With Independence Day just around the corner, I want to wish everyone a safe and fun Fourth of July! Serving the constituents of the 36th Senate District is very important to me, and I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may call toll-free at 1-855-347-8036 or email [email protected]. Also, please check out my Facebook page. Let me know if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.
Town hall regarding PFAS near former Wurtsmith Air Force Base
I strongly encourage impacted residents to attend a town hall on Wednesday, June 27, where representatives from several agencies will be providing updates regarding the PFAS contamination in some drinking water wells near the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda.
The event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, located at 5300 U.S. 23 in Oscoda. Representatives from District Health Department No. 2, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Air Force will be on hand to answer questions and present information.
The community meeting will provide PFAS contamination investigation updates and include opportunities for questions from area residents and visitors. From 2 to 4 p.m., there will be an open house that will allow for one-on-one conversations.
Signed 2019 budget focuses on education, safety and roads
The governor has signed a fiscal year 2019 state budget that increases investments in key priorities, including educating Michigan students and improving the roads.
This budget will help us continue to boost the economy, create jobs, protect our communities and provide every student with an education that prepares them for success. I am proud that we once again have a balanced state budget that increases funding for our schools to record levels and helps create a positive climate for innovation and job creation.
Every school will see a significant increase in per-pupil funding in this budget, and the state will continue to invest more than $1 billion to reduce schools’ retirement costs and enable schools to direct more dollars into the classroom.
The education budget invests nearly $14.8 billion in K-12 education, which includes a foundation allowance increase of between $120 and $240 per pupil and a $1.3 billion contribution into the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System.
It also features investments in school safety initiatives, including more funding for the OK2SAY confidential tip-line program, $30 million for mental health support services in schools, and $25 million for school security improvements. [read more]
Supporting school safety initiatives
We owe it to every Michigan child to help provide them with a safe and secure environment to learn and succeed.
The Michigan Senate recently approved comprehensive legislation designed to help keep students safe. These measures would ensure that our schools and communities have the necessary resources, effective technology and proper training to best protect our students and teachers.
Senate Bill 982 would create the Office of School Safety within the state police to update school safety practices, offer staff training and oversee use of school safety grants. SB 983 would require schools to conduct a safety assessment with local law enforcement by the 2019-20 school year — and at least every two years thereafter.
We need to make sure that all of our schools have the enhanced security in place to protect students and teachers. Security improvements, training and preparation are all critical to protecting our schools. This package would ensure our schools have updated safety plans and that both school staff and law enforcement know what to do in an emergency.
Additional measures in the Senate-passed school safety plan include: [read more]
Helping protect victims of domestic violence
Many victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking are fearful of future threats and possible harm.
I recently supported a seven-bill package that would allow victims to hide their physical addresses from their offenders. The Senate legislation would create an address confidentiality program in Michigan. This program would enable victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking to obtain a confidential address to protect themselves from their past offenders. The legal substitute address (usually a post office box) would be used in place of their physical address.
Another part of the legislation would prohibit schools from disclosing the address of a student whose parent is an address confidentiality program participant.
If this legislation is enacted, Michigan would join 37 other states in offering assistance and peace of mind to victims of abuse or assault.
Improving outdoor recreational funding
Michigan’s land and water resources provide great opportunities for outdoor fun and adventure. The demand for recreational access close to home is growing in local communities across the state.
That is why I recently supported legislation to improve funding for local outdoor recreation and increase the flexibility of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) and the Michigan State Park Endowment Fund (MSPEF). Senate Joint Resolution O is a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow voters to enable more money to be spent on parks, trails and other resources at the state and local levels.
The proposal is not a tax increase. It would modify the distribution of the restricted funds to support a new local public recreation grant program and increase funding for state parks.
SJR O and other Senate bills in the package have been sent to the House for consideration. If approved, the proposal would be put on a ballot for approval by the voters.
Check out travel guide for summer trip!
As summer heats up, I want to remind residents that the 2018 Pure Michigan Spring/Summer Travel Guide is available and features warm weather fun all over our great state.
The popular travel publication showcases spectacular sights to see and exciting places to go, including beach towns, island getaways, scenic drives, culinary destinations and much more.
Please contact my office for a free print copy or find it online at www.michigan.org/travel-guide.
The 36th Senate District is made up of 10 counties, which includes: Presque Isle, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Oscoda, Alcona, Iosco, Arenac, Gladwin and Midland counties.
Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the 36th Senate District of Michigan. 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 36th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website or via Facebook.
Senator Jim Stamas
201 Townsend Street Suite #5200
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536
Visit my website at: www.SenatorJimStamas.com