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Senate approves Nesbitt legislation to improve broadband access

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The state Senate on Thursday approved a measure sponsored by state Sen. Aric Nesbitt that seeks to improve access to reliable broadband internet.

“Expanding broadband access is crucial for families, seniors and those working from home,” said Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “Many folks in my district and underserved areas across the state have been left behind, so we need to encourage significant broadband investments to get everyone caught up, and on a level playing field.”

Senate Bill 46 would increase incentives and promote investment in broadband equipment with the hope of bringing more high-speed internet infrastructure and service to underserved and unserved areas of the state. The legislation aims to prompt investors to upgrade their equipment and expand services to areas that currently do not receive high-speed internet.

Nesbitt introduced a similar bill in 2019, and the need for broadband has escalated due to COVID-19. Nesbitt said he remains committed to improving internet access for his district and throughout the state.

“Reliable access to the internet is increasingly becoming a requirement for day-to-day life,” Nesbitt said. “The bill will lower government-imposed costs, reduce barriers to expansion and encourage meaningful investments in our communities.”

The legislation will now move to the Michigan House of Representatives for further consideration.


Support our student athletes!

The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted every part of life in Michigan and across our country. One of the largest groups to be negatively impacted by the pandemic is our students. Students suddenly had their worlds turned upside down. They were forced to miss out on some of the most formative events in their lives.

Gov. Whitmer’s initial announcement that high school athletics must stop competing immediately and wouldn’t be able to resume until at least Feb. 22 caused a great deal of concern among parents, coaches and student athletes across the state.

Nesbitt joined fellow lawmakers in introducing Senate Resolution 7 urging the governor and MDHHS to allow high school sports to resume play immediately. The resolution passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

The senator credits those who got out and made their voices heard regarding the governor’s orders for the success of the grassroots effort.

Gov. Whitmer reversed her decision, allowing contact sports to resume on Monday, Feb. 8.


Nesbitt reacts to governor’s State of the State address

Sen. Aric Nesbitt issued the following statement in response to Gov. Whitmer’s 2021 State of the State address:

“This is the third State of the State in which Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has outlined her plans and called on the Legislature to work with her, but her actions in recent years have shown she feels otherwise. She chose to go it alone on roads, she chose to redo the state budget as she saw fit and she has chosen to take on this pandemic alone.

“Emergencies such as this require teamwork, and unfortunately, that’s not what we have seen out of the administration.

“As we move into the new year, we need to focus on getting Michigan businesses back open and giving workers and business owners a degree of certainty that they deserved months ago.

“What matters far more than a speech are actions. We need to get people back to work, efficiently distribute the vaccine, provide meaningful relief to small businesses that will help jumpstart Michigan’s economy and work on a responsible balanced budget.”


Unlock Michigan Campaign

On Oct. 2, 2020, Unlock Michigan organizers submitted signatures collected in support of repealing the law Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used to issue unconstitutional executive orders over several months of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s been over four months since the Unlock Michigan campaign submitted 539,000 signatures on behalf of Michiganders to repeal the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945, and none of the signatures have been reviewed.

“The law was deemed unconstitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court, and a bill to repeal the law was approved by the Legislature to no avail. Now, the citizens’ initiative seeking to repeal the law is being ignored by the Michigan secretary of state,” Nesbitt said. “All of the requirements were met to warrant the review process, and in recent years, reviews of statewide proposals have been fully completed within this timeframe.”

Nesbitt joined his colleagues in the Senate in supporting a resolution calling on Secretary Benson to review the signatures submitted by the Unlock Michigan campaign. Senate Resolution 9 calls on Benson to immediately begin the process of reviewing signatures collected as part of this effort and advance the initiative through the process.

The resolution was adopted by the Senate. The more than half a million Michiganders who signed the petition will now have to wait and see whether or not Secretary Benson will take action.


Senate rejects series of Whitmer appointments

Sen. Nesbitt joined with his colleagues to reject a series of Gov. Whitmer’s nominees in response to her continued COVID restrictions.

“The separation of powers is critical for our government to work effectively,” Nesbitt said. “The Supreme Court determined her use of executive orders to be unlawful, so she simply moved to having her department heads issue orders under a different law. Our governor needs to work with the Michigan Legislature to address the challenges facing our state instead of making unilateral executive decisions that affect every single one of us.”

The Michigan Senate has rejected a number of the governor’s appointments. Lawmakers say these rejections are meant to be a signal to Gov. Whitmer that she needs to work with the Legislature to help combat the COVID-19 virus, open up small businesses and work to recover Michigan’s economy after the pandemic.


DNR to Offer Outdoor Skills Academy

The Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Skills Academy can help boost your ice fishing know-how with upcoming Hard Water School class.

The class will be held outdoors at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center, located in Mitchell State Park in Cadillac.

Hard Water School, a one-day, introductory class on ice fishing, will be offered on Saturday, March 6. Focusing on techniques for pan fish, walleye and pike, the class will cover everything from how to set up equipment, how, where and when to fish, ice safety, and rules and regulations. Cost is $35, which includes one-on-one instruction from a pro, lunch on the ice, bait and a goodie bag.

Participation for all classes is limited to 20 students, and COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed.

For more details and to register for classes, visit


10 Cents a meal grants awarded to 138 statewide applicants

The Fiscal Year 2021 state budget, approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Whitmer, increased funding from $575,000 to $2 million for the 10 Cents a Meal Program, which allows the program to expand statewide and include early childhood centers as eligible for the grant funding.

10 Cents A Meal for Michigan's Kids & Farms (10 Cents a Meal) is a state-funded program providing schools with matching incentive funding up to 10 cents per meal to purchase and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables and legumes. Initially a pilot program launched in 2016, 10 Cents a Meal has been expanded and is available to schools statewide for the first time ever.

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has selected 138 program grantees from across the state for 2020-21, many of which are first-time grantees. The 138 grantees approved for the program serve over 406,000 children statewide. Through the program, schools and early childhood education centers are able to purchase locally and invest in Michigan’s agriculture, while improving daily nutrition and eating habits for children.

MDE is assisted in the program by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), which provides expertise on Michigan-grown products and participates in food service director trainings; the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, which conducts monthly food service director surveys for evaluation; and Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, which conducts stakeholder interviews and provides communications support.

To learn more, please visit For the list of 2020-21 award grantees, click here.


Federal CARES Act Update, Nesbitt continues to offer UIA support

In the final weeks of 2020, the federal government approved the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The guidance provides states with important information about several provisions of the law, including the extension of programs first authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), as well as the creation of a new unemployment insurance (UI) benefit for “mixed earners.”

The law extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program created by the CARES Act, which provides UI benefits to gig workers and others not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits. Under the law, the end of the period of applicability for the PUA program extends to those weeks of unemployment ending on or before March 14, 2021.

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency is working to program new system changes necessary to begin additional payments under the Continuing Assistance Act (CAA) for PEUC and PUA claimants who have exhausted their benefit allowance on or before Dec. 26, 2020.

Senator Nesbitt will continue to help constituents who need assistance navigating the Michigan Unemployment Insurance system. Please contact his office at (517) 373-0793 or visit if you need assistance.


COVID-19 Vaccinations

With the announcement of the COVID-19 vaccine, many Michigan residents are anxious to receive their first dose. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are working to move through phased priorities for residents.

Currently, the following individuals are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine:

Health care workers.

Residents 65 years of age and older: The COVID-19 vaccine for seniors is coordinated and scheduled through your local county health department. You can find your local health department for your county using this map. Not all county health departments have begun scheduling vaccinations. Appointments are being added daily.

Front-line essential workers, child care and pre-k through high school staff: Eligible front-line essential workers will be notified by their employers about vaccine clinic dates and locations. These workers include school and child care staff, front-line responders and corrections staff.


Michigan's 26th Senate District

The 26th State Senate District includes all of Allegan and Van Buren counties, as well as the city of Kentwood and Gaines Township in Kent County.

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the 26th 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 26th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Aric Nesbitt
6100 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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