidence.

Last year, I recorded three videos to virtually share a love of reading with West Michigan children, and I am now sharing two additional videos in an effort to encourage more children to succeed through reading.

In the two 2023 videos, I read “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” and “The Pigeon Needs a Bath.” Both books are by Mo Willems.

Residents can also access all five videos by visiting my LinkTree page.

Download images to view this photo

Reading to kids

During March is Reading Month, I have visited schools across the district to encourage the life-long practice of reading. Among the schools I read at this year were Collins Elementary, Chandler Woods Charter Academy, and Knapp Forest Elementary. I always enjoy meeting and talking to our students, and I want to thank all the schools for hosting me as we promote the importance and fun of reading.

Download images to view this photo

District office hours on April 21 and 24

I am holding in-person office hours throughout the district on a regular basis because hearing directly from the people about the issues they are facing is an important part of representing everyone in West Michigan. These meetings give local residents a chance to express their viewpoints about what needs to be done and offer help to people dealing with a variety of state issues.

In April, I will be available to meet with constituents on:

Friday, April 21

• 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Grand Coney, 809 Michigan St. NE in Grand Rapids.
• 9 to 10 a.m. at Haggerty's, 1600 E. Beltline Ave. NE in Grand Rapids Township.
• 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at MudPenny, 496 Ada Drive SE in Ada Township.

Monday, April 24 

• 3 to 4 p.m. at Sundance Bar and Grill, 5755 28th St. SE in Cascade Township.

Office hours are open to all residents, and no appointment is necessary. Anyone who is unable to attend my office hours may contact my office.

Download images to view this photo

April 18 tax filing deadline

Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” In the more than 200 years since he made that statement, our tax system has only become more complicated.

While sometimes daunting, there are many resources available to help you prepare your taxes prior to the deadline:

• Michigan Department of Treasury individual income tax information line: 517-636-4486.
• A list of places that provide free help with taxes is available through United Way by calling 2-1-1, or by calling 844-875-9211.
• Free tax help programs are available to those who qualify by visiting the Earned Income Tax Credit Statewide Initiative or MI Free Tax Help.
• Visit the Michigan Department of Treasury website for information about how to choose a reputable tax preparer.
• Visit the IRS Free File site for information on filing your federal tax returns for free.

My staff and I stand ready to help in any way that we can. If we are unable to help, we will help put you in touch with someone who can.

Volunteering at Meals on Wheels

I recently had the opportunity to volunteer with Meals on Wheels! Their program provides peace of mind for seniors, their families, and caregivers through home-delivering meals. This keeps seniors independent and healthy in their homes while maintaining important social relationships.

Download images to view this photo

Professional development opportunity for teachers

The Great Lakes Watershed Field Course is a four-day professional development experience for third through 12th grade teachers throughout the Great Lakes region.

For the 2023 course, educators will visit projects in the Grand Traverse region. Training will include invasive species control and prevention, native species habitat improvements, nutrient runoff reductions and keeping the Great Lakes clean — along with developing and implementing similar projects with their students.

The 2023 course will take place from Aug. 8-11; applications are due April 24. There is no charge to participate, but space is limited. For more information or to register visit the Great Lakes Watershed Field Course.

Welcoming a new local fire chief

During my recent visit to the Rockford City Council, I was able to witness the pinning of the new fire chief. Our first responders risk their lives every day to keep us safe, and I wish Chief Ron Tennant all the best in his new role.

Download images to view this photo

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

Visit my website at: