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Friends and Neighbors,  

I hope everyone was able to enjoy those beautiful northern lights last weekend! I also hope they inspire you to spend more time outside, enjoying the sights and sounds of spring in our majestic part of Michigan. 

Earlier this month, the Michigan Senate and House passed their own budgets for each state department. This eNewsletter shares the Senate’s budget priorities and highlights how my colleagues and I have worked to turn hard-earned tax dollars into meaningful opportunities for better lives and a better Michigan.  

Thank you, as always, for staying connected to our work and spreading the word about community happenings and resources. You’re always welcome to contact my office if you need assistance with a state government matter or to provide feedback about what’s happening in Lansing. 

Senator McDonald Rivet Signature

Kristen McDonald Rivet 
State Senator
District 35  

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



In This Edition 

  • Senate Budget Builds Better Lives  
  • Community Connections 
  • Community Investments 
  • Helpful Reminders, Resources, and Links 
  • Connecting with Us 


Senate Passes Budget to Build Better Lives, Opportunities in Michigan 

Last year, Michigan Democrats used our first unified leadership in 40 years to craft and pass a historic budget — tackling challenges and boosting communities who had been left out of budget considerations for decades.  

In this year’s work, Senate Democrats have remained united in purpose to make life more affordable for every family, put more opportunities within reach of every adult, and strengthen foundations for every kid. While state revenues, economic and political climates vary each year, our cornerstone budget values remain constant — to be transformational, innovative, intentional, equitable, and fiscally responsible 

The Senate Democratic Caucus views our budget bills as blueprints for every Michigander to build stability and better futures for themselves and their families. Respecting that Michigan’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget isn’t final until Gov. Whitmer signs it, I’m excited to share several Senate budget highlights here.  

Senator McDonald Rivet in Cte.
  • Makes child care more affordable and accessible through initiatives that include provider stabilization and startup grants. 
  • Expands free preschool for four-year-olds so any family of four making $120,000 per year or less is eligible 
  • Continues free school meals for every Michigan public school student   
  • Continues to return thousands of dollars to each eligible household through the Earned Income Tax Credit for Working Families 
  • Funds efforts to lower housing costs, rein in high auto insurance rates, and crack down on predatory payday lending 
  • Improves retirement options for corrections and conservation officers  
Reports of Statewide projections through 2050
  • Allocates the highest per-pupil school funding in state history, increasing last year’s historic funding by 3.1%  
  • Targets funding for at-risk students and schools with greatest needs   
  • Invests in teacher recruitment and retention 
  • Increases the number of mental health professionals and social workers in schools 
  • Works toward delivering the Michigan Guarantee — a tuition-free public education from pre-k through community college for every child in our state 
  • Saves every Michigan high school graduate over $4,000 annually in their first two years of community college, providing affordable pathways to jobs that pay well
C. Chavez  Scholarship Luncheon
  • Continues funding for Michigan Reconnect — enabling workers to return to school to pursue a degree or a skilled trade certification  
  • Expands proven, bipartisan educational and vocational training opportunities equipping workers to meet local employers’ needs and earn better wages 
  • Helps meet labor demand in key industries through grant assistance, improved opportunities and innovative partnerships for veterans, farmers, minority business owners, returning citizens, and others.  
  • Funds programs to help business organizations and nonprofits across Michigan apply for grants, including specific programs for under resourced rural communities 
  • Assists workers facing economic and technology shifts by funding the launch of the Community and Worker Economic Transition Office 
  • Boosts Michigan startups and small businesses through Community Development Financial Institutions and the Michigan Innovation Fund 
    Case Tribute Tour
    • Boosts funding to recruit, train, and equip police and fire personnel and modernize public safety departments 
    • Targets improvements in child welfare, foster care, and senior care 
    • Expands access to behavioral and mental health services; opioid and substance abuse treatment; suicide prevention and violence intervention; emergency and long-term housing support; homeless and shelter grants 
    • Invests significantly in maternal and infant health, and protects access to reproductive healthcare including contraception, cancer screenings, wellness exams, and safe abortion care 
    • Provides for a pilot grant program helping local, trusted lending institutions provide their communities with emergency short-term loans  
    • Revitalizes communities with enhanced parks and recreation opportunities, and resources to help protect and improve our air, land, and waters      
    VanOoteghem Tribute
    • Makes significant investments to build and refurbish more affordable, accessible housing 
    • Continues to fund needed repairs and upgrades for local roads, bridges, and highways 
    • Funds a one-time appropriation of $40M for local bridge construction 
    • Funds improved water and sewer infrastructure and services   
    • Increases funding for transit capital and public transportation development 
    • Takes full advantage of $21.5M in federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funds for lead service line replacement projects

    Both legislative chambers will now take each budget bill into a conference committee to create a final product on which the House and Senate must vote before being presented to the Governor. As I have done through each budget step, I will continue fighting for you and our Great Lakes Bay community.  

    >> Senate Democrats budget information, updates    
    >> Nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency Budget Analysis (by department/ budget area) 

    Community Connections  

    Constituent Hours – Important Updates   

    We are rescheduling the constituent hour that was originally planned for May 20 at Bay City’s Sage Library. As soon as our new logistics are finalized for this and future constituent events, we will share them through my website, Facebook page and eNewsletters. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope all interested constituents will still be able to attend.

    To ensure that our constituent hours respect and serve the constituents in our 35th Senate District, we are only opening them up for the residents within the district. We will ask attendees to provide their address upon arrival, and we will ask anyone who is not a SD35 constituent to connect with us through our online contact form, or to request a meeting through this scheduling e-form.    

    Celebrating the New Greater Midland Community Center 

    Senator McDonal Rivet Coffee Hour graphic

    As I joined the unveiling of Greater Midland’s new Midland Community Center, it was amazing to think about how much dedication, support, and work transpired to bring this state-of-the-art facility from the capital campaign and planning stages when I was Greater Midland’s President and CEO to its opening day. I’m one of thousands for whom the old center will always have a special place in my heart, but I’m also tremendously excited for the experiences and engagement community members will enjoy through this new center.  

    Green STEM Preschool Groundbreaking 

    Our Director of District & Constituent Services joined students, board members, staff, and community partners for a milestone moment toward transforming the former Jerome Elementary into a green STEM preschool. Our team also thinks it is the most adorable groundbreaking ceremony ever! 

    Providing early learners with an education based on a “Green STEM” model focused on science, technology, engineering and math will engage these preschoolers in problem-solving and critical thinking, and better prepare them for K-12 opportunities. Congratulations to the Saginaw Intermediate School District for advancing this innovative and impactful project. 

    Marking Tardive Dyskinesia Awareness Week 

    Earlier this month, I encouraged and received bipartisan support from my Senate colleagues for my Senate Resolution 117 which recognizes May 5-11 as Tardive Dyskinesia Awareness Week. Despite nearly 600,000 Americans being affected by tardive dyskinesia (TD), this involuntary movement disorder associated with long-term use of antipsychotic medications is still widely unknown and misunderstood. By raising awareness, we can increase education and support for TD patients, their families and caretakers. Learn more at 

    Community Clean Up in Saginaw 

    Big thanks to Team McDonald Rivet and community partners who braved the rain, wind, and cooler temperatures for the first of two Team Up to Clean Up events in Saginaw this spring. Local news captured our crew in action and asked one of our members why he chose to volunteer his time. See his answer on the ABC12 News video linked here. 

    MDOT Public Open House for 2026 M-20/US-10 BR rebuild in Midland 

    When: Thursday, May 23, 2024, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. 
    Where: Midland City Hall, 333 W. Ellsworth St., Midland, MI 48640  

    The Michigan Department of Transportation invites the public to attend an open house to learn more about a planned 2026 project to improve M-20 and US-10 Business Route in Midland. Attendees will be able to view project information, and project staff will be available to answer questions. This MDOT press release has additional information on this project and open house accessibility. 

    Community Investments  

    Grant Helps Provide Vision Services to More Kids  

    Great Lakes Bay Health Centers recently received a $2,500 grant from the Michigan Association of Health Plans to expand their innovative mobile care program. I’m happy to have connected GLBHC to the MAHP grant program so children in our community who might otherwise go without basic eye care can get routine eye exams and glasses fittings if needed. Learn more.   

    Bay County Fair and Youth Expo Receives Grant for Nearly $160K in Arena Upgrades   

    I am thrilled to share that Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has awarded our Bay County Fair and Youth Exposition nearly $160,000 for livestock arena upgrades. These capital improvements will generate interest and revitalize experiences for both participants and attendees. This year’s Bay County Fair and Youth Expo is August 6-10. 


    Helpful Reminders, Resources, and Links 

     Mackinaw Road Bridge and Ramps Reconstruction Project  

    >> Closure and detour information 

    MI Financial Empowerment   

    MI Financial Empowerment is a collaboration of state of Michigan agencies, educators, community partners, businesses, and non-profits who want to promote financial empowerment at all stages of Michiganders’ lives. Visit for information on banking basics, budgets, credit and debt, utility charges, mortgages, college costs, retirement planning, and protection against financial scams and fraud. 

    May Is Mental Health Awareness Month   

    One in five Americans and nearly 1.5 million Michiganders experience mental health issues each year. In the past year, we made significant, targeted investments to expand care offered through community behavioral health clinics; suicide prevention programs to help military veterans and their families; and to address the mental health and safety concerns of students and teachers.  

    Caring for our mental and emotional health deserves just as much attention as our physical well-being. Let’s remind ourselves and others that we matter, that everyone matters. Please take advantage of these resources, or share them with others who may be in need: 

    Crisis Lines 

    • 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: 988 is a free 24/7 nationwide hotline that provides confidential, compassionate care for anyone struggling with behavioral health, emotional distress or substance use. Call or text 988 or visit their Lifeline Chat to connect with a trained crisis counselor. 
    • Veterans Crisis Line: The Veterans Crisis line provides veterans and family members with 24/7, confidential support. You do not have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to access this resource. Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or text 838-255.  
    • Trevor Lifeline: The Trevor Project has counselors trained in the challenges young people in the LGBTQ community face. Call 1-866-488-7386, text 678-678, or click here for their 24/7 support. 

    Locating Treatment Services 

    • Michigan 211: If you need assistance locating long-term mental health resources, talking through a problem, or exploring mental health treatment options, call 211 or visit to speak with a live person who can help. All conversations are confidential, can be made anonymously, and are available in 180 languages upon request. 
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Visit, a confidential and anonymous resource, to locate treatment facilities for mental and substance use disorders near you.  
    • Michigan Community Mental Health Services Programs: CMHSPs provide a comprehensive range of services and supports to children, adolescents and adults with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders in all 83 Michigan counties. Find your local program here.

    Severe Storm, Power Outage and Utilities Assistance Resources 

    College and Career Training Resources and Scholarships 

    Connecting With Us 

    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.