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Senate committee approves Bumstead legislation providing flexibility for Muskegon and Newaygo Promise Zones

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The Senate Committee on Appropriations Wednesday afternoon approved legislation that I sponsored, which would provide flexibility and access to student scholarships in Michigan’s “Promise Zones.”

I have long been an advocate of allowing local communities to do what’s best for their residents and I think Promise Zone Authorities should be able to make some changes that will better serve the needs of students in these zones. Tying the hands of Promise Zones across the state with government mandates does not allow them to make choices that are best for students.

The Michigan Promise Zone Authority Act provides scholarships to all students that live and graduate from a high school located within the boundaries of a Promise Zone. The scholarships allow for students to pursue higher education without having to worry about the financial burden.

Promise Zones have three funding sources: the federal Pell grant or other need-based aid, private contributions and revenues from the state tax capture mechanism. Michigan currently has 15 communities with Promise Zones.

Currently, the Michigan Promise Zone Authority Act covers cost of “qualified educational expenses” for students. Under the current definition, qualified educational expenses are mandated and cover costs on top of tuition for expenses of books, supplies and equipment required for courses.

Senate Bill 1052 would modify what is considered a “qualified educational expense” and would make the cost of books, supplies and other equipment optional expenses that a Promise Zone Authority can cover if they choose to.

The current mandate takes away dollars that could be going toward giving more Muskegon and Newaygo County students tuition scholarships. My legislation will eliminate Lansing mandates and allow each Promise Zone Authority the choice to include additional costs on top of tuition and better meet the specific needs of students in their respective communities.

The legislation will now go before the full Senate for consideration.

Bumstead supports legislation aiding Muskegon Convention Center

My Senate colleagues and I approved legislation that would provide money for convention centers throughout the state, including the new Muskegon Convention Center, that have suffered because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like many industries, convention centers have not been able to conduct meetings or regular business and are struggling to make payments because of the reduction in revenue. This measure would help struggling convention centers survive the economic downturn resulting from the ongoing pandemic.

Because of the massive hit the convention and meeting industry has suffered as a result of COVID-19, it is believed the industry will take three to five years to recover to the level it was at prior to the COVID-19 lockdown. House Bill 6119 would help those in the industry stay afloat as the state continues its response to the coronavirus.

The measure would provide $4 million to the Michigan Strategic Fund to administer a grant program for convention centers negatively affected by the COVID-19 virus.

Many industries across the state are hurting because of this virus, and I have supported numerous measurers to provide relief to Michigan businesses and families. I will continue to support measures that will help Michiganders affected by the coronavirus get back on their feet.

HB 6119 has been presented to the governor for consideration.

Bumstead supports budget agreement for FY 2021

I voted to finalize the fiscal year 2021 budget plan, which balances the state’s deficit and increases investments in important priorities like K-12 education and public safety.

Since the coronavirus arrived in Michigan, it has left behind devastation that has taken a huge toll on families, the mental health of residents, our economy and the state’s budget.

This year has challenged everyone, and I was happy to join my colleagues in approving a bipartisan solution that funds key priorities, provides relief to residents and schools and balances the deficit – and does so without raising taxes.

Senate Bill 927 is an education omnibus budget featuring a $65 per student increase in state aid payments for all schools in addition to restoring the $175 per pupil reduction made to balance the FY 2020 budget. It also includes an additional $66 million for growing schools, $37 million for student mental health support and $3 million more for early childhood literacy.

House Bill 5396 is a general omnibus budget that increases local revenue sharing and includes $20 million to ensure nursing homes have adequate personal protective equipment to protect staff and residents, $7 million to graduate at least 50 new state troopers and maintain trooper strength, $26 million for the Going Pro program to help train employees, and $30 million for Michigan Reconnect to help people complete an associate degree or skills certificate.

It also invests $15 million in the Pure Michigan tourism campaign, deposits $35 million in the state’s rainy-day fund, and fully funds the 2015 plan to help fix the state’s roads.

This budget uses our savings to address an unprecedented budget shortfall and increases funding for our K-12 schools, helps fix our roads, and protects hardworking taxpayers, schools, seniors and communities across the state. It also includes measures to boost our economy and makes significant investments to help Michigan residents who remain out of work get back on their feet.

Both budget bills have been signed by the governor. Michigan’s 2021 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.

I encourage you click the link below or visit my Facebook page to watch my video on the effects that COVID-19 has had on the economy and how the Legislature has worked to rebuild Michigan’s economy during a pandemic.

Watch video.

Michigan movie theaters, bowling alleys, venues can reopen Oct. 9; gathering limits eased

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued major executive orders last Friday afternoon that will reopen movie theaters, stadiums and other businesses that have been closed since March as well as ease limits on public gatherings across the state.

The new changes will begin reviving some sectors of Michigan's economy while allowing more people to come together for events such as receptions and funerals during the pandemic.

Theaters, performance venues, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, indoor climbing facilities, amusement parks and trampoline parks will be able to reopen Oct. 9. But businesses will have to keep records on those entering their facilities in case of an outbreak, so they can be contacted later.

Read more.

Upcoming virtual DNR public meetings

Every month, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) holds public meetings around the state to provide Michigan residents with opportunities to share ideas and ask questions about policy decisions, programs and other aspects of natural resources management and outdoor recreation.

During COVID-19, with public health and safety in mind, upcoming meetings have been changed to virtual meetings or conference calls. Visit the DNR’s website for a list of upcoming meetings and more information on how you can participate.

Deer check and CWD/TB testing changes for 2020 hunting season

The 2020 hunting season has officially started, and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wants to remind deer hunters of several changes to deer check stations this fall.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hunters will see a reduction in check station and drop-box locations, dates and hours of operation, and the number of deer heads that will be accepted for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing. Additionally, to protect hunters and DNR staff, hunters will be required to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines, and at many check stations, hunters will be required to stay in their vehicles while their deer is checked.

As we continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic, it is important that we do everything we can to follow guidelines to keep our families safe. For more information on the changes for the 2020 hunting season, click here.

Manufacturing Week in Michigan

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Manufacturing is the backbone of Michigan’s economy, and it has been the heart and soul of the manufacturing industry in the United States for decades. Manufacturing Week runs from Sept. 28 through Oct. 2 and is a time to celebrate the hundreds of thousands of dedicated, hardworking men and women who are making many of the products we rely on each day. Manufacturers across the state stepped up and led the way in reopening our state safely by retooling operations to manufacture ventilators, PPE and other materials to help restart our economy and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Manufacturing directly employs more than 629,000 individuals in Michigan, and total manufacturing output in Michigan was $102.35 billion in 2018. Additionally, Michigan has created more than 162,000 new manufacturing jobs in the last 11 years, which is an increase of nearly 43%. Michigan remains a national leader in manufacturing job creation and continues to outpace all other states.

Bumstead announces October office hours

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. No appointment is necessary.

Participants are encouraged to wear masks and maintain proper social distinacing. The locations will have masks and hand sanitizer available, but please feel free to bring your own if you prefer.

If you are unable to make it to the following dates and times, please feel free to contact my office to set up an appointment.

For more information or to contact my office, please visit or call 517-373-1635.

My upcoming office hours are as follows:

Friday, Oct. 9
9 – 10 a.m.
Pentwater Village Hall
327 S. Hancock St.

11 a.m. – noon
Hart Community Center
407 S. State St.

1 – 2 p.m.
Shelby Village Hall Lobby
218 N. Michigan Ave.

Friday, Oct. 23
9 – 10 a.m.
Norton Shores Library
705 Seminole Road
Norton Shores

11 a.m. – noon
Roosevelt Park City Hall
900 Oak Ridge Road

1 – 2 p.m.
Muskegon City Hall, Commissioner Chambers
933 Terrace St.

Michigan's 34th Senate District

The 34th State Senate District includes the counties of Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana.

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the state Senate. 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 34th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Jon Bumstead
4600 Connie Binsfeld Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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