Friends and Neighbors,
One of the ways your Senate District 35 team aims to serve our constituents is by working to connect them with helpful resources. Recently, our office’s Director of District and Constituent Services connected a veteran with assistance to construct a mobility ramp at their home. Through “Project Independence,” the United Way of Saginaw County partners with local labor groups each fall to build and install ramps for community members who would otherwise go without them. We share these stories as a reminder of the services and resources available to us to help you.
Kristen McDonald Rivet
State Senator, District 35
PO Box 30036
Lansing, MI. 48909
IN THIS EDITION
- Legislative Updates
- Investing in the Community
- In the Community
- Coffee Hour
- Helpful Resources and Links
- Contact Us
Senate Unanimously Passes McDonald Rivet Bill, Bipartisan Package to Prevent Sexual Assault and Protect Survivors
The Michigan Senate unanimously passed Senate Bills 66-73 – this bipartisan package of legislation to bolster state laws regarding sexual assault and offer more significant support for survivors. My bill in this package, Senate Bill 72, which, in conjunction with Senate Bill 71 sponsored by Sen. Roger Hauck (R-Union Twp.), requires medical professionals to preserve a patient’s records for medical services involving vaginal or anal penetration for at least 15 years and creates new penalties and sentencing guidelines for a violation. This 9-bill package primarily deals with sexual assault under the guise of medical care, criminalizing it and outlining corresponding penalties.
>> Press release with all bill sponsors and descriptions
Senate Approves Speeding Up Expanded State Earned Income Tax Credit Payments
The Michigan Senate took a big step to do right by Michigan’s low-income working families last week, passing my Senate Bill 144 to get increased tax credit payments in their pockets asap, rather than withholding it for another year. Many families struggling to pay for basics now have the added recent stress of losing supplemental food benefits and housing assistance and are concerned about redetermination of their health care. They shouldn’t have to wait until next year for the tax relief we already approved when we increased our state match of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
I’m grateful for the bipartisan votes in our Senate moving us closer to getting checks out as soon as possible and will continue my efforts toward the ultimate support we need in the House for relief now.
McDonald Rivet’s Bipartisan ‘Buy Michigan’ Would Prioritize Michigan Businesses
I recently introduced legislation to give Michigan-based businesses a chance to counter lower bids from out-of-state companies in the State of Michigan’s procurement process. By allowing our home-state businesses an additional window of time to resubmit their bid on a state contract if the initial lowest bid came from out-of-state, this bipartisan “Buy Michigan” plan (Senate Bills 316–317) would ensure the best price for the same or higher quality goods and services while prioritizing Michigan-based businesses and jobs.
Michigan businesses, workers, and taxpayers would all win by keeping more state tax dollars in-state to strengthen our local economies and increase better-paying jobs here while maintaining fair market competitiveness and providing the state with the lowest possible pricing. This is a pro-Michigan plan at all levels.
>> Read more here.
Protecting Heritage Farmland While Offering Solar Income Opportunities
One of my newly introduced bills, SB 277, would allow farmers enrolled in Michigan’s farmland preservation program to rent land for commercial solar operations. The legislation would pause tax incentives for farmers in the PA 116 program to allow their land to be used for solar energy generation.
Heritage farmland is important to Michigan’s identity and economy. We don’t have to sacrifice that to diversify our energy sources, especially when it comes to solar. I’m sponsoring this bill so farm owners are never forced to choose between protecting their farmland for future generations and the ability to generate income from solar operations.
McDonald Rivet Bill One Of Two Aiming To Build On C-PACE Success
Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing has been a public-private policy success for over a decade. Along with Sen. Darrin Camilleri (D – Trenton), I’ve introduced Senate Bills 302–303 to build on that success. Our newly introduced bills would add water conservation & environmental hazard projects as eligible for PACE loans which commercial property owners can use for energy efficiency or renewable energy projects that would otherwise cost too much upfront. Increasing investment in this space leads to more projects and jobs that are wins for Michigan’s economy and environment.
Increasing Housing For “Missing Middle”
I’ve introduced Senate Bill 293 to amend the State Housing Development Authority Act of 1966 to increase support for middle-income housing construction and expand eligibility for MSHDA assistance to include middle-income households. This type of affordable housing is critical to solving Michigan’s labor supply challenges. Initiatives toward boosting affordable and middle housing are supported by the Small Business Association of Michigan for this reason.
Senate Works To Implement Proposal 2 Election Reforms
The Michigan Senate has begun creating laws to implement Proposal 2, the election reforms ballot initiative passed with overwhelming support in November 2022. The Senate recently passed Senate Bill 259 which would allow for absentee voter ballots from military members, their spouses and voting-age dependents to still be counted if they are signed and dated by Election Day and received up to six days after the election. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of State, associations representing county and municipal clerks and voting advocates all support this bill.
The Senate Elections and Ethics Committee is steadily working to codify all the election reform policies passed through Proposal 2. View those policies here.
McDonald Rivet secures $50 million for Midland flood mitigation in EGLE budget passed by Senate Appropriations Committee
Longstanding flooding has negatively impacted the citizens, business community, and economic development in our district for decades. Unfortunately, over the years, we’ve seen an increase in the severity of these floods jeopardizing homes, businesses, and even our hospital systems. I’m thrilled to share that I secured substantial funding for flood reduction infrastructure in Midland in the recommended budget for the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), which our Senate Appropriations Committee recently passed. That budget would dedicate $50 million over the next two years to partner with the City of Midland to fund this work.
The joint effort between leaders from the Midland Business Alliance Advisory Committee on Infrastructure and the Army Corps of Engineers brings feasible, environmentally conscious options forward. I’m committed to working with our local and Lansing leaders to spare our region this severe, frequent and costly flooding, and am honored to lead on this as budget negotiations continue.
>> Read more here.
INVESTING IN THE COMMUNITY
Saginaw gets Match on Main Grant
Saginaw is one of 28 communities winning a grant awarded through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Match on Main program last month. These grants aim to strengthen communities through stronger and more attractive downtowns.
RAP 2.0 Revitalization and Placemaking Program
In 2022, RAP (Revitalization and Placemaking Program) deployed $100 million in American Rescue Plan funds to address the COVID-19 impacts in our state. The support of transformational projects for community revitalization, boosting population and tax revenue across Michigan was widely successful. Recognizing the vital need for additional investment, RAP 2.0 received an appropriation of $100 million from the state when we passed our first supplemental budget earlier this year.
Administered by Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), RAP 2.0 provides access to real estate and place-based infrastructure development gap financing in the form of grants of up to $5 million per project for real estate rehabilitation and development; up to $1 million for public space place-based infrastructure per project; and up to $20 million to local or regional partners who develop a subgrant program. The application portal opened May 1 and closes June 30, 2023.
For more information including eligibility, program goals and timeline, click here.
Blight Elimination Grants Available Through State Land Bank Authority
After an initial round of $8 million in grants to address vacant, abandoned and deteriorated properties, Michigan’s State Land Bank Authority has launched round two of their requests for proposals (RFP) for the Blight Elimination Grant Program, with nearly $13 million available.
Among round one of the grantees, 25 were from rural counties and 21 from non-rural counties. Eligible grant applicants include local land banks, and county, city, village and township officials who do not have a local land bank. Applicants are encouraged to visit the SLBA webpage for additional details and resources. Responses to the RFP are due May 31, 2023.
$14,000 Grant Awarded for Downtown Saginaw Murals
I’m pleased to have supported a grant which was recently awarded to Pit & Balcony Community Theatre in partnership with the Great Mural Project. They are receiving $14,000 from the Michigan Arts & Culture Council (MACC) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for the creation of two murals in Downtown Saginaw which will tell a story of Saginaw’s past and present while adding to city beautification and pride.
IN THE COMMUNITY
Consumers Energy Karn Plant Tour, Essexville
Consumers Energy is retiring two coal-fired units at their Essexville Karn Plant as they transition to mainly solar & wind. I appreciated this last-look tour of coal powered operations in our district as they honor their commitment to focus on reliable, affordable energy from sustainable sources
I recently toured Hemlock Semiconductor (HSC) with their leadership and fellow area legislators. I applaud HSC for their commitment to cleaner, greener energy as they work to strengthen our semiconductor supply chain… both critical for Michigan and our nation. Their innovation & growth yields more jobs and economic activity across our Great Lakes Bay Region.
Pepsi Distribution Center
Touring Saginaw’s Pepsi Distribution Center with Rep. Amos O’Neal, I learned they employ 105 workers who help delivery operations run smoothly to 900+ outlets 24/7, six days a week plus sales and service seven days a week.
Other Events with Community and Constituents
Sen. McDonald Rivet met with Midland’s United Way Director of Advocacy; the Buena Vista Twp. Superintendent and Board of Trustees; advocates from 482 Forward attending a Senate Education Committee meeting; and she attended services at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. The Senator also welcomed students from Midland Central Park Elementary during their Capitol tour and participated in Saginaw’s Cinco de Mayo Parade. In an out of district event, Sen. McDonald Rivet was one of the mainstage speakers for the Council of Michigan Foundations 50th Anniversary Regional Celebration in Kalamazoo.
Legislative Director Stephen Prince represented the Office of the Senator in meetings with individuals representing groups including the Boys & Girls Club of the Great Lakes Bay Region, Michigan Libraries Association and Public Libraries of Saginaw; and the Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners.
Director of District and Constituent Services Kevin Hayes represented the Office of the Senator at the Bay-Arenac ISD Superintendents Meeting; Saginaw Chamber of Commerce’s 160th Annual Meeting; Bangor Twp. Supervisor’s Breakfast Meeting; the Great Lakes Bay Health Center Luncheon; Saginaw’s Worker’s Memorial Day; Saginaw Transit Authority And Regional Services Open House; Ribbon Cutting for the Henry Marsh Plaza Project Mural; Saginaw Community Foundation’s meeting; Freeland’s Walleye Festival Parade; Midland Business Alliance’s Wake Up Breakfast Meeting and Midland Farmers Market Opening Day.
APR 21 BIG RAPIDS NEWS “Mecosta County, Green Township respond to vote to fund Gotion battery factory”
APR 25 BROWNFIELD AG NEWS RADIO: “Michigan bill would codify preserved farmland’s ability to become solar”
APR 26 MIDLAND DAILY NEWS: “McDonald Rivet, Senate Appropriations Committee approve Midland flood mitigation funding”
APR 26 MIDLAND DAILY NEWS: “Sen. McDonald Rivet discusses toll roads, Gotion plant at Midland office hour session”
APRIL 27 DETROIT NEWS “Michigan Senate approves bill to speed up refund checks for low-wage workers”
APRIL 27 CRAIN’S DETROIT BUSINESS “Senate votes to speed up tax credit payments for lower-wage workers”
APR 28 MICHIGAN PUBLIC RADIO: “700,000 low-income families to get checks under Senate bill”
MAY 2 MIDLAND DAILY NEWS: “McDonald Rivet introduces “Buy Michigan” bipartisan plan”
MAY 4 WSGW RADIO: “McDonald Rivet Chosen to Join NewDEAL Group”
COFFEE & CONVERSATION
With outstanding turnout at our Midland coffee hour, we covered economic development, appropriations processes, doing right by caretakers of our children and most vulnerable, campaign finance reforms, cleaning up zombie laws and more.
Join me to get the latest update on what’s happening in Lansing at my upcoming Coffee Hour.
WHEN: Monday May 22, 2023, from 9 – 10 am
WHERE: Hoyt Library, 505 Janes Ave., Saginaw, MI 48607
HELPFUL RESOURCES AND LINKS
- Energy Assistance Programs
- Power Outages | Ready.gov
- Michigan Achievement Scholarships
- Interactive District Map
- Find Your Senator
- Senate TV website
- Michigan Senate website
CONTACT MY OFFICE
- Website Contact Form: This is the best, fastest way to reach us.
- Website News Page: This page archives our official press releases and statements.
- Social Media: Social media sites are neither official government websites nor are they well suited for constituent correspondence. However, since we post frequently, social media can be a very timely way to access news and information. Our “Office of Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet” Facebook page is linked here: