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Bumstead legislation to aid local governments passes Senate

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The state Senate recently approved legislation, which I introduced, that would aid local governments with certain administrative duties.

The village of Hesperia has been unable to hold a village council meeting since May 20, 2019 due to a lack of quorum. The council is made up of seven members, including one village president and six trustees. However, three trustees resigned, leaving four members left on the village council. Additionally, one trustee has refused to attend village council meetings for personal reasons, causing a lack of quorum — meaning the village cannot officially take care of matters in the community.

Senate Bills 712 and 713 would amend current state law and give local governments the power to compel absent members to attend.

The legislation would also provide direction for local governments unable to achieve a quorum and give them tools to ensure elected officials are sufficiently conducting their duties. Under the legislation, if a local official continually fails to attend a meeting under ordinary circumstances, the absent member shall be guilty of gross neglect of duty, which is a precursor for the governor to consider removal.

The bills will now move to the House of Representatives for a vote.

Bumstead welcomes Whitehall pastor to state Capitol

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I had the pleasure to welcome the Rev. Doug Ogden to the Michigan Capitol.

Ogden serves as pastor at Lebanon Lutheran Church of Whitehall and I invited him to the Capitol to deliver the invocation before Senate session.

Bumstead reacts to governor’s budget presentation

Every year, the governor’s office prepares a presentation for the Legislature outlining what goals and expectations are for the upcoming budget. As vice chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, one of my roles is to consider this information and compare it with revenue projections along with current funding and budget obligations.

I join the governor in remaining focused on improving the skills of our workforce and increasing funding for Michigan students.

I am also happy to see continued support for cleaning up our drinking water and protecting the Great Lakes. As chairman of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy budget, I will continue working with my colleagues and the department to continue testing and cleanup efforts, while also making sure available resources are used responsibly. I have always been open to discussions on how we can improve these initiatives and will continue these talks throughout the upcoming process.

The presentation again included an increase in K-12 funding, and just like last year, I will support Michigan’s teachers and students. Last year, the governor called for a 1.5x increase in per-pupil funding, and I joined my colleagues in approving an even larger increase to further close the gap between Michigan schools. I will again support efforts to ensure equity for schools in the 34th District.

For years, the Legislature and governor have approved the state budget well before the beginning of the fiscal year. Last year’s budget was certainly not ideal, but we won’t let that hold us back. The governor and Legislature have agreed to new budget guidelines for the upcoming year and I hope we can work together to approve a responsible budget that makes Michigan even stronger.

Bumstead hosts 2019 state championship team from Fremont in Lansing

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I was pleased to welcome the Fremont boy’s cross-country team to the state Capitol to celebrate their 2019 MHSAA Division II state championship.

Head Coach Cliff Somers led the Fremont men to the MHSAA Cross Country Championships at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn where they came out with a hard-earned win.

Hart state championship team visits the Capitol

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I also had the opportunity to welcome the girl’s cross-country team from Hart High School to commemorate their 2019 MHSAA Division III state championship.

Head Coach Terry Tatro led the ladies to their third MHSAA Cross Country Championship. Hart was able to clinch the three-peat win during the state championship races at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Nov. 2, 2019.

Bumstead: Road bonding kicks can down the road, offers no local road repairs

Last month, the governor addressed the Legislature in her State of the State address, where she announced her plan to issue $3.5 billion in road and bridge building bonds to fix our state’s crumbling roads. After proposing a 45-cent gas tax increase that the people of Michigan overwhelmingly opposed last year, the governor’s new plan is to go around the Legislature, max out the state’s credit card, and stick Michigan families with the bill.

To make matters worse, the $3.5 billion can only be used on state-owned roads. That means our local roads — the roads we use every day to travel to work, school and the grocery store, and the roads that are in most need of repair — will not receive any of this additional funding.

Bonding is a financing mechanism, not a funding source, and it certainly isn’t a long-term road funding plan. Borrowing $3.5 billion now just to pay that plus interest back later, with none of that money going to local roads, is not the answer.

Despite the governor’s criticisms of the Legislature, I remain committed to moving Michigan forward and working with my colleagues in both the House and Senate on a comprehensive, long-term solution that improves all the roads in our state, instead of relying on adding more debt that our children will have to pay off.

March is Reading Month

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March is Reading Month and a great time to reinforce the benefits of reading with young students.

Reading is the foundation for success in school and beyond. I look forward to visiting many local elementary schools in March as a guest reader to share the fun and importance of reading. I also have special bookmarks available to encourage the reading habit! Please let me know if you would like to receive one.

Taxpayer preparation guide

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My office offers a free resource that may be helpful in filling out state income tax forms for the 2019 tax year.

Though not a substitute for the Michigan Department of Treasury tax instruction booklets, the 2020 Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide contains information on the Michigan individual income tax, including state income tax credits, and the property tax. Please visit the Publications page on my website for a link to the tax guide.

Bumstead announces office hours for March

As your state senator, I remain committed to maintaining open communication by holding monthly office hours in various communities throughout our Senate district.

I will be available to answer questions, provide information and assistance, and take suggestions on issues affecting communities and businesses in the district.

Please feel free to stop in. No appointment is necessary. If you are unable to make it to the following dates, please contact my office at or call 517-373-1635, and we will get something set up for you.

Upcoming office hours are as follows:

Friday, March 6
9 – 10 a.m.
Dalton Township Hall
1616 E. Riley Township Road

11 a.m. – noon
Egleston Township Hall
5428 E. Apple Ave.

1 – 2 p.m.
Moorland Township Hall
12416 Apple Ave.

Friday, March 20
10 – 11 a.m.
Fremont City Hall
101 E. Main St.

2 – 3 p.m.
Newaygo City Hall
28 State Road

Bumstead highlights upcoming events in the 34th District

I want to remind area residents of the following events taking place throughout the 34th District in the upcoming weeks and months:

Launch NOW! Business Start-up Info Session – Muskegon
Monday, March 2
1 – 2 p.m.
Muskegon Innovation Hub
200 Viridian Drive

Description: If you have been considering or are at the beginning stages of starting your own business, come to one of the unique one-hour information sessions. More information can also be found here.

Launch NOW! Business Start-up Info Session – Newaygo
Monday, March 9
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
The STREAM Building
1 State Road

Description: If you have been considering or are at the beginning stages of starting your own business, come to one of the unique one-hour information sessions. More information can also be found here.

Newaygo County Career-Tech Center Job Fair
Wednesday, March 11
9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Dogwood Center for Performing Arts
4734 S. Campus Court

Description: The Newaygo County Career-Tech Center is planning a job fair for junior and senior students and employers are invited to network with over 600 students in a variety of programs. More information can be found here.

Lakeshore Innovator of the Year reception
Thursday, March 12
5 – 7 p.m.
Muskegon Innovation Hub
200 Viridian Drive

Description: Grand Valley State University's Muskegon Innovation Hub will recognize and celebrate the most innovative ideas on the lakeshore. Join us to honor the top-five finalists and celebrate the announcement of the Lakeshore Innovator of the Year! Enjoy light refreshments and good company. Open to the public, feel free to bring a friend or colleague. More information can also be found here.

Muskegon Lakeshore Home, Garden and DIY Show
Friday and Saturday, March 13 and 14
Friday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Fricano Place Event Center
1050 W. Western Ave. Suite 201

Description: The event features over 50 exhibitors showcasing everything you need to improve your home, from landscaping, windows, siding and gutters, to painting and furniture. The event will also feature educational seminars to help you with your home’s next “do-it-yourself” project. Admission to the show will be $5, with kids 12 and under getting in for free. More information can be found here.

Fremont Chamber of Commerce Annual Home and Garden Show
Saturday, March 21
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Freemont Middle School
500 W. Woodrow St.

Description: The event spotlights local businesses and locally made products. It also increases community awareness about products and services in the greater Fremont area and provides exhibitors with opportunities to increase exposure to prospective customers and develop sales, sales leads, and customer contacts. Admission to the show is free. More information can be found here.

Eighth Annual White Lake Community Business Expo
Saturday, March 21
8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Whitehall High School
3100 White Lake Drive

Description: The expo, presented by the White Lake Area Chamber, is free to the public and held in conjunction with the popular Montague – Whitehall Rotary Pancake Breakfast. This is a high-energy and fun event with a DJ and over $3000 in prizes! Enjoy a pancake breakfast and stroll through the more than 50 exhibitors set up in the gymnasium. Expect one-on-one interaction with local business owners and get to know all they have to offer! More information can be found here.

Newaygo Home, Health and Garden Show 2020
Saturday, April 18
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Newaygo Middle School
850 E. 76th St.

Description: The event features over 65 exhibitors with an amazing array of the area's newest and innovative home products and services! Returning this year and bigger than last year is the Healthy Living Hall with exhibitors promoting healthy living, eating, education and safety. More information can be found here.

Michigan's 34th Senate District

The 34th State Senate District includes the counties of Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana.

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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 34th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Jon Bumstead
4600 Connie Binsfeld Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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