Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to another issue of my e-newsletter! As always, I’m excited to be working on your behalf in Lansing and throughout our district.
I hope everyone has had a relaxing, fun and safe summer. As we enter the fall, I am excited to share important legislative updates that impact our community. As always, if you need any support or resources or have any questions regarding legislation, state government or anything else, please reach out to our office, and we can get you connected with the resources you need. My team is available at (517) 373-8670 or MariManoogian@house.mi.gov.
Yours in Service,
State Representative, District 40
Deputy Whip, House Democratic Caucus
In This Issue:
- Upcoming Town Hall
- COVID-19 Update
- Federal Student Loan Forgiveness
- Monkeypox Information
Upcoming Town Hall
Please join me at my next virtual town hall, which is about gun safety and combating gun violence, on Monday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m. You can join on Facebook live by visiting my Facebook page.
Although we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, COVID-19 still remains a concern for our communities. I advise you all to continue engaging in safe practices, stay up to date on your vaccinations as we enter flu season and continue to mask up, especially when you are in contact with large groups of people or are in poorly ventilated spaces. We have fought long and hard to contain this pandemic and must continue to do so to keep our communities safe and healthy.
Federal Student Loan Forgiveness
The Biden administration has issued a historic student loan forgiveness plan, which includes debt forgiveness for certain borrowers and extends the pandemic-related payment pause.
Individual borrowers who make less than $125,000 annually or households who make less than $250,000 annually will have up to $10,000 of their federal student loan debt forgiven if they did not receive a Pell grant as an undergraduate student.
Individual borrowers who make less than $125,000 annually or households who make less than $250,000 annually will have up to $20,000 of their federal student loan debt forgiven, if they did receive a Pell Grant as an undergraduate student.
The student loan repayment pause will be extended through Dec. 31 and repayments will start in Jan. 2023.
The Biden administration is also proposing a rule to create a new income-driven repayment plan in which borrowers pay no more than 5% of their monthly income on undergraduate loans, a decrease from the previous 10%. Loan balances will also be forgiven after 10 years of payments, a decrease from the current 20-year mark, for borrowers with loan balances of $12,000 or less. Furthermore, to help prevent a borrower’s loan balance from increasing while they are making payments, the new rule will cover unpaid monthly interest.
The administration will launch an application in the coming weeks for borrowers to provide their information or if they’re unsure if the department already has their income information.
Borrowers can sign up for updates on when the application is open at the Department of Education’s subscriptions page.
In early August, the United States declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency. As we all know, it is more important than ever that we do our best to keep ourselves safe and healthy especially as we are continuing to navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus and is similar to smallpox, although less severe. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a sexually transmitted disease or restricted to one group of people. The disease is spread through close contact with an infectious rash, scab or bodily fluids or through respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact.
The good news is monkeypox is rarely severe, rarely fatal and not as easily contractible as COVID-19. The CDC is recommending only those in close personal contact with monkeypox or those who have been exposed to the virus seek vaccination.
As our children begin a new school year and students go back to college, I urge us all to continue to exercise caution and safe practices to keep us and our communities healthy.
Awards for the Month
As a reminder, we are always accepting nominations for Business of the Month, Teacher of the Month and First Responder of the Month. If you know a business or a person deserving of recognition in our area, reach out to us at MariManoogian@house.mi.gov!
Do you know a student who would be interested in being an intern for our office during the fall term? Have them send in their resume and cover letter to MariManoogian@house.mi.gov to apply! Internships are approximately 20 hours per week and can take place either virtually or in our Lansing office starting this fall.
Is there a virtual or in-person community event you would like for me to attend? Let me know by emailing MariManoogian@house.mi.gov!
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