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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 community hours coming to Kent and Ionia counties

I continue to host local office hours throughout the 18th District because I want the chance to discuss the issues that matter to you. The next sessions are scheduled for Friday, March 31:

• 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Biggby Coffee, 11826 Fulton St. E. in Lowell.
• 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Lake Odessa Community Library, 1007 Fourth Ave. in Lake Odessa.

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.

I hosted community office hours in Allegan, Barry, Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties earlier this year. We will schedule additional sessions in these communities soon.

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Another step backward for Michigan

The new Michigan Legislature, with a Democratic majority, has been in place for about three months now. I am worried they are making decisions that will move our state in the wrong direction. The latest example was the approval of legislation to repeal Michigan’s Right to Work law.

Right to Work was enacted a decade ago to offer freedom to Michigan workers and to help the state continue emerging from the Lost Decade. Right to Work status put Michigan in play for several economic development projects that our state would not have been considered for otherwise. Repealing Right to Work will cross us off the list for some employers and hurt our economy — and from a worker’s perspective, it simply is not fair. Fundamentally, this is an issue of freedom and individual liberty. No one should be forced to associate with an organization unless they freely choose to do so — especially to put food on the table and support their families.

We cannot allow Michigan to lose the positive momentum built over the past several years. I will continue to fight for policies that give our families and communities an opportunity to succeed.

Fighting for real solutions to keep gun criminals off the streets

I would hope everyone realizes more must be done to keep our kids and families safe. There are ways to help — unfortunately, the Democratic-led Legislature is taking a path that goes after law-abiding gun owners rather than focusing on criminals to truly reduce violent crime.

The Legislature is approving bills that deal with ‘red flag’ laws, expanded background checks and weapon storage requirements. I have opposed these bills while offering better solutions.

I supported amendments that would have provided more resources to improve security at school and university buildings while also helping prosecutors better enforce current gun laws. I also introduced Senate Bill 181, which would reopen a recently closed Ionia prison and allow counties across the state to send those charged with gun-related crimes there. My proposal would add jail capacity for local law enforcement officials, which would focus on reducing the number of reckless plea deals and keep violent criminals off the streets. Democrats rejected these proposals, but I will continue to push for reforms that focus on criminals — not law-abiding citizens.

The main bills advancing from the Senate are Senate Bills 76 through 86. Other bills have been introduced in the Michigan House. To follow bills in the Michigan Legislature, visit the ‘bill search’ webpage.

Pure Michigan travel guide now available

The 2023 Pure Michigan Spring/Summer Travel Guide features great places to visit and fun activities to experience all around our state. Whether your summer plans include the Great Lakes shoreline, golfing or a craft beer tour, the Pure Michigan Travel Guide is a great place to start. The publication includes regional highlights and inspiration for every traveler.

The travel guide is available to download for free.

Tips for dealing with tree damage from storms

Like much of the state, the 18th District was recently hit by power outages from ice storms and other bad weather events. Broken tree branches and fallen limbs often are involved. Follow these safety tips to keep yourself safe and give mature trees the best chance at survival:

• Safety first: Look carefully for downed power lines or branches that are about to fall. Always use the proper tools for the job. If you don’t have the proper tools, hire a professional. Never approach a downed power line; report them to your local utility company.
• If possible, delay clean up until all the ice has melted: Branches that are weighed down or broken can be even more dangerous due to the added weight of ice and snow. If repairs are not necessary in order to get into or out of your home, it is usually best to wait until the ice melts and you can safely assess and clear any damaged limbs.
• Consult your insurance policies: It’s always best to review your insurance policy before beginning any repairs. Take photos or video of the damage and notify your agent to clarify any issues. Damage to your car by falling branches may be covered by your auto policy as well.
• Be aware of scams: After major storms, it is not unusual for scam artists to pose as tree care companies. Before hiring any contractor or signing a contract, check to be sure the company is licensed and insured. Make sure you understand what you will be charged and do not pay in full until the job is completed.

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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