This e-newsletter aims to keep you updated on the previous month’s activities in the Michigan House of Representatives. It’s an honor to be serving as your new state representative for the 15th State House District, which includes the west end of Dearborn to Dearborn Heights. If you should ever need to contact me, don’t hesitate to call my office at (517) 373-0847 or email me at email@example.com.
Michigan’s 15th District
Byrnes on Performance Audit of Department of Civil Rights
Jan. 18, 2024
State Rep. Erin Byrnes (D-Dearborn), chair of the House Ethics and Oversight Committee, heard a presentation from the Office of Auditor General today regarding the performance audit of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR). Following the testimony, Byrnes issued the following statement:
“The House Ethics and Oversight committee has hit the ground running in 2024. The review of audit reports is a critical component of our work, and I was pleased to have staff from the Office of Auditor General shed light on their process through their committee testimony. I look forward to hearing from the Michigan Department of Civil Rights in an upcoming meeting, as the committee continues to seek out ways to support the department in doing its work effectively.
“As chair of the Ethics and Oversight Committee, I am committed to building on the groundwork we laid in 2023 to protect the rights of Michiganders and improve transparency in state government. Our committee work today, including hearing the results from the performance audit, is part of those crucial objectives.”
Byrnes on the State of the State Address
Jan. 24, 2024
Before a joint legislative session today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivered this year’s State of the State address. In her speech, the governor discussed her agenda for the new term, which includes lowering costs for Michiganders, expanding educational opportunities and strengthening the state’s economy. State Rep. Erin Byrnes (D-Dearborn) issued the following statement on Whitmer’s address:
“Today’s address spoke to many top priorities that I share. Education is at the top of my agenda. By moving towards making pre-k through two years of community college free for every Michigander, we are setting our young people up for success. This is in line with how we have been lowering costs for Michiganders so that Michiganders can thrive and be successful. We are ensuring that everyone is able to ‘Make it in Michigan.’”
Since gaining control of the House, Senate and governor’s office last year, Michigan Democrats have laid a strong foundation for our state by putting people first. The fundamental building blocks include repealing the retirement tax, increasing the working families tax credit (EITC), funding free breakfast and lunch for public school kids, ensuring better access to reproductive health care, improving public safety and so much more. With efforts including lowering prescription costs, bolstering our economy, and ensuring Michigan is a healthy and desirable state to live and work in, House Dems will continue to work, hammer and nail, for the brightest future for all Michiganders.
News and Publications
House Ethics & Oversight Committee Takes Up Private Driving School Regulations
Jan. 25, 2024
State Rep. Erin Byrnes (D-Dearborn), chair of the House Ethics and Oversight Committee, heard a presentation from the Michigan Deputy Secretary of State Aghogho Edevbie, and Virginia Henry, director of the driver education and testing section within the Department of State, regarding the oversight process of Michigan’s private driving schools. The committee discussed Michigan’s privatization of its driver’s education program 20 years ago and what the shift in regulation has meant for young drivers, regulation incentives and proposed legislative fixes.
Rep Byrnes Voting Rights Town Hall
Jan. 29, 2024
Thank you to everyone who attended our Voting Rights Town Hall! We had a great conversation on new Michigan voting laws along with ACCESS and League of Women Voters information tables. From securing early voting to safeguarding poll workers, Michigan Democrats are delivering real, positive change to our election system. Together, we’re building a stronger, more inclusive democracy. If you were unable to attend and would like information, don’t hesitate to contact our office to learn more!
Changes to Michigan Driver’s Licenses and State IDs
Beginning Jan. 27, the Michigan Department of State started issuing Michigan driver’s licenses and state IDs using a new hard card design. All enhanced cards requested on or after Jan. 16 and standard cards requested on or after Jan. 23 will be in the new design.
All currently circulating cards that feature the Mackinac Bridge are valid until expiration and the last ones won’t be phased out until January 2029.
In line with national best practices and cutting-edge technology, Michigan is changing the look of its driver’s licenses and state IDs to include engraved data and numerous other new security features that will reduce the risk of counterfeiting and fraud. To learn more about these features, please see this one-page summary document.
For more information, go to https://www.michigan.gov/sos/license-id/license-and-id.
Community Conversations and Town Halls
Community conversations and town halls are a chance to discuss the issues facing our state with your legislator. Here are Rep. Byrnes’ upcoming constituent events:
Fireside Chat with Representative Erin Byrnes
WHEN: Monday, Feb. 26 from 2 to 3 p.m.
WHERE: John F Kennedy Jr. Library Fireplace 24602 Van Born Road, Dearborn Heights, MI 48125
Senior Community Conversation with Rep. Erin Byrnes
WHEN: Monday, Feb. 12, from 10 to 11 a.m.
WHERE: Berwyn Senior Center, 26155 Richardson St., Dearborn Heights, MI 48127