Emmons offers free tax preparation guide online

LANSING, Mich. — Getting ready to file your state tax forms and want to know if there were any changes for the 2017 tax year? Need a copy of the forms?

To meet your needs, Sen. Judy Emmons has announced that residents of Clare, Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta and Montcalm counties can download a free taxpayer’s guide from her website.

The Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide 2018 is a reference for the 2017 tax year and is designed to help residents prepare their state tax returns. The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018 and does not affect individual income taxes for 2017.

“When filling out your tax return or paying your property taxes, it is important to be accurate and thorough,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “I am pleased to offer this useful taxpayer guide on my website. I encourage constituents of the 33rd Senate District to use this resource to help take some of the confusion out of filing state tax returns and paying property taxes.”

The booklet contains information on Michigan’s income tax, property taxes and tax credits. Included is a year-long listing of important property tax dates and deadlines as well as copies of the most commonly used tax forms. The guide also features addresses, phone numbers and email information for obtaining state agency tax assistance.

Emmons added that the guide is meant as a helpful resource and not as a substitute for Michigan Department of Treasury tax instruction booklets.

Free copies of the Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide 2018 may be downloaded by visiting www.SenatorJudyEmmons.com/Publications.

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Emmons, Hauck honor Sacred Heart Academy girls and boys cross country teams

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons and Rep. Roger Hauck on Thursday welcomed the Sacred Heart Academy girls and boys cross country teams to the Michigan Senate. The teams were recognized during session for sweeping the 2017 Division 4 state championships.

“The achievements of both of these teams are great examples of what can be accomplished through hard work and a commitment to each other,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “These remarkable student-athletes exemplify teamwork — both earning their championships by significant margins. For the girls, this is their third consecutive title, once again won with all five runners finishing in the top 30.

“It is my honor to recognize the tremendous success of these young men and women and the contributions of their coaches and parents.”

Emmons presented Head Coach Mark Zitzelsberger and both teams with a special tribute signed by the senator; Gov. Rick Snyder; Lt. Gov. Brian Calley; and Hauck, R-Union Township.

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Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting www.SenatorJudyEmmons.com/photowire.

Video of the Senate presentation will be available at www.SenatorJudyEmmons.com/video.

Photo caption: Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, and Rep. Roger Hauck, R-Union Township, presented a special tribute to the Sacred Heart Academy girls and boys cross country teams for sweeping the 2017 Division 4 state championships. Emmons presented the tribute to Head Coach Mark Zitzelsberger (center) during Senate session on Thursday. The tribute is signed by Emmons, Hauck, Gov. Rick Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.

**Media Advisory** Sen. Emmons available for comments following 2018 State of the State address

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, will be available for comments following the governor’s 2018 State of the State address on Tuesday.

Who:
Sen. Judy Emmons, chair of the Senate Families, Seniors and Human Services Committee.

What:
Reaction and comments following the governor’s State of the State address.

When:
Immediately following the address, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Where:
By phone or in:
House Appropriations Room
Third floor
State Capitol
Lansing

Brief:
Emmons will be available following the State of the State address for comments on state issues mentioned by the governor in the address.

Please call Emmons at (517) 896-7638 prior to 5 p.m. on Jan. 23 to schedule an interview time with the senator.

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Sen. Judy Emmons appointed state director for National Foundation for Women Legislators

Sen. Judy Emmons

Sen. Judy Emmons

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons has been selected to serve in leadership for the nation’s oldest nonpartisan organization addressing the needs of elected women at all levels of government.

Emmons was recently appointed to serve as a 2018 Michigan state director for the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL).

“It is an honor to serve in leadership for an outstanding organization dedicated to finding new and innovative solutions to real-world, everyday problems,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “As more women enter public service, I will work to make sure they have the support, knowledge and resources to be successful.”

Elected women from across the country will gather in Washington, D.C. Nov. 13-17 for NFWL’s 2018 Annual Conference. During the conference, elected women attendees will identify effective solutions to some of the nation’s most timely and pressing issues. Fostering a nonpartisan environment that encourages dialogue and the sharing of information and experiences, women leaders are able to build coalitions, share the concerns of their constituents, and identify out-of-the-box solutions to the most pertinent issues facing their communities today.

As a state director, Emmons will be responsible for collaborating with other elected women in Michigan to ensure all elected women have access to NFWL’s top-quality resources. NFWL state directors also have exclusive access to leadership training resources so they can better serve as state leaders.

“We are so proud Judy Emmons has accepted a leadership position in our foundation,” said Jody Thomas, NFWL’s executive director. “NFWL’s emphasis for 2018 is leadership, and Judy exemplifies this theme. She will play a key role in aiding elected women in Michigan as we continue to grow as an organization.”

Emmons begins serving in her new position immediately and will hold this office through the end of 2018.

Through annual educational and networking events, the National Foundation for Women Legislators supports elected women from all levels of governance. As a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFWL does not take ideological positions on public policy issues, but rather serves as a forum for women legislators to be empowered through information and experience. For more information, visit www.womenlegislators.org.

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Emmons applauds four area projects in NRTF board recommendations

Sen. Judy Emmons

Sen. Judy Emmons

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons applauded the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) board for including four area trail projects in its list of development and land acquisition recommendations for 2018.

“Making Michigan a better place to live, work and raise a family can also help us attract new talent and jobs to our region,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “These trail projects would be wonderful additions to the Natural Resources Trust Fund’s track record of helping improve recreational opportunities in our state.”

The plan approved by the NRTF board includes three projects in Montcalm County. One would use $290,000 in NRTF support to construct about 11 miles of non-motorized Fred Meijer River Valley Rail Trail from the Ionia-Kent county line to the completed sections north and south of Belding and to Greenville, where it will connect to the existing Fred Meijer Flat River Trail.

The second project would use $99,900 to build trailhead facilities for the Flat River Water Trail. The project includes parking and accessible canoe/kayak launches. One launch will be located in Jackson’s Landing Park in Greenville and the other will be about 10 miles downstream at Central Riverside Park in Belding.

A third project includes $300,000 to improve a 29-mile long trail segment of the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park through Montcalm County from Big Rapids in Mecosta County to Sand Lake from dirt surface to asphalt pavement. The 92-mile long trail stretches from Comstock Park to Cadillac with over half of the trail improved with asphalt surfacing.

“Whether it is kayaking on a water trail or biking on a paved rail trail, these projects offer tremendous options for residents to enjoy Michigan’s great outdoors,” Emmons said. “The scenic White Pine Trail offers residents and visitors a unique chance to have fun outdoors and see the small-town charm that makes our state such a great place to live. The project will create a safer, more accessible surface for everyone while also helping attract more tourists and economic development to the communities along the trail corridor.”

In Isabella County, Mt. Pleasant would receive $153,000 for an Island Park Fitness Trail and bridge project, which would include an 8-foot wide accessible path, fitness stations and replacement of the 28-year-old pedestrian bridge between Island Park and Pickens Park. The trail improvements will complete the mile loop within Island Park.

“These developments will enhance the ability of all area families to enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities,” Emmons said. “The Island Park project will enable even more residents to stay fit and take advantage of a popular local park located right next to downtown Mt. Pleasant.”

The NRTF is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights. The trust fund is constitutionally restricted for natural resources improvements and land acquisitions across the state.

The NRTF board’s recommendations for projects in 2018 will now head to the Legislature for review as part of the budget process.

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Emmons applauds Harrison for earning grant for downtown park project

Sen. Judy Emmons

Sen. Judy Emmons

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons on Friday congratulated the city of Harrison for earning a state grant to enhance its downtown area.

The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) has approved a $281,800 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for infrastructure improvements needed for the Downtown Square Park project.

“Helping revitalize our downtowns is about helping communities attract new jobs and economic opportunities,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “This is great news for the people of Harrison, and I applaud the local leaders for their hard work to make this project a reality. The addition of the downtown park will help Harrison bring new visitors to the downtown area and stimulate private investment and economic growth.”

The city plans to construct a town square park in the downtown that will consist of many outdoor recreational and seasonable activities for all ages, including a band shell, sitting area for entertainment events, a splash pad for summer, and an ice rink for winter.

The city of Harrison will contribute $236,875 toward the project.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, on behalf of the MSF, administers the CDBG program, which utilizes funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Each year, Michigan receives approximately $30 million in federal CDBG funds for various projects throughout the state.

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Emmons applauds state grant for downtown Alma renovation

Sen. Judy Emmons

Sen. Judy Emmons

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons on Tuesday congratulated Alma College and Alma Opera Block, LLC for earning a state grant to transform some existing buildings in downtown Alma into residential housing.

“This is outstanding news for Alma residents and Alma College students,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “This performance-based grant will help us accomplish two goals: Revitalization of our communities and enhance the ability of our colleges to prepare Michigan students for success.”

The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approved a $1.5 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant to Alma College and Alma Opera Block, LLC to redevelop the Wright Opera Block in downtown Alma.

The renovated buildings will offer residential housing for Alma College students and include space for retail or commercial businesses on the first floor.

“The grant will pave the way for a total capital investment of $5.2 million in downtown Alma, create more than 40 full-time jobs and put historic buildings back to productive use as student housing and retail space,” Emmons said. “I applaud the local leaders for working together with Alma College and state officials to make this exciting opportunity a reality.”

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**PHOTO ADVISORY** Sen. Emmons welcomes Greenville pastor to Capitol

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, welcomed the Rev. Bob Winter and his wife Anne to the Michigan Capitol on Thursday. Winter serves as pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Greenville and delivered the invocation before Senate session.

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Editor’s note: The above photographs of Emmons with Winter are available by clicking on the images or by visiting www.SenatorJudyEmmons.com/Photowire.

Video of Winter’s invocation will be available later at www.SenatorJudyEmmons.com/Video.

Emmons applauds Merrill Technologies Group for investment in Alma and Saginaw

Sen. Judy Emmons

Sen. Judy Emmons

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons on Thursday congratulated Merrill Technologies Group for being awarded a grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) to help expand their operations in Alma and Saginaw.

“This is great news for the communities of Alma and Saginaw and for the entire region,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “As a result of this performance-based grant, mid-Michigan will see $3.75 million in private investment and the creation of more than 100 jobs.

“I applaud the Merrill Technologies Group for its continued dedication to our state and the local and state officials who worked together to bring these new opportunities to Michigan.”

Merrill Technologies Group offers engineering design, machining, fabricating and integration manufacturing services for a wide variety of industries, including defense and alternative energy companies.

The company’s Merrill Fabricators business unit, located in Alma, has been awarded a new contract to manufacture and paint high-speed rail car shells and plans to expand its existing operations in Alma and Saginaw.

In support of the project, the company will receive a $408,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. Michigan was chosen over a competing site in Indiana.

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Emmons supports area projects in Natural Resources Trust Fund bill

Sen. Judy Emmons

Sen. Judy Emmons

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons supported three area projects in the Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) bill signed by the governor on Thursday.

“Making Michigan a better place to live, work and raise a family can also help us attract new talent and jobs to our region,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “For 40 years, the Natural Resources Trust Fund has helped us achieve these goals by improving our parks and recreational opportunities and enhancing people’s enjoyment of Michigan’s great outdoors.”

Senate Bill 76 authorizes the trust fund to support 27 acquisition projects and 87 development projects. Matching funds of $40.1 million bring the total investment to more than $87.7 million.

The bill uses $228,400 to improve the Lake Station Trailhead on the Pere Marquette Rail Trail in Clare County and $296,000 to make improvements at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Stanton, which will serve as a trailhead for the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail.

“Both of these trailhead projects will better enable residents to spend quality time outdoors with their families and give outdoor enthusiasts more access to the trails for walking and biking,” Emmons said. “The veteran’s park development includes adding maps, exercise stations, bike racks and a bike repair station for people to use; and the Lake Station project will highlight the area’s historic railway depot building and nearby coal tower as part of a four-season trailhead.”

SB 76 also directs $300,000 into construction of 11.8 miles of asphalt pathway as part of the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park from Leroy to Reed City.

“The project continues an effort to create a safe and accessible trail connecting nearly three dozen communities from Cadillac to Grand Rapids,” Emmons said. “This scenic rail trail is a wonderful asset to West Michigan — offering residents and visitors a unique chance to enjoy the outdoors and see the small-town charm that makes our state so great.”

The NRTF is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights. The trust fund is constitutionally restricted for natural resources improvements and land acquisitions across the state.

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