Dear Friend,

It is my honor to represent the 38th House District at the Capitol as your state representative.

My staff and I are always here to help you with any questions you may have, and we strive to do our best to answer them or put you in touch with someone who can. If you have any other questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to call my office at (517) 373-0827 or email me at

Be sure to also check out the latest happenings on the Lakeshore and in Lansing on my social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter!


Joey Andrews

State Representative
Michigan’s 38th House District

In this issue:

  • District Events
  • Capitol Update
  • Community Update

District Events

A graphic with information about Rep. Andrews' coffee hour tomorrow in Bridgman.

Friday, March 29, from 11 a.m. to noon at Bridgman Public Library, 4460 Lake St. in Bridgman.

A graphic containing information on Rep. Andrews' upcoming coffee hour in Benton Harbor.

Wednesday, April 3, from 4-5 p.m. at Benton Harbor Public Library, 213 E. Wall St. in Benton Harbor.

Capitol Update

Dems Unveil Legislation to Tackle Short-Term Rental Crisis

On Feb. 13, In collaboration with esteemed colleagues state Reps. Jason Morgan (D-Ann Arbor), Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw), Jenn Hill (D-Marquette), Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Township), Erin Byrnes (D-Dearborn), Mike McFall (D-Hazel Park), Veronica Paiz (D-Harper Woods), Noah Arbit (D-West Bloomfield) and Kristian Grant (D-Grand Rapids), I have spearheaded a legislative initiative to address the pressing issue of short-term rentals destabilizing our local communities.

The comprehensive legislative package, introduced as House Bills 5437-46, represents a pivotal step toward empowering localities to effectively manage the impact of short-term rentals within their jurisdictions.

These bills encompass a range of critical measures, including:

  • Statewide Opt-In Excise Tax: Introduction of a statewide opt-in excise tax, set at 6% of the occupancy charge, aimed at alleviating the strain on local infrastructure and impacts on public services and safety caused by short-term rentals. Revenue generated will be allocated to the state treasury and local governments for general funding purposes.
  • Short-Term Rental Registry and Database: Establishment of a comprehensive registry and database to enhance compliance and enforcement efforts, prevent fraudulent activities, and promote transparency and accountability within the short-term rental sector.
  • Empowerment of Localities: Granting local governments the authority to enact and enforce regulations and zoning decisions tailored to their individual needs, including safeguarding public health and safety, determining rental unit quotas and establishing revocation procedures for non-compliance.
  • Expansion of Bed Tax: Automatic extension of the bed tax to short-term rentals, ensuring their contribution to local funding mechanisms supporting tourism and community development. This expansion empowers Convention Visitors Bureaus to invest in programs related to childcare and housing activities, preventing conflicts in communities and enhancing tourism and community investment.

These initiatives underscore our commitment to addressing the challenges posed by short-term rentals while promoting the interests and well-being of our communities across Michigan.

Updating the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act

On March 5, I testified before the House Criminal Justice Committee to advocate for the passage of my bill, HB 5431. This legislation aims to address critical gaps in the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act (WICA) by proposing several key changes. These changes include lowering the burden of proof required for individuals seeking compensation, fostering much-needed reform within our justice system, and ensuring fair and just compensation for those who have been wrongfully convicted.

Data Center Tax Exemption Package

An image of Rep. Andrews testifying in the Senate.

On March 6, I had the opportunity to join state Sens. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores) and Roger Victory (R-Hudsonville) in providing testimony to support bipartisan bills HB 4905HB 4906SB 237 and SB 238. These bills aim to establish data center tax exemptions in Michigan. We highlighted the significant benefits these exemptions could bring, including attracting substantial investments, promoting economic diversification and fostering job creation across our state.

Governor Signs Family Treatment Court Bills

On March 12, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed bipartisan legislation into law marking a significant milestone in Michigan’s justice reform efforts. Collaborating with dedicated colleagues such as state Reps. Kelly Breen (D-Novi), Kara Hope (D-Holt) and Graham Filler (R-Clinton County), we supported the expansion of treatment courts across the state. Notably, my bill, HB 4524, one of the bills signed, empowers judges to assess circumstances and allow convicted participants of drug treatment programs to continue their rehabilitation. This underscores a shift towards prioritizing rehabilitation over incarceration, offering those battling addiction an opportunity to pursue their path to healing.

Bipartisan Plan to Spur Nuclear Energy Generation

On March 19, in collaboration with esteemed colleagues state Reps. Graham Filler (R-Clinton County), Mike McFall (D-Hazel Park), Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills) and Pauline Wendzel (R-Bainbridge Township), we unveiled a comprehensive plan to spur the development of modern nuclear energy technology in Michigan.

The bipartisan plan, HB 4753 and HBs 5606-09, signifies a significant commitment to fostering innovation and securing a skilled workforce in Michigan’s nuclear energy sector. This initiative aims to:

  • Pave the way for advanced nuclear reactors: Removes barriers for the next generation of nuclear power reactors by defining “advanced nuclear reactor,” also known as small modular reactors (SMRs), in state law and clarifying siting requirements.
  • Establish a nuclear and hydrogen education grant: Establishes a competitive grant program that would award funds to colleges and universities throughout Michigan that establish or expand educational programs that lead to a degree or credential supportive of the nuclear industry, the hydrogen industry, or both.
  • Encourage innovation in the nuclear energy field: HB 4753 (Wendzel) establishes a manufacturing tax credit aimed at incentivizing and supporting qualified research and development expenses that are related to the design, development, or improvement of advanced nuclear reactors.
  • Establish the fund for educational grants program: Initiates the creation of a fund to support the program that awards grants to select postsecondary schools in Michigan. These grants will assist in establishing or expanding educational programs that lead to a degree or credential supportive of the nuclear industry, the hydrogen industry or both.
  • Establish a workforce attraction and retention scholarship program: Proposes a scholarship initiative providing direct grants or tax credits, or both, to graduates — both in-state and out-of-state — who commit to employment at a new or existing electricity generating facility in Michigan powered by nuclear or hydrogen energy for at least three years after obtaining their degree or credential.

This bipartisan initiative highlights Michigan’s commitment to leading the nation in nuclear energy. By investing in safe, clean and reliable nuclear technology, the plan aligns with renewable energy standards and fosters economic growth and job creation. Implementation of advanced reactors will bolster power grid reliability, attract skilled workers and position Michigan as a pioneer in national clean energy innovation.

Community Updates

MSHDA Home Repair Program

On Jan. 25, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) announced a $300,000 grant to the Berrien County Land Bank for energy-efficiency home repairs and upgrades to eligible homeowners. This award aligns with the governor’s new MI Healthy Climate Plan recommendation to upgrade homes to help lower energy costs, as well as with the Southwest Housing Partnership’s goal of increasing funding in the region by 10% for rehabilitation and preservation of existing housing stock. For more information, go here.

Funding to Provide Life-Changing Career Pathways Through Registered Apprenticeships

On Feb. 14, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity awarded over $1 million in competitive grants to organizations. These grants aim to create transformative career pathways through Registered Apprenticeships, especially for underrepresented individuals, including Michigan English language learners and those without a high school diploma or recognized equivalency.

Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, Van Buren, serving Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties, has been awarded $400,000.

More information is available at

EGLE Awards Clean Water State Revolving Fund Grant to the City of Benton Harbor

On March 19, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced that Benton Harbor has been awarded a Clean Water State Revolving Fund Grant totaling more than $19 million.

This program offers low-interest loans to municipalities for building water pollution control facilities. These loans enable communities to receive grants, significantly reducing loan balances for essential water infrastructure projects. These include wastewater treatment upgrades, elimination of combined sewer system overflows, pumping station improvements and nonpoint source pollution projects aimed at reducing nutrient and contaminant runoff to waterways.