June 8, 2021
Summer is in full swing, and I hope you and your families are enjoying the warm weather and staying safe and healthy. I hope you all continue to make smart choices about your health as we navigate life with COVID-19.
Included in this newsletter is a schedule of events where you can meet with me to discuss community matters, ways in which I’m working to connect with you, relevant legislative updates, and other district issues that are important to stay aware of!
If my office can be of assistance to you or your family, please call me at 517-373-2417 or email me at SenRBayer@senate.michigan.gov.
Let’s engage! Mark your calendar with these events.
Coffee and Conversation with Sen. Bayer
WHEN: Friday, July 9 from Noon to 1 p.m.
WHERE: Children’s Park, 201 S. Broadway St., #335, Lake Orion, MI 48362
>> RSVP to the Facebook event.
Conversation with Sen. Bayer & Rep. Brenda Carter
WHEN: Friday, Aug. 6 from Noon to 1 p.m.
WHERE: Hawthorne Park, 1400 Telegraph Road, Pontiac, MI 48340
>> RSVP to the Facebook event.
Senior Summit Town Hall
with Special Guests Dana Nessel, Rep. Kyra Bolden, and Oakland City Treasurer Robert Wittenberg
WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Beverly Hill Village Park, 18801 Beverly Road, Beverly Hills, MI, 48025
>> RSVP to the Facebook event.
LET’S CHAT! HOW MY OFFICE IS COMING TO YOU THIS SUMMER
Look out for me or members of my team this summer as we continue to go door-to-door, giving community members like yourself the opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas regarding what’s going on in the community and ways I can work to make it a better place to live and work.
I am deeply committed to being an elected official who is readily available to meet and speak with my neighbors. So far, my team and I have been able to knock on 6,000 doors, and are ready to continue to connect, hear what you have to say, and return to the office ready to work on legislation that tackles the problems and concerns you may have.
JULY IS MICHIGAN WILDLIFE CONSERVATION MONTH
On Tuesday, July 6, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed July as Michigan Wildlife Conservation Month to promote awareness of national efforts to protect Michigan wildlife, as well as highlight the important role that hunting and fishing play in the state’s conservation. This special designation, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Bumstead and co-sponsored by me, coincides with the eight-year anniversary of the inception of the Michigan Wildlife Council, which is a bipartisan-approved panel seeking to educate the state on the importance of wildlife management.
The month also comes after a record number of fishing and first-time hunting licenses were sold in the last year. As many searched for COVID-19 safe recreational activities, a record 1.5 million state fishing licenses were granted in 2020, which was an 8% jump from 2019. Additionally, approximately 675,000 people purchased a hunting license, with an outstanding 89,000 of those being first-time hunters.
GET VACCINATED AND ENTER THE MI SHOT TO WIN SWEEPSTAKES
On Thursday, July 1, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the creation of the MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes, a lottery-style raffle that gives vaccinated Michiganders a chance to win $5 million in cash and a combined total of nearly $500,000 in college scholarships.
Under Michigan’s new sweepstakes, residents aged 18 and older who have received one dose of vaccine are eligible to register for a combined total of $5 million in cash giveaways. In addition, Michigan’s vaccine sweepstakes will offer the opportunity to win one of nine Scholarship Drawing prizes available to vaccinated Michiganders between ages 12-17 whose parents enter on their behalf. Each Scholarship Drawing prize consists of a four-year Michigan Education Trust (MET) charitable tuition contract (valued at $55,000) that may be used to pay for tuition and mandatory fees at a college or university in accordance with MET terms and conditions.
The sweepstakes began July 1 and will end on Aug. 3, 2021. Eligibility criteria for each of the drawings is at MIShotToWin.com.
Michiganders can qualify to enter the sweepstakes by getting vaccinated for COVID-19 at Meijer or receiving their vaccine from their doctor, local health department, pharmacy, hospital, etc.
The MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes giveaways include:
Michigan residents can register to win online or to enter the sweepstakes by phone, call the MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes Hotline at 888-535-6136 (press 1) between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, or from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
WORKING TOWARD MORE EFFECTIVE STORMWATER DRAINAGE SYSTEMS
As many of us recently realized, having effective and updated stormwater management systems in place to remove floodwaters from residential and commercial areas is extremely important for the safety of our community members, the protection of our infrastructure, and our environment.
I recently re-introduced Senate Bill 593 in response to this issue. This important piece of legislation would allow communities to create efficient stormwater utility systems that work for a specific area’s needs. In other words, this bill would allow communities to better manage flooding caused by future storms and ensure that residents and businesses stay safe and dry. We cannot continue to look the other way as our businesses and residents endure “record” flooding more and more often. The time for action is now.
HISTORIC INVESTMENT IN MICHIGAN’S K-12 EDUCATION
On Wednesday, June 30, the Senate passed a K-12 budget containing $17.1 billion — a combination of state and federal funds that will surely help our students and their districts who’ve struggled dearly through the pandemic. The Senate kept a per-pupil minimum foundation allowance of $8,700 passed by the House, bringing all districts to the same basic per pupil foundation grant for the first time in decades.
On Wednesday, July 7, I stood with Governor Whitmer and other House and Senate leaders as she signed this historic and game-changing funding. Our students and teachers have suffered for far too long under an unequitable funding formula. This legislation finally places the much-needed emphasis on funding education the way it always should have been. I look forward to continuing our work to once again make Michigan a top state in the nation for its dedicated dollars toward education.
MDHHS ISSUES COVID-19 SCHOOL GUIDANCE
On Friday, June 25, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued recommendations for schools to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 within school buildings to reduce disruptions to in-person learning and help protect those who are not fully vaccinated.
To help schools prepare for the return of people to indoor settings in the fall, the guidance outlines mitigation measures designed to protect students, teachers, and staff, and maintain in-person learning. Schools can layer multiple prevention strategies developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce transmission of the virus within school buildings.
This will help minimize disruptions to in-person learning and help protect the people who are not fully vaccinated, which currently includes all children under the age of 12 years. All prevention strategies provide some level of protection, and layered strategies implemented at the same time provide the greatest level of protection.
Key prevention strategies in schools include:
Michigan residents seeking more information about the COVID-19 vaccine can visit Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine.
RENT, MORTGAGE, & UTILITY RELIEF IS AVAILABLE
The third round of financial support for rent, mortgage, and utilities payments are available to those who may have faced unforeseen financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents who need support paying past-due rent, mortgage, or utility payments can apply for support here.
Payments for this one-time grant will be made by Oakland County on behalf of a qualified household. This program is designed to assist low-income households whose gross household income is less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) as defined by HUD. For more information, visit Oakgov.com.
HOW TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Depending on how urgently you need to make an appointment with the Secretary of State, there are several ways you can connect with your local office.
Appointments can be made up to six months in advance or can be scheduled for the next day online at Michigan.gov/SOS. To schedule a next day appointment, be sure to check the website at 8 a.m. for openings from 9 to 11 a.m. and at Noon for openings from 3 to 5 p.m. the day before. To book for Monday, check the website on Friday for available appointment openings.
Additionally, on Wednesday, July 7, Secretary of State Benson announced two new features to how branch office operations work:
Many transactions can be completed online or at SOS Self-Serve Stations. Visit Michigan.gov/SOS to check if you can complete your business online or at a self-service station rather than at an in-person visit.
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