Last week, my colleagues and I passed a strong, bipartisan 2024 state budget that focuses on addressing the needs of residents. This budget funds what our communities want and our residents need to continue improving their lives, creating new opportunities for folks in Genesee County and for every resident in Michigan. By advocating for resident priorities, I was able to continue my commitment to education, equity, health, safety, outdoor recreation, and our environment and ensure our children and workers have what they need to thrive.  

Flint and Genesee County will see transformational investments in: 

    • $40 million to the Michigan School for the Deaf (MSD), located in Flint, to build a new student dormitory 
    • $2.6 million to Latinx Flint for the creation of a bilingual Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) and expansion of youth services 
    • $2.5 million to Beecher Community Schools for high school renovation 
    • $1 million for Flint YMCA 
    • $1 million for Educare Flint 
    • $300k to expand mental health services at the Boys & Girls Club of Flint
    • $23 million to establish long-term maintenance funding for Flint State Park  
    • $10 million for upgrades to the Genesee County Wastewater Treatment Plant 
    • $50k for preservation and enhancement of each state-designated water trail, including the Flint and Shiawassee River Water Trails 
    • Restoration of wetlands in urban areas, including Genesee County, through partnerships with Ducks Unlimited 
    • $16.5 million for a first-in-the-nation child poverty alleviation pilot program through MSU College of Human Medicine. The program, known as Rx Kids and championed by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, aims to proactively improve health outcomes by providing stipends to all pregnant moms and infants in Flint.  
    • $250k increased support for Rides to Wellness, a nonemergency medical transport service  
    • $2.5 million to create a Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Hub through the Greater Flint Health Coalition 
    • Increased Medicaid funding to Levels I & II Trauma Centers across the state, including Hurley Medical Center 
    • $3 million to increase capacity in the Genesee County Prosecutors’ office  
    • $2.75 million for replacement of police cruisers in the City of Flint  
    • $2.5 million for healthcare workforce education and training through GST Michigan Works 
    • $500k to 100k Ideas to promote entrepreneurship  
    • $400k for Foodie Commons, Flint’s first dedicated food truck park, with a focus on empowering women and minority-owned food businesses  

I am incredibly proud of the budget we have crafted and passed, which stands as one of the most inclusive and equitable budgets in Michigan’s history. This budget reinvests in our communities and our people, bringing forth significant and positive changes throughout the state and underscoring our unwavering dedication to the well-being and prosperity of every Michigander. I am grateful for the opportunity to advocate for your priorities and work alongside my colleagues to make these transformative investments possible. Together, we are building a stronger, more inclusive Michigan. 

Thanks again for your time! I hope you find this and the information below helpful. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 517-373-0142 or with any questions or concerns. 

John Cherry
State Senator
District 27


EGLE Air Quality Index  

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a color-coded way for residents to see what the levels of some types of air pollution are in their area. The higher the AQI, the worse the air quality is and the more cause for concern. Due to the recent fires in northern Michigan and Canada the past couple weeks, the AQI for particulate matter (PM) is high in many parts of Michigan and the eastern US. EPA’s Smoke and Fire map can be helpful in locating fires near you and seeing how smoke is moving. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has advised: 


During very unhealthy or hazardous for everyone air quality (purple to maroon Air Quality Index levels), MDHHS advises the following for everyone:  

  • Stay indoors with the doors and windows closed using MERV-13 or better air filtration. 
  • Seek shelter elsewhere if you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed. Call or text 211 or contact your local health department to find out if there is a shelter or cooling center nearby.  
  • Use air filters to improve indoor air quality. Whether you have a central air conditioning system or a portable room unit, use high efficiency filters to capture fine particles from smoke. If you don’t have access to those filter systems, you can create a temporary air purifier with a 2012 or newer box fan and attaching a MERV-13 or higher air filter to it. Information is available online.  
  • Keep activity levels low. 
  • Avoid outdoor activities. 
  • Use N95 style masks if you have to be outside. 
  • Surgical and cloth masks are not recommended as they are not designed to prevent breathing in the fine particulate matter in wildfire smoke. 

Air Quality Alerts are issued through the EnviroFlash system, sign up here to receive them. EnviroFlash is a free subscription service.  


Fire Danger is High Across Michigan; Practice Fire Safety Outside 

The heat, humidity and windy weather have pushed fire danger to high levels across the Lower Peninsula. Below are some tips for keeping fires under control this summer.  

Safety tips to keep fires under control:  

When you’re working with fire or equipment outdoors, keep in mind that fires can take off very fast and that the remains of a fire smolder for some time. Here are some tips to keep it safe out there:  

  • Contain your campfire or bonfire in a pit or ring and make sure you put it out thoroughly before leaving for the night. Douse the fire with water, stir the ashes and douse again.  
  • Never leave any fire — including hot coals — unattended.  
  • Keep a hose or other water source nearby when burning.  
  • Prevent sparks. Keep trailer chains from dragging when you’re on the road; don’t park hot equipment on dry grass.  
  • Never shoot fireworks into the woods, dry grass or shrubs.  
  • Get more fire safety tips at  
  • It’s illegal to burn plastic, hazardous materials, foam or other household trash. This can release dangerous chemicals into the air.  
  • You can use a burn barrel with a screen on top to burn paper, leaves and natural materials.  

Additional fire tips and information about the DNR’s fire programs here. 


Distracted Driving Legislation Signed in Michigan 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined state officials and anti-distracted driving leaders to sign three bills aimed at reducing distracted driving and saving lives by ensuring that drivers have their full attention on the road with the use of hands-free technology. The following bills went into effect June 30: 

  • House Bill 4250 updates Michigan’s distracted driving laws, which currently includes texting and driving, to also include watching or recording videos and engaging in social media, among other usages. The new law would allow drivers to take advantage of new voice-operated or hands-free technology if they need to use cell phone functions. The bill also allows a court to order drivers to complete a basic driver improvement course if they are found responsible for three or more civil infractions within a three-year period and updates fines for infractions.
  • House Bill 4251 provides accountability for drivers who put themselves and others in danger by making related changes regarding commercial vehicles, driving record points, and driver improvement courses. 
  • House Bill 4252 requires the Michigan State Police (MSP) to submit a progress report on the effectiveness of the new law 3.5 years after it takes effect. After introducing a hands-free law in April, Ohio has seen a nine percent drop in distracted driving in just one month, preventing over 500 crashes. 

Additional information regarding this legislation and the penalties associated are available through the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety Planning website at


Pride Month   

During this Pride Month, Michigan Senate Democrats passed a Pride Month Resolution, officially declaring June 2023 as Pride Month in Michigan. The resolution recognizes the historical significance of Pride Month and acknowledges modern-day legislative victories made possible by the groundwork of activists like Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson.   

In March, Senate Democrats passed a bill to expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, reaffirming and expanding legal protections for the LGBTQ+ community. Thanks to the amended Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, Michiganders finally have protections from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression codified in state law. 


Michigan Beer Month

The Michigan Senate has designated July as Michigan Beer Month for the 16th year in a row, with a resolution notably sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks. Beer is an integral part of the fabric of our state, and Michigan has built a reputation for its high-quality beers and breweries. Since our communities greatly benefit socially and economically from having a thriving beer industry, it is important to highlight and recognize our hardworking Michigan craft brewers.  

Cheers to them, and to a prosperous future in Michigan!