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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Stamas salutes area schools receiving over $2M in safety grants

Sen. Jim Stamas

Sen. Jim Stamas

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas on Thursday congratulated area school districts that were recently awarded funds from the state’s Competitive School Safety Grant Program.

“We owe it to our children to help provide them with a safe and secure environment to learn and succeed,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “Thankfully, many of our schools have already made critical school safety improvements necessary to keep our students and teachers safe. These grants are part of an ongoing effort to ensure all our schools have the enhanced security necessary to provide a productive place for learning.”

The Legislature dedicated $25 million in the state budget to provide grants to improve the safety and security of school buildings through the purchase of technology and equipment and through school building safety assessments.

The funding was part of a $58 million investment in school safety initiatives, which also included support to improve access to mental health programs and enhance the state’s OK2SAY confidential tip-line program.

Schools in the 36th Senate District awarded grants by the Michigan State Police are:
• Alcona Community Schools — $247,519
• Alpena Public Schools — $91,523
• Coleman Community Schools — $248,597
• Gaylord Community Schools — $611,741
• Gladwin Community Schools — $24,481
• Iosco RESA, Tawas City — $27,806
• Meridian Public Schools, Sanford — $581,888
• Midland Public Schools — $204,603
• Mio AuSable Schools — $16,600
• St. Mary Cathedral School, Gaylord — $25,000

A complete list of recipients is available at www.michigan.gov/cjgrants. Click on School Safety.

According to the Michigan State Police (MSP), 407 applications were reviewed by a committee that included representatives from the MSP, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools, school security personnel and the Executive Office of the Governor.

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Pettalia memorial highway dedicated

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas and Rep. Sue Allor on Friday joined friends and family of the late Rep. Peter Pettalia at a ceremony dedicating a memorial highway in Pettalia’s honor.

“The dedication of a part of Heritage Route 23 through Pete’s home county is a fitting tribute to his life and the tremendous impact he had on so many people,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “Pete was a personal friend and a common-sense public servant who did his best to improve our state and serve the people in Northern Michigan.

“He loved his family, his friends and the community. While he is missed by everyone who knew him, this memorial highway will ensure that he is never forgotten.”

In June, the governor signed Senate Bill 622 designating the portion of U.S. 23 in Presque Isle County between Maple Drive and Misiak Highway as the “Peter A. Pettalia Memorial Highway.” Pettalia served three terms in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2011 until his death in September 2016 in an accident on his way down to the Capitol for session.

“As I travel northeastern Michigan and carry out my duties in Lansing, I continue to hear stories about the work that Representative Pettalia did on our behalf during his time in the Legislature,” said Allor, R-Wolverine. “He paved the way for future public servants from our area to continue on a road of success, fighting for the people of the 106th House District.”

Pettalia’s wife Karen spoke at the dedication, which was attended by many of Pettalia’s family, friends and former colleagues.

Prior to serving in the Legislature, Pettalia served as Presque Isle Township supervisor for 16 years and as a volunteer firefighter for the East Grand Lake Fire Department for 15 years. Pettalia was a member of several Presque Isle and Alpena area organizations and enjoyed spending time with his wife, children and granddaughters.

The memorial will have no fiscal impact on the state or local government. State law requires private contributions cover all the costs of erecting and maintaining the memorial highway signs.

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

Photo caption: Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, and Rep. Sue Allor, R-Wolverine, joined friends and family members of the late Rep. Peter Pettalia at a ceremony dedicating a part of U.S. 23 in Presque Isle County between Maple Drive and Misiak Highway as a memorial highway in Pettalia’s honor.

**Media Advisory** Stamas, Allor to participate in Pettalia memorial highway dedication ceremony

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas and Rep. Sue Allor will join friends and family of the late Rep. Peter Pettalia at a ceremony on Friday to dedicate a memorial highway named in Pettalia’s honor.

Who:
Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland;
Rep. Sue Allor, R-Wolverine; and
Pettalia’s family and friends; and
Local residents.

What:
A ceremony to dedicate one of the signs declaring the portion of U.S. 23 in Presque Isle County between Maple Drive and Misiak Highway as the “Peter A. Pettalia Memorial Highway.”

When:
Friday, Sept. 7 at 2 p.m.

Where:
Northbound Corner of U.S. 23 and Maple Drive
Alpena, MI

Brief:
Following the ceremony, there will be a reception at The Hideaway, 10085 U.S. 23 in Alpena.

In June, the governor signed Senate Bill 622, now Public Act 215 of 2018, designating the portion of U.S. 23 in Presque Isle County between Maple Drive and Misiak Highway as the “Peter A. Pettalia Memorial Highway.”

Pettalia served three terms in the Michigan House from 2011 until his death in September 2016 in an accident on his way down to the Capitol for session.

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**Media Advisory** Stamas, Midland County sheriff, Midland city police, Michigan State Police to hold voluntary gun drop-off on Saturday

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas, the Midland County Sheriff, Midland Police Department and Michigan State Police on Saturday are sponsoring a voluntary drop-off where residents will be able to dispose of firearms they no longer want or need.

Who:
Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland;
Midland County Sheriff officers;
Midland Police Department officers; and
Michigan State Police troopers.

What:
A completely voluntary effort to allow people to drop off unused or unwanted guns to ensure that they are not stolen or accidently used by a family member.

When:
Saturday, Aug. 4 from noon to 4 p.m.

Where:
Midland Law Enforcement Center
2727 Rodd St.
Midland

Brief:
The purpose of the voluntary gun drop-off is to provide a safe manner for residents to get rid of old, broken and rusted guns — especially anyone who has inherited a firearm, does not want it and does not know how to safely dispose of it.

It is a voluntary drop-off, not a buy-back program. People will not be paid for any firearms they turn in. Unloaded weapons are preferred but not required. Residents should not bring ammunition.

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Stamas, Midland County sheriff, Midland city police, Michigan State Police holding voluntary gun drop-off on Aug. 4

Sen. Jim Stamas

Sen. Jim Stamas

LANSING, Mich. — Area residents will be able to dispose of firearms they no longer want or need during a voluntary drop-off on Aug. 4 in Midland.

The drop-off is sponsored by Sen. Jim Stamas, Midland County Sheriff’s Office, Midland Police Department and Michigan State Police.

“This is a completely voluntary effort to allow people to drop off unused or unwanted guns to ensure that they are not stolen or accidently used by a family member,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “The purpose is to provide a safe manner for residents to get rid of old, broken and rusted guns — especially anyone who has inherited a firearm, doesn’t want it and doesn’t know how to safely dispose of it.”

The voluntary gun drop-off will be held on Saturday, Aug. 4 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Midland Law Enforcement Center, located at 2727 Rodd St. in Midland.

“This is a voluntary gun drop-off, not a buy-back program,” Stamas said. “People will not be paid for any firearms they turn in.”

Unloaded weapons are preferred but not required. Residents should not bring ammunition.

For more information, residents can contact the Midland Police Department at 989-631-5716.

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Governor signs Stamas bill to create fundraising plates for Detroit teams’ charities

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday approved Sen. Jim Stamas’ legislation to help charitable organizations connected with Detroit’s professional sports teams raise funds.

“Michigan sports fans support their Detroit teams, and the teams in turn help support valuable services in our state through their charities,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “Starting next year, Michigan drivers will be able to help these nonprofits and all they do for Michigan children and our communities by purchasing a fundraising license plate of their favorite team.”

Senate Bill 178, now Public Act 326 of 2018, allows the secretary of state’s office to develop and issue fundraising license plates recognizing the Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Lions and Detroit Tigers.

Under the new act, proceeds from the sale of the fundraising license plates will be distributed to the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, Detroit Tigers Foundation, Detroit Lions Charities, and Come Together Foundation (formerly known as the Pistons-Palace Foundation).

“Although the Tigers, Pistons, Lions and Red Wings are well-known, most people are unaware of their charitable foundations,” Stamas said. “From supporting young sports and wellness programs to increasing volunteerism and education, these charities are a tremendous benefit to their communities and the state. These new fundraising plates will give residents a chance to support the work of these organizations while also showing off their team spirit.”

Stamas said that the plates will not cost the state anything. Each nonprofit will pay the secretary of state’s office a nonrefundable startup fee. As a fundraising item, each plate will cost vehicle owners a $25 donation and a $10 service fee above the cost of a standard plate. The $25 will then be deposited into a designated charity fund to be used for the cause associated with the plate.

Stamas bills to streamline state government signed

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed Sen. Jim Stamas’ legislation as part of a multi-bill package to repeal 40 obsolete, burdensome or duplicative state reports.

“These reforms cut out costly and unnecessary reports that provided little value to the public or the function of state government,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “In many cases, these reports were no longer needed and were a complete waste of taxpayer dollars.

“The eliminated reports were outdated, onerous, covered by other departments, or featured information that is already available online.”

Stamas sponsored Senate Bill 1000, now Public Act 237 of 2018, to repeal 16 reporting requirements in the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act. One of the eliminated reports is one by the Department of Natural Resources on the Recreation Bond Fund, which has been closed out and has exhausted its funds.

Another Stamas measure repeals a requirement that the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development submit an annual report on dairy producer licenses to the Legislature.

“This is about streamlining state government to make it more efficient and effective with tax dollars,” Stamas said. “Instead of spending time and money on creating these reports, those limited resources will be able to be put to better use addressing the issues facing Michigan families and businesses every day.”

The Senate and House measures are now PAs 237 and 287-310 of 2018.

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Lance Cpl. Burgess memorial highway dedicated

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas on Thursday joined friends and family of Marine Lance Cpl. Ryan Burgess at an unveiling ceremony to dedicate a new memorial highway named in Burgess’ honor.

“I want to thank everyone who came out to remember Lance Corporal Burgess as a dedicated and fearless American hero and to help us express our deep appreciation for his service and sacrifice on behalf of a grateful nation,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “Ryan loved his family and his country and gave his life protecting our freedom and way of life. This memorial highway will be a lasting tribute to a native son who never returned home and will never be forgotten.”

In March, the governor signed Public Act 52 of 2018 to declare a portion of U.S. 10 from N. Stark Road to N.W. River Road in Sanford as the “Marine Lance Corporal Ryan Burgess Memorial Highway” in recognition of Burgess, who was killed by an improvised explosive device in Iraq in December 2006.

The ceremony at the Midland County Road Commission in Sanford dedicated one of two signs that will designate the memorial highway. The signs were installed on U.S. 10 on Thursday.

Burgess’ mother Kim Burgess spoke about her son to start the ceremony.

“I needed to do this for Ryan so that people could remember his sacrifice,” Burgess said. “I want to thank Senator Stamas for his yearlong effort to make this all possible.”

Stamas, Ryan Burgess’ sister Lindsey Elias, a Burgess high school friend, and the family’s casualty assistance calls officer also spoke.

“The turnout for this ceremony illustrates the community’s appreciation for Burgess’ service and their continued support of his family,” Stamas said.

The memorial highway will have no fiscal impact on the state or local government. Under state law, the Michigan Department of Transportation can place markers indicating the name of a memorial highway only when sufficient private contributions are received to completely cover the cost of erecting and maintaining the markers.

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

Stamas’ graduation requirement bill signed

Sen. Jim Stamas

Sen. Jim Stamas

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed Sen. Jim Stamas’ measure giving more students flexibility to meet the state’s high school graduation requirements.

“Education is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, and neither should our requirements to graduate from high school,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “The governor signing this reform means that Michigan students will continue to be able to choose the course of study that will best prepare them for success.”

In 2006, Michigan adopted one of the nation’s most rigorous sets of high school graduation requirements. The Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) requires students to complete a minimum of 18 credits in eight specific subject areas in order to receive a high school diploma.

High school students can substitute a career-tech course or an extra arts class for one of the two required foreign language credits. Senate Bill 175, now Public Act 232 of 2018, extends that flexibility to meet the MMC requirements until 2024.

“As the economy continues to grow and create jobs, many employers have open positions because they cannot find enough workers with the necessary skills,” Stamas said. “Allowing students to count an additional applied career and technology class toward their graduation can help them achieve their goals and also help our state meet the growing demand for skilled talent.”

Many education and business groups supported SB 175, including the Michigan Manufacturers Association, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Education Association, Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development.

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