I am proud to represent the 37th District in the state Senate. Since taking office I have made it my duty to listen to my constituents and be sure I am representing their interests in Lansing. This year I have hosted monthly coffee hours in each of my 8 counties totaling 96 visits throughout the district.
If I haven’t met with you yet and you have some concerns about what is happening in our state Capitol, please be sure to watch out for my monthly e-newsletter or check your local papers.
I hope to hear from you in 2018! Schmidt bill protecting personal information signed
Consumers will have better protection against fraud at the gas pump under legislation that was recently signed into law.
I am proud to have championed Senate Bill 415, now Public Act 168 of 2017
. The new law requires greater security measures at the pump to restrict the unauthorized access of customer payment card information and prevent the use of skimmers. Skimmers are small devices that can be hidden in gas pumps to copy credit and debit card personal information. Approximately 82 skimmers have been found in Michigan since 2015.
While many gas stations have security measures already in place, all stations will now be required to provide additional protections for consumers. PA 168
, which would allow filling stations the option of installing any of the following security measures on individual pumps: tamper proof security tape; a device to render the pump or credit card scanning device inoperable unless accessed by an authorized user; encryption of credit card information; a new lock to replace the manufacturer’s lock; or any other security measure approved by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The new law takes effect Feb. 19, 2018. Schmidt supports new law strengthening high school career counseling
Many students and their parents are unaware of the trends in today’s changing job market and college selection process. That’s why it is important to ensure high school guidance counselors are better able to assist students with information on their college and career opportunities after leaving high school.
I supported a new law that requires high school counselors to dedicate 50 hours of their required 150 hours of professional development to college preparation and career counseling, including careers in the skilled trades, as well as technical and military careers. Public Act 151 of 2017 (House Bill 4181) will apply to school counselors renewing their credentials two years after the effective date of January 2018. MET enrollment
The Michigan Education Trust (MET) has reopened enrollment in time for holiday gift givers to buy or contribute toward a child’s 529 prepaid tuition contract. Family members or friends can purchase a new MET prepaid tuition contract in a child’s name or contribute money toward an existing contract. Contract holders qualify for a tax deduction on their Michigan tax returns for purchases or contributions made by Dec. 31.
For more information, visit www.SETwithMET.com
or call 800-MET-4-KID. Pure Michigan Hunt application deadline nears
The “hunt of a lifetime” offers three lucky winners the opportunity to obtain licenses for spring and fall turkey, antlerless deer, bear, elk and first pick at a managed waterfowl hunt area, along with a prize package valued at more than $4,000. Applications for the 2018 drawing are $5 each and available at license agent locations and online at www.mdnr-elicense.com
until Dec. 31.
The 2017 Pure Michigan Hunt generated nearly $260,000 to help fund wildlife habitat restoration and improvements in Michigan. Find more information at www.michigan.gov/pmh
. Travel guide showcases Michigan winter
The Pure Michigan Winter Travel Guide
highlights great cold weather fun in our state, including skiing and snowmobiling, even dog sledding! The publication also includes a guide to indoor culinary and entertainment destinations and a winter events calendar. Access the digital edition at www.michigan.org
or contact my office for a free print copy. #OptOutside
The Department of Natural Resources is offering free entry to Michigan state parks on Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving. Free access to state parks, trails and boating sites is just one more reason to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. Michigan’s outdoor playground is spectacular and close to home. In fact, you’re never more than a half-hour away from a state park, recreation area, state forest campground or state trail! MI Student Aid offers scholarship search
Many high school students and their parents are looking for ways to help pay for a college education. The Department of Treasury’s MI Student Aid program provides a scholarship search tool that connects students with thousands of possible scholarship opportunities throughout the state. Students or their families can complete and submit a brief online survey at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid
. Service representatives will search for Michigan scholarships and email a detailed report within a week. Along with Michigan place-based scholarships, the program connects students to Michigan college and national scholarship opportunities. Invasive Carp Challenge receives hundreds of possible solutions
Invasive carp pose a looming threat to the environmental health of the Great Lakes and Michigan’s fishing, boating and recreation industries.
A worldwide competition launched by the state for ideas to help stop these invasive fish from reaching the lakes recently ended. The Great Lakes Invasive Carp Challenge
received 353 entries from 27 countries. The entries will be reviewed by expert judges. Winners of up to eight Stage 1 awards will be announced in February 2018. From there, an event featuring Stage 2 finalists is planned to take place in late March 2018.
Earlier this year, a 28-inch silver carp was caught only nine miles from Lake Michigan, well past an electric barrier system. Hopefully, one or more of the Challenge
ideas will provide a new and innovative way to protect our cherished Great Lakes. Visit www.michigan.gov/carpchallenge
for more information.