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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

First day of session

Michigan’s constitution requires that the Legislature meet “on the second Wednesday in January of each year at twelve o’clock noon” to begin a new legislative session. On Jan. 10, the Michigan Senate met to begin the 2024 regular session.

The Michigan Senate consists of 38 members who are elected by the residents of each district. Senate districts are made up of approximately 250,000 residents and are elected at the same time as the governor to serve four-year terms concurrent with the governor’s term of office.

Visit the Michigan Senate website for the 2024 session dates and committee schedules, links to current legislation, and information about visiting the state capitol.

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Senate Republican 2024 priorities

Unfortunately, 2023 was one of the most partisan years on record. Gov. Whitmer and Democrats in Lansing showed no interest in working across the aisle. Instead, they rammed through many of the same failed policies that led to Michigan’s Lost Decade.

In 2024, Senate Republicans will continue to fight Gov. Whitmer’s efforts to make Michigan more like California. My colleagues and I understand that our constituents expect us to work together and find common ground, without compromising our values, to improve our state.

Our 2024 priorities include:

• Raising the bar for education in our state instead of watering down standards.
• Giving every student the support they need to succeed in school.
• Putting your money back in your pocket instead of growing the size of state government.
• Giving police departments the resources they need to keep our neighborhoods safe from drugs and gangs, including those run by illegal immigrants.
• Ending Lansing Democrats’ dangerous practice of giving your tax dollars to foreign companies associated with hostile nations.
• Protecting vulnerable children in foster care and juvenile facilities who have been failed by Gov. Whitmer’s administration.

Outman introduces resolution honoring Blue Star Mothers of America

The Michigan Senate recently adopted Senate Resolution 89 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 or have had a family member serving in the military.

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 ever be quantified.

My own family has been a recipient of the care provided by Blue Star Mothers. To this day, I can’t thank them enough for what they did for me and my family.

My resolution commemorates Feb. 1, 2024, as Blue Star Mother’s Day in the state of Michigan.

Video of me speaking on SR 89 the can be viewed by clicking here.

Blue Star Mothers
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Governor’s State of the State address at odds with reality

When Gov. Whitmer delivered her annual State of the State address, she painted a picture of the state that is completely out of touch with the reality most Michiganders are facing. While many Michigan residents are struggling, she made it clear she has no real understanding of what it is like to worry about the price of groceries, the cost of heating her home in the winter, or that her kids are behind in school.

Michigan’s unemployment rate and median household income are among the worst in the nation. For most families, any increase in pay has been wiped out by inflation. Thousands of our friends and neighbors continue to seek better jobs, better schools, and better opportunities elsewhere. Michigan now ranks 46th out of 50 for population growth in the U.S.

What worried me most during the speech was the frequent use of the word “free.” Nothing is free. Free always comes from somewhere, and in every example mentioned by the governor, that somewhere is you, the taxpayer.

I am concerned about whether these proposals will be ironed out into a product that truly helps Michigan residents or another Democrat majority-driven spending spree that further strains the pocketbooks of Michigan taxpayers — especially after we just completed the most partisan year I’ve ever seen in my time of elected service.

Montcalm County Legislative Update

I recently joined Congressman John Moolenaar and my son, Rep. Pat Outman at the Montcalm County Legislative Update.

Congressman Moolenaar did a tremendous job updating everyone on what’s happening inside of our federal government and discussed issues related to farming and national security, among other items.

I joined Pat in providing an update on state-level issues like the economy, state revenues, budget preparation, school funding and education, infrastructure, rural health care, and many other topics.

I always look forward to attending this event and having discussions about what is going on in government and Montcalm County.

American Heart Month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, but there is a lot we can do to change that. By making a few small changes and doing more to take care of ourselves, we can lower that statistic.

February is American Heart Month. During the month of February, accept the challenge and try making a few small changes for a healthier heart:

• Get more sleep – Aim for seven hours or more every night. More sleep can lower stress levels and increase energy levels.
• Eat better – Adding more color to your plate is an easy way to be sure you’re eating enough fruits and vegetables. Every bit helps, whether fresh, frozen, canned or dried.
• Get enough physical activity – Simply adding 30 minutes of movement to your day can improve your heart and your mind.

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Free Fishing Weekend

Michigan’s annual winter Free Fishing Weekend is Feb. 17-18. All fishing license fees are waived, and vehicles can enter state parks and use boating sites without a Recreation Passport.

Winter Free Fishing weekend is a great time to try ice fishing. With at least 150 species of fish that can be caught through the ice, you don’t have to wait for summer to give fishing a try. Ice fishing can be an affordable, safe, and family-friendly activity to get everyone outdoors.

Residents and out-of-state visitors can enjoy fishing on both inland lakes and the Great Lakes for all species of fish. All fishing regulations still apply. Visit for information on special events and activities.

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Michigan 211

With temperatures falling and inflation rates rising, many in Michigan may find themselves in need of help. Michigan 211 is part of a national system of organizations that connect residents with services in their local area.

At Michigan 211, highly trained specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can contact one of the seven regional contact centers across the state by dialing 211 from a phone or by texting the zip code where help is needed to 898211. The Michigan 211 website also has a chat feature and search options to allow residents to search for service providers in their area.

Last year, Michigan 211 helped more than 500,000 people connect with more than 40,000 services, including utility assistance, emergency housing or shelter, food, legal services, healthcare, substance abuse, mental health assistance, and more. For more information, visit Michigan 211.

Starting the year with a tax increase, other major legislation taking effect soon

The Democrat majority adjourned the Legislature historically early last year, in part to advance the date with which the radical policies they passed take effect.

The measures below, among others, are set to take effect in the coming weeks.

• Income Tax Increase – This unfortunately began on Jan. 1 as the Republican’s proposed tax cuts were voted down. Despite objections from Republicans, including those who originally wrote the law to permanently reduce the income tax burden on residents once revenues reached a certain point, Democrats insisted the 2015 law only applied to one tax year and Michigan residents were welcomed to 2024 with a Democrat-sponsored tax increase.

• Gun laws – The Legislature passed a series of efforts that created a red flag system and expanded background check laws in Michigan.

• Abortion – The voters of this state approved Proposal 3 to codify abortion rights in Michigan during the last election, however, Democrats took it many steps further and approved measures to create on-demand, no questions asked abortions in Michigan. The new initiative also removes certain safety and health regulations regarding abortion clinics.

• Right to work repealed – A law repealing Right to Work was rammed through the Legislature and signed into law with little consideration. When passed in 2012, this law opened the door for the freedom to work a job to support yourself and your family without joining a union to be hired. Democrats quickly did away with this law early last term at the behest of their union boss supporters. Under the repeal of Right to Work, unions will once again be able to influence whether you get a job and where.

• Prevailing wage reinstated – In an effort to promote fiscal responsibility, Republicans did away with prevailing wage requirements, which require a government-contracted development to bloat wages of the project. This artificially increases costs and makes taxpayers foot the bill. Current legislative leadership voted to reinstate the prevailing wage requirement.

• Third grade reading requirement eliminated – Michigan is in the bottom 10% in more than one metric of student performance, and instead of taking a deep look at how we can improve this and better prepare our students, the Legislature voted to repeal a law that required intervention if a student is unable to read proficiently by the end of third grade.

• Green Energy mandates – Late last year, instead of supporting and strengthening our current electrical grid, which has proven to be problematic, the Legislature voted to require the state move toward 100% renewable energy. This puts an extremely large burden on both providers and ratepayers. The Legislature even voted to remove the ability of locals to have a say in what is being built in their own communities. So, if the state wants a solar farm in your community, they get one.

Last year was one of the most partisan years in our state’s history and the direction our state is going is a reflection of extreme, one-sided policymaking. I stood against each of these efforts last year and will continue to oppose overreaching government regulations.

Michigan's 33rd Senate District

Michigan’s 33rd Senate District now includes Montcalm and Newaygo counties, along with parts of Ionia, Lake, Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa 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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