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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

Latest abortion bills threaten health and safety of women

Democrats have introduced a new wave of abortion-related bills that threaten the health and safety of women and go far beyond what was in place under Roe v. Wade.

The new proposals would repeal inspection and licensing rules designed to ensure abortion clinics are safe and sanitary. The proposals would eliminate a 24-hour waiting period and consent measures designed to make sure women are informed about risks of the procedure and are not being coerced into having abortions against their will. The new proposals also would allow public funding of medically unnecessary abortions and even repeal protections against late-term partial-birth abortions. It is difficult to tell at this point what the actual effect of the partial-birth abortion change would be because of other statutes in place.

The proposed elimination of these commonsense protections is yet another sign that many abortion advocates are moving toward extremism. But I am heartened that, based on votes in a Michigan House committee this week, there appears to be some opposition to these measures even among some Democrats.

How can abortion advocates claim there is a lack of access issue in Michigan when there are more abortions performed here now than at any time since the mid-1990s? The number of abortions in Michigan has increased for six consecutive years.

Michigan voters approved Proposal 3, but that does not mean we must have unregulated abortion for anyone at any time for any reason.

New energy policies debated in Legislature

Proposals that would set deadlines for utilities to go carbon-free are under discussion in the Legislature. So is a proposal that would create a new state office related to the movement from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles and similar industry transitions.

Michigan must tread carefully here. It is one thing for natural market forces to dictate changes in employment trends, but it is another thing entirely for the government to force or mandate these transitions – particularly within tight timeframes. Some of the proposals introduced by Democrats would force changes before our state is ready for them, and that would have consequences.

Our electric grid is already somewhat unreliable, as anyone dealing with repeated power outages after Michigan storms knows too well. Mandating that utilities use carbon-free energy by 2035, 2040 or any other near-future date would lead to an even less reliable energy grid and higher energy bills for families and businesses.

This week in the Senate Labor Committee, we heard testimony on Senate Bill 519, which is connected to the Democrats’ overall energy plan. This bill would further bloat state government by creating a new office related to transition in the auto and energy industries, among others. It also proposes a “wage differential benefit” that would bridge the pay gap when an employee is transitioned from a higher-wage job to a lower-wage job. The legislation does not say how this program would be funded.

To me, these appear to be a tacit acknowledgement that the policies Democrats are supporting will lead to fewer jobs with lower wages. It’s another good reason to steer clear of forced mandates.

Meeting with local leaders

I recently hosted several of Barry County’s local elected leaders for a wide-ranging and informative discussion at Hastings City Hall. We talked about the state budget, laws that have been approved by the Legislature this year, and what to expect in Lansing in the coming months. But the most valuable part of the discussion was hearing directly from local leaders about their concerns and priorities.

Conversations like these will help me do a better job of representing our communities at the state Capitol. This was just the first of many roundtable discussions with local officials that I expect to host in the coming months across the 18th Senate District.

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Sen. Thomas Albert (right) talks with Barry County officials at a recent event in Hastings.

Communities benefit from reduced municipal debt

This summer, more than 100 Michigan communities began receiving grants designed to reduce debt in their municipal pension systems. This is an effort I led in the previous legislative session as chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

The Legislature approved a $750 million program to reduce debt in these systems. So far, more than $550 million has been announced for communities across the state – including Ionia County, Battle Creek and Hastings.

Eliminating debt in these systems means communities won’t have to pay as much to maintain them. That frees up resources to use for other purposes today and in the future, so communities will have better services for residents. It also helps secure the retirement benefits that public employees have earned and rely upon, without passing along higher costs to our children and grandchildren for debt they did not create.

Free well water testing now available for Michigan residents

As part of Public Act 166 of 2022, the Michigan Legislature appropriated $5 million to provide free well water testing for Michigan residents who rely on a household or private well for their drinking water.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy will work with local water departments across the state to test private wells for the most common water quality concerns. Some of the most common water quality concerns for private wells include bacteria, nitrates, and harmful metals like arsenic.

Private well owners can contact their local health department or visit to request a sample kit. The website also contains information including contact information for local health departments, well records, and an interactive Water Well Viewer that displays the locations of various water wells across Michigan.

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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