Casperson lauds new road projects in the Upper Peninsula

For Immediate Release:
Dec. 19, 2013

Contact: Marty Fittante

CasLANSING, Mich.—Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, joined Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, Thursday in announcing a series of road repair projects throughout the Upper Peninsula, which was part of a statewide initiative announced by legislators and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

The projects are funded by a grant from the Roads and Risk Reserve (RRR) Fund, which was created during the past budget year from general fund savings.

As part of the Fiscal Year 2014 general government budget, the Michigan Legislature created the RRR Fund, providing one-time general fund revenue for infrastructure investment. One-half of the funds, or $121 million, was available for appropriation on Oct. 1, 2013, with Casperson's Senate District realizing nearly $7 million for infrastructure investment in the Upper Peninsula.

“The roads and infrastructure of Michigan are vital in connecting residents as well as businesses,” said Casperson. “I was happy to hear that these funds, which we strategically set aside, are being used for such a good purpose. As is evident by the roads that this money is directed to, there is a real need for this investment as many roads and highways in the Upper Peninsula are in a state of disrepair.”

The Upper Peninsula projects include:

$400,000 to repair Connors Road in Alger County;
$300,000 for Highway 44 in Alger County;
$225,000 for County Road 577 in Menominee County;
$300,000 for County Road 577 in Menominee County;
$775,000 for County Road 569 in Dickinson County;
$800,000 for County Road 498 in Schoolcraft County; and
$3,900,000 for repaving US 2 in Schoolcraft County.

This funding is in addition to $121.3 million from the state general fund used to fully match available federal transportation funds.

While Casperson offered praise for the work MDOT engineers put into identifying and selecting projects, and reaffirmed his commitment to working with Gov. Snyder’s office to identify long-term solutions to improving infrastructure, he singled out the work of the District's 13 Road Commissions. 

“We had 13 road commission agencies come together and selflessly decide on what the priority projects for this funding should be in the Upper Peninsula,” Casperson said. “It is an incredible testament to their professional commitment to serve our transportation needs in the Upper Peninsula in very challenging times, and I am, as each constituent in the 38th District should be, sincerely grateful for their efforts.”


Casperson endorses citizen initiative to protect hunting and fishing rights

For Immediate Release
Dec. 17, 2013

Contact: Marty Fittante

LANSING, Mich.— Sen. Tom Casperson on Monday announced that he has fully endorsed a citizen-led effort to protect the scientific management of fish and wildlife in Michigan. 

“I am proud to put my full support behind this effort led by Michigan residents to ensure that decisions on how best to manage fish and wildlife in Michigan are based on sound science and made by those who will put the interests of our natural resources first,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba. “I encourage everyone to actively support the effort by signing a petition, asking your friends and family to sign, and volunteering to help so the initiative can be considered by the Legislature.”

The petition for the citizen-initiated law, called the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, is sponsored by the Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management, a coalition of many conservation organizations and hunting, fishing and trapping groups from across the state of Michigan. The groups include the Upper Peninsula Sportsmen’s Alliance; UP Whitetails, Inc.; UP Whitetails, Inc. of Dickinson County; UP Whitetails, Inc. of Marquette County; Negaunee Rod & Gun Club; and the UP Bear Houndsmen.

“It is time for us all to work together to stop the anti-hunting groups from using their multi-millions gained through deceitful television ads to mislead Michigan residents into approving more anti-hunting referendums,” Casperson said. 

Under the proposed law, the Natural Resource Commission (NRC) may designate game species using sound science; the NRC would have the exclusive authority to issue fisheries orders; and active military members could receive free hunting, fishing and trapping licenses. To support the NRC’s ability to manage fisheries, $1 million is appropriated so that the state can conduct rapid response activities necessary to prevent and eliminate aquatic invasive species, such as Asian carp.

The petition drive must gather at least 258,000 valid signatures in 180 days to place the law before the Legislature.

Information about signing a petition and volunteering can be found by visiting


Casperson welcomes Audrey Niemi and family to Capitol

For Immediate Release
Dec. 16, 2013

Contact: Marty Fittante

LANSING, Mich.—Sen. Tom Casperson on Thursday welcomed 18-year-old Audrey Niemi from Ontonagon, recent victim of cyber-bullying, to the Capitol during Senate session.

Niemi is a recent victim of cyber-bullying after a successful bear hunt.

Niemi and her family joined Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, as his special guests for a Sportsmen’s Dinner with legislators on Wednesday night and joined him on the Senate floor on Thursday, where Niemi was presented with a seal of the state of Michigan signed by members of the Michigan Senate.

Niemi was bear hunting with her father on Sept. 20 when she shot and killed a mature black bear. Soon thereafter, she posted the picture of the bear on Facebook. Niemi was immediately harassed by online activists.

“I was delighted to have Audrey and her family join me this week and I appreciate the opportunity to know the young woman who is clearly not only a skilled young sportswoman but also incredibly brave for standing up to anti-hunting extremists,” Casperson said.