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DNR seeks public input on comprehensive land strategy

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The state Department of Natural Resources has put forth its draft of a renewed land strategy for the 4.6 million acres of state-owned land in our state.

The DNR is looking for the public to review and comment on the draft strategy, which may be viewed at I encourage U.P. residents to take a look and let the department know what you think.

You may provide your input on the draft land strategy through an online survey or via email to [email protected].  Feedback will be accepted through Feb. 12.

How to Effectively Appeal Your Property Tax Assessment

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Do you think your property tax assessment is incorrect? If so, you may appeal the assessment.

First, a few reminders may be helpful. The term “taxable value” (TV) was introduced in 1995. It is the value used to calculate your property taxes. Annual growth in taxable value is capped at the rate of inflation, or 5%, whichever is less.

The State Equalized Value (SEV) must still reflect 50% of the property’s true cash value and may increase (or decrease) by more than the rate of inflation or 5% in any tax year.

It is important to remember that your property taxes are no longer based on the SEV. Changes to your home’s assessed value will reduce your taxes only if it is an amount lower than the taxable value.

If you believe your assessment is in error, you may appeal to your local Board of Review and, if necessary, the Michigan Tax Tribunal. No attorney is necessary. This guide, along with your willingness to explore all the possibilities, may help you obtain a favorable adjustment.

Upper Peninsula Food Processing Support Program Pitch Competition

The Upper Michigan Food Processing Support Program, hosted by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Small Business Development Center, Michigan State University Product Center, and U.P. Food Exchange, is seeking food businesses looking for support or scaling up their operations.

Competition participants will receive customized support packages tailored to their specific growth needs. These could include consulting services, branding, and packaging support, product development, website creation/updating, production/process spacing, and buyer connections.

Businesses interested in participating must complete an application by Feb. 5.
Event details:
Registration link:

Senate Republicans announce 2021 priorities

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My Senate Republican colleagues and I unveiled our priorities for the year this week. The priorities are presented in three main categories: Healthier Families and Communities, a Healthier Economy, and Building a Healthier Future.

The caucus identified protecting Michiganders from COVID-19, making Michigan a welcoming home for new and existing businesses, and getting students back on track as some of the top issues facing the people of Michigan at the start of the 101st Legislature. Overall, 19 issue areas were prioritized.

U.P. families and those throughout the state are facing many challenges as we begin the new year, and they deserve peace of mind about their future and livelihoods. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of priorities, which will be key to delivering solutions and building a healthier Michigan.

I am hopeful the governor will live up to her own words and finally work with the Legislature to get our state back on track.

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 classes.

The classes 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 Saturdays, Jan. 23, Feb. 20 and 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.

Advanced Hard Water School, Feb. 5-7, is a mixed virtual/on-ice class teaching more advanced ice fishing skills. Each participant will pick a specific topic of interest and be assigned a pro fisherman from Team USA, HT Enterprises, Clam Outdoors, Vexilar or Ice Force to learn from, with one pro to every five students. The first, virtual lesson will include gearing up, rigging and preparing to fish in detail, with the following two days of instruction spent on the ice and fishing. Cost is $75, which includes a box lunch Saturday and Sunday, bait and door prizes/goodie bags.

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 budget included several grantees in the Upper Peninsula: Gwinn Area Public Schools ($1000); Hancock Public Schools ($3000); Houghton-Portage Township School District ($2000); Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan Head Start ($5000); and, Stanton Township Public Schools ($3000).

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, UIA support continues

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.

I will continue to help constituents who need help navigating the Michigan Unemployment Insurance system. Please contact my office at (517) 373-7840 or visit my website 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:

• Healthcare workers
• Residents 65 years of age and older
          o 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.
• Frontline essential workers, child care and Pre-K -high school staff
          o Eligible frontline essential workers will be notified by their employers about vaccine clinic dates and locations. These workers include school and child care staff, frontline responders and corrections staff.

Michigan's 38th Senate District

The 38th State Senate District includes the counties of Alger, Baraga, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, and Schoolcraft in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula.

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the state Senate. 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 38th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Ed McBroom
7200 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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