Senator Wayne Schmidt
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Common sense road plan signed into law

Senate Republicans recently passed a comprehensive transportation plan - now signed into law - that ensures our roads and bridges are properly funded and maintained.

Under this long-term plan, reprioritizing current state revenue along with increased revenue from gas, diesel and alternative fuel taxes and registration fees will bring in a steady stream of dollars to fix Michigan's roads. Once fully phased in, the investment provides $1.2 billion of revenue annually for transportation. Other reforms ensure competitive bidding and road construction warranties to save costs and guarantee a better product.

Long-term tax relief is also part of the plan with an expansion of Homestead Property Tax credits and future State Income Tax rate roll backs.

All told, the plan provides the means to fix our roads at a cost to the average driver of $1.23 more per week from what they currently pay, and that is before any tax relief takes effect.

For more information, please visit

Bills to protect student privacy approved

Parents and students have the right to know what information about them is being shared by their schools and with whom.

The Senate recently approved legislation to protect student privacy and regulate how student data is shared. Senate Bill 33 would prohibit state agencies and school districts from selling personally identifiable information in a student's education records to any for-profit business. Senate Bill 510 would prohibit operators of K-12 Internet websites and online services from selling or disclosing information about a student unless it's for legal or safety reasons. They would also be required to protect student safety information through reasonable security procedures.

The legislation has been sent to the House for consideration.

Supporting the Soo Locks

I recently had the opportunity to tour the Soo Locks and witness numerous freighters make the 28-foot transition between the upper and lower locks. These 1,000-foot-long ships are expertly packed to the gills to maximize efficiency when transporting goods. As the ships lined up to take their turns passing through the gates, it was easy to visualize the very real threat that exists if the Poe Lock were to go down. There is literally no other way for these massive ships to cross. Estimates suggest that a prolonged 30-day shutdown of this single lock would result in the loss of $160 million. The Lake Carriers' Association predicts such a shutdown would affect Michigan's economy so deeply that more than 22 percent of the state's workers would become unemployed.

Given all of this, the question arises: Why haven't the Soo Locks been upgraded?

Elected officials have joined to petition the president, Congress, and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to support plans to upgrade the Soo Locks. Earlier this month at a rare joint hearing of the state Senate Commerce, Transportation, and Economic Development and International Investment committees, held in Sault Ste. Marie, a bipartisan group of colleagues and I adopted Senate Resolution 105 to encourage the federal government to support plans to upgrade the locks. This week, the Michigan Senate unanimously adopted the resolution as well.

In today's modern age, it is unacceptable that so much relies on so little when it comes to moving economically vital materials and supplies through the Great Lakes. A 21st century Michigan economy demands a modern Soo Locks. The economy, businesses and jobs all rely heavily on the Soo Locks, and leaders in Washington, D.C. must act to modernize the locks to continue Michigan's positive economic momentum.

Join me for coffee!

I will be hosting several coffee hours throughout the 37th district this month. See below for all the details. I hope you are able to join me!

Wednesday, Nov. 18
Noon - 1 p.m.
Kingsley Village Hall

Thursday, Nov. 19
10 - 11 a.m.
Café Sante
Boyne City

12:30 - 2 p.m.
Java Jones
Elk Rapids

Friday, Nov. 20
10 - 11 a.m.
Roast and Toast

1 - 2 p.m.
Mackinaw City Village Hall



SD37 Map
The 37th Senate District is made up of 8 counties, which includes: Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Luce, and Mackinac.


Senator Wayne Schmidt

820 Farnum Bldg. P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Phone: (517) 373-2413

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