Schuitmaker, Higher Education subcommittee hear testimony from interim MSU president

LANSING, Mich. — Members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education on Thursday continued a series of meetings to discuss current sexual misconduct policies at Michigan’s public universities and necessary changes that would further ensure the safety of their students.

Thursday’s committee meeting focused on the ongoing issue at Michigan State as lawmakers took testimony from former governor and Interim President of Michigan State University John Engler.

The presentation was meant to take a further look into actions the new administration is taking to address the Dr. Nassar scandal, while also discussing with Engler new initiatives to ensure the safety of current and future students as well.

“Recent events have shown us that discussing current policies and attempting to increase protections for students is absolutely a top priority and must be addressed as quickly as possible,” said Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, who chairs the Senate subcommittee. “Committee members and I wanted to hear what the new administration’s plans are moving forward. We are going to continue these hearings and continue looking at what we can do to create a safe learning environment for students.”

Future meetings can be found by clicking here, or on the Legislature’s home page at and by clicking “Committee Meetings” on the left side of the screen.


 Editor’s note: A print-quality photograph from Thursday’s hearing is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at: Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

PHOTO CAPTION: State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, listens to former governor and Interim President of Michigan State University John Engler as he speaks about actions taken by the school to remedy the injustices suffered by the victims of Dr. Nassar and new initiatives taken by the school to ensure the safety of all current and future students.


Senate adopts ‘Women in Public Office Day’ resolution

Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker

Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate on Tuesday approved a resolution co-sponsored by Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker designating March 19, 2018 as Women in Public Office Day in Michigan.

“Unfortunately, history has shown that women are traditionally underrepresented in the realm of public office,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “These numbers have steadily increased in recent years with 2018 being a major breakout year. In 2018 we saw a record number of women pursuing elected office, and I hope to see that trend continue.”

Schuitmaker joined Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, in introducing Senate Resolution 140. Schuitmaker, who is only the second woman in the state’s history to serve as president pro tempore of the Senate, said she hopes this will encourage more women to run for office.

“Since the 1970s, the number of women serving in state legislatures across the United States has increased drastically,” Schuitmaker said. “Michigan’s female legislators bring a unique perspective to the state Legislature — and we have championed numerous legislative efforts that may have otherwise not been considered. I hope that more young women consider public office as they move into their professional careers.”


Sen. Schuitmaker announces March office hours

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, announced that March office hours are scheduled for the 26th Senate District. Schuitmaker’s district director, Deb Shields, will be available to meet with constituents at the following dates, times and locations:

Thursday, March 15

10 – 11 a.m.

Antwerp Township Hall

24821 Front St.


Noon – 1 p.m.

Railroad Café

555 Railroad St.


1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

Saugatuck-Douglas Library

10 Mixer St.



Monday, March 19

10 – 11 a.m.

Mug Shots Coffeehouse

340 Water St.


Noon – 1 p.m.

Plainwell City Hall

211 N. Main St.



Wednesday, March 21

10 – 11 a.m.

Gaines Township Hall

8555 Kalamazoo Ave. SE

Gaines Township

Schuitmaker welcomes area residents to attend mobile district office hours this month hosted by District Director Deb Shields throughout Van Buren and Allegan counties, as well as Kentwood and Gaines Township.

Shields will be on hand to answer questions and respond to concerns that residents of the district may have. No appointment is necessary.

For more information, please contact Deb Shields at (269) 303-5564 or by email at