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Senate holds opening day of 2022 legislative session

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As is required in the Michigan Constitution, on Jan. 12 the Michigan Senate held its first day of the 2022 regular session. The state’s constitution requires that “each regular session start on the second Wednesday in January at 12:00 noon.” The legislative session ends on Dec. 31.

The Michigan Senate consists of 38 members who are elected by the residents of each district. Senate districts are made up of approximately 212,400 to 263,500 residents. Senators are elected at the same time as the governor and serve four-year terms concurrent with the governor’s term of office. The Michigan Senate generally meets every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 10 a.m., unless otherwise determined by the Senate majority leader.


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.

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.


Supreme Court decision blocks Biden COVID-19 vaccine mandate

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Biden Administration’s heavy-handed mandate forcing private businesses with more than 100 employees to require employees receive a COVID-19 vaccination or be tested for the virus weekly.

I was proud to support Senate Resolution 83 earlier this year that condemned President Joe Biden’s decision to impose vaccine requirements on private employers and urged the governor and attorney general of Michigan to pursue all available avenues to challenge the unlawful mandate. During the first day of session of 2022, the Michigan Senate adopted Senate Resolution 101, a resolution condemning President Biden’s Head Start vaccine and mask mandate.


Senate, House Oversight committees review Deloitte report on UIA fraud

The Senate and House Oversight committees held a joint hearing on Jan. 13 to discuss a Deloitte and Touche investigation into imposter fraud and intentional misrepresentation payments made by the Unemployment Insurance Agency.

According to the Deloitte report, the agency is alleged to have squandered up to $8.5 billion in fraudulent jobless claims throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The new report follows a recent state Office of the Auditor General audit indicating $3.9 billion had been paid out to ineligible recipients due to the agency ignoring federal rules.

It is clear to me after discussing the report issued by Deloitte that the state Unemployment Insurance Agency’s focus was decidedly not on the billions of taxpayer dollars wasted, but on the fraud the agency allegedly prevented. While I appreciate and expect the agency director’s concern about ensuring something like this never happens again, she simply cannot gloss over the massive mistakes made by the agency that led to a significant amount of Michigan’s federal COVID-19 funding going to the wrong people and not to the residents who deserved it.

The oversight committees have still not received a coherent answer about who specifically was responsible for preventing fraud while this was happening or who made the decisions to roll back fraud protections. We will continue these hearings until the people of this state get the answers they deserve, and someone is held accountable.

I understand the UIA has been difficult to navigate for many U.P. residents, and anyone having trouble may contact my Senate office at 517-373-7840.

The report, which was issued Dec. 29, 2021, may be read by clicking here.

The joint committee hearing may be viewed in its entirety here.


New report shows DHHS undercounted nursing home COVID-19 deaths

A recent report from the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) indicating the state Department of Health and Human Services underreported the number of long-term care facility residents who died from COVID-19.

We already knew that more than one-third of all COVID-19-associated deaths in our state occurred among residents at long-term care facilities. Now, independent state auditors have concluded administration bureaucrats either miscalculated or misreported, if not misled, the public about the number of COVID-19 deaths at such facilities.

The Senate Oversight Committee held multiple hearings on Executive Order 2020-50. The order forced facilities to take in infected persons even if it meant housing them with healthy residents. At the time, the administration chose to decline offers to re-open closed facilities as quarantine facilities or utilize special sites it had prepared. Later, the administration created a hub system that still utilized low-performing facilities. The director at the time repeatedly told the committee that the department knew it was not accurately or adequately counting deaths for the first three months.

It is shocking that the department has not pursued attaining a more accurate count of those early months, even after admitting it had not done a good job counting. Instead of owning up to the mistake, the administration attacked the auditor general before the final report was issued in a poor attempt at preemptively discrediting the OAG, which has been nationally recognized for its work rooting out problems in health care settings. The OAG has a commendable record on health care related audits, including receiving two national awards for its work on the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Politicizing crises is not uncharacteristic of this administration and it seems they presume all others do the same. The auditor general was elected unanimously by the Legislature and has an impeccable and undeniable reputation of conducting himself and his department in a professional, non-partisan, objective manner. To infer otherwise, especially while facing unpleasant and undesired data, simply demonstrates an unwillingness to accept accountability and a lack of character. The fact remains DHHS did not report 1,511 long-term care facility deaths from COVID-19 and the public deserves better.


U.P. lawmakers applaud DNR lease renewal at Back Forty Mine

My fellow Upper Peninsula lawmakers and I recently applauded the recent DNR renewal of a metallic mineral lease relevant to the proposed Back Forty Mine in Menominee County, which is set to mine gold, zinc, and copper.

We appreciate the state Department of Natural Resources decision to renew the Back Forty Mine lease before its expiration deadline. Granting the lease’s extension was an important step in the project’s development, enabling mine officials to continue work on obtaining remaining permits.

The U.P. delegation sent a letter to DNR officials requesting the lease renewal ahead of its pending expiration on Dec. 27, 2021.

The Back Forty Mine will be a big shot in the arm for the U.P., providing hundreds of good-paying construction, mining and administrative jobs, as well as contributing greatly to the region’s economy. I again thank the DNR and Director Dan Eichinger for their quick action to ensure this mining project can proceed.

According to Back Forty Mine officials, the project is expected to provide about 350 jobs for two years in various skilled trades, including ironworkers, operators, electricians, carpenters and painters during its construction phase. Additionally, once fully operational, the mine would employ an estimated 240 mining and business professionals full time.


DNR accepting applications for conservation officer academy

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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.


Michigan's 38th Senate District

The 38th State Senate District includes the counties of Alger, Baraga, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, and Schoolcraft in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula.

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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 38th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Ed McBroom
7200 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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