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Michigan legislators passed 5th balanced budget on time

The Michigan Legislature finalized the Fiscal Year 2016 budget plan that increases support for education and roads and strengthens the state's finances.

I am proud to support a structurally balanced budget that continues our efforts to create a positive climate for creating jobs, prepare our students for success, protect our communities and natural resources and attract job creators and tourists to Michigan. Budgets are about priorities. With this budget, we are improving the efficiency and effectiveness of state government, building on our commitment to education and putting an additional $400 million into fixing our crumbling roads.

This budget strengthens Michigan's financial future, saves taxpayers billions of dollars by paying down our long-term debts, and increases our support of all levels of education. Every school will see increased investment with this budget. We will also be supporting our students with $31.5 million for third-grade reading initiatives and directing more dollars into the classroom by investing nearly $1 billion to reduce legacy costs.

Click for more information: Senate Bill 133 / House Bill 4115

Michigan Senate acts to protect minors

When it comes to keeping kids safe, it seems as though there are always new challenges. I recently supported a bill to protect children from nicotine abuse.

Senate Bill 231 would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes and nicotine cartridges to minors and treat stores that sell the products to minors the same as if they sold them tobacco. The bill would also prohibit a minor from buying or using e-cigarettes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2013 more than a quarter million middle and high school students - who never smoked traditional cigarettes - used e-cigarettes. In fact, the products come in many kid-friendly flavors like chocolate, fruit and bubble gum. Yet, the nicotine in them can be just as addictive as conventional cigarettes. Clearly, these devices don't belong in the hands of our children.

Senate adopts resolutions to prevent Asian carp in Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are a vital part of Michigan's economy - supporting jobs in recreation, tourism, shipping, manufacturing, agriculture, energy and more - while providing an enviable quality of life.

Asian carp pose an imminent threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem and economy. I recently supported Senate Resolutions 22, 23 and 25 urging the Obama Administration and Congress to move quickly and decisively to implement a long-term solution to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes basin.

Presiding over Senate session

I had the privilege to preside over the Michigan Senate during session on Tuesday, June 2. It is truly an honor to represent the people of the 36th District, which includes Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Gladwin, Iosco, Midland, Montmorency, Oscoda, Otsego and Presque Isle counties. Having the opportunity to lead Senate session was one of many gratifying moments as your senator.

Michigan Activity Pass

Michigan residents now have the opportunity to explore hundreds of state parks, campgrounds, museums and activities for free or a discount with the swipe of their library card. The Michigan Activity Pass allows library cardholders throughout the state to gain free or discounted access to 385 sites and numerous events.

For more information, please visit the Michigan Activity Pass website.


Office hours in Lewiston

I encourage anyone who needs help or wants to express a viewpoint to stop by the Lewiston Public Library at 2851 Kneeland Street in Lewiston from 11 a.m. to noon. My aim is to provide the best service possible for the hardworking people of the 36th District.

I represent 10 counties in the Michigan's 36th Senate District, which includes Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Gladwin, Iosco, Midland, Montmorency, Oscoda, Otsego and Presque Isle counties. My staff and I are excited about continuing a regular series of office hours throughout the district and hearing directly from you about state and pocketbook issues.

For more information, please contact my office toll-free at 1-855-347-8036 or via email at [email protected].  Residents unable to attend office hours may write me at Senator Jim Stamas, P. O. Box 30036, Lansing, MI 48909.

Free fishing this weekend is Saturday and Sunday, June 13-14!

This annual fishing celebration provides a chance for Michigan anglers, and those who have never gone fishing, to experience some of the world's best fishing - free of charge. I encourage area families and out-of-state visitors to take advantage of this opportunity to introduce the joy of fishing to children or to just get away from the stress of life and relax in the Michigan outdoors.

During the weekend, all fishing license fees will be waived, but all fishing regulations still apply.

Fishing has long been one of Michigan's premier outdoor activities and an important part of our heritage. For nearly three decades, the free fishing weekend has been highlighting our wonderful inland and Great Lakes waters and helping families pass down the love of fishing to the next generation.

Michigan has more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, 36,000 miles of rivers and 11,000 inland lakes for fishing enthusiasts to visit during the weekend.

To encourage involvement in the free fishing weekend, organized activities are being scheduled in communities across the state.

For more information on the Summer Free Fishing Weekend, including a list of activities across the state, visit

State parks honor veterans with Fireworks-Free Fourth of July

Michigan is home to more than 660,000 veterans, some of whom prefer to avoid fireworks and other loud noises.

On this Independence Day weekend (July 3-5), 12 Michigan state parks will offer Fireworks-Free Fourth of July celebrations. Located farther away from urban areas that often host large local firework displays, these parks are ideal camping locations for veterans and others who prefer a quieter holiday celebration.

The weekend event, made possible by a partnership between the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, provides a great alternative when celebrating our nation's freedom. Ground-level fireworks such as sparklers, fountains and other novelties will still be permitted. Find out more, including a list of participating state parks, at

Flag Day is Sunday, June 14

I had the privilege of touring the North Eastern Michigan Rehabilitation Opportunity Center (NEMROC) with CEO Dave Szydlowski in Alpena. They provide vocational, personal and social development opportunities for individuals with disabilities to fully integrate into the community.

It was fun joining Carpenter Elementary School students on their Capitol Tour! Thanks to the teachers and parents who made their trip possible!

It was a great opportunity meet the Midland members of the Michigan Dental Association and learn how legislation in Lansing impacts these important members of our community.

Congratulations to the Alpena Underwater Robotics Team! They recently won the Great Lakes Regional MATE ROV Competition and are now heading to the International Competition in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada!

Click here for more information about the team.

For more information, and to help this team get to Canada - please visit

Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the 36th 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 36th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website or via Facebook.

Senator Jim Stamas

920 Farnum Bldg. P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Phone: (517) 373-7946

Email: [email protected]
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