Senator Mike Shirkey

Jackson Town Hall Meeting – Monday, February 12th

Please join me on Monday February 12th, 2018 for a Senior Town hall focused on Michigan Elder Law. I’ll be joined by Ron Tatro, the Vice President of Elder Law of Michigan, who will be on hand to help share information on the issues facing seniors today. I look forward to seeing you there!

Senator Shirkey welcomes Pastor Jeff Erwin

Senator Shirkey welcomed Pastor Erwin to be his guest at the State of the State in Lansing on January 23rd.

Funding to improve road safety in Jackson County!

Senator Mike Shirkey announced on Friday that funding has been approved for a construction project next year to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians on a section of Wamplers Lake Road (M-124) in Jackson County.

The $1.3 million Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) project will widen the paved shoulders on the road from four feet to eight feet from U.S. 12 to M-50, a 7.4-mile stretch.

"The Irish Hills, numerous lakes, Hayes State Park and Watkins Lake State Park - these are all along this route, which means it is popular with locals and tourists alike and it is very busy," said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. "Expanding the paved bike and pedestrian lanes will increase safety for everyone on these shoulders."

A 2017 Road Safety Audit recommended widening the shoulders by up to four feet to provide an additional buffer between vehicular traffic and bicyclists. Other improvements in the project include upgraded street signing, pavement markings and rumble strips to increase safety for all modes of transportation.

The project is a shared investment of $1,137,822 from three sources: $659,368 in federal Transportation Alternative Program funds, $455,129 from the Michigan Department of Transportation, and $23,325 from Norvell Township.

"The Michigan Department of Transportation is excited to partner with Norvell Township to improve safety and expand nonmotorized access along M-124," said Kelby Wallace, manager of MDOT's Jackson Transportation Service Center. "This project is a result of a strong partnership dedicated to the safety of all modes of transportation."

Shirkey commended Norvell Township.

"Norvell Township stepped up to the plate and provided significant local matching funds for this important project," Shirkey said. "The township's contribution helped secure the Transportation Alternative Program funds, and we are grateful for it."

The TAP is a competitive grant program that uses federal transportation funds designated by Congress for specific activities that enhance the intermodal transportation system and provide safe alternative transportation options.

Construction on the project is set to begin in the spring or summer of 2019.

Ready to file your taxes?

Michigan's individual income tax filing season officially began on January 29th, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Effective immediately, Michiganders can start filing their 2017 tax year state individual income tax returns online or through the U.S. Postal Service. All individual income tax returns must be e-filed or postmarked by Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

"The easiest and quickest way for Michigan taxpayers to get their refund is to file electronically," said Deputy State Treasurer Glenn White, head of Treasury's Tax Administration Group. "This helps ensure tax returns are accurate and improves tax refund turnaround times."

Choosing electronic filing and direct deposit is convenient, safe and secure. Last year, more than 4.1 million Michigan taxpayers e-filed, which is nearly 83 percent of state income tax filers.

After Feb. 5, limited quantities of printed tax forms will be available at public libraries, northern Michigan post offices, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services county offices and Treasury Field Offices.

Businesses filing annual Sales, Use and Withholding Tax returns can go paperless by using Michigan Treasury Online, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury. Small business taxpayers tend to file with paper. By filing online, it makes things easier for the taxpayer and the processing team.

Free Tax Help
Seniors and individuals with functional needs may qualify for free tax preparation help from IRS-trained volunteers or Tax Counseling for the Elderly preparers. For information about free tax help, go to www.michiganfreetaxhelp.org or dial 2-1-1.

To learn more about Michigan's individual income tax or to download forms, go to www.michigan.gov/incometax. For more information about e-filing, go to www.mifastfile.org.

Check Refund Status Online
As the state of Michigan enters the second week of individual income tax season, the Michigan Department of Treasury reminds taxpayers who filed a 2017 state return to check the status of their refund online by going to www.michigan.gov/wheresmyrefund.

Individuals who e-filed can check their refund status two weeks from the date confirmation was received that the state return was accepted. The status of paper-filed tax returns can be viewed from six to eight weeks after postmarking.

Local Governments: Apply Now for Competitive Grant Assistance Program

Michigan's local units of government looking to merge or share services can now apply for a grant from the Competitive Grant Assistance Program, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

The funds are designed to help offset costs associated with mergers, inter-local agreements and cooperative efforts for projects started on or after Oct. 1, 2013. In total, $3.7 million is available to cities, villages, townships, counties, authorities, school districts, intermediate schools districts, public community colleges and public universities.

For an authority, school district, intermediate school district, public community college or public university to qualify for grant funding under this program, the entity must combine operations with a city, village, township or county.

"Local units of government shouldn't wait to apply," said Deputy State Treasurer Dr. Eric Scorsone, head of Treasury's State and Local Finance Group. "These grants can help better services and bolster budgets. By merging or sharing services, communities can improve the quality of life for their residents."

The grant panel will give preference to applications calling for complete mergers and consolidation of departments or services between local units of government.

The state Treasury Department must receive applications by March 2, 2018. The grant funding expires on Sept. 30, 2018.

For more information about the Competitive Grant Assistance Program or to download an application, go to www.michigan.gov/revenuesharing.

Welcoming Class C State Volleyball Champions from Bronson High School!

The Lady Vikings won their 3rd consecutive Class C State Title! Senator Shirkey and Representative Leutheuser welcomed the Bronson High School Class C State Volleyball Champions to the Michigan State Capitol!

Tibbits Opera House Offers School Performances

Area elementary students will experience live theatre and celebrate the country's rich folklore as Wild Swan Theater presents American Short and Tall Tales. Humor, stories, and music will delight audiences of all ages!

Where: Tibbits Opera House 14 S. Hanchett St. Coldwater, MI
When: Tuesday, February 13th
Two performances: 9:30am and 1:00pm.

Schools participating include Jefferson Elementary, Lakeland Elementary and St. Mary's. Other groups, schools, and individuals are encouraged to attend.

For more information, or to make a reservation, please call Tibbits at 517-278-6029. The cost is $2 a person.

Your 16th State Senate District Map

The 16th State Senate District contains all of Branch, Hillsdale, and Jackson Counties

16th Senate District Map

Serving with and for you,

Mike Shirkey

 

Senator Mike Shirkey
201 Townsend Street, Suite #5300
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Visit my website at: www.senatormikeshirkey.com