Sen. Schmidt to host May coffee hours

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Wayne Schmidt will hold coffee hours with constituents throughout the 37th Senate District during the month of May.

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.

Schmidt’s May coffee hours are as follows:

Friday, May 18

Noon – 1 p.m.

Bellaire Community Hall

202 N. Bridge St.

Bellaire

4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Grand Traverse Pie Co.

525 W. Front St.

Traverse City

 

Saturday, May 19

11 a.m. – noon

Café Santé

1 Water St.

Boyne City

1 – 2 p.m.

Roast & Toast

309 E. Lake St.

Petoskey

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Audie’s Restaurant

314 N. Nicolet St.

Mackinaw City

 

Saturday, May 26

11 a.m. – noon

Lake Superior State University – Kenneth J. Shouldice Library, learning commons

906 Ryan Ave.

Sault Ste. Marie

2 – 3 p.m.

Zellar’s Village Inn

7552 State Highway M-123

Newberry

5 – 6 p.m.

Bentley’s B-M-L Cafe

62 N. State St.

St. Ignace

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No new fees for Michigan paddlers

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

As many may have read, the Michigan State Waterways Commission (MSWC) recently proposed that canoes, kayaks and other paddle vessels be subject to a $10 state registration fee.

The MSWC passed Resolution 02-2018-01, which recommended a registration requirement, along with the $10 fee for all rigid-hulled kayaks, canoes and paddleboards eight feet or longer. Such vessels are currently exempt from registration fees when used recreationally.

At first glance, this seemed like it may be a workable idea. Most vessel registration fees go toward lake patrols, among other safety measures and launch maintenance. It is assumed funds raised by the new fee would go toward similar efforts.

However, those who enjoy canoeing and kayaking often prefer rivers or streams to lakes and typically do not need a specialized launch site. Most people simply set their canoe or kayak in the water, hop in and go. Also, those who choose to enjoy Michigan’s beautiful public waterways pay for a state recreation passport, which also helps maintain state launch sites.

This means those who prefer paddle crafts will see little, if any, benefit from a registration fee.

I was happy to join my colleagues in supporting Senate Resolution 153, which formally opposes any effort from the MSWC toward implementing a new fee or registration on such vessels. Any registration requirement and fee must be implemented by the Legislature and because of the vast opposition to their recommendation, MSWC recently announced that it will no longer be pursuing any type of registration or fee on paddle crafts at this time.

Paddle sports are exploding in popularity, especially in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. I see no reason to add another obstacle for residents who want to enjoy some of the most beautiful and scenic waterways in the world, or to hinder our incredible tourism industry by imposing such fees.

An additional tax on people who want to go outdoors, get some fresh air and enjoy Pure Michigan is completely unnecessary and sends the wrong message to our children. We need to teach our children that Michigan’s outdoors are to be enjoyed responsibly. For generations, families in my district have been enjoying the water and I was happy not only to see the support of my fellow legislators for this resolution, but to hear of the MSWC dropping their plans to pursue any new fees at this time.

I hope to see even more people out on the water this summer!

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.

Schmidt participates in ‘Suits and Sneakers’ to raise awareness for cancer research

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Sen. Wayne Schmidt on Wednesday teamed up with the American Cancer Society and other legislators to bring attention to various cancers and the critical need for additional research.

Suits and Sneakers originally began with basketball coaches but has quickly spread to numerous professions. Business professionals, coaches, teachers and many others opt against their dress shoes for a day and instead choose to lace up their tennis shoes to stand in support of those fighting cancer.

“Making sure researchers have the resources they need to continue the fight against this terrible disease is critically important,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “I was happy to participate today because not only are we raising awareness, but this is also a  way to visibly show support to those who may be battling cancer. A visual of just how many people are standing with you can be the extra bit of strength someone needs.”

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Editor’s note: A print-quality version of the above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting SenatorWayneSchmidt.com/photowire. Audio of Schmidt discussing his participation is also available on his website.

Photo caption: State Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, shows off his sneakers on the Senate floor as he and other legislators and staff raise awareness for the American Cancer Society by participating in Suits and Sneakers. The annual event encourages professionals from all career pathways to choose tennis shoes for a day instead of their normal dress shoes.

Schmidt welcomes Boy Scouts of America to state Capitol

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Sen. Wayne Schmidt welcomed Boy Scouts of America Michigan and their leadership to Lansing on Tuesday.

Scouts from around the state, including northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, made the trip to Lansing to deliver their Report to the State for 2017. The report serves as an update both to legislators and the governor on the state of scouting in Michigan, scouting activities, service hours performed, community involvement and the number of scouts attaining the rank of Eagle Scout — which was 1,100 in 2017.

“Scouting allows young adults an opportunity to learn about the importance of hard work and serving your community along with countless other valuable, lifesaving skills,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “It was my pleasure to welcome all of the eager young scouts, as well as senior members and parents, to the state Capitol in Lansing. My colleagues and I certainly enjoyed the visit as well as the update on what the organization is doing.”

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Editor’s note: A print-quality version of the above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting SenatorWayneSchmidt.com/photowire. Audio and video of Schmidt welcoming Tuesday’s guests are also available on the senator’s website under their respective tabs.

Photo caption: State Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, welcomes representatives from the Boy Scouts of America to the state Capitol in Lansing on Tuesday.

Schmidt co-sponsors resolution opposing fees on canoes, kayaks

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Wayne Schmidt on Tuesday co-sponsored a resolution formally opposing a recent Michigan State Waterways Commission (MSWC) recommendation that canoes, kayaks and other paddle vessels be subject to state registration fees.

“Canoeing, kayaking and other watersports are incredibly popular in my district,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula are home to some of the most beautiful waterways in the world. Enjoying the water is a way of life where I am from and I do not support adding a fee that would hinder both a generations-long tradition and our state’s economy.”

MSWC recently passed Resolution 02-2018-01, which recommended the Legislature pursue an effort to require the registration, with a new fee, of all rigid-hulled kayaks, canoes and paddleboards eight feet or longer. Such vessels are currently exempt from registration fees when used recreationally.

Senate Resolution 153 would formally oppose this recommendation.

“Currently, most vessel registration fees go toward lake patrols and launch maintenance,” Schmidt said. “The problem is those who enjoy canoeing and kayaking often prefer rivers or streams to lakes, and state recreation passports already pay to maintain state launch sites. This means those who prefer canoeing or kayaking will see little, if any, benefit from a registration fee.”

Schmidt also added that a registration requirement and fee can only be implemented by legislative approval and that the MSWC has no authority to impose registration fees on residents. The senator went on to say he vows to fight any effort that comes up in the Legislature.

“I will not support any sort of registration or fee increase for canoes or kayaks,” Schmidt said. “I think imposing an additional cost on people who want to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise and take in our state’s beauty is counterproductive in many ways. We should be encouraging people to travel, to give a small boost to a local economy and to enjoy what Pure Michigan has to offer.”

SR 153 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.

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Editor’s note: Audio of Schmidt discussing SR 153 is available by clicking here, or at www.SenatorWayneSchmidt.com/Audio.

 

 

Schmidt calls for shutdown of Enbridge pipeline under the straits during independent investigation

Senator Wayne Schmidt

Senator Wayne Schmidt

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, issued the following statement on Wednesday regarding the recent damage to Line 5 and other underwater cables beneath the straits:

“I cannot begin to explain my disappointment with what happened last week — not only because of what happened, but how it was handled as well.

“The communication efforts by Enbridge and ATC were nonexistent. I have been in contact with my federal partners, including Congressman Bergman’s office, and there is a mutual concern that because the communication efforts on behalf of all companies involved were this poor, efforts toward fixing the problem will also be less than impressive. If waiting days for information about something so important is what we’re to expect, I have zero confidence situations like this have been and will be handled in a timely, effective manner.

“As a result, I am calling for a complete shutdown of Line 5. We’ve talked about this long enough — there have been numerous issues that have stemmed from the 65-year-old pipeline and it’s time we shut it down and pursue an alternative.

“The line should remain down as we independently verify that there is no potential for risk — including shipping or anchor damage — or come up with an alternative. Taking Enbridge at their word that everything is operating as it should is not good enough. There is simply too much conflict and too great a risk to our state’s natural resources.

“I am also greatly disappointed with the shipping company that is responsible for the damage. I’ve been in touch with representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard and I’ve been assured that these underwater pipelines and cables are clearly labeled on the nautical maps used by shipping companies. Because of the potential for damage, it is highly recommended that ships do not drop anchor in these areas, yet that is exactly what we saw. The company’s negligence has put our Great Lakes and their respective ecosystems at risk, and they certainly must pay for doing so.

“I want to thank all of the local, state and federal officials for their coordinated efforts, and while I am thankful that no environmental damage was detected, I think it’s time we pursue a safer alternative to running a pipeline under the straits.”

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Editor’s note: Audio of Schmidt discussing the recent incident is available on his website. Please visit www.SenatorWayneSchmidt.com and click “Audio” under the “Media Center” tab.

 

 

Schmidt to host community meeting in Cheboygan regarding U.S. 23 speed limit

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Wayne Schmidt reminded residents that he will be joining representatives from the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Michigan State Police to discuss the recent speed limit change from 55 mph to 65 mph on U.S. 23 in Cheboygan.

Who:

Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City;

Officials from the Michigan State Police; and

Officials from the Michigan Department of Transportation.

What:

A community discussion regarding the speed limit increase on U.S. 23.

When:

Monday, April 9 from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Where:

Cheboygan Public Library

100 S. Bailey St.

Cheboygan

Brief:

Schmidt will join representatives from the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Michigan State Police, along with residents of the community, to discuss the speed limit increase from 55 mph to 65 mph on U.S. 23 in Cheboygan.

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