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Dear Friends,
Hello, and welcome to my e-newsletter! I hope you’re keeping warm during this frigid time of the year. If you get a chance, get outside for some fresh air and sunlight. It’s cold, but it will do each of us some good for our health and well-being.

We have formally begun a new year and a new Legislature. While I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season and had some much-deserved time with their families, my new colleagues and I are ready to get to work serving you in Lansing.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 517-373-2426 or by email at senjbizon@senate.michigan.gov. If you are in Lansing, please feel free to stop by my office, room 3400 in the Binsfeld Office Building.

Sincerely,

John Bizon
State Senator
19th District

Upcoming District Office Hours

 

It’s extremely important that I am able to connect one-on-one with my constituents on a regular basis. Please join me for a conversation on state government, an issue you’re having with a state department or just to say hello. Throughout the year, I’ll host office hours in various communities in the district.

MARSHALL
9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Friday, Feb. 8
Outside the Box Wellness Cafe
136 W. Michigan Ave.

BATTLE CREEK
11 a.m. to Noon
Friday, Feb. 8
Battle Creek City Hall
10 N. Division St.

Bizon sworn in as state senator for the 19th District

 
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I am honored to have been sworn in as senator of the 19th District on Jan. 9 during a ceremony at the state Capitol. Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Markman administered the oath of office.

I was joined in the Senate chamber for the occasion by my wife Deborah; one of our daughters Catherine Burtrum; and one of our six grandchildren.

I am honored to serve the people of the 19th District. Please stop in and chat with any questions or concerns.

My staff members include Dave Biswas of Lansing, Karen Todd of Battle Creek and Ben McLeod of Assyria Township.

Serving as my legislative director, Dave previously spent seven years as legislative director for former Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall. Dave holds bachelor degrees in chemistry and political science from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a law degree from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. Dave has been licensed by the State Bar of Michigan since 2004.

Serving as my director of district affairs, Karen handles my constituent cases, district affairs and communications. Most recently, she was a district relations staff member in my previous position in my House of Representatives office.

Serving as my office administrator, Ben handles my schedule, office matters and light legislative work. He is a graduate of Pennfield High School and nearing completion of study in political science at Western Michigan University.

Bizon announces committee assignments, leadership position for 100th Legislature

 

I recently was elected by my fellow Republicans to serve as assistant majority whip for the Senate. I also have been assigned three committee leadership roles: chair of the Senate Families, Seniors, and Veterans Committee; vice chair of the Health Policy and Human Services Committee; and vice chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Community Health/Human Services.

In addition, I will serve as a member of the Appropriations Committee, the Appropriations Subcommittee on Capital Outlay and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Universities and Community Colleges.

Bizon names Thornapple Township native chief of staff

 
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Jake Jelsema is my chief of staff for my legislative office in Lansing. Jake is a lifelong Barry County resident and 2005 graduate of Thornapple Kellogg High School in Middleville. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Aquinas College and a law degree from Cooley Law School.

Previously, Jake was my legislative policy aide in the Michigan House of Representatives. Jake will be my key staffer for the $24.86 billion Michigan Department of Health and Human Services budget, which accounts for roughly 45 percent of all state spending.

Bizon applauds $2M infrastructure grant

 

On Jan. 22, my office released the following announcement: The Michigan Strategic Fund has awarded a $2 million Community Development Block Grant to the city of Albion for infrastructure improvements.

The money from the CDBG Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement fund will go toward the Irwin Avenue Improvements Project, which will replace deteriorated sewer systems and expand the system to meet fire flow demands.

This is great news for this community and the city of Albion. The improvements project will make necessary safety upgrades and increase the quality of life for residents. The grant includes a local match of $223,000.

Bizon sees three sponsored bills signed into law by former Gov. Snyder in final days of 2018

 

In my final days as a state representative in December 2018, several of my bills passed through the Michigan House and Senate and were signed into law by our former governor, Rick Snyder. They are now public acts and include:

Public Act 538 of 2018, which requires an HIV and a syphilis test in a woman’s third trimester of pregnancy. This means that babies will be accurately treated, and it will significantly increase their chances at life.

Public Act 530 of 2018, which creates a nonexempt status for certain veteran-affiliated nonprofit organizations.

Public Act 246 of 2018, allowing pharmacists to interchangeably designate biologic drug products, creating a savings to customers on their prescriptions.

Prepare for state tax filing season

 
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While Michigan’s individual income tax season begins in late January, taxpayers can get a head start on viewing and downloading the state 2018 tax year forms and instructions at www.michigan.gov/taxes.

Taxpayers can e-file their state returns when tax season begins at the end of the month at www.mifastfile.org. The Department of Treasury reports that 84 percent of all Michigan taxpayers choose to e-file. Tax officials also note that commonly used paper forms will continue to be available at Treasury offices and most public libraries.

Reserve campsites online

 
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Warm, sunny weather may seem far away in January, but it’s not too early to think about booking a campsite at a Michigan state park!

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds campers that many popular sites fill up early, especially those closer to the water. Campsite reservations can be made up to six months prior to the date of arrival online at www.midnrreservations.com.

2019 is the 100-year anniversary of Michigan state parks. Find more information on our natural and recreational treasures at www.michigan.gov/stateparks. A state recreation passport is needed for park entry; campsite fees are extra.

Bizon supports new law to add qualified substitute teachers

 

Substitute teachers are in short supply in Michigan. In fact, the discipline is included on the state superintendent’s critical shortage list.

Legislation now signed into law makes more substitute teachers available in difficult-to-fill areas and improves public education. Public Act 418 of 2018 allows individuals with professional credentials and career expertise to substitute teach in a career tech education program.

It also allows individuals younger than 22 years of age to substitute teach in high school; many student teachers are less than 22 years old and perform well. The new law takes effect on March 20, 2019.

Thanks for being a subscriber

 

If you know anyone living in Barry, Calhoun or Ionia counties who would like an e-newsletter delivered to their inbox, please tell them to subscribe at the link below.

https://www.senatorjohnbizon.com/subscribe/

Bizon recognizes Pennfield Township supervisor

 
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In January, I awarded Pennfield Township Supervisor David Morgan with a special tribute on behalf of the state of Michigan for his service to our country and his community work in Battle Creek, Pennfield Township and Calhoun County.

As an advocate for veterans’ issues, we applaud David for founding and continually hosting an Armed Forces Day event in Pennfield.

If you know someone who is doing extraordinary work in your community, please contact my Lansing office so we may honor them with a special tribute.

Bizon welcomes Battle Creek pastor to Capitol to give Senate invocation

 
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Thank you to the Rev. Dr. Tino W. Smith of Kingdom Builders Worldwide church in Battle Creek for traveling to the Michigan Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

Smith gave the invocation before the start of the Senate session.

Michigan Youth Challenge Academy gives youth new outlook on life

 
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Congratulations to the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy’s Cycle 39. In December, nearly 50 students received diplomas and 30 students received their GED certificates.

In 2018, one of my sponsored bills became law, PA 142 of 2018, setting aside juvenile adjudication for completion of the MYCA. This will allow youth to find work more easily or go to a trade school or college or join the armed forces.

The MYCA serves students across Michigan and is located in Battle Creek.

Michigan's 19th Senate District

 

The 19th State Senate District includes all of Barry, Calhoun, and Ionia counties.

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the 19th Senate District of Michigan. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Please feel free to forward this on to others who may be interested in receiving the 19th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

 

 
Senator John Bizon, M.D.
3400 Connie Binsfeld Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

 
Visit my website at: SenatorJohnBizon.com