Senator McDonald Rivet Email Banner

Friends and Neighbors,  

Our team took a few minutes to experience the solar eclipse, but we picked up right where we left off — working hard and smart to move impactful legislation; listening, learning, and lifting up good things in our community; and doing whatever we can to make life better for everyone in our Great Lakes Bay Region.  

This newsletter recaps how we’re protecting Michiganders’ freedoms to make their ownpersonal family decisions, new economic development tools, statewide reports on population and workforce challenges, and much more. Thank you for reading and staying engaged. As always, reach out to us whenever you want to share your perspective on legislative issues or for assistance with any state government matter. 

Senator McDonald Rivet Signature

Kristen McDonald Rivet 
State Senator
District 35  

(517) 373-1725   
PO Box 30036, Lansing, MI 48909   



In this Edition 

  • Legislative Updates 
  • State Population and Workforce Reports
  • Community Connections, Investments and Mentions
  • Upcoming Events 
  • Helpful Reminders, Resources, and Links
  • Connecting with Us 



Legislative Updates 


Protecting Michigan Families 

On April 1, Governor Whitmer signed legislation ending Michigan’s status as the only state in the nation that criminalized paid surrogacyThe Michigan Family Protection Act decriminalizes this widely-used option to have children, protects individuals who use fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF), and ensures all parents and kidsare treated equally under the law no matter how their family starts or grows. 


As a mother of six, I believe the question of if, when, and how to have a child is an intensely personal decision. Families should decide this, not the governmentI am proud to have supported this legislation that makes it easier for Michiganders who want to build and keep their families together to do just that. 


Student Loan Repayment Program Helps Attract, Retain Teachers 

Senator McDonald Rivet in Cte.

Discussing teachers’ student loans, starting salaries during Senate Appropriations Pre K-12 Subcommittee meeting 


The Michigan Department of Education recently announced the Student Loan Repayment Grant Program for districts and intermediate districts. It’s a critical component of Michigan’s plan to retain skilled educators, and especially needed in places experiencing teacher shortages right now. 


It is important that we consider how the cost of college has changed over time. Today, a five-year degree at a state school in Michigan costs $125,000Expecting our teachers to accept or stay in jobs with starting salaries in the midto-high $30,000 range is an impossible ask. Our educators deserve better, and this is one step in the right direction. Read more about this grant program here, including how districts and intermediate districts should apply on their staff members’ behalf. 


Boosting Better Paying Jobs, Promoting Innovation 

My Senate colleagues and I voted to revive and rebrand the Good Jobs for Michigan program which lapsed in 2019. The new High-wage Incentive for Regional Employment (HIRE) legislation incentivizes companies to hire hundreds or thousands of new employees at higher salaries by allowing eligible businesses to keep their new employees’ income tax withholdings for the specific purpose of creating new jobspaying higher than regional median wages.  


We also passed legislation enacting a research and development (R&D) tax credit, which would encourage business investments in this key sector. Michigan’s lack of an R&D tax credit has disadvantaged us when competing for the kind of projects our state needs to win the future. These tax incentives are crucial to fostering innovationand offering more high-paying jobs in our state and region. 


For more on our work to improve workers’ and businesses’ bottom lines, click here. 



Predatory Lending Reform 

In March, the Senate passed Senate Bill 632, a bipartisan effort to cap interest rates on payday lending loans in Michigan at 36%. Currently, there are no restrictions on these interest rates, and lenders have put borrowers into debt that is difficult to pay off and puts them at an increased risk of bankruptcy. This bill, now under consideration in the House, would protect Michigan consumers and align Michigan with 20 other states and the District of Columbia who have acted to prevent exploitation and abuses in lending.  



State Population and Workforce Reports 

Reports of Statewide projections through 2050

Michigan’s Current Population Projections 

The Michigan Center for Data and Analytics released their report this month onMichigan’s Statewide Population Projections through 2050. Even accounting for net positive migration to our state, the report expects Michigan’s population to grow more slowly and decline sooner compared to the rest of the country over the next 25 years.  


I’ve consistently worked to advance policy and support investments to draw moreworking families and employers to Michigan. We must use every tool in our toolbox to retain our students and residents, and offset our natural population decrease with increased migration to our state. 


Women in the Michigan Workforce 

In March, the Michigan Center for Data and Analytics published Women in the Michigan Workforce for 2024. Key findings include that women working full-time arepaid approximately 81 cents per dollar that men are paid in our state. Women’s labor force participation rate is less than men’s. Working women are more likely to be impacted by poverty and are underrepresented in high-wage occupations. 


Closing these gaps are good for population growth, workforce retention, and stable families. It’s also the fair and right thing to do. I’m dedicated to ensuring Michigan women receive equal pay for equal work and compete on a level playing field. 



Community Connections, Investments and Mentions 


19th Annual Cesar Chavez Scholarship Luncheon

C. Chavez  Scholarship Luncheon

I had the pleasure of joining this year’s Cesar Chavez Luncheon to help raise funds for scholarship awards and celebrate our Latino community and Hispanic history. Thank you to the American G.I. Forum of Saginaw for hosting and Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson for sharing an inspirational message.  


The American GI Forum is the largest federally chartered Hispanic Veterans organization with chapters across the nation focusing on veterans’ issues, education, and civil rights. 



Recognizing Midland Manufacturer Case Systems, Inc. 

Case Tribute Tour

I recently connected with Case Systems Inc. to tour the Midland manufacturer’s site and present a tribute recognizing the service and contributions that earned them Michigan Manufacturers Association’s Community Impact Award. They’re a fantastic local example of good corporate citizen, active community partner, and excellence in making products that improve our daily lives and economy. 

Honoring Essexvile’s VanOoteghem’s Greenhouse & Farms

VanOoteghem Tribute

VanOoteghem’s Greenhouse in Essexville won the Food Bank Council of Michigan’s Hunger Action Partner Award this year. It was my honor to join the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in presenting that award and a state tribute at the 2024 Hunger Solutions Reception. Congratulations and thanks again to VanOoteghem’s for helping meet food assistance needs in our community. 



Mackinaw Road Bridge and Interchange Rebuild Begins April 15, Spurring Hundreds of Jobs 

MDOT recently announced they will begin the next phase of their $32.8 million investment to rebuild westbound US-10 from 7 Mile Road to Bay CityFrom April 15 through November, this phase entails rebuilding the Mackinaw Road bridge and building two new roundabouts. The work is estimated to support 397 jobs 


It’s always great to see our tax dollars at work, putting people to work, and making life safer and better in our Great Lakes Bay Region. When finished this fall, it will move residents, workers, visitors, and goods more safely and efficiently. It’s the kind of practical investment I’ll always fight to bring home. 



In Memoriam: Two Former Lawmakers Who Represented Our Region  

Mike Green served Bay County as a member in the Michigan Senate from 2011-2018, and was the father of current State Representative, Phil Green. He passed in late March after a battle with cancer. 


James McNutt represented Midland County in the Michigan House from 1991-1998. Before joining the Legislature, he was a long-serving Midland County sheriff. He died in late March at the age of 89. 


Please join me in honoring their service and extending condolences to their families and loved ones. 



Saginaw Residents Appointed by Governor Whitmer to Boards and Commissions 

Robert Davis is a pastor at the Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Saginaw and a chaplain for the Saginaw Police Department. He has been reappointed by Governor Whitmer to represent the general public on the Correctional Officers’ Training Counciluntil 2027.  


Ronald Farmer is an IT senior process executive at Google and the owner and operator of RMC Media Group. Governor Whitmer appointed him to represent the general public on the Michigan Board of Barber Examiners for a term expiring in 2027.  


Read more about their appointments here. 



Upcoming Events 


Coffee and Conversation in Bay City 

Senator McDonal Rivet Coffee Hour graphic

WHEN: Monday, May 20, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. 

WHERE: Sage Branch Library, Community Room, 100 E. Midland St., Bay City, MI 48706 


Our constituent hours are great opportunities to share what’s on your mind, and to hear about our work and what’s happening in Lansing directly from me. If you are unable to join us May 20, we rotate locations by county and always post upcoming in-district events here on our website. 



Helpful Reminders, Resources, and Links 


Get Ready for Fishing Season! 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers that the new fishing license and regulation season kicked off on Monday, April 1. Licenses for the 2024 season (valid through March 31, 2025) can be purchased at or on the Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app, which you may download on your smartphone. 


Visit this DNR webpage for key dates this fishing season. For additional information about fishing licenses, email DNR eLicense at or call 517-284-6057. 


Virtual Resource Fair for Families of Children with Special Health Care Needs 

Several Michigan organizations are teaming up to offer individuals with disabilities and their families, caregivers, providers, and other community supporters a Virtual Resource Fair on May 7, 2024, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Learn more and register here.  



If You Need Help 
If you have issues dealing with any state government department, including accessing unemployment benefits or tax information, my office is available to help resolve it. While we usually cannot assist with local or federal issues, we will always do our best to connect you with the most appropriate person or organization for help. 



Most Current Updates 

Social media sites are neither official government websites nor are they well suited for constituent correspondence. However, since we post frequently, our social media accounts can be a very timely way to learn about legislative action, community news and impacts. Visit my Facebook page or my Threads page. 


Our newsletters, website and constituent hours are also great to learn about our work.