Senator Mike Shirkey

Coldwater Town Hall Meeting – Monday, May 1st

Join our office on Monday, May 1, 2017, to get your questions answered on all of the relevant issues surrounding your state’s budget. In an open-to-the-public townhall, our office, along with a top Senate budget analyst, will help explain the budget process and answer questions that you may have.

Everyone who plans on attending will gain valuable knowledge on these specific issues:

The difference between the state and federal budgets;
Michigan’s overall tax policy;
The difference between general, restricted, and federal funds;
How much the communities in Branch County will receive as part of the roads package;
The increased spending on public schools and how much has been applied to retirement benefits;
How the state has reduced long-term unfunded liabilities;
Restricted spending, how it has grown, and what it is going toward;
How there has not been runaway growth in state spending;
Michigan’s rainy day fund, how it can be used, and where it is headed; and
Budget issues Michigan will face in the near future, such as Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB).

All are welcome to come and get answers to these questions as we review the state’s budget together. We hope to see you there!

Boating Safety Classes & Certificate

Our district contains many lakes. In fact, over 24,000 of the residents in the 16th District live on or very near some body of water. With that in mind, we want to share the following helpful information.

Boaters born after June 30, 1996, and most personal watercraft operators must have a boating safety certificate. Boaters can earn a certificate several different ways:

1) Take a boating safety class online at or; pass the final exam; and then print out the permanent Michigan boating safety certificate once successfully completing the course and paying the course fee.

2) To find a classroom course, go to the DNR’s Recreational Safety Education Class database at; select by class type (Marine) and by county in the drop-down lists.

3) In-person Class Near you: The DNR Boat Michigan boating safety course is being presented by the Jackson Flotilla of the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Free of charge to all boaters from the age of 12 and up. This is a great class for families to take together! The class is being held at W. J. Hayes State Park under the shelter at the South end of the main parking lot. Class time is 9:00 A.M to 3:00 P.M. or until completion. A boating Safety Certificate is issued upon successful completion of the class. You can register by sending an email to Ken Mangus, , questions to or call Ken 517-581-1029.

This class takes all day, you should bring a sack lunch, snacks, and drinks.

Free Vessel Exam Day at W.J. Hayes State Park

The Jackson Flotilla of the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary has scheduled a Free Vessel Exam day at W. J. Hayes State Park, at the boat launch area, on June 17, 2017 from 10:00 2:00 P.M. They will check for all required safety equipment and the condition of the boat. Boats that pass the inspection receive a sticker to display on their windshield. The sticker is recognized by the Coast Guard, Sheriff/Police Officers that the boat had the required equipment when checked. Boats that do not pass the check receive a list of things that need correcting and can be re-inspected when that is done. The vessel exams take 15 to 30 minutes to complete.

Boat Docks

With hot weather around the corner, many people can’t wait to get their boat in the water! For those living on a lake, it’s a good idea to check the rules before putting a dock in.

State law regulates private boat docking on inland lakes. Permanent docks or boat hoists which are left in year-round require a permit from the DEQ. Find more information at; click on Minor Project Categories. 

Seasonal docks and hoists don’t require a permit if they are for private, non-commercial use by the lakefront property owner, don’t unreasonably interfere with the use of the water by others, don’t interfere with water flow and aren’t placed in wetlands. In some areas of the state, local ordinances regulate docks and piers as well.

We will be happy to find answers to any other questions you may have.

District Spotlight: Maestro Stephen Osmond

We want to congratulate Maestro Stephen Osmond on a brilliant 40 years with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra as he plans on conducting his last concert with the JSO this Saturday, April 29th, 2017 at 7:30pm in the Potter Center on the campus of Jackson College. This is one of the longest in the history of American orchestras and we wanted to wish him luck on his future endeavors.

Tickets are available by calling the JSO Box Office at 517-782-3221.

Upcoming Activities Near You!

Swap Meet-Car Show (Branch County): This is an annual Mother's Day weekend event held at the Branch County Fairgrounds in Coldwater, MI. We have the largest show in the area with up to 1,200 Show Cars, over 100 Show Quality Cycles, over 300 Vendors including Swap and Arts & Crafts plus over 10,000 spectators yearly. Goodie bags to first 500 cars dash plaques to first 1000 cars. Door prizes drawn daily.
Click here for more info
- Date: May 14 (Mother’s Day Weekend): 8:00 - 4:00 pm
- Location: Branch County Fairgrounds in Coldwater

Riverfest Jonesville (Hillsdale County): Always held the 3rd weekend in May, Riverfest celebrates Jonesville's connection to the St. Joseph River, an integral part of the town's early history that helped make it a center of commerce in Hillsdale County. Held at multiple venues throughout Downtown Jonesville, Riverfest is organized and run by a dedicated group of volunteers who partner with many area organizations and local businesses to host this Family Friendly event.
Click Here for more info
- Date: May 19-21
- Location: Downtown Jonesville

Take our Survey: Recycling Question

Would you actively support doubling our statewide recycling rate, if you were assured that the $.10 deposit charge you pay on bottles and cans would be eliminated?”

Your answer:
Let us know by taking our simple one question survey!

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

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