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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Welcome to the latest edition of my e-newsletter for 2023.

Below you’ll find an update on what’s happening in your state Capitol and some additional resources I hope you find helpful.

Thank you for allowing me to represent you in the Michigan Senate. I am grateful each and every day to work for the people of the 33rd Senate District.


Rick Outman
State Senator
33rd Senate District

Gotion funding moves forward despite objections, national security concerns

Recently, the Democratic-led Senate Committee on Appropriations signed off on a plan to use hundreds of millions of state tax dollars for the proposed Gotion, Inc. battery parts plant in Big Rapids.

The concerns surrounding this project continue to grow and the company has failed to maintain transparency or the trust of myself and many others as they dodge questions about environmental concerns, the economic benefit of this project, and downplay the company’s links to the Chinese Communist Party.

China is widely considered to be the number one threat to the U.S., and I think we ought to take these concerns seriously and go above and beyond with our due diligence before handing over a taxpayer-funded check. Unfortunately, the Democrats did not share this sentiment and were more than happy to take company officials at their word, as limited as they were, and signed off on the funding.

Residents, lawmakers, former federal intelligence officials, among others, voiced their concerns with this proposal and the lack of transparent answers from Gotion officials. National security concerns were downplayed as conspiracies and questions about the environmental impact went unanswered. The answers the company did provide were often misleading and left out crucial information. Gotion Inc. and its representatives offered little to establish trust in the Big Rapids community and the state as a whole.

I never had an opportunity to vote on this project on the Senate floor. I voted against it in the Senate Committee on Appropriations, but unfortunately the Democrat majority pushed the funding through.

Expanding access to care for first responders

I co-sponsored legislation to guarantee worker’s compensation benefits to part-time police officers and volunteer firefighters.

Under current law, part-time and volunteer members of police departments, fire departments or public fire authorities are commonly denied worker’s compensation for respiratory and heart disease claims out of the presumption these injuries did not arise from their line of work.

This legislation would correct an oversight in a 2021 update to the state’s Worker’s Disability Compensation Act that currently covers full-time police and firefighters who are granted a presumption that their respiratory illness or heart disease arose during their employment. The new legislation would also include part-time and voluntary members of police and fire departments.

Under this bill, part-time and volunteer members would no longer be held to a different standard than their full-time counterparts. This is a commonsense legislative fix that will help provide care to those who put their lives on the line for their communities each and every day.

Outman reintroduces nurse practitioner scope of practice legislation

I have been a long-time supporter of the nurse practitioners and have advocated for expanding the scope of practice for years. Nurse practitioners provide meaningful care to residents and are a critical part of providing access and eliminating health care provider shortages across our state — especially in rural areas, like the many communities in the 33rd Senate District.

I have again worked with my colleague Sen. Jeff Irwin to sponsor legislation that would expand the scope of practice for nurse practitioners in Michigan. The goal is to help prioritize patient care needs, help relieve the shortage of heath care providers and provide more Michigan residents with access to quality care.

Senate Bill 279 would remove the current mandate for nurse practitioners to contract with a supervising physician in order to serve patients. This bill will give nurse practitioners full practice authority; the ability to practice to the full extent of their education and training, as well expand access to health care; improving health care quality; and investing in public health.

Having several family members who currently work in the medical field, I know the dedication these professionals have for their patients and the extensive training they go through. I think this is a step in the right direction as we continue to battle the challenges surrounding access to care in Michigan.

Encouraging volunteering

Last month, we celebrated National Volunteer Week, an opportunity to recognize the impact volunteering has on our local communities. Every day, volunteers make a huge impact on the lives of those they serve. Volunteering is also a great way to learn new skills, enjoy the great outdoors or make professional connections.

Volunteers are needed in nearly every corner of our state. To find a need in your area, contact your local church, school or community center. If you prefer working outdoors, the DNR has volunteer events at state parks and recreation areas throughout the year.

Visit Volunteer Michigan for even more ideas and volunteer opportunities near you.

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Weigh in on state land review recommendations

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is responsible for the care of approximately 4.6 million acres of public land.

In 2018, the Legislature approved a Managed Public Land Strategy, requiring the DNR to review approximately 240,000 acres of state-owned land to determine how the land fits into the DNR’s overall mission of “conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations.” The parcels under review are either under 200 acres or land with an irregular boundary that may be difficult to manage.

The review will determine whether to keep, exchange or sell state-managed land and is being conducted on a county-by-county basis, 10 to 11 counties at a time. Cheboygan, Crawford, Eaton, Ingham, Jackson, Kalkaska, Missaukee, Muskegon, Osceola, Otsego, and Ottawa counties are currently under review.

An important element of the review process is public input. You can view the final classifications or submit comments or feedback for the group of counties using the DNR’s interactive map. Comments will be accepted through Wednesday, June 7.

For more information about the review process, visit the Natural Resources Commission website or watch a recording from previous meetings by visiting State Land Review.

Meeting with Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, local officials

I recently joined Congressman John Moolenaar and other officials at Herbruck’s in Ionia County to discuss issues affecting the farm and the agriculture industry in Michigan.

It was great listening to George Herbruck and other attendees and getting an inside look at the farm and the great discussion on how different laws and regulations affect the industry and how we can all work together to support Michigan farmers!

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Holland Grant Me Hope

I recently received the honor of being named as a Hope Champion by Holland Grant Me Hope.

This is a tremendous organization that helps kids most in need as they age out of the state’s foster care system. This is a critical time for these kids and Grant Me Hope extends a much-needed helping hand to assist kids with finding homes, working on resumes, applying for college and other life tasks as they become adults.

I’m a big supporter of foster care workers — they put so much into helping these kids have a future, and most certainly help steer these young adults in the right direction. We worked to secure funding for the organization in the previous budget to help them expand their infrastructure and reach more kids, and I’d be glad to work with them to help further their cause again in the future.

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Congratulations to Lowell wrestling!

I would like to congratulate the Lowell High School wrestling team on winning their 10th straight state championship. I wrestled for many years and I know the hard work and commitment it takes to reach this level of success.

I also had the pleasure of welcoming Easton and Charlie Lyons, the children of my former colleague and current County Clerk Lisa P. Lyons. Charlie and Easton were here with the team celebrating the team’s accomplishment.

Congratulations to Coach R.J. Boudro and the Lowell Red Arrows on this milestone achievement!

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Outman welcomes 33rd District residents to Lansing

I always enjoy when folks from the district stop in. It’s great to meet with various groups to listen to their concerns, exchange ideas and work toward a solution.

Thank you to everyone who stopped in to advocate for a better Michigan!

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Michigan's 33rd Senate District

Michigan’s 33rd Senate District now includes Montcalm and Newaygo counties, along with parts of Ionia, Lake, Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa counties.

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the 33rd 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 33rd District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Rick Outman
4400 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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