These past two weeks have been busy with legislation and news billowing in from every corner of our district. From financial wins and mental health/healthcare aid, to two of my bills being signed into law by the Governor — it is a happy time to celebrate the wins that have been accomplished. I have been working on both of these bills since early this year, and I am excited to finally have them passed. You will find more information on Senate Bills 52 and 59 later in this newsletter.

Also, as many of you know, I am keen on the environment and consider myself to be an advocate for hunting legislation. It is in my best interest, as well as my constituents, to keep the ecosystems active and healthy and as such, I am proud to announce that the fall hunting license applications are now available.

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

Working for you,

John CherryState SenatorDistrict 27

Featured in this newsletter:

  • Legislative Update
  • Historic Investments in Education Signed into Law
  • Consumer Protection Advisories
  • Mental Health Resources
  • DIFS: Request for Public Comment on 2024 Health Insurance Proposed Rate Changes
  • How to Sign Up for MiABLE
  • Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement and Potential
  • Small Business Support Hubs Applications Now Available
  • Fall Hunting License Applications Now Available


Legislative Update

I am happy to share I’ve recently had two bills, SB 52 and SB 59, signed into law by Governor Whitmer. These bipartisan bills address important natural resource issues that affect our hunters and provide more safety measures for all residents that visit our state lands and recreation areas.

SB 52 reduces penalties, from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction with a maximum of $150 in fines, for violations of the new mandatory deer harvest reporting requirement. Last year, the Department of Natural Resources implemented new rules requiring hunters to report their deer harvest to get better data on deer populations and make more informed resource management decisions. I heard from many of our hunters about their problems with these new requirements and agreed that the penalty was not appropriate for the crime, especially since no resources are directly harmed as a result of not reporting.

SB 59 gives conservation officers the same authority police officers have in detaining someone in mental health crisis for their safety. If a resident visiting a park is in mental health crisis and exhibits behaviors or signs that they may harm themselves or others, conservation officers are now able to detain those individuals and take them to a hospital to receive proper care. Previously, conservation officers would have to wait for local authorities to arrive on scene to assist with these issues, creating delays in securing care for residents in crisis.

These new laws provide common sense solutions to these issues, and I’m excited to see these solutions be implemented for the benefit of all our residents who enjoy our natural resources.


Historic Investments in Education Signed into Law

Michiganders have made themselves clear: they want legislators who are willing to listen and deliver on the issues that matter most with thoughtful and effective solutions. For the first time in Michigan, a historic education budget has been passed by legislators who truly understand the importance of investing in Michigan schools. From Senators who served as teachers in the classroom, to members of their school boards, the Legislature is full of leaders who understand the importance of advocating for students and teachers across Michigan.

“Our students, parents, and teachers are the ultimate experts on what our education system needs, and that’s why throughout the budget process, my colleagues and I put them at the forefront of our discussions and our decision-making,” said Sen. Darrin Camilleri, Chairman of the Senate Pre-K-12 Education Budget and a former high school social studies teacher. “We have heeded their calls for support, equity, and innovation, and I’m incredibly proud of the historic investments, transformative programs, and concrete solutions that are included in the education budget that was signed today.”

To read the full news story and learn more about what this funding means for our students and community, visit

Consumer Protection Advisories

Be cautious of QR Codes from unknown sourcesThe Michigan Attorney General’s Office wants residents to be cautious of the QR (or quick response) codes they scan. Some criminals are hijacking these by placing stickers with codes they create over the top of the real QR code. When scanned, these malicious codes direct victims to phishing websites where their personal or financial information can be stolen.

It is important to know the codes themselves are not dangerous. It’s when they are used to steal or commit fraud that they become problematic. In order to avoid falling victim to this scam, do not scan a code if it is on a sticker, looks like it has been replaced or is covered up. If possible, simply type in the URL for that website. To learn more about how to protect yourself and your personal information, click here.

Safeguard your money, avoid storing funds in mobile payment appsThe Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is reminding consumers about the importance of using federally insured bank and credit union accounts, rather than storing funds in mobile payment apps such as Venmo, Cash App or PayPal. There have been many instances of fraud or the app not working correctly. Protect yourself and your money now and in the future.

Money stored in these apps is not insured, whereas deposits in banks or credit unions are federally insured for up to $250,000 per accountholder. If you do not have an account at a financial institution, MI Open Accounts are available at 30 banks and credit unions across Michigan, and you can find them at


Mental Health Resources

It’s important to care for your mental health. With one in five Americans and nearly 1.5 million Michiganders experiencing mental health issues each year, it’s important to remind ourselves to care for our mental and emotional health. The Michigan Senate is proud to continue recognizing the importance of Michiganders’ mental health by investing more than $682 million in resources to help students and residents who may be struggling. Read more about the investments made in residents’ health here.

In July of 2022, the federal government launched the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, a 24/7 toll-free nationwide hotline that provides confidential and compassionate care for those struggling with behavioral health issues, emotional distress, or a substance use crisis. In its first year, nearly 63,000 calls from Michiganders have been answered. If you or someone you know is struggling or facing hard times, help is available. Call or text 988 or visit the Lifeline Chat to connect with a trained crisis counselor.


DIFS: Request for Public Comment on 2024 Health Insurance Proposed Rate Changes

During this year’s Health Insurance Open Enrollment period, Michiganders will have the chance to save money on health insurance while choosing from newly streamlined health plan options. With more options available, citizens will have more choices and personally tailored coverage to them. Open enrollment for 2024 health coverage will run from November 1st through January 15th. Michiganders can shop for a health insurance plan by visiting the Health Insurance Marketplace or by calling (800) 318-2596.

Michigan’s proposed rates for 2024 have been posted for public review. When reviewing the chart, it is important to note that:

  • Rate changes are an average percent change across all plans offered by that insurer; some consumers will experience rate changes either greater or less than those in the chart;
  • An increase or decrease does not reflect how a health insurer’s premiums compare to plans offered by other insurers; and
  • Individuals who receive a tax credit that covers a portion of their premiums will experience rate changes that differ due to the tax credit calculation.

For questions or concerns about health insurance coverage in Michigan, contact DIFS at 877-999-6442, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm or visit


How to Sign Up for MiABLE

Disability Pride initially started as a day of celebration in 1990 — the year that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was officially signed into law. The state of Michigan ABLE (MiABLE) was later signed into law in October 2015. Each July, Disability Pride Month is acknowledged to celebrate and recognize individuals with disabilities because of this historic act.

In honor of Disability Pride Month and the strides that have been made to affirm the lives of those with disabilities, the Michigan Department of Treasury created the MiABLE Disability Savings Program to allow individuals with disabilities and their families to save funds for Qualified Disability Expenses. These expenses would cover health, independence and quality of life without jeopardizing eligibility for necessary federal benefits. To verify your eligibility or to learn more about applying, call (844) 656-7225, email or visit their webpage.


Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement and Potential

On July 11, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order establishing a new department — the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP). MiLEAP will align all available resources, data and funds around a single vision — building an education system from early learning through postsecondary to add capacity in early learning, accelerate progress towards the state’s Sixty by 30 higher education goal, and prioritize community, regional, and state partnerships. MiLEAP will partner with the Michigan Department of Education and State Board of Education as well as the Growing Michigan Together Council to discover ways to grow the state’s economy and population. The department is set to take effect on December 1.

For more information on MiLEAP, please click here.


Small Business Support Hubs Applications Now Available

The program, Small Business Support Hubs, will provide small businesses in Michigan up to $6 million in funding to assist with operational, programming and direct grant support. These resources will further drive economic growth and help small businesses across the state, especially small businesses based in underserved communities and those recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications are available now through September 8, 2023. The Michigan Strategic Fund seeks applicants who identify as an entity within a physical space that offers training, coaching, consultations, workshops and networking opportunities. More information can be found on For more questions, email


Fall Hunting License Applications Now Available

Turkey and deer hunting license applications for the 2023 fall season are available. Applications for turkey hunting are available now through August 1, and deer hunting applications are available now through August 15. You can buy an application for $5 online at eLicense, anywhere DNR licenses are sold or through the Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app. When applying, enter your email or phone number to be automatically alerted of drawing results on August 14. For questions, call 517-284-WILD (9453) or email