Senator Wayne Schmidt

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Schmidt to host June coffee hours

Since being elected to represent the 37th District in the state Senate, I have remained committed to holding office hours in various communities throughout Northwest Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

I will be available to answer questions, provide information and assistance, and take suggestions on issues affecting communities and businesses in the district.

Please feel free to stop in. No appointment is necessary.

For more information, please contact my office at or call 517-373-2413.

June coffee hours are as follows:

Monday, June 18
9 – 10 a.m.
Village of Kingsley Town Hall
207 S. Brownson Ave.
Monday, June 18
11 a.m. – noon
Elk Rapids District Library
300 Isle of Pines Drive
Elk Rapids
Wednesday, June 27
10 – 11 a.m. 
East Jordan City Hall
201 Main St.
East Jordan
Wednesday, June 27
Noon – 1 p.m.
Petoskey City Hall
101 E. Lake St.
Wednesday, June 27
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Cheboygan City Hall
403 N. Huron St.
Thursday, June 28
1 – 2 p.m.
Garfield Township Hall
N6760 State Highway 117
Friday, June 29
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Cup of the Day
406 Ashmun St.
Sault Ste. Marie
Friday, June 29
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Newberry Country Club
5073 M-123

Memorial Day: a time to honor our fallen

Download images to view this graphicEach year a special Senate Memorial Day service pays tribute to our fallen servicemen and women. This solemn tradition ensures the legacy of their sacrifice and service is never taken for granted or forgotten. The occasion also recognizes the families of the fallen.

This year, I had the honor of welcoming John West, father of Staff Sgt. Matthew West, to the Capitol. West served in the U.S. Army's 71st Explosive Ordnance Group and gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country on Aug. 30, 2010.

This annual ceremony is meant to honor people just like Staff Sgt. Smith. His bravery and commitment to both his brothers and sisters in arms, as well as his country, will be forever honored by every American. While we share our condolences with Mr. West, we must also congratulate him for raising a true American hero.

Schmidt discusses DNR's emergency rule regarding anchor drops in the Straits

Many in my district and throughout the state were sorely disappointed in the recent incident that resulted in severed electric cables and dents to the infamous Line 5 pipeline.

I was pleased with the recent announcement that Gov. Rick Snyder and the DNR will be pursuing an emergency ruling to temporarily mandate a no-anchor zone in the Straits. Previous studies have shown us that anchoring in this area has the potential to cause severe environmental damage and disrupt energy and communication services between the Upper and Lower peninsulas. The U.S. Coast Guard has advised vessels against deploying anchors in the area, though before today's announcement, no formal rule prohibited them from doing so.

The eastern boundary of the no-anchor zone is defined by the Mackinac Bridge. The western boundary is defined by a line beginning at the western edge of McGulpin Point in the Lower Peninsula to the western edge of an unnamed island immediately southwest of Point La Barbe in the Upper Peninsula.

The emergency rule will remain in place for six months, with the option of an additional six-month renewal. Discussions with the U.S. Coast Guard on a permanent ruling are ongoing.

Schmidt backs Senate bills to protect victims of domestic violence

Many victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking are fearful of future threats and possible harm.

I recently supported a seven-bill package that would allow victims to hide their physical addresses from their offenders. The Senate legislation would create an address confidentiality program in Michigan. This program would enable victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking to obtain a confidential address to protect themselves from their past offenders. The legal substitute address (usually a post office box) would be used in place of their physical address.

Another part of the legislation would prohibit schools from disclosing the address of a student whose parent is an address confidentiality program participant.

If this legislation is enacted, Michigan would join 37 other states in offering assistance and peace of mind to victims of abuse or assault.

Schmidt supports legislation to improve outdoor recreational funding

Michigan's land and water resources provide great opportunities for outdoor fun and adventure. The demand for recreational access close to home is growing in local communities across the state.

I recently supported legislation to improve funding for local outdoor recreation and increase the flexibility of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) and the Michigan State Park Endowment Fund (MSPEF). Senate Joint Resolution O (SJR O) — a proposed constitutional amendment — would allow for more money to be spent on parks, trails and other resources at the state and local levels. The proposal would modify the distribution formula of the funds to create a new local public recreation grant program and increase funding for state parks.

SJR O and other Senate bills in the package have been sent to the House for consideration. If approved, the proposal would be put on a ballot for approval by the voters.

Schmidt visits Alcona Health Center

Download images to view this graphicI recently had the opportunity to tour Community Health Centers of Northern Michigan - Alcona Health Center to meet staff and see firsthand the organization's mission.

It was interesting to get a behind-the-scenes look at their daily operations and how they help the local community. I commend the organization's dedication to ensuring residents get the care they need regardless of their financial situation.

Michigan's Summer Free Fishing Weekend

Download images to view this graphicIn Michigan, you're never more than seven miles away from "fishable" water, so you won't have to travel far to enjoy the state's Summer Free Fishing Weekend! The annual event will be held June 9-10 this year.

Anglers, both residents and nonresidents alike, can fish without a license on these two days, though all other fishing regulations still apply. Entry into state public boating access sites, state parks and recreation areas is free of charge. Visit for more information, including details on sponsored and state park events.

In addition, the June 9-10 dates mark one of the summer's Free ORV Weekends, a time off-road enthusiasts can ride DNR-designated routes and trails without buying an ORV license or trail permit. Find out more at

2018 fuelwood permits available

Michigan households can get a start on collecting wood to heat their home or cabin during cold weather. Fuelwood permits are now available from the Department of Natural Resources for the 2018 season for use on designated state forest land. Permits can be purchased for $20 and are valid for up to 90 days after the purchase date. A permit allows the collection of up to five standard cords of wood. Fuelwood cannot be resold or traded. For more information, including a link to FAQs and a map of fuelwood collection areas, visit

Schmidt supports bill to help prevent drunk driving

As we know, drinking and driving can have devastating results. Almost 29 people in the United States die every day in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The lives of countless other people are impacted as well.

Some parents would like to utilize technology to help prevent their young drivers from making the poor choice to drive while under the influence of alcohol. I recently supported legislation to allow for the voluntary installation of startup operated breath engine restrictor (SOBER) devices without the device sending reports to the secretary of state when used.

Currently, even when interlock devices are installed voluntarily, the installation company is required to generate a report. Senate Bill 892 would allow SOBER devices to be installed without any involvement with the government.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.

Staying safe during severe weather

Spring weather can bring thunderstorms, lightning and high winds, leading to possible power shortages. The Michigan State Police offers suggestions to stay safe during a power outage, including:

  • Use only flashlights or emergency lighting; never use candles;
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep food as fresh as possible;
  • Disconnect appliances and electronics;
  • Use extreme caution when driving; and
  • Avoid carbon monoxide by not using grills, unvented gas heaters, generators or ovens in the house.

To learn more about being prepared before, during and after severe weather, visit



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

4600 Connie Binsfeld Bldg. P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Phone: (517) 373-2413

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