LANSING — In response to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent announcement declaring the week of Sept. 9-13 as Lifeline Awareness Week, state Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown) introduced House Bill 4977 today to expand the eligibility of Michigan’s Lifeline program to help more low-income Michigan residents afford basic phone and internet services.

“The Lifeline program is such a helpful program for families in need across our state, especially given the ever-increasing importance of both phone and internet access,” said Camilleri. “By expanding this program, we can allow more hardworking Michiganders access to these vital resources, and that’s why I was proud to introduce this bill to expand this program in our state.”

Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided discounts on phone service for qualifying consumers. Broadband service was also added to the program in 2016. Camilleri’s bill would extend eligibility for Lifeline to include Michigan residents making the current median income or below that also participate in Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), federal public housing assistance, low-income home energy assistance, National School Lunch, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs.