**PHOTO ADVISORY** Emmons welcomes Michigan Army National Guard officer for Senate Memorial Day Service

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, welcomed Chief Warrant Officer 5 Gabriel J. Ambrozaitis of Harrison to the state Capitol on Thursday for the Michigan Senate’s 24th Annual Memorial Day Service, which honored Michigan’s fallen soldiers.

Ambrozaitis is the command chief warrant officer for the Michigan Army National Guard. He has earned the Purple Heart, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster and numerous other awards.


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

Emmons supports five area NRTF projects

Sen. Judy Emmons

Sen. Judy Emmons

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons on Thursday supported approval of Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) projects for 2018, including five area projects.

“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 outstanding additions to the Natural Resources Trust Fund’s track record of helping improve recreational opportunities in our state.”

As approved by the Senate, Senate Bill 883 would authorize the trust fund to use $49.9 million in restricted funds to support 34 acquisition projects and 97 development projects. Matching funds of $45 million would bring the total investment to more than $94.9 million.

The bill includes three projects in Montcalm County. One would use $290,000 in NRTF support to construct about 11 miles of nonmotorized 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 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.

“From kayaking on a water trail to biking on a paved rail trail, these projects offer wonderful 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 Clare County, the city of Harrison would receive $300,000 to improve access to a trail network between Harrison City Park and the Harrison Community Schools complex. Trail amenities would include benches, a drinking fountain, picnic tables and a bike rack.

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

“Both of these developments will enhance the ability of all area families to enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities,” Emmons said. “The expansion and enhancement of nonmotorized trails in Harrison will provide residents with better access to outdoor family fun, and the Island Park project in Mt. Pleasant will enable more residents to stay fit and take advantage of a popular local park located next to the downtown area.”

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.

SB 883 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.


Emmons applauds Parker Hannifin for Lakeview expansion

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons on Thursday congratulated the Parker Hannifin Corporation for receiving a grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund that will help them expand operations at its Lakeview facility.

“This performance-based grant will help attract more than $5 million in private investment in Michigan and create 46 jobs, which is great news for the people of Montcalm County and the entire state,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “I applaud Parker Hannifin and local officials for working together to create jobs in Michigan by making this expansion a reality. It is an illustration of the impact we can have on improving our state through teamwork.”

The company is headquartered in Mayfield Heights, OH and is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of motion control technologies.

Parker Hannifin plans to construct a $5.1 million addition at its Lakeview facility to expand its plastics injection production. As a result, the company was awarded a $250,000 Michigan Business Development Program grant.

“Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Indiana and Ohio for this investment,” Emmons said. “With this grant, we are attracting new jobs and opportunities while also getting a 2,000 percent return on our investment.”


Legislation granting Michigan tribes access to child protective records signed into law

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Sens. Judy Emmons and Wayne Schmidt welcomed representatives from Michigan’s Native American tribes to Lansing on Tuesday as Senate Bill 616 was signed into law.

The bill, now Public Act 56 of 2018, amends the Child Protection Law to update the list of individuals who have access to Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) records — specifically those related to child abuse.

Previous law stated that any report, document, or photograph filed with DHHS is a confidential record available only to certain individuals and entities, such as a law enforcement agency investigating a report of known or suspected child abuse or neglect. PA 56 would update that list to include social service representatives from one of the federally recognized tribes within the state of Michigan if the alleged abuse involved a Native American child.

“Documents related to a Native American child should be available to a tribal entity or tribal representative, especially when there is suspected abuse or neglect,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “Tribes are sovereign governments with their own laws and the state should not limit their ability to investigate.”

Emmons agreed.

“By allowing tribal representatives access to certain records regarding child abuse within their tribe, we are creating a coordinated effort between the state of Michigan and each individual tribe with the goal of further curbing child abuse and neglect,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan.


Editor’s note: A print-quality version of the above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting SenatorWayneSchmidt.com/photowire.

Photo caption: State Sens. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, and Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, stand for a photo with representatives from Michigan’s Native American tribes as Gov. Rick Snyder signs Senate Bill 616 into law. The bill is now Public Act 56 of 2018.

Senate approves Emmons resolution celebrating women in public office

Sen. Judy Emmons

Sen. Judy Emmons

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Tuesday approved a resolution sponsored by Sen. Judy Emmons proclaiming March 19 as Celebrating Women in Public Office Day.

“March is Women’s History Month, and there is no better time to celebrate the service of women in public office and the significant contributions they have made to our state and nation,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “Women bring new perspectives and experiences to public service, and it is important that we continue to encourage more women to get involved and consider seeking elected office.

“Although women serving in the Michigan House and Senate only currently represent about 25 percent of the Legislature, it is more than four times the number of women legislators who served in 1975.”

Senate Resolution 140 says that the recognition of women in public office will bring awareness to the fundamental necessity of their work and will inspire other young women to serve their communities.

Emmons was recently appointed to serve as a 2018 Michigan state director for the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL). In this role, Emmons is responsible for collaborating with other elected women in Michigan to ensure all women in public office have the support, knowledge and resources to be successful.


Sen. Emmons issues statement in response to CMU shooting

Sen. Judy Emmons

Sen. Judy Emmons

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, issued the following statement on the tragic shooting at a Central Michigan University residence hall in Mount Pleasant on Friday in which two people were killed and the police are actively searching for a 19-year-old suspect:

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the shooting today at Central Michigan University. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and all those affected by this tragedy.

“I want to thank campus, city, county, state and tribal law enforcement agencies for their quick response to help protect the students and the entire community.”


Emmons applauds support of new dairy facility in Greenville

Sen. Judy Emmons

Sen. Judy Emmons

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons is applauding state and local efforts to bring a $58 million dairy processing facility to mid-Michigan.

Greenville Venture Partners plans to establish a 55,000-square-foot dairy processing facility in the the city of Greenville. The company is a subsidiary of Foremost Farms, a farmer-owned milk processing and marketing cooperative headquartered in Wisconsin with about 1,500 members.

“This new facility would be tremendous news for the people of mid-Michigan, especially area dairy farmers dealing with surplus milk supplies,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “I applaud state and local officials for their efforts to make this project a reality. Once finalized, this state economic development support will help attract a total capital investment of $57.9 million and create 33 jobs — in addition to enhancing the local economy.”

The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) has approved a private activity bond inducement valued at up to $12 million in support of the project. Approval of the bond authorizing resolution is expected to take place at an upcoming MSF meeting.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is supporting the project with a $500,000 grant from its Food and Agriculture Investment Fund, and the city of Greenville plans to support the project with a 12-year property tax abatement valued at $2.33 million.


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.


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.


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.

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

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

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

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

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.