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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Welcome to the most recent edition of my monthly e-newsletter.

Below you’ll find an update on some items we’ve been working on in Lansing.

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

‘What’s Next’ address brings more of the same for Michigan residents

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently addressed the state with her priorities for the fall legislative session.

The speech was much of the same progressive promises we’ve seen from her already, with little direction on how these new priorities will work or be paid for. Ultimately, we know how they will be paid for: By you.

Costs for nearly everything have risen beyond what people can manage, people and businesses are leaving the state, our infrastructure needs are not being met, and the best the governor has to offer those who are struggling to meet basic needs is more programs and more government spending. We saw what the blank check approach did to our state’s savings and to double down on that strategy is reprehensible and irresponsible. People want less government intrusion and to keep more of the money they make, not to blindly throw their hard-earned money at programs that sound good on the news but don’t work or aren’t feasible in the real world.

The governor wants to pursue new tax burdens on small businesses, more government growth and regulations and plans to fast-track Michigan’s already-vulnerable energy grid onto a new energy standard using unproven and unreliable technology. The energy grid can’t handle the current demand and recent storms have shown us just how bad of shape it is in. Despite paying considerably higher rates than other states, the unreliability is still there. Now is not the time to double down on force-feeding people “green” energy that will cost more and bring less reliability. These things are new ideas and need significant vetting prior to dumping all of our eggs in the same basket.

The governor, the Democratic majority in the Senate, and Attorney General Dana Nessel actively fought against a tax reduction for residents, and we now know why: Because they spent a decade’s worth of savings in one year and have new ideas they need to fund.

This speech was more proof that the governor has her own agenda and most of the state isn’t a part of it.

Back-to-school safety tips

As students head back to school, it is a great time to review bus safety tips. If your students ride the bus, make sure they are familiar with the proper safety procedures for getting on and off the bus. The Michigan State Police offer these safety tips for students:

• Always stay in sight of the bus driver.
• Don't hurry off the bus; check traffic first.
• Never go back to the bus after exiting.

It is even more important that drivers know how to safely share the road with school buses. When encountering a school bus, drivers should always:

• Prepare to stop when a slowing bus has its overhead yellow lights flashing.
• Stop at least 20 feet away from buses when red lights are flashing, unless driving in the opposite direction on a divided highway.
• Slow down in or near school and residential areas.
• Watch for children between parked cars and other objects.

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Legislature once again passes equalized funding for K-12 schools

After the passage of Proposal A in 1994, there was a gap in the per-student funding each school received. In 2021, that gap was finally closed, and now all Michigan public schools receive the same minimum amount of per-pupil funding — regardless if they live in a rural, urban or suburban district.

Under the leadership of legislative Republicans, per-student funding has gone up every year for more than a decade.

The fiscal year 2024 budget increased the minimum per-student funding by $458. This year, schools will receive $9,608 per student, which will provide more educational resources and opportunities for Michigan students.

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Invasive species watch list updated

Two new species have been added to Michigan’s invasive species watch list, the mountain pine beetle and the water-primrose.

The mountain pine beetle is a deadly threat to pine trees. It is an aggressive, persistent, and destructive bark beetle and is native to western North America, ranging from Northern Mexico to Canada and eastward to the Black Hills of South Dakota. The beetle can be transported on infested trees, logs, lumber, firewood or plant parts, and poses an immediate threat to Michigan’s natural resources and forest products industry.

If you find suspected signs of mountain pine beetle on pine trees, note the location and take photos. Report your findings to either the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development via email at [email protected] or the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network using its online reporting tool.

Invasive water-primrose is a non-native plant that is invasive in a wetland ecosystem. The species can survive and thrive in Michigan’s climate and can be very difficult to remove, making early detection critical. Water-primrose species are aquatic plants that can thrive and spread in shallow water areas, including wetlands and shorelines. Water-primrose will grow quickly, crowding out important native vegetation. Suspected water-primrose sightings can be reported through the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network online reporting tool.

Game-specific hunting guides available for download

Each year, the DNR publishes regulation guides for hunting and fishing in Michigan. The Michigan hunting and fishing guides provide a condensed collection of the rules and regulations, including the boundaries of each of the management units for individual species. Guides are available for general hunting and fishing or game-specific guides for games like bear, elk, and turkey, and can be downloaded to your mobile device.

A hunting and fishing app is also available for download. The Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app provides access to licenses, permits, regulations, map drawing results, along with outdoor recreation updates.

Outings with Outman

Delivering backpacks to help jumpstart the school year!

I recently joined up with AT&T to distribute backpacks and supplies to help students get a great start to the new school year.

The latest stops included Ellis Elementary in Belding and the Cedar Springs administration building. Lawmakers all over the state joined the cause to help get school supplies into the hands of students who needed them.

I hope everyone has a great year and thank you to AT&T and everyone involved for helping get one step closer to making that goal become a reality.

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Expanding rural health care, keeping Sheridan Hospital open

I was recently joined by the Appropriations Subcommittee on Department of Health and Human Services Committee Chair Sylvia Santana for a look inside the needs of Sheridan Hospital and to continue the conversation about the broad needs of rural health care in general.

I’ve spent much of my legislative career working closely with the human services sector and have sponsored and co-sponsored a number of initiatives to improve rural health care and increase access in underserved areas.

I’d like to thank Sen. Santana for visiting the 33rd District to see firsthand how the state can improve these vital services and for giving this issue the time and consideration it deserves.

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Visiting Tamarack Library in Lakeview

The Tamarack District Library recently hosted a community service fair to help connect the community with available services and resources to assist in people’s daily lives.

I was happy to stop in with my son, Rep. Pat Outman, and to bring some booklets and other helpful information to those who may need it, including available services for area seniors and veterans and informational booklets for students.

Online versions of some of the publications we brought to the event can be found on my website for those who are interested. To browse the available documents, please click here.

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Connecting veterans with health care services

I recently attended an event for veterans at VFW Hough-Pontius Post 3701 in Lakeview. The event included an informational presentation from the Battle Creek VA Medical Center for PACT Act benefits and health care. It was very informative and great to see so many familiar faces in attendance.

Thank you to Jessica and Stacey from my home post for helping make sure this informative event came together! It means a lot to those who served our country.

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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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