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Dear Friends,

Summer is officially here, and I hope each of you will be able to spend time enjoying the sunshine with family and friends. We have already had some extremely hot days. During extreme heat, please stay hydrated and check on loved ones.

To better serve you, I am offering this e-newsletter on what’s happening in our community and across our state.

I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may call toll-free at 1-855-347-8028 or email [email protected]. Also, please check out my Facebook page. Let me know if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Working for you,

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Mark Huizenga
State Senator

Senate passes $565M for mental health services

Every Michigan resident should have access to quality mental health services regardless of their means or where they live. The Senate has passed a comprehensive supplemental appropriations bill that would invest more than half a billion dollars to transform Michigan’s broken mental health system.

Senate Bill 714 would invest $565 million in mostly federal funding to provide communities with resources for jail diversion, create treatment units to reduce emergency room overcrowding, and bolster substance abuse programs.

The bill would provide $230 million for local mental health efforts to provide additional support to help police officers identify individuals better suited for treatment rather than incarceration; invest in new treatment units to reduce hospital emergency room crowding while getting patients the immediate help they need; support for substance abuse prevention, education and treatment programs; and invest in services to help kids, including child advocacy centers, child family charities, and adverse childhood experience programs.

The plan also would devote $205 million to repair, enhance, and expand the mental health services offered by Michigan hospitals. Funds will be used to expand bed capacity, partial hospitalization programs, and the child psychiatry emergency department.

An additional $115 million is included to recruit mental health professionals and to invest in programs designed to proactively address at-risk youth in Michigan schools and communities.

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Whitmer vetoes MI Family Inflation Relief Plan

Just 24 hours after claiming she wanted to help Michiganders struggling with record-high inflation and gas prices, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed our bipartisan bill to lower taxes by $2.5 billion.

In May, the Senate passed the MI Family Inflation Relief Plan to provide Michigan families, seniors and veterans with $2.5 billion in tax relief. If signed, the new laws would have helped every Michigander by lowering the state’s income tax to 4% and increasing the personal income tax deduction by $1,800. It would have also created a $500 tax credit for each child under the age of 19.

House Bill 4568 would have also increased the tax exemption for Michigan seniors over 67 to $21,800 for individuals and $43,600 for couples.

Government is the only one that benefits from record inflation and gas prices. While the state sits on a $10 billion surplus, Michiganders are struggling to get by. But the governor’s veto makes it clear she’s more concerned about growing government than family budgets.

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District office hour on June 25

I am holding in-person office hours throughout the district on a regular basis because hearing directly from the people about the issues they are facing is an important part of representing everyone in West Michigan. These meetings give local residents a chance to express their viewpoints about what needs to be done and offer help to people dealing with a variety of state issues.

We have already had two office hours this month in Grand Rapids and Rockford. We are holding a third meeting this Saturday, June 25 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Mr. Burger, located at 5181 Northland Drive NE in Plainfield.

Office hours are open to all residents and no appointment is necessary. Anyone who is unable to attend the June 25 office hour may contact my office.

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Happy Father’s Day and Juneteenth

This past Sunday was both Father’s Day and Juneteenth.

I hope all the dads in West Michigan had a very happy Father’s Day. As a dad, I know that fathers and father figures are uniquely positioned to lead in the development and well-being of children. Their roles and responsibilities are great and it is important to recognize their sacrifices and honor all that they do.

All men are created equal. Children are designed in God’s image. In honoring Juneteenth, we maintain this self-evident fact and commemorate the end of slavery within the U.S. May this holiday serve as a reaffirmation of our commitment to securing both liberty and justice for all.

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Urging federal recognition of Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians

The Michigan Senate has approved my resolution to urge the U.S. Department of Interior to approve the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians’ petition for federal acknowledgment.

The Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians submitted their application for federal recognition to the U.S. Office of Federal Acknowledgment in 1994. Almost three decades later, the tribe is still waiting to have their application approved — the longest active review in U.S. history. An erroneously delayed government process must not continue to impede the tribe’s ability to fill its role as a valued member of the West Michigan community.

Senate Resolution 151 says that the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians’ request has been on the “active consideration” list since 2013. Without federal recognition, members are denied their rights to health care, housing, and education assistance, among others, through resources that are provided only to federally recognized tribes.

This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue — it’s about fairness and good governance. The Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians have provided important social welfare programs for its members and other urban tribes and they deserve their long-overdue federal recognition. They are valued partners in shaping the future of our region and our state. This resolution is to support the tribe and respect the treaty rights of a distinct and sovereign people.

SR 151 notes that the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians are the political successor of the Grand River Ottawa people that first established a sovereign-to-sovereign relationship with the United States in the 1795 Treaty of Greenville, the 1807 Treaty of Detroit, the 1821 Treaty of Chicago, and the 1836 Treaty of Washington. It was further strengthened by the 1855 Treaty of Detroit, which recognized the tribe’s ancestral homelands in West Michigan.

Copies of the resolution will be transmitted to the governor, the U.S. secretary of the interior, and the director of the U.S. Office of Federal Acknowledgment.

Click on the image below to watch a video of my remarks on the Senate floor about the resolution.

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Helping small businesses trademark identity

The state Senate has unanimously approved my legislation to help Michigan businesses — especially our locally owned small businesses — protect their brand and identity with a smoother, easier and less expensive trademark process.

Michigan currently has outdated trademark requirements that the state has used to deny applications that would normally have been approved in other states. My bill would simplify the process by putting our trademark law in line with the rest of the country.

Senate Bill 1035 would amend Michigan’s trademark statute to update and clarify the definition of the term “trademark.” It removes the prohibition on trademarking a trade name in its entirety.

There has been some inconsistency in the state approval of trademarks that include the name of the business seeking the trademark. For example, if Sample Business, LLC applied to trademark Sample Business, there is currently no consistency on whether it would be approved or denied.

DNR and state police team up to fight fires

The Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan State Police have teamed up to fight wildfires more effectively. The plan, in the works since 2016, involves an MSP helicopter and a 320-gallon collapsible bucket to put out wildfires.

For their part, the Michigan State Police purchased a UH-1 helicopter, known as a “Huey,” from a military surplus store. The DNR purchased a bucket, known as a “Bambi Bucket,” using a federal grant. Together they create a very strong tool for fighting fires.

The Huey flies with a crew of three: a pilot, a radio communicator, and a bucket operator. The helicopter hovers low over a lake to fill the Bambi Bucket with water. It then carries the bucket to where it is needed and pours the load over the burning wildfire. This strategy can help in the early stages of a fire to keep it manageable, particularly in an area that is hard to access. The water can also help cool a wildfire, making it safer for ground crews to move in.

Last month, the new equipment has been helpful in fighting two wildfires, the Kirtland Community College fire and a fire near Grayling.

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National Internet Safety Month

June is Internet Safety Month. It is the perfect time to increase your awareness of online safety and learn ways to protect your identity and data.

These days, kids are spending more time online than ever before. They have come to depend on the internet for education, entertainment and socializing with their friends.

It is more important than ever to make sure they are cyber-safe. Visit or for more information.

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Serving the people of West Michigan is very important to me and I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may contact me by calling toll-free 1-855-347-8028 or emailing [email protected] .

I look forward to serving you, and I encourage you to contact me if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Senator Mark Huizenga
201 Townsend St., Suite #7200
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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