Capitol and Community Update

Friday, December 14, 2018

Dear Friend,

Welcome to my latest e-newsletter!

Legislative Update

Each even-numbered year in Michigan, we have elections for legislative and statewide offices, and a number of other positions. The time between Election Day and the end of the legislative term has traditionally been called “lame duck,” probably because outgoing lawmakers, who have little political capital left as they wind down their final days in office, work hard to pass pet projects or a finalfew bills before they leave their seat.

Unfortunately, recent lame duck sessions have been used to pass unpopular legislation once outgoing members will no longer face the consequences of infuriating their constituents, and returning members have two years to let the waters settle. While many Michigan families are building up holiday spirit, legislative leadership has used these lame duck sessions to pass hundreds of bills in a matter of days. With so many bills moving from committee to the floor and between the House and Senate, there is little opportunity for careful consideration and the chosen pace allows for little to no debate on the critical issues many of these bills address.

This lame duck session has been especially distressing, as a large number of controversial and unpopular bills are moving through the House and Senate at lightning pace. During a single 17-hour session this week, bills were passed that impose significant burdens on voters’ constitutional right to create initiated legislation, ballot initiatives and constitutional amendments; that school administrators and teachers alike oppose as bad for students, schools and public education; that eliminate health care options for Michigan women; that actually raise the threat of an ecological disaster in the Great Lakes; and that eliminate or weaken historic and long-standing powers and authority of the incoming governor, attorney general and secretary of state (all of whom are women).

I opposed all of these bills and so many more unpopular, harmful and, some lawyers even say, unconstitutional proposals. I did support many other bills, and I am proud to continue my work as the state representative of the 48th House District. I will continue to challenge bills that I believe are flawed or dangerous until the very last vote. If you have any questions about lame duck, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

Legionnaires’ Disease in Genesee County

To date in 2018, there have been 25 cases of Legionnaires’ Disease (LD) reported in Genesee County. Cases have appeared throughout Genesee County and come from multiple water sources. While reports of LD have decreased in Genesee County as winter has set in, and illness is often reported during the warmer summer and early fall, the Genesee County Health Department reminds the community that Legionella bacteria growth can occur year-round inside buildings or structures that have complex water systems.

Most healthy people exposed to Legionella do not become infected. Individuals at higher risk of developing LD include those ages 50 and above, current or former smokers, and people with chronic lung disease or weakened immune systems from other underlying illnesses or medications. Symptoms resemble pneumonia and can include coughing, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, headaches, and sometimes diarrhea and mental changes. Antibiotics are highly effective against Legionella bacteria.

More information on LD is available from the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov/legionella.

Call 2-1-1 for Help with Heating Bills

In Michigan, we are accustomed to cold winters and the increased utility bills that come with keeping our homes and businesses comfortable. For those who are behind on utility payments or fear they may soon come up short, calling 2-1-1 will connect you with a free statewide service that helps people find and use resources in their community, including help with utility costs.

Events in the 48th

Ornament Crafts

The Mt. Morris Library, 685 Van Buren Ave., Mt. Morris; (810) 686-6120 is hosting an ornament craft event on Saturday, Dec. 15, from 1-2 p.m. The craft activity is designed for kids 8 years and older with an accompanying adult. For more information or to register, please visit the Genesee District Library website at www.thegdl.org.

Christmas Party

The Davison Area Library, 203 4th St., Davison; (810) 653-2022 is hosting a children’s Christmas party on Saturday, Dec. 15, from 2-3 p.m. Children may enjoy holiday snacks and activities. Parents, please plan to stay with your children. For more information or to register, please visit the Genesee District Library website at www.thegdl.org.

Genesee District Library Closed for Christmas

Looking for readings to do over the holiday season? Be sure to head to your local library ahead of time. Please be aware, the Genesee District Library will be closed Dec. 24 through Dec. 26 for Christmas.

 

“A woman is unstoppable after she realizes she deserves better.”

- Anonymous

I hope you found this information useful. Please feel free to contact my office if we can be of any assistance.

Sincerely,

State Representative Pam Faris

48th House District