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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

Local office hours in Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties

I hosted in-district office hours in each of the 18th District’s six counties early in 2023. This month, we start a second swing through the district with events in Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties – scheduled for Friday, April 28:

• 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Lawrence Memorial District Library, 107 N. Main St. in Climax.
• 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Pierce Room at Willard Public Library, 7 W. Van Buren St. in Battle Creek. Please note this is not a Willard Library program.

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.

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Working to strengthen Michigan communities

This week, I was honored to receive a “Legislator of the Year” award from the Michigan Municipal League.

I share the League’s goal of strengthening communities and making Michigan a better place to live, work and raise a family. As the House Appropriations Chair in the previous legislative term, I initiated policies that will strengthen communities for years to come.

One of those initiatives is a $750 million grant program to help reduce debt in municipal employee pension systems. This will free up resources to directly provide better local government services while also giving retirees peace of mind that they will receive the benefits they have earned.

We cannot have a strong and healthy state without strong and healthy communities. This program will help by improving local government finances right away and years into the future.

Opposing inflated, misguided corporate welfare

In recent weeks, the Senate Appropriations Committee continued to approve economic development incentive packages that do not make sense for the state of Michigan. I am a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and I voted against all three proposals.

The latest proposal was a $175 million SOAR transfer for Gotion Inc. in Mecosta County. I believe we should be investing in domestic companies, and aside from cost, my major concern with this project is that the parent company is based in China.

I also opposed a $200 million transfer for Our Next Energy Inc. related to a Wayne County project. The main concern here is that the company, relatively speaking, is very young. In February, the company indicated it had a valuation of about $1.2 billion. The project under consideration would more than double its value. Companies which have not reached maturity have longevity risk, and it is not wise to invest a substantial amount of taxpayer money into such companies.

And as I have said earlier, I continue to oppose the Ford project in the Marshall area. I recently voted against a SOAR transfer for that project. Overall, the incentives cost to taxpayers for this plan is estimated at around $1.7 billion – or more than $680,000 per expected direct job at the factory. Taxpayers might never receive a positive return on that size of investment, labor shortages will strain existing local companies, and I also have concerns that Ford is affiliating with a Chinese company for technology in this project.

All of these projects cross the line from sensible economic development to corporate welfare, and I cannot support them. It is time for a complete review of the SOAR program because I do not believe it is working as the Legislature intended.

Reminder: Online survey available for 18th District residents

Just a reminder that my office has launched an online survey to solicit your thoughts on issues that matter to you and your family. Many of you have already participated. For those of you who have not yet taken the spring survey, it is available by visiting

The survey includes questions to rank your priorities or submit your own thoughts on the biggest challenges facing our state today.

Financial Literacy Month

With high gas prices and inflation reaching 40-year highs, it has never been more important to understand basic economics and how to best manage your personal finances.

April is Financial Literacy Month — a great time to learn more about finances and how to improve our personal and household financial stability.

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services offers free educational workshops on a wide range of topics like managing debt, health insurance, auto insurance, and much more. There are even programs designed specifically for teens with information about paying for college and how to keep a money diary. Speakers are available for educational workshops at your location, free of charge. Workshops consist of a 60 to 90-minute live presentation on a variety of topics and can even be tailored to fit your group’s unique interests.

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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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