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Dear Neighbor,   

Last week, the Senate successfully finished negotiations with the House on the 2025 State Budget. My Democratic colleagues and I have diligently worked to design a budget that builds up our vibrant communities and supports our residents. Now, the budget is on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. Find more information below on how our budget will build up Michigan.   

This week is just as exciting with the commemoration of the Fourth of July! I hope you enjoy a fun and safe holiday filled with friends and family! Remember, given the recent extreme heat, it’s important to always stay hydrated and wear sunscreen to protect yourself from heat exposure and sunburn. Additionally, in high-heat conditions, the risk of fire increases. Be sure to keep any firework shells or boxes outside overnight before disposing of them and consider hosing them down to prevent accidental fires.  

If you or someone you know would like to provide any feedback about what’s happening in Lansing, or needs assistance of any sort, please feel free to reach out to my office. You can email us at or call 517-373-7350. 


Senator Polehanki signature

Dayna Polehanki
State Senator
District 5

Happy Fourth of July from the Senate Democratic Majority 

70th anniversary Brown vs Board graphic

The Fourth of July celebrates the signing of our Declaration of Independence and the beginning of our great American experiment. The United States was founded on the belief that our nation should be a democracy where individual voices are not only heard but represented and respected in government and where every citizen can live freely and confidently.   

My Democratic colleagues and I are celebrating this Fourth of July while continuing to uphold America’s democratic foundations and principles. From expanding civil rights protections for the LGBTQ+ community and natural hairstyles to implementing commonsense gun laws, expanding access to the ballot box, and enshrining basic healthcare rights, such as abortion, in the state constitution, Senate Democrats are committed to the pursuit of a more just, equitable, and democratic state and nation. 

Senate Democrats Pass State Budget Dedicated to Building Up Michigan 

Mental Health Awareness Month

Last year marked a significant milestone for Michigan Democrats as we capitalized on their first trifecta in 40 years to spearhead a transformative budget — directing vital resources into historically neglected sectors like infrastructure, education, and local communities. 

Last week, Senate Democrats successfully finished negotiations with the House on state budget. The Fiscal Year 2025 State Budget builds on last year’s transformative budget by continuing to invest in children and families, students and workers, public safety, community development, and more. 

This Democratic majority views the state budget as both a values statement and a financial plan. Our cornerstones for the 2025 budget — transformational, innovative, equitable, and intentional — reflect the priorities established last year. Read more here. 

Vision OPEN Challenge to Help Small Businesses and Start-ups Unlock $150 Million in Federal Funding 

The Michigan Infrastructure Office has announced $10 million for the Vision OPEN Challenge, funded through the Make It in Michigan Competitiveness Fund, to help start-ups and small businesses secure funding from the federal Dept. of Energy’s (DOE) ARPA-E Vision OPEN 2024 grant. This challenge will provide matching grants to bring advanced clean energy and innovative technologies from the lab to the market. The DOE is offering up to $150 million in federal grants, with the Vision OPEN Challenge covering half of the required 10% match. 

Initial applications to the Competitiveness Fund are due by July 15, 2024, to meet the DOE’s concept paper deadline of July 16, 2024. 

These grants support the implementation of the MI Healthy Climate Plan and position Michigan as a leader in clean energy innovation and research. The investments will not only grow Michigan’s clean energy job sector, which added over 5,400 jobs in 2022 and now employs 123,983 people, but also have the potential to significantly boost the state’s economy. The World Resource Institute projects that by 2040, Michigan could create 41,000 new jobs in electric vehicle manufacturing and renewable energy, offering a promising future for the state’s workforce. 

For more information, visit the Make It in Michigan Competitiveness Fund website. 

Senate Passes Legislation to Expand Freedom of Information Act to Include Governor, Legislature 

The Senate took a historic vote in support of bipartisan legislation to expand the application of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the Michigan Legislature and the governor’s office, a significant step forward to increase transparency within state government. Senate Bills 669 and 670 each passed with a 36-2 vote. 

Enacted in 1976, Michigan’s FOIA law is one of the few in the nation that exempts state lawmakers and the governor’s office from records requests. This significant gap in the law contributed to Michigan receiving an F in government integrity from the national Center for Public Integrity’s 2015 report, where the state ranked last overall, failing in 10 out of 13 categories, including public access to information, executive accountability, and legislative accountability. 

The bills now move to the House. 


Tips to Help Protect Your Animals in the Heat 

As we experienced during last week’s heat wave, summer can be an especially dangerous time for not only our families and communities, but also our pets and animals. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has coordinated helpful tips to help keep your pets safe and cool over the warm summer months: 

Provide unlimited, cool, clean, fresh water: 

  • Just like people, animals can quickly become parched in hot temperatures. No matter the species, animals should always have access to unlimited cool, clean, fresh water to prevent dehydration. If you bring your pet in public, be sure to bring along hydration options and avoid using communal water bowls. 

    Know your animal’s limits and ability to tolerate heat: 

    • An animal’s age, breed, type of coat, and health history — among other factors — can all play a role in their ability to tolerate heat. Keep an eye out for signs of heat stress, including increased panting or drooling and being more lethargic. If they are displaying any signs of heat stress, immediately move your animal to a cooler area. 

    Test surfaces to ensure they won’t burn paws: 

      • Surfaces like asphalt, concrete, and sand can really heat up in the sun, which can burn paws or make a walk extremely uncomfortable for your pets. To test if a surface is too hot, touch it with the palm of your hand. If the surface is too hot for you, it means that it’s too hot for your pet as well. Consider taking a different route that is mostly grass or waiting until the evening when everything has had a chance to cool down. 

      Avoid harmful algal blooms (HABs) in bodies of water: 

      • HABs form due to a rapid growth of cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, which are naturally found in lakes, rivers, and ponds. To prevent illness in your pets, keep them out of areas with scum or discolored water, rinse them off after contact with any lake water, and bring clean, fresh water for them to drink. 
      • If your animal becomes sick after contact with a suspected HAB, please call your veterinarian immediately. 
      • Animal illnesses due to HABs are also reportable to MDARD. To report cases, submit a Reportable Disease Form or call 800-292-3939. In addition, to report any suspicious looking algae, please email 

      Do not leave animals in parked vehicles: 

      • Even when temperatures outside feel more moderate, vehicles often heat up very quickly, creating unsafe conditions for animals left inside. Leaving windows cracked open and/or parking in the shade does little to improve the situation. In these conditions, it is best to leave pets at home when you need to go out and about. 

              Ensure animals have a place to cool down: 

              • Animals know when they are too hot and will usually try to seek out a place where they can safely cool down. Make sure your pets have access to shades, fans, misters, pools, cooling mats, and/or air-conditioned spaces to help them stay comfortable and healthy.