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Dear Friends,

Below you will find the latest issue of my monthly e-newsletter with updates from your state Capitol. I hope you will find the news and information helpful. Please feel free to share this newsletter with anyone you feel may be interested.

As always, my staff and I are available if you have any thoughts or concerns about state government. Please feel free to contact my office at [email protected] or 517-373-7946.


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Michele Hoitenga
State Senator
36th District

May office hours

Local office hours are open to all residents of the 36th District. No appointment is necessary. Michigan’s 36th Senate District includes Alpena, Alcona, Arenac, Crawford, Iosco, Kalkaska, Missaukee, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon and Wexford counties, along with portions of Bay and Manistee counties.

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Tax relief should be permanent

Michigan’s individual income tax rate will fall to 4.05% — down from the current 4.25% — for the 2023 tax year. While this is a positive step for Michigan taxpayers, it does not go far enough. I believe the tax reduction should be permanent — despite Attorney General Dana Nessel’s recent opinion stating it should be temporary.

Democrats did not want this rate reduction at all. They have tried to rob hardworking families of this tax relief even though the state has a $9 billion surplus on the books. Republicans have fought for this rate reduction so that you can keep more of your hard-earned money.

Former Gov. Rick Snyder and lawmakers who approved the 2015 law say the income tax trigger was supposed to be permanent. Now Democrats are trying to change the rules because they want higher taxes to pay for corporate welfare and other unsustainable government programs. This fight for long-lasting tax relief is not over. Michiganders deserve to be able to keep more of what they earn.

Red flag laws attacking constitutional rights

Democrats in the House and Senate recently supported “red flag” legislation that would give judges the authority to direct local law enforcement to confiscate an individual’s firearms before a crime is ever committed. Under the bills, elected judges may confiscate firearms from an individual if a preponderance of the evidence — the lowest evidentiary standard available — indicates that the individual presents a danger to themselves or others. The bills passed in the Senate by party-line votes in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Beyond the fact that the bills represent a blatant attack on due process, they are ineffective in addressing the practical problem with gun violence: Criminals. Criminals, by definition, circumvent the law and there is nothing keeping them from doing the same with red flag laws in place. Instead, these laws will once again impact law abiding gun owners who work to stay within our laws, leaving criminals — whose possession of a firearm may be a mystery to the government — to continue breaking the law.

Funding for CCP-supervised Gotion

In October 2022, Gotion struck a deal to construct a parts plant for electric vehicle batteries in Big Rapids using state grants. Proponents of the project boasted jobs and economic expansion for Michigan.

Despite being headquartered in California, however, Gotion has a parent company: Gotion High-Tech Co., Ltd. — a Chinese company that has close ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Gotion’s connection to the CCP present a clear threat to national security and Michigan’s economic competitiveness as the CCP’s co-opting of trade secrets and continuous inventory of national security information is well-documented. Beyond practical threats to our welfare and economic security, the state’s partnership with Gotion presents moral threats as well. Despite all of that, the Senate Appropriations Committee gave final approval for the use of the state funds on April 20.

36th District events

As your state senator, I love attending different events throughout our beautiful district. It's always great to meet new people and listen to their ideas and concerns. From charity fundraisers to town hall meetings, I try my best to be present at as many events as possible.

With several award ceremonies — and the annual Governor’s Breakfast in Cadillac — April was a busy month for the 36th District! I am always looking for opportunities to congratulate my constituents on their accomplishments. As such, it was my honor to travel to Alpena to present state tributes to the recent honorees of this year’s Alpena Chamber of Commerce banquet!

Congratulations, Alpena Chamber winners:

• Gary Stephan, Citizen of the Year
• Cedar & Threads, Business of the Year
• Downtown Union 76, Customer Service of the Year
• Neighborhood Provisions, Culture Change Agent Award
• Amanda Pilarsk, Connecting the Classroom and Business Award
• Pam Richardson, Ambassador of the Year
• Presque Isle Farm Cider, Up and Coming Award
• Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union, MyMichigan Health - Health Leadership Award

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This month, the Cadillac Area of Commerce hosted its annual Governor’s Breakfast, which sees students, legislators and community leaders from all over Northern Michigan gather to network, share ideas and discuss issues relevant to our community.

The event was a success, with over 100 attendees and several guest speakers highlighting the latest developments in our area and across Michigan. Representatives from every level of government were in attendance.

The breakfast was a great opportunity to connect with fellow lawmakers and business owners, exchange valuable information, and get a pulse on the local business climate. I enjoyed the opportunity to connect with school administrators and students across my district who attended this event.

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Last but certainly not least, I was extremely proud to witness many great, hardworking folks — many of whom were constituents and close family friends — receive awards during the annual Michigan Timberman’s Association’s award ceremony. For many communities in our district, the timber industry is a vital source of economic activity and employment as it generates revenue for local businesses and governments and provides amazing employment opportunities for many people, including loggers and other workers involved in the production, processing, and transportation of timber.

Congratulations, Timbermen Award winners:

• Midwest Tractor & Equipment Co. (Larry Cade and his son, Jeff), Excellence in Manufacturing
• Woodstar Forestry, (Phil and Jason Helsel), Logger of the Year
• Roger Bazuin & Sons, Inc., Excellence in Trucking
• Cody Nelson, Warren Suchovsky Scholarship Winner
• Warren Suchovsky, Lifetime Achievement Award

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Despite the long hours and tight schedules, attending these events is always fulfilling. I get to interact with my constituents and hear their thoughts and concerns firsthand. This reaffirms my commitment to serving the people I represent and makes me proud to be your legislator!

‘Roadmap for a Better Michigan’

Senate Republicans announced our “Roadmap for a Better Michigan” — a plan to improve the lives of every Michigan resident, keep our economy strong, and avoid a second Lost Decade.

Gov. Whitmer and the new Democratic majority have recklessly spent the state’s historic budget surplus and passed laws that threaten to take Michigan back to times of high unemployment, declining household incomes and financial hardships.

The “Roadmap for a Better Michigan” includes three core principles:

1. Relief from inflation and economic opportunity for all.
2. Safer, healthier, and more prosperous communities.
3. Protecting individual liberties and ensuring a more responsible state government.

As inflation continues to soar and unemployment remains above the national average, Democrats are passing bills to make Michigan a much less attractive place to live or operate a business. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Our plan provides a roadmap to get Michigan back on track with recommendations to help Michiganders struggling with inflation, improve schools and roads, and reduce crime.

ORV license and trail permit

It’s time to purchase your 2023 ORV licenses and trail permits. Permits are valid for one year and provide access to 4,000 miles of state-designated ORV trails and scramble areas, eligible county, state or national forest roads and more.

The fees generated through ORV licenses and trail permits are reinvested back into the ORV system for trail expansion, grant funding for annual trail grooming, and infrastructure improvements.

ORV licenses and trail permits can be purchased online or in person at a number of DNR license agents and dealers.

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Spring means bear season in Michigan

During the spring season, black bears will leave their dens and become active. Following these simple steps can keep bears safely at a distance and prevent dangerous interactions:

Particularly in the Upper Peninsula or the northern Lower Peninsula, remove bird feeders. In place of bird feeders, use birdbaths, nest boxes or bird perches to attract spring birds. Adding native plants will also help bring birds to your garden while bird feeders are stored away for the spring and summer.
Put away pet food and outdoor grills. Bears have a very strong sense of smell and are highly effective at sniffing out any food that’s been left out.
Bears are most active at night. Store garbage cans in a garage or another locked facility. Wait until morning to put garbage out for pickup, don’t leave it at the curb overnight.

To learn more about the bear population in Michigan and how humans and bears can safely coexist, visit or being Bear SMART.

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Weigh in on state land review recommendations

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is responsible for the care of approximately 4.6 million acres of public land.

In 2018, the Legislature approved a Managed Public Land Strategy, requiring the DNR to review approximately 240,000 acres of state-owned land to determine how the land fits into the DNR’s overall mission of “conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations.” The parcels under review are either under 200 acres or land with an irregular boundary that may be difficult to manage.

The review will determine whether to keep, exchange or sell state-managed land and is being conducted on a county-by-county basis, 10 to 11 counties at a time. Cheboygan, Crawford, Eaton, Ingham, Jackson, Kalkaska, Missaukee, Muskegon, Osceola, Otsego, and Ottawa counties are currently under review.

An important element of the review process is public input. You can view the final classifications or submit comments or feedback for the group of counties using the DNR’s interactive map. Comments will be accepted through June 7.

For more information about the review process, visit the Natural Resources Commission website or watch a recording from previous meetings by visiting State Land Review.

Helpful Links

Michigan Senate  |  Michigan House  |  Michigan Legislature

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Senator Michele Hoitengta
3400 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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