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Dear Friends:

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and provide updates about what is going on at Michigan’s Capitol.

I am the state senator for the 18th District – covering all of Barry County and parts of Allegan, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent and Ionia counties. Please feel free to contact me with any issues related to state government at [email protected], or by calling 517-373-1734 (toll-free at 855-347-8018).


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Thomas Albert
State Senator

Michigan Senate approves election law changes

The Michigan Senate approved several bills this week that would alter Michigan election law. Some of the measures were required to implement Proposal 2, which voters approved last November. Other measures go too far – venturing beyond the scope of the constitutional amendment and weakening the integrity of our elections.

Accordingly, I voted in favor of some of the proposals and against others. I supported measures such as Senate Bills 368 and 371, which provide criminal sentencing guidelines for certain election law violations. I voted against provisions that would give the secretary of state too much power over election processes without proper oversight and would weaken accountability such as signature match requirements for absentee ballots.

The bills advance to the House of Representatives. The main bill in the package is Senate Bill 367.

Fighting to protect the rights of public employees

Workers’ rights have been a big issue this year in the Legislature. The Michigan Senate recently approved legislation that is another step backward for our state.

I voted ‘no’ on Senate Bill 169, which has advanced to the House of Representatives. The legislation requires public sector employers to regularly disclose the personal contact information of workers to labor unions. This includes personal email addresses, personal phone numbers and home addresses.

It is one thing for a union to request reasonable, work-focused contact information for the employees it represents and then receive it from an employer. This already happens. But it is another thing entirely for state government to mandate that all public sector employers regularly gather and update this overly broad sort of personal information and give it to a union automatically.

Because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision from 2018, public sector workers still have the ability to decide for themselves whether they want to join a union. Personal information such as required in this bill should be not released without a worker’s consent, especially if that worker has already decided to not join the union.

There are no guardrails on this legislation to prevent unions from using the contact information to send political messages to workers. It appears the change may be prompted more by politics than policy, and I cannot support it. My comments on the legislation are available here.

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State budget votes could come soon

It is highly likely that the Senate will vote on a final state budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year within the next few weeks. I will wait until I see the final proposals before deciding my final votes, but I am hopeful Democrats will truly make this a bipartisan budget that can win broad support and help the people of Michigan.

My priorities have been clear from the start. Growing government is not the solution. The budget must be financially responsible and sustainable. It also must be less expensive than what Democrats initially proposed or our state could face trouble maintaining services moving forward. We must pay off more debt to free up resources for immediate use and to be in a better financial position in the future.

The investments we prioritize must be chosen wisely. I crafted an alternative budget proposal for education and would like to see some of those elements included in a final plan. This plan reduces debt, expands the Great Start Readiness Program in a way that could help more kids participate, and helps students catch up on learning lost during the pandemic.

We can and must do better than the initial proposals advanced by Democrats.

Office hours scheduled for Lowell and Lake Odessa

I continue to host local office hours throughout the 18th District because I want the chance to discuss the issues that matter to you and your family. The next sessions are scheduled for Friday, June 30:

• 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Lake Odessa Community Library, 1007 Fourth Ave. in Lake Odessa.
• 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Biggby Coffee, 11826 Fulton St. E. in Lowell.

Office hours are open to district residents to talk about issues related to state government or to request assistance with a state issue. No appointment is necessary, but space may be limited at some locations. Priority will be given to constituents seeking to discuss issues requiring privacy.

It’s road construction season in Michigan

Across Michigan, including in the 18th Senate District, road construction projects are in full swing – and more are on the way. If you are looking for updates on where construction crews are and what roads are affected, there’s a website available from the Michigan Department of Transportation.

It’s called Mi Drive – a construction and traffic information website to let commuters locate and plan for construction along their routes. Users can use filters on a map version or a list version to locate and see information on specific projects.

Please drive safely this summer no matter what routes you take.

Michigan's 18th Senate District

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Senator Thomas A. Albert
4500 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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