Sen. Schmidt announces October coffee hours

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Wayne Schmidt announced he will hold coffee hours in the 37th District this month.

The senator will be available to answer questions and provide information and assistance, as well as take suggestions on issues affecting communities and businesses in the district. No appointment is necessary.

For more information or to contact Schmidt, please visit SenatorWayneSchmidt.com or call 517-373-2413.

Sen. Schmidt’s October coffee hours are as follows:

Friday, Oct. 2
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Great Waters Coffee
301 Newberry Ave.
Newberry, MI

Monday, Oct. 19
3 – 4 p.m.
Crooked River Café
7515 Burr Ave.
Alanson, MI

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Sen. Schmidt releases statement on Congressman Benishek’s decision to not seek reelection

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Wayne Schmidt released the following statement upon the announcement of Congressman Dan Benishek’s decision to not seek another term representing Michigan’s 1st Congressional District.

“Northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula residents have been fortunate to have had Congressman Benishek representing us in Washington, D.C. over the past five years as he has worked to improve the economy, to help bring more jobs to our region and to bring attention to the importance of veterans’ issues.

“Both as a physician and as congressman, Dr. Benishek has dedicated his life to public service and his knowledge and experience will be greatly missed. I wish him and his family all the best as they begin this next chapter in their life.”

Schmidt serves in the 37th Senate District, which includes Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Luce and Mackinac counties.

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Schmidt: Action needed to provide health benefits for families of fallen officers

Senator Wayne Schmidt

Senator Wayne Schmidt

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, on Friday issued the following statement on the need to provide health benefits for families of fallen public safety officers.

“This week, Dennis Rodeman, a seven-year member of the Lansing Fire Department and former U.S. Marine who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom, was killed in the line of duty after having been struck by a vehicle in what witnesses said was a targeted hit and run.

“As if their jobs weren’t already difficult enough, there is a disturbing trend of violence toward the men and women who serve, protect and put their lives on the line daily for our communities. But those who don the badge do so willingly, despite the risks and with the knowledge that their watch may end on any given day.

“In the tragic case of Firefighter Rodeman and for other public safety officers who perish in the line of duty, we as a public owe their spouses and children a debt of gratitude for their loss. It is a debt we will never be able to repay. But we must do something to help them through an uncertain time.

“Last March I introduced, and in April the Senate unanimously approved, a bill guaranteeing health care benefits for the surviving spouse and dependents of officers who die in the line of duty.

Senate Bill 218 would simply ensure that the spouses and dependents of law enforcement officers, firefighters, rescue squad members, or ambulance crew members who lose their lives as a result of their duties on the job would be provided health care coverage comparable to that of retired state police officers.

“Michigan Sheriffs Association Executive Director Terry Jungel said about the bill, ‘The cost to the state is minimal, but the message to families and first responders is priceless.’

“I could not agree more, and I strongly urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives to act quickly and approve this bill so Michiganders can know that the families of the people who take care of us are taken care of themselves.”

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New school year, new opportunity for parents to get involved

By State Sen. Wayne Schmidt
37th District

A new school year is upon us, and for students that means homework, projects, tests, after-school activities, sports and hanging out with friends. For parents, it is another opportunity to fulfill our responsibility of being involved with our children’s education.

Today’s youth have more potential distractions than any previous generation, and we as parents must work to ensure they are staying focused on achieving their goals. Obtaining a quality education is critical for the future of our youth. Having active parents in their lives has a significant impact on their success throughout the school year and beyond.

Research suggests students whose parents are involved in their schoolwork are more motivated and set higher career goals than students with less-involved parents. While helping our children understand classroom material at an early age helps improve their chances for success in high school and college, parents visiting their child’s school has also been cited as a key factor in a student’s development.

I encourage parents to make an effort to get involved and help support your young students. The Michigan Department of Education offers a handy toolkit titled, “Collaborating for Success” in the “Parent Engagement” section of its website, Michigan.gov/mde. The toolkit provides helpful resources for parents to help build a stronger family-to-school partnership, including:

  • Information about the school system so you can better understand the educational process;
  • Information about how to get involved in your child’s education; and
  • Resources on how to support your child at any age.

I also urge parents to develop a relationship with local school officials and ask how you can get more involved in making your children successful.

School is challenging and can sometimes be overwhelming for our kids. Having supportive parents who are there for them — which means simple things like making sure they get plenty of sleep, arrive to school on time, complete their homework and eat healthy meals — can make all the difference.

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Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, represents the 37th state Senate District, which includes Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Luce and Mackinac counties.