Dear Friend,

Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! Read on for things to do this month, along with other community information.

Women’s Equality Day

In 1971 Congress designated Aug. 26 as “Women’s Equality Day,” at the request of New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug, in commemoration of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote.

Today, “Women’s Equality Day” is not only a celebration of women’s suffrage, but also a reminder of the continuous efforts required to achieve equality for women and girls in the U.S and across the globe. One such effort I am proud to be a part of is the fight to end wage discrimination based on gender in Michigan. Women in the workforce, especially African- American and Latina women, disproportionally experience wage discrimination. The Progressive Women’s Caucus, of which I am a member, introduced a wage discrimination policy agenda focused on continued enforcement of Michigan’s existing wage discrimination law, and the empowerment of female workers. As I have said before, this is not a partisan issue — two people who have the same training and do the same work should earn the same wage.

Labor Day 2017

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. Many state and local offices, including the Michigan House of Representatives, Secretary of State and Genesee District Library, will be closed in observance of Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 4.   

Labor Day weekend also has Michigan's great outdoors written all over it. In Michigan, you’re never more than a half-hour away from a state park, state forest rustic campground, state trail or waterway. Those looking to explore Michigan's great outdoors have plenty of opportunities during Labor Day weekend — and throughout the entire year.

If you are looking to stay close to home this Labor Day weekend, there are plenty of day-trip ideas. Grab the kids and head to one of Michigan's 103 state parks and recreation areas for an engaging nature experience. Explore hundreds of miles of state trails, which are perfect for hiking, bicycling and horseback riding, or participate in one of the many family-friendly events taking place in just about every state park.

The $11 Recreation Passport gains vehicles access to all 103 state parks, 138 state forest rustic campgrounds, hundreds of miles of trails, family-friendly events and fee-based boat launches. The passport can be purchased by checking "yes" when renewing your license plate with the Michigan Secretary of State, at staffed state parks and online. Go to for more information.

Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk: Sept. 4

There are going to be some changes to the 2017 Annual Bridge Walk that will be taking place on Monday, Sept. 4. For safety and security, the bridge will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to noon to ALL vehicle traffic except official walk shuttle buses and emergency vehicles. Participants this year will need to use the official shuttle buses, and the Mackinac Bridge Authority and other agencies are trying to reach the remaining travelers in time for them to modify their travel plans.

Updates have been posted to the Mackinac Bridge Authority website (, MDOT's website (, and Mi Drive, MDOT's travel information site ( The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will send emails regarding the closure to state park campground reservation holders, and the MBA will send updates to people who have signed up for email alerts. Other state agencies are posting updates on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

For more information, visit the MBA website at

Students Can Win An E-Reader in My Summer Reading Contest!

Although the deadline for my summer reading contest is fast approaching, there is still time to enter! The contest is simple: students in grades 1-8 simply write down the title and number of pages for each book they read this summer. They send me the list, and after Labor Day I will announce students from grades 1-4 and 5-8 to receive an e-reader. Though area schools have agreed to help distribute bookmarks that promote the program, this is not a school-sponsored activity. The prizes are paid for with my personal funds — not with taxpayer dollars.

Students can visit my webpage at and find a digital entry form, or they can keep track of the books they read on the bookmarks being handed out at schools. If a student did not get a bookmark at school and would prefer to submit their list that way, they can call or email my office at (517) 373-7557 or to have a bookmark mailed to their home. Remember, it’s quality, not quantity, that matters!

Treasury: MI Student Aid Provides Scholarship Search Experiences

AmeriCorps VISTA Partnership a Winner of 2017 Governor’s Service Award for Outstanding National Service Program

As Michigan high school and college students head back to school this fall, the Michigan Department of Treasury (Treasury) reminds active learners about MI Student Aid’s scholarship search experience.

The project connects students with thousands of possible scholarship opportunities provided by different organizations throughout the state. Students or their families complete and submit a brief online survey and MI Student Aid service representatives will search for Michigan scholarships, emailing a detailed scholarship report within a week.

“MI Student Aid’s scholarship search experience is an invaluable tool for Michigan’s students,” said Anne Wohlfert, director of Treasury’s Student Financial Services Bureau. “Our MI Student Aid representatives will conduct a thorough scholarship search and return the results to the student. We are ready to help anyone trying to find a way to pay for college.”

To begin the MI Student Aid scholarship search experience, go to

The AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program worked in partnership with Treasury’s Student Financial Services Bureau to collect and compile information on available financial aid resources for Michigan’s students and families. The scholarship search experience and a statewide series of financial aid workshops were developed by the collaboration and implemented by MI Student Aid.

The project was funded by a Michigan Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduates Programs (MI GEAR UP) grant. Recently, this collaboration won the 2017 Governor’s Service Award for Outstanding National Service Program.

Administered by Treasury, MI Student Aid is Michigan’s go-to resource for finding the financial resources needed to pay for college. For more information, contact MI Student Aid at, (888) 4-GRANTS or @mistudentaid on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.*

2017 High School Graduates Should Apply For Their GO Stipends

Genesee County students who graduated from high school or are obtaining GEDs in 2017 are encouraged to apply for Genesee Opportunity stipends now. The stipends provide financial jumpstarts for students looking to continue their education after high school. Students are eligible to receive the stipends for one year after high school, regardless of family income level. The stipend covers tuition, mandatory training costs and certification testing, and is paid directly to qualifying training providers in and out of state. Students can apply even if they are uncertain where they will be going to school because applications can be updated. To learn more or to complete the stipend information, go to

Hunting Licenses for Military Personnel

In Michigan, hunting and fishing licenses not obtained through a lottery are available free of charge to active-duty service members and veterans with a 100 percent disability rating. Anyone who qualifies for this discount must prove their active-duty or veteran status when obtaining the license as well as in the field upon request by a conservation officer or any other law enforcement personnel. Proof of service may be demonstrated by a military ID, discharge papers or other documents. For more information, please go to

Michigan Home Heating Credit

The Sept. 30 deadline to apply for Michigan’s Home Heating Credit (HHC) in 2017 (for tax year 2016) is quickly approaching. The credit assists low-income people and qualifying senior citizens with winter energy bills. Customers do not need to file a Michigan tax return to apply for the Home Heating Credit.  Eligible customers must have their homestead in Michigan, must own or rent the home in which they live, and for the standard allowance, their income must fall within certain limits, as indicated below:                                                                

Number of Exemptions                               Maximum Income

0 or 1                                                              $13,070

2                                                                      $17,642

3                                                                      $22,185

4                                                                      $26,756

5                                                                      $31,299

6                                                                      $35,842

*Note: Add $4,571 for each additional exemption over 6.
Special exemptions are available for the deaf, blind or those with a disability.

Customers of a regulated heating fuel utility may not be shut off between the time they apply for the HHC and the time they receive the credit. Customers who may have a shut off notice and have applied for the HHC should contact their utility to let it know they have applied for the credit. Home Heating Credits are processed by the Michigan Department of Treasury. The form (MI-1040CR-7) is available at, or by calling (517) 636-4486. Customers who need assistance filing for the HHC should call 2-1-1. Go to for details.

Free Dental Health Cleanings for Seniors!

Valley Area Agency on Aging (VAAA) and Mott Community College (MCC) are partnering to offer free dental health cleanings to Genesee County seniors! Care is provided by MCC dental hygiene students, under the direct supervision of licensed dental hygienists and dentists. Seniors who qualify are those who are 60 years of age and older. Appointments are being scheduled ALL DAY Monday through Friday; call today to schedule an appointment: (810) 762-0493. 

Events, Programs or Services in the 48th House District

Kearsley Meet Up and Eat Up Summer Food Service Runs Through Aug. 31

Kearsley is once again participating in MEET UP and EAT UP, a summer food service program for kids 18 years and younger. Free summer meals will be available Monday through Friday, through Aug. 31, in the Kearsley High School cafeteria, 4302 Underhill Drive. Dinner will be served from 4-5 p.m. and a snack at 6:30 p.m.

Genesee County Recycle Day

  • Saturday, Aug. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Flushing High School, 5039 Deland Road in Flushing
    • Flint East Service Center, 3310 E. Court St. in Flint

Genesee County is hosting a county-wide Recycle Day collection event for hard-to-recycle items such as household hazardous waste, electronics, tires and appliances. For more information about the event, contact the Genesee County Recycle Hotline at (810) 762-7744, email, or go to


  • Saturday, Aug. 26, from 8-10 p.m.

For-Mar Nature Preserve & Arboretum, 2142 N. Genesee Road in Burton

Join For-Mar and the University of Michigan Astronomy Crew in a night filled with Astronomy FUN! Programming includes astronomy activities, crafts, a campfire, telescopes and more! Free for all ages and abilities; pre-registration not required.


  • Monday, Aug. 28, from 11 a.m. to noon
    Buell Lake County Park, Pavilion 1, 14098 N. Genesee Road in Clio
  • Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 11 a.m. to noon
    For-Mar Nature Preserve and  Arboretum, 2142 N. Genesee Road in Burton
  • Thursday, Aug. 31, from 2-3 p.m.
    Bluebell Beach, Pavilion 1, 5500 N. Bray Road in Genesee Township

The ocean is a giant body of water filled with thousands of hidden treasures. Children ages 3-6 are invited to join in an underwater exploration to discover the treasures the oceans have to offer from tiny crustaceans to giant whales. There is a whole different world under the sea with tons of new places to explore. Children ages 7-12 are invited to become a marine biologist and discover the unique adaptations that enable marine animals to live in such different places from the shallow beaches to the darkest depths of the ocean. Free for all abilities; pre-registration not required.


  • Monday, Aug. 28, from 2-3 p.m.
    For-Mar Nature Preserve and  Arboretum, 2142 N. Genesee Road in Burton
  • Tuesday, Aug. 29, from 2-3 p.m.
    Bluebell Beach, Pavilion 1, 5500 N. Bray Road in Genesee Township
  • Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 11 a.m. to noon
    Buell Lake County Park, Pavilion 1, 14098 N. Genesee Road in Clio

The garden’s all grown and… colorful! Children ages 4-6 are invited to find all the colors of the rainbow in the community garden! It’s harvest time and the garden couldn’t be more colorful. Children ages 7-12 can practice their artistic skills by using the gardens to fill out the color wheel in a fun art project! Free for all abilities; pre-registration not required.


  • Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 6-7:30 p.m.
    For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum, 2142 N. Genesee Road in Burton

We’ve played hard and learned a lot this summer! It only makes sense to end our summer adventures with a celebration. Relive some of your favorite moments, games and crafts with the For-Mar Truck Farmers and On The Road Nature Crew. Free for all ages and abilities; pre-registration not required. 


  • Saturday, Sept. 2, from 11 a.m. to noon
    For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum, 2142 N. Genesee Road in Burton

Join For-Mar’s favorite beekeeper, Jim Withers from Withers Mountain Honey Farm, as he opens up the learning hives to check on our busy bee friends. Meet at the apiary in the Arboretum, weather permitting. Free for all ages and abilities; pre-registration not required.


  • Sunday, Sept. 3, from 1-2 p.m.
    For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum, 2142 N. Genesee Road in Burton

Join Todd Robinson, a mindfulness and meditation master with more than 30 years of experience, for weekly meditations on the grounds at For-Mar. During each session, you will have a chance to relax with nature while learning useful, every day, stress-relieving techniques. Participants are encouraged to bring something comfortable to sit on and dress appropriately for the weather. Free for all ages and abilities; pre-registration not required.

“August is like the Sunday of Summer.” -Unknown

I hope you found this information useful. Please feel free to contact my office if we can be of any assistance.


State Representative Pam Faris

48th House District