Stamas: Enjoy free winter fishing this weekend

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Jim Stamas is reminding residents that the state’s annual Winter Free Fishing Weekend is Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 16-17.

“This weekend, Michigan anglers and those who have never gone fishing have the chance to experience some of the world’s best fishing — free of charge,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “I encourage area families to take advantage of this opportunity to introduce the joy of fishing to children or to just get away from the stress of life and relax in the Michigan outdoors.”

During the weekend, all fishing license fees will be waived and vehicles will be able to enter state parks and use boating sites without a recreation passport.

Residents and visitors may enjoy fishing on both inland lakes and the Great Lakes for all species of fish, but all fishing regulations still apply.

“Be mindful that ice fishing can be dangerous if people do not follow safety procedures or head out on the ice unprepared,” Stamas said. “For those who have not tried winter fishing, information is available online to help make your experience safe, fun and successful.”

For more information on Winter Free Fishing Weekend, including a list of activities across the state, visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing.

The website also includes a link to information about ice fishing in the “Learn to Fish” section. An “Ice Fishing Basics” article features good safety advice and basics on getting started and commonly used equipment.

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**PHOTO ADVISORY** Stamas welcomes Northern Michigan guests for 2019 State of the State address

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, welcomed Bob Young of Presque Isle County and Ken and Brenda Borton of Otsego County to the Michigan Capitol as his guests for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2019 State of the State address on Tuesday night.

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Editor’s note: The above photographs of Stamas with his guests are available by clicking on the images or by visiting www.SenatorJimStamas.com/Photowire.

Top photo caption: Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, welcomes Ken and Brenda Borton of Otsego County to the Michigan Capitol as his guests for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2019 State of the State address on Tuesday night. Ken Borton is chairman of the Otsego County Board of Commissioners and board president of the Michigan Association of Counties.

Bottom photo caption: Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, welcomes Bob Young of Presque Isle County to the Michigan Capitol as his guest for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2019 State of the State address on Tuesday night. Young is the owner of Young Appliance in Alpena.

Stamas comments on 2019 State of the State address

LANSING, Mich. — After listening to the governor’s 2019 State of the State address Tuesday night, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas, R-Midland, issued the following statement:

“We have achieved much over the last eight years to make Michigan better — turning around a decade of decline, helping create more than half a million Michigan jobs, and reducing our unemployment to its lowest point since 2000.

“We need to work together to build on that record of success and improve our state for families, workers and job creators.

“Fixing the roads, protecting our water, preparing our students for success, reducing the cost of car insurance, and enhancing government efficiency and accountability are all critical parts to continuing Michigan’s comeback.

“I look forward to seeing the governor’s budget recommendation in March and working with her to invest in these priorities while also growing our economy, increasing opportunity and keeping Michigan working.”

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**Media Advisory** Stamas available for comments following 2019 State of the State address

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas will be available for comments following the governor’s 2019 State of the State address on Tuesday.

Who:
Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, chairman of the Appropriations 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, Feb. 12.

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

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

Please contact Stamas’ office prior to 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11 to schedule an interview time with the senator. Stamas’ office may be reached by phone at 1-517-373-7946 or by email at senjstamas@senate.michigan.gov.

For those contacting the office after hours and who would like comments from Stamas after the address, please leave a phone number for the senator to call.

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Sens. Horn, Stamas and Theis comment on redistricting lawsuit

LANSING, Mich. — State Sens. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, Jim Stamas, R-Midland, and Lana Theis, R-Brighton, issued the following statement on Tuesday after jointly filing a motion to join the ongoing legislative redistricting lawsuit:

“Just a few months ago, millions of Michiganders went to the polls and elected 38 state senators to four-year terms. But last week, the secretary of state indicated she may seek to overturn those results by setting new senate elections as early as next year.

“Nothing could disenfranchise voters more than telling them their votes in November did not count. As their elected representatives, it is our obligation to defend the will of the voters of our districts before the court.”

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Sen. Stamas’ new office is open and ready to serve

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas is reminding residents of the 36th Senate District that his new office is open and ready to meet their needs or hear their feedback.

“The 100th Legislature has officially started, and we are already working hard to improve our state and the lives of all Michigan families,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “I am honored to continue to be able to serve people of the 36th District in the state Senate, and my top priority remains to provide residents with the best service possible.

“As part of that effort, my excellent staff and I will continue holding regular meetings in the district to hear directly from constituents about state and pocketbook issues.”

Stamas’ staff includes Brian Shoaf, Kristen Wall, Scott Starr, Kim Jamieson and Jeremy Rodgers.

“I also encourage anyone who needs assistance with a state issue or who wants to express their point of view to stop by the office or contact me,” Stamas said.

Due to his new role as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Stamas’ office has moved into the Michigan Capitol Building. His contact information remains the same.

For those visiting Lansing, Stamas’ office is located in Room S-324 of the Michigan State Capitol, located at 101 N. Capitol Ave.

Residents can still contact Stamas’ office toll-free at 1-855-347-8036 or via email at SenJStamas@senate.michigan.gov. Residents may also visit Stamas’ Senate website at www.SenatorJimStamas.com or send a letter via U.S. Mail. The mailing address is Senator Jim Stamas, P. O. Box 30036, Lansing, MI 48909.

The 36th District includes Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Gladwin, Iosco, Midland, Montmorency, Oscoda, Otsego and Presque Isle counties.

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Senate budget chairman comments on revenue outlook

LANSING, Mich. — After state fiscal and economic leaders at Friday’s annual January Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference made their economic and state tax revenue projections for the next three years, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas, R-Midland, issued the following statement:

“It is good news that Michigan’s economy is growing and is expected to continue to grow — resulting in more jobs and opportunities for Michigan families.

“This economic and fiscal forecast illustrates that we must continue making smart budget decisions that meet our challenges and keep our state on solid financial footing.

“I look forward to working with Governor Whitmer, her administration and my legislative colleagues to pass a balanced budget that helps build a brighter future for all Michigan families and once again increases our investments in taxpayer priorities.”

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**PHOTO ADVISORY** Stamas sworn in for second term as 36th District state senator

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, was sworn in for a second term as senator for the 36th District on Wednesday during a ceremony at the state Capitol. Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen J. Markman administered the oath of office.

Stamas was joined on the Senate floor by his wife Marsha, son Nick, brothers Nick and Tony, nephew and niece Dima and Sophie Stamas, sister and brother in law Angela and Gus Wojda, and niece Miranda Wojda.

“It is an honor to continue serving the hardworking people of the 36th District in the Michigan Senate,” Stamas said. “We have come a long way, and our state’s future is bright. I remain committed to working tirelessly as your state senator to move Michigan forward, improve education and grow our economy. It is the best way to give current and future generations the opportunity to live, work and raise a family here in our great state.”

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

Video of the swearing-in ceremony will be available at www.SenatorJimStamas.com/Video.

Sen. Stamas supports school safety initiatives

Sen. Jim Stamas

Sen. Jim Stamas

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Legislature has finalized comprehensive legislation designed to help keep students safe.

“We owe it to every Michigan child to help provide them with a safe and secure environment to learn and succeed,” said Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland. “These school safety measures will ensure that our schools and communities have the necessary resources, effective technology and proper training to best protect our students and teachers.”

Senate Bill 982 would create the Office of School Safety within the state police to update school safety practices, offer staff training and oversee use of school safety grants. SB 983 would require schools to conduct a safety assessment with local law enforcement by the 2019-20 school year — and at least every two years thereafter.

House Bill 5828 would create the School Safety Commission within the state police and require the commission to establish school safety metrics and review them regularly. HB 5829 would require schools to designate a school safety liaison to work with the commission.

“All Michigan schools need to have the necessary security in place to protect our students and teachers,” Stamas said. “Security improvements, training and preparation are all critical to protecting our schools. These reforms will ensure our schools have updated safety plans and that both school staff and law enforcement know what to do in an emergency.”

Additional measures in the finalized school safety plan include:
• Requiring schools to report attempted acts of violence on school grounds;
• Developing statewide training standards for active-violence situations in schools;
• Ensuring schools work with local law enforcement on new construction or upgrades to school buildings;
• Permanently extending the OK2SAY program;
• Requiring schools to report — at least twice a year — their 24/7/365 emergency contact, who would receive information submitted through the school safety hotline; and
• Allowing school boards to discuss safety plans in closed-door meetings.

SBs 882, 982-983 and 990-991 and HBs 5828-5829 and 5850-5852 now head to the governor to be signed.

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Stamas named Senate Appropriations chairman

Sen. Jim Stamas

Sen. Jim Stamas

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas was named the next chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday by Senate Majority Leader-elect Mike Shirkey.

“I am honored to be entrusted with leading the process to once again pass a balanced budget that holds state government accountable, supports our students and fixes our roads,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “As chairman, my focus will be to protect Michigan residents’ hard-earned tax dollars and ensure they are used effectively and efficiently to invest in education, infrastructure and roads.

“I want to thank current and former chairs Hildenbrand, Cox, Kahn, Moss and Haveman for their leadership over the last eight years, and I look forward to continuing to talk with them and learn from them.”

Stamas was elected on Tuesday to a second term as state senator for the 36th District, and he will begin his tenure as Appropriations chairman when the 100th Legislature takes office in January.

“Senator Stamas is a tremendously effective leader with a proven record of working with members on both sides of the aisle to get things done,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “He will be an outstanding Appropriations chairman who will ensure our state budget priorities build on the achievements we have made since 2011 to improve our great state.”

Stamas said, “I look forward to working with my legislative colleagues and the new governor to finalize a budget that continues our economic recovery, meets our pressing challenges, provides essential services and builds a brighter future for all Michigan families.”

Stamas was first elected to the Senate in 2014, representing Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Gladwin, Iosco, Midland, Montmorency, Oscoda, Otsego and Presque Isle counties.

He currently serves as assistant majority floor leader, as chairman of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, and chairs the General Government subcommittee on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Stamas is the owner of Pizza Sam’s in Midland and previously served as a state representative, county commissioner, township trustee, and in both the U.S. Army and the Michigan National Guard.

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