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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Welcome to the most recent edition of my monthly e-newsletter.

Below you’ll find an update on some items we’ve been working on in Lansing.

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 33rd Senate District.


Rick Outman
State Senator
33rd Senate District


Outman schedules February office hours

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My office recently scheduled two office hours meetings on Friday, Feb. 25.

I will be available to answer questions and provide information and assistance, as well as take suggestions on issues affecting communities and businesses in the district.

My upcoming office hours are as follows:

Friday, Feb. 25
10 – 11 a.m.
Big Rapids Township Hall
14212 Northland Drive
Big Rapids

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Reynolds Township Hall
215 E. Edgerton St.
Howard City

Please feel free to stop in! No appointment is necessary.


Central Montcalm Public Schools receives clean water grant

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) recently announced it has awarded funding that will help improve water quality in Central Montcalm Public Schools.

Central Montcalm Public School was recently awarded a Consolidation and Contamination Risk Reduction Grant totaling $292,125 for well replacement and PFAS remediation for Central Montcalm Public Schools as part of the MI Clean Water plan.

These grants are available to help communities around the state upgrade drinking water and wastewater facilities. Grants can also be used for projects that remove or reduce PFAS or other contaminants, efforts to consolidate systems, or to connect private residential wells to a local municipal system.

We’ve made a lot of investments in recent budgets to help ensure folks have access to clean water and these grants are another useful tool we can use to make this a reality. I am happy to see this money benefitting 33rd District schools and families.


Outman comments on governor’s 2023 budget recommendations

In response to the administration’s fiscal year 2023 budget proposals outlined Wednesday morning, I issued the following statement:

“Similar to the State of the State address, I am inspired by many of the governor’s words, but wonder whether we will see them come to fruition.

“On paper, I support much of what she put on the table this morning. I support getting more troopers on the road, working to get kids safely back in schools with the resources they need to thrive, and addressing the financial difficulties countless families and businesses across the state are facing. I’m also cautiously optimistic about the governor’s sudden willingness to provide families with tax relief and I support returning money to hardworking taxpayers if we are able.

“I do worry about the director’s suggestion that the governor will continue to look at bonding to help keep her promise to fix the roads. The Legislature approved landmark funding years ago and we have continued to work on the issue since. We are also currently working on legislation that prioritizes bridge repairs. I’d rather see the governor join these discussions instead of borrowing additional money from the next generation.

“Similarly, I have repeatedly stated that we need to be responsible with one-time funds from the federal government. The governor, among others, criticized the Legislature for not simply writing checks because the money is there and available.

“This money belongs to the people and they deserve responsible spending that addresses concerns they have, not a Lansing spending spree.

“As always, the devil can be found in the details. I was pleased with the overall message, but we need more information on her plans.

“I look forward to joining these conversations between the Legislature and the governor, so we can iron out our differences and get the job done for folks across the state.”


Senate approves additional federal COVID-19 relief funding

Earlier this week, I voted in favor of legislation that would dedicate $1.2 billion in federal funding to address health care issues in Michigan.

I’ve long said that much of this federal money we are getting is not a long-term revenue stream and that any spending will need to be carefully scrutinized. I believe this appropriation deliberately considers where the largest health care-related needs are across the state and is another great step toward addressing those issues.”

House Bill 5523 would invest $1.2 billion in federal funding in the current fiscal year, including:

• $300 million for recruitment, retention and training grants to help health care facilities address staffing issues;
• $100 million for early COVID-19 therapeutic treatments;
• $150.8 million to support screening and testing activities to facilitate the reopening and safe operations of schools;
• $39 million to make nursing homes safer by converting multi-resident rooms into single rooms and improving air quality; and
• $367.3 million to increase lab capacity to implement and oversee expanded COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and other monitoring activities.


Jail diversion legislation now law

Late last year, I joined Sen. Stephanie Chang in introducing legislation to address mental health issues within the criminal justice system and put in place measures that seek to get people the help they need rather than putting them in jail. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bills 637 and 638 at the end of 2021.

The new laws create grants to assist local units of government with implementing alternative methods to dealing with mental health emergencies, such as sending unarmed mental health professionals to respond to behavioral health-related emergency calls. These people are highly trained to respond to these kinds of medical issues and can provide the necessary and helpful resources needed to deescalate the situation and provide effective care.

This creates a much broader scope of response efforts and allows our already overworked law enforcement officers and mental health professionals to join hands and not only use resources more efficiently, but also increase the likelihood of a safe, positive outcome for everyone involved in the situation.

The new laws also help establish or expand programs that seek to keep people suffering from mental health issues out of jail, and instead direct them to the care they need.

Nearly one in four people entering Michigan jails have a serious mental illness. Keeping people with mental health challenges in jail is expensive and over time has proven to be quite counterproductive. The goal is to encourage and help fund alternative response and treatment options and will work to get people the appropriate care instead of just placing them in a cell.

This is a positive step for the way we respond to behavioral health emergencies in Michigan. These measures acknowledge the overlap between criminal justice and mental health issues and take a deliberate step toward finding a better solution.


Bill to cut taxes passes Senate committee

Hours before the governor delivered her fourth State of the State address, the Senate Finance Committee considered a bill that would reduce the state’s personal and corporate income tax rates and provide a $500 per child tax credit for children 19 years and younger. The bill was passed by the committee despite “no” votes by every Democratic member.

Senate Bill 768 would reduce the individual income tax from 4.25% to 3.9%, reduce the corporate income tax from 6.0% to 3.9%. It now moves to the full Senate for consideration.


Blue Star Mothers of America resolution adopted by Senate

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The Senate recently adopted my resolution, Senate Resolution 105, honoring the Blue Star Mothers of America and the work they do for our nation’s veterans.

Blue Star Mothers are mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, foster mothers and female legal guardians who have a family member serving in the military. The organization was originally founded in Flint in 1942 and has grown to every corner of the nation.

SR 105 commemorates Feb. 1, 2022, as Blue Star Mother’s Day in the state of Michigan.

The Blue Star Mothers of America do tremendous work both honoring and caring for the men and women who served this nation. They honor those who gave their lives, visit injured service members in the hospital, and help care for and provide support to families who have lost a loved one. The work they do has countless untold benefits and I don’t believe the good in their hearts can even be quantified.

While we can never truly display our gratitude for their children’s bravery and sacrifices, we can certainly honor the organization’s mission and raise awareness about the work they do.

The resolution had a host of bipartisan co-sponsors and was formally adopted by the Senate.


Winter Free Fishing Weekend is Feb. 19-20

Michigan’s annual Winter Free Fishing Weekend is this month. On Feb. 19-20, all fishing license fees will be waived and vehicles will be able to enter state parks and use boating sites without a recreation passport.

Residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing on both inland lakes and the Great Lakes for all species of fish, but all fishing regulations still apply.

Visit for information on special events and activities. A state Recreation Passport will not be required at any state park or recreation area during the free fishing weekend.

Remember that ice fishing can be dangerous if people do not follow safety procedures or head out on the ice unprepared. Click here for additional information on ice fishing.

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DNR accepting applications for conservation officer academy

The DNR is currently accepting applications for two conservation officer academies being offered this year.

Michigan conservation officers are fully licensed law enforcement officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect citizens through general law enforcement and conducting lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Learn more at

Applications are due Monday, Feb. 28.

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Enjoy winter in Michigan!

Winter is a great time to bundle up and escape to Michigan’s great outdoors!

With more than 3,000 miles of cross-country ski trails, nearly 1,000 downhill ski runs, 6,500 miles of snowmobile trails, 11,000 inland lakes and tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams, you are never far from your next outdoor adventure.

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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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