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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

Connecting with communities

Because of redistricting and a change in legislative chambers, I am relatively new to many parts of the Senate’s 18th District. Spread out over six counties, it’s a much larger geographic area than the district I represented in the Michigan House. I am connecting with our communities by participating in events such as roundtables hosted by local chambers of commerce, school groups and other organizations.

A recent example was a Feb. 27 community stakeholders meeting hosted by the Barry County Chamber and Economic Development Alliance in conjunction with the Barry Community Foundation. This event brought together state legislators and representatives from federal offices to answer questions from local leaders and community members. We talked about economic development, workforce development, housing, education and many other topics.

Afterwards, I was fortunate to host community office hours in Hastings and Otsego, and tour a facility in Delton. I have had similar opportunities elsewhere in my first two months as your state senator.

It’s a big district and I won’t be able to get everywhere at once. But I look forward to connecting with your community and hearing about your concerns at events in the months ahead. You can stay informed about upcoming local office hours through this e-newsletter and on my Senate webpage.

Using common sense in economic development

I generally support economic development when it is done transparently and with a positive return for taxpayers on their investment. Unfortunately, the economic incentive package related to a project in the Marshall area is neither.

House Bill 4016 – which includes some of the tax incentives related to the project – was approved by the Legislature and has been signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. I voted against the bill, and I would like to explain why.

The overall tax incentives cost to taxpayers is estimated at about $1.7 billion – that would translate to about $680,000 per direct job at the factory. Meanwhile, the average annual wage for these jobs would be about 15% below the median household income for Calhoun County. And over the next 20 years, the investment is expected to return less to the state in personal income and sales tax revenue than the state’s overall investment.

Simply put, it’s a bad deal. The state of Michigan should walk away from it.

I have other concerns beyond the cost. The process used by the state related to this project and other SOAR projects has not been transparent. Changes are needed to ensure communities and their elected officials at every level are better informed about projects in a public and transparent way.

I also have concerns about the role of a company from China in this project. It raises national security concerns, among other issues.

The aftermath of Proposal 3

Michigan voters approved Proposal 3 last November – but that does not mean the state should embark on a path to allow unregulated abortion for anyone at any time for any reason. The Legislature can and should still have a say, particularly after a baby reaches fetal viability.

As Democrats move to repeal several abortion-related laws in Michigan, I am fighting to maintain and strengthen commonsense measures that were in place even when Roe v. Wade was in place. This includes protections we still have on the books prohibiting partial birth abortion and requiring parental consent for abortions involving minors.

Republicans offered several amendments that Democrats rejected. This includes my plan that would have provided more than $22 million in support of adoption and maternal health. This amendment would not have restricted access to abortion in any way. I continue to keep the faith that the pendulum will eventually swing back the other way – toward supporting life, including support for adoption and expectant mothers who want to keep their babies.

I gave several speeches on the Senate floor related to this topic, which are available by clicking here or on the image below.

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Recognizing our agriculture industry

March is designated as Michigan Food and Agriculture Month. We should celebrate our state’s incredible agriculture industry year-round, but it’s good to be reminded about its importance through designations such as this one.

Agriculture and related businesses employ more than 800,000 people and contribute more than $1 billion to the Michigan economy every year. It all starts with our family farms across the state. They should be celebrated.

Michigan's 18th Senate District

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Michigan's 18th Senate district covers all of Barry County and parts of Allegan, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent and Ionia counties.

Senator Thomas A. Albert
4500 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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