I hope you and your family had an enjoyable Fourth of July long weekend. As summer continues, please remember to stay safe in the heat, especially during days with poor air quality.  

Featured in this newsletter: 

  • Legislative Updates 
  • Upcoming Events
  • Scam Awareness 
  • Helping Medicaid members keep their coverage 
  • Macomb Community College launches Tuition-Free Program 
  • EGLE Air Quality Index   
  • Free Summer Meals in Your Community 
  • What Every Michigan Bicyclist Must Know Booklets Available 


If you have any questions, want to comment on pending legislation, or resolve any issues in state government, please do not hesitate to contact my office by phone at (517) 373-8360 or by email at SenPWojno@senate.michigan.gov.


Warmest regards,

Legislative Updates 

FY 2024 Budget for the People Passes 

Our people-focused budget has finally passed — reflecting the needs and interests of Michiganders everywhere. This budget uplifts families struggling to make ends meet, keeps our communities safe, and places opportunity in the hands of our hardworking residents. 

With our new Democratic Majority, our members prioritized the input of residents, communities, and organizations from around the state, using those perspectives to craft this budget. We are proud to have engaged a diverse group of Michiganders, contributing to the most transparent budget process seen in decades. 

The budget is full of transformative, innovative, and equitable investments that will improve lives and our state’s future. Here are a few highlights: 

  • Public Health and Safety, including funding for essential direct care workers to get a wage increase, fire stations to upgrade their equipment, adequality fund local health departments and federally qualified health centers, support for gun violence prevention efforts, and emergency alert system upgrades. 
  • Education, including universal school meals, increased funding for special education programs, as well as historic investments in community colleges, public universities, student financial aid, and student support resources. 
  • Infrastructure, including one-time funding for the most critical road and bridge projects across the state, as well as support for improved transportation, water, and environmental systems — plus transformative community investments in housing, municipal needs, and more. 
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, including funds to support the Racial Disparities Task Force and recently passed Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act expansion, as well as racial equity in community health plans and grants to support business owners and entrepreneurs. 

You can read more about the budget and how it will impact our state here


Upcoming Events

Dodge Park Thursdays Farmers Market and Entertainment 

Come out and enjoy fresh food and produce, all locally made straight to you! EBT will also be accepts, so no family will be turned away. 

WHERE: Dodge Park, 40620 Utica Road WHEN: Every Thursday until September 28 from 3-8 pm, concerts begin at 7pm 

  • July 13: Lazo & Exodus (Reggae) 
  • July 20: Class of ’98 (90’s) 
  • August 3: Family Tradition (Country Rock) 
  • August 10: Kathleen Murray and the Groove Council (Party Band) + Movie in the Park ft. DC League of Super Pets 
  • August 17: Magic Bus (Woodstock Era) 
  • August 24: Your Generation (Party Band) 

Weather Hotline (586) 446-2692 -Updated at 5 p.m. the day of the event. 

Parking Information Parking is available at Dodge Park, City Hall, Stevenson High School, Community Center, Library, Metro Church of Christ, Senior Center, and 41-A District Court. 


New Distracted Driving Laws Go into Effect 

On June 7, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of bills to reduce distracted driving and save lives by ensuring drivers have their full attention on the road with the use of hands-free technology. 

The bills provide an update to Michigan’s distracted driving laws, which currently include texting and driving, to also include watching or recording videos and engaging in social media, among other uses. Additionally, the bills provide accountability for drivers who put themselves and others in danger and require the Michigan State Police to submit a progress report on the effectiveness of the new law three-and-a-half years after it is enacted. 

As these laws go into effect on June 30, the Michigan Department of Transportation will begin installing Hands-Free Device Use signs at 37 locations along state line and border crossings and displaying reminders of the new law on their dynamic message signs throughout the state. 

Additional information regarding this legislation and the penalties associated are available through the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety Planning website at Michigan.gov/DistractedDriving


Scam Awareness 

Consumers Energy Scam Alert 

Consumers Energy is warning customers to be aware of online scammers who aim to trick people into calling bogus phone numbers and obtain access to credit cards, bank accounts, or other personal information. The company has also shared information about these scam attempts with state and federal law enforcement agencies. 

Consumers Energy said some customers have inadvertently contacted scammers after going online to search for the company’s phone number. Some online searches have led people to call criminals who pretend to be with the company. The scammers request payment for services like starting new accounts, which usually don’t require a deposit, or tell the caller they have an outstanding balance that they need to pay immediately. 

If you have made a payment and think you were the victim of a scam, call 800-477-5050, and Consumers Energy will collect details. If you did not make a payment, file a police report with local law enforcement. 

The following advice are ways you can protect yourself: 

  • Consumers Energy never asks for your credit card information over the phone, and instead will transfer you to a secure system for payments. 
  • Call Consumers Energy’s toll-free number, 800-477-5050, or go to ConsumersEnergy.com if you need assistance. 
  • If someone is asking for personal information and says they’re from Consumers Energy, hang up and call 800-477-5050.  
  • Consumers Energy does not demand specific methods to pay bills, such as prepaid debit cards. Go to ConsumersEnergy.com/waystopay to see how you can pay your bill. 


Be Alert for Fake Letters in Collections Scam 

Unemployment Insurance Agency Director Julia Dale and State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks urge Michigan residents and businesses with past-due state debts to be on alert for scam letters making the rounds through the U.S. Postal Service. 

In the scam, residents or employers receive a letter about an overdue state debt that requests immediate contact through a toll-free number to resolve the outstanding balance. The letter aggressively threatens to seize property – including bank accounts, wages, business assets, cars, real estate, refunds, and cash – if the debt is not settled. 

>Click here for more information


Helping Medicaid members keep their coverage 

Take action to avoid a gap in coverage 

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government declared a Public Health Emergency, allowing Medicaid members to keep their health care coverage. Per recent federal legislation, eligibility renewals will start again in June. Monthly renewal notifications will be sent by mail beginning in May. 

The department announced an extension of the deadline to submit documents for those who originally had a June 30 cutoff date. Folks can now submit their documents by July 30.  

Following these steps will help determine if you still qualify: 

  • Make sure your contact information is up to date with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 
  • Check mail or text messages for a letter. 
  • Complete your renewal form (if you get one).  

If you’re a Medicaid member, learn more about how these changes may affect your health care coverage at Michigan.gov/2023benefitchanges


Macomb Community College launches Tuition-Free Program 

Macomb Community College is removing financial barriers to earning a degree with the introduction of Macomb Tuition Advantage, which will provide free tuition to Macomb students with family incomes of $70,000 or less. The program is open to those already attending Macomb or those who plan to start at the college in Fall 2023 and are pursuing an associate degree program.   

To be eligible for Macomb Tuition Advantage, an individual’s annual family income must be $70,000 or less, with assets of $50,000 or less; be a registered student at Macomb; and have completed the FAFSA. Any federal and state grants the student is eligible for will be applied first, with Macomb’s program covering the remainder of tuition and fees owed. Students in the program must be enrolled full time (minimum of 12 credit hours per semester) and maintain a 2.0 grade point average. The program is renewable for up to three academic years. 

For complete eligibility requirements for Macomb Tuition Advantage and more information, click here.

EGLE Air Quality Index  

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a color-coded way for residents to see what the levels of some types of air pollution are in their area. The higher the AQI, the worse the air quality is and the more cause for concern. Due to the recent fires in northern Michigan and Canada the past couple weeks, the AQI for particulate matter (PM) is high in many parts of Michigan and the eastern US. Environmental Protection Agency Smoke and Fire map can be helpful in locating fires near you and seeing how smoke is moving. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has advised: 

  • For current health and safety information, follow social media at: 
  • For people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children, and teens it is suggested to take the following steps to reduce exposure: 
    • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities; 
    • Keep outdoor activities short; 
    • Consider moving physical activities indoors or rescheduling them. 
  • For everyone else: 
    • Choose less strenuous activities (like walking instead of running) so you don’t breathe as hard; 
    • Shorten the amount of time you are active outdoors; 
    • Be active outdoors when air quality is better. 

Air Quality Alerts are issued through the EnviroFlash system, sign up here to receive them. EnviroFlash is a free subscription service.  


Free Summer Meals in Your Community 

Have hungry kids and teens to feed? It can be a challenge to find healthy meals that fit your budget. That’s why organizations and local school districts are working with Meet Up and Eat Up to provide those ages 18 and under with delicious, nutritious meals.  

All summer long, children 18 and under can eat healthy, satisfying meals in their own communities at no cost. No application forms required, no registration needed, and no proof of residency asked for — just show up and enjoy a meal! All meals must be eaten at the site. 

Visit the interactive map to find the location nearest you. You can also text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 304-304 to find free meals in your neighborhood. 


What Every Michigan Bicyclist Must Know Booklets Available 

Interested in biking in Michigan, but don’t know where to start? What Every Michigan Bicyclist Must Know has been prepared by the League of Michigan Bicyclists and has tips for riding legally and safely throughout the state. For a copy of this publication, please write, call, or email my office with the number of booklets you want and include your name, full address, and phone number. 

Office contact information is below:  Address: Senator Paul Wojno, Post Office Box 30036, Lansing, MI 48909-7536 Phone: (517) 373-8360, Toll Free: (855) 347-8010 Email: SenPWojno@senate.michigan.gov