As the fall season gets underway with students returning to school and fall sports beginning, I hope you and your family had an enjoyable and healthy summer. I encourage you to get outdoors and visit a cider mill or attend an area sporting event.
In this newsletter, I am excited to share some updates, as well as a few important resources available to you.
Featured in this newsletter:
- Legislative Update: PACE Resolution
- The Fall Legislative Session Has Begun: Learn More With Eight FAQs
- September is College Savings Month
- Apply for a Home Heating Credit — Deadline is September 30
- Rail Safety Week: Be Rail Smart
- Phone and Broadband Discount Programs Are Available
- Macomb County Senior Fun Festival
- Macomb County Health and Wellness Fair
- Sterling Heights Fire Department Open House
- Enjoy Our Local Cider Mills
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.
Legislative Update: PACE Resolution
On September 7, the Senate came together in bipartisan fashion to adopt Senate Resolution 67 to declare the month of September 2023 as National Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Month in the State of Michigan. To celebrate the resolution’s adoption, I had the pleasure of welcoming a group of Michiganders representing PACE to the Capitol.
Throughout our state, we have 24 PACE sites which provide comprehensive and coordinated services such as transportation and long-term care for older Michiganders. Serving over 5,000 individuals, PACE ultimately allows older adults to live independently in their community, while ensuring their safety and well-being.
It is my hope that the Senate’s recognition of National PACE Month will raise awareness of this successful program and thank PACE workers for the earnest and valuable services they provide to our communities and state.
The Fall Legislative Session Has Begun: Learn More With Eight FAQs
The fall legislative session has begun, and we plan on having a robust legislative schedule. I invite you to learn more about the “what, where, and how” of session and how you can participate in the legislative process.
Understanding how to find, track, and stay informed about the actions of your legislators is key. Click here to learn more and stay up to date on what’s happening in your Michigan Legislature.
September is College Savings Month
College Savings Month serves to remind families about the importance of saving for a child, grandchild, or another loved one’s higher education while highlighting the value and flexibility of saving with a 529 college savings plan.
In honor of College Savings Month, the Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP) is offering a special incentive to help families get started on their higher education savings journey with a bonus deposit. Individuals who open a new MESP account with a minimum initial contribution of $1,000 between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30, 2023, will be eligible for a $100 bonus incentive. For complete details, including terms and conditions about the bonus deposit, visit MIsaves.com/bonus.
Apply for a Home Heating Credit — Deadline is September 30
The Home Heating Tax Credit is a way the State of Michigan helps low-income families pay some of their heating expenses. Over the last five years, the average qualifying household received $209 in assistance, which is most often applied directly to residents’ utility bills. With these savings, more Michiganders can have additional money in their pockets to put food on the table, afford medication, pay bills, and more.
Residents can apply for the Home Heating Tax Credit until the September 30 deadline. To qualify, residents must be a renter with a contracted lease or a homeowner and meet income requirements. You can apply for the Home Heating Tax Credit here.
Rail Safety Week: Be Rail Smart
From September 18-24, we recognize Rail Safety Week and our shared responsibility to rail safety, as we all have the ability to keep our communities safe and prevent injuries and fatalities near railways.
Operation Lifesaver, a nationally recognized leader of rail safety education, has put together a list of rail-safety basics to help you and your loved ones promote rail safety in your community:
- Always expect a train — Freight trains don’t travel at fixed times. Schedules for passenger trains often change.
- All train tracks are private property. Never walk on tracks; it’s illegal to trespass and highly dangerous.
- Trains cannot stop quickly. It takes the average freight train traveling 55 mph more than a mile — the length of 18 football fields — to stop.
- Trains have the right of way 100% of the time over pedestrians and vehicles, including police and emergency vehicles.
- Trains overhang tracks. Stay 15 feet back from the tracks. Always assume railroad tracks are in use, even if there are weeds or the track looks unused.
- Remember to cross train tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings, and obey warning signs and signals posted there.
- Stay alert around railroad tracks. Refrain from texting, using headphones, or other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train; never mix rails and recreation.
To learn more, visit the Operation Lifesaver website here.
Phone and Broadband Discount Programs Are Available
As September 11-15 is National Digital Connectivity and Lifeline Awareness Week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Public Service Commission are urging eligible Michiganders to take advantage of the Lifeline telephone and broadband discount program, as well as the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) broadband discount.
Lifeline is both a state and federal program that provides discounted voice or broadband service to veterans, seniors, and low-income Michiganders. Dozens of telecommunications carriers in Michigan offer Lifeline. Through Lifeline, income-eligible people under age 65 get a minimum monthly discount on their bill of $8.25. Those 65 and older receive a minimum discount of $12.35. For more information about Lifeline, visit the MPSC website or call 800-292-9555.
In addition to Lifeline, Michiganders who meet eligibility requirements also may be able to receive financial assistance through the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program. There are three ways to apply for the benefit:
- Go to affordableconnectivity.gov to apply online and find participating providers near you.
- Print a mail-in application from the ACP and return it along with proof of eligibility to: ACP Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
- Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.
Macomb County Health and Wellness Fair
Over fifty organizations in Macomb County will join together on September 23 for the Macomb County Health and Wellness Fair. The day will provide an opportunity for all to learn about the many resources in our county that stand ready to help individuals develop, promote, and sustain healthy lives — both mental wellness and physical wellness.
Free food (while supplies last), health screenings, face painting, 10-minute massages, meditation, yoga, and more will be available for those that come by.
WHEN: Saturday, September 23, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Macomb Intermediate School District, 44001 Garfield Rd, Clinton Township, MI 48038
For more information, contact Crystal Birchall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Macomb County Senior Fun Festival
The Macomb County Office of Senior Services and the Office of the County Executive are proud to host the 32nd annual Senior Fun Festival on Friday, September 29. Admission is free.
Planned activities include:
- Vendor tables with information for seniors and caregivers
- Live entertainment
- Balloon artists
- Photo booth
- Photos with local celebrities, including “Roary” the Detroit Lions mascot
- Refreshments sponsored by Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel
WHEN: Friday, September 29, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Lorenzo Cultural Center at Macomb Community College, 44575 Garfield Rd, Clinton Township, MI 48038
Read more about the event here.
Sterling Heights Fire Department Open House
Sterling Heights Fire Department is hosting their annual Open House on Sunday, October 8. This fire education program is kicking off the Fire Prevention Week. The event will include activities for children and adults, as well as demonstrations, tours, various displays and refreshments, and an awards ceremony.
This year’s theme will be “Cooking safety starts with YOU! Pay attention to fire prevention.” This theme will focus on educating Michiganders about simple but important steps they can take to help reduce the risk of fire when cooking at home and keeping those around them safe.
WHEN: Sunday, October 8, from 11 AM to 2 PM
WHERE: Fire Station 4, 12850 15 Mile Road, Sterling Heights, MI 48312
For additional information, please contact the Sterling Heights Fire Department by Phone (586) 446-2950 or email email@example.com.
Enjoy Our Local Cider Mills
There’s no better way to spend a fall afternoon than taking a trip to a local cider mill. Our area is lucky to have a variety of cider mills open for you to visit and enjoy!
- Blakes Orchard & Cider Mill, 17985 Armada Center Road, Armada, MI 48005, (586) 784-5343
- Yates Cider Mill, 1950 E. Avon Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48307, (248) 651-8300
- Goodison Cider Mill, 4295 Orion Road, Rochester, MI 48306, (248) 652-8450
- Westview Orchards, 65075 Van Dyke, Washington, MI 48095, (586) 752-3123
- Hy’s Cider Mill, 6350 37 Mile Road, Bruce Twp., MI 48065, (810) 798-3611