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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

Office hours scheduled for Allegan and Barry counties

I plan to host local office hours on Monday, Nov. 27, in two locations:

• 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Biggby Coffee, 1114 W. Superior St. in Wayland.
• 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Hastings City Hall, Council Chambers, 201 E. State St. in Hastings.

Office hours are open to district residents to talk about issues related to state government or to request assistance with a state issue. No appointment is necessary, but space may be limited at some locations. Priority will be given to constituents seeking to discuss issues requiring privacy or individual attention.

Office hours in other 18th District locations will be scheduled at a later date.

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Democrats force early adjournment for Legislature

In an extremely rare move, Democrats in the Michigan Legislature voted to end this year’s session very early. The last votes of the year were held on Nov. 9, and the Legislature formally adjourned on Nov. 14.

This is the earliest the Legislature has adjourned in more than half a century, and I voted against adjourning this early. Adjournment was moved up because Democrats want to hold their presidential primary on Feb. 27, and an early adjournment means the legislation establishing this date will take effect in time. This may benefit Gov. Whitmer’s political agenda, but it does not benefit the people of Michigan, who will now go without a Legislature in session for roughly two months. This temporarily weakens our government’s system of checks and balances, giving more power to the executive branch.

It is also worth noting the House of Representatives will now have 54 Democrats and 54 Republicans until special elections are held, and this early adjournment misses an opportunity for bipartisan cooperation in the Legislature.

The silver lining is that Democrats can no longer force through policies that are hurting our state for the rest of 2023. I discussed their agenda in a recent speech on the Senate floor.

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Energy legislation undermines local control

I want to highlight one issue in particular to illustrate the heavy-handed approach Democrats have taken this year. Energy policy provides a microcosm of their efforts to make government bigger, centralize state power at the expense of local communities, and mandate changes in the economy whether people want them or not.

The Legislature has approved bills that would mandate utilities have 100% “clean energy” by 2040 – even though that will make energy less reliable and more expensive and Michigan’s forced changes will have next-to-no effect on climate change. This plan includes the creation of a new state office to assist workers and communities that will likely lose jobs as the forced energy transition continues. Worse, the state is implementing this change in a way that will make local governments meaningless when it comes to deciding the locations of large-scale wind and solar projects.

House Bills 5120 and 5121 will give the unelected Michigan Public Service Commission the power to overrule communities that decide against locating wind and solar projects within their boundaries. This violates the fundamental rights of people in local communities who elect their own local leaders to make their own decisions based on what is best for them.

This decision will also erode the way of life in rural Michigan. The MPSC estimates it may eventually take more than 340,000 acres overall to meet the state’s renewable energy goals. That’s the equivalent of nearly all the farmland in Ionia and Barry counties combined.

I talked more about this plan in a speech on the Senate floor. I consider this policy a dangerous move toward big government socialism.

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Continuing to offer alternatives

While I am speaking out against what I consider harmful plans approved by Democrats, I also should mention that I have proposed better alternatives to move our state forward all year. Pointing out problems is not enough. I have also offered solutions in the form of roughly 20 bills introduced in the Senate since January.

My proposals offered a better income tax plan and alternatives for the state budget. I proposed legislation to defend life, rein in corporate welfare and make state government more transparent for the people it represents. To see the wide range of legislation I proposed in 2023, click here. I will continue to advocate for these improvements in the year ahead.

Financial disclosure bills heading to governor

In 2022, voters approved Proposal 1 by a wide margin. This amended the Michigan Constitution to require legislators and statewide officeholders to file an annual financial disclosure report. Senate Bills 613-616 implement Proposal 1’s financial disclosure section.

Together, these bills will require the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, members of the Legislature — and spouses in limited instances — to disclose certain financial information every year.

The bills were approved by the Legislature with bipartisan support and have been sent to the governor for her signature. The legislation is not perfect. It should have been adopted earlier, and it should have been debated in a more transparent manner. That’s why I had proposed an alternative version of disclosure legislation earlier this fall. But the bills headed to the governor are an important step in the right direction.

Happy Thanksgiving

Long before our Declaration of Independence was signed or the Constitution was written, the earliest settlers to North America paused to give thanks. This tradition of gratitude has continued for centuries and has become an important part of American culture, marking a season of gratitude and celebration.

From my family to yours, best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!

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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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