Welcome to our June e-newsletter!
This month, we are sharing some important legislative updates and other resources I hope will prove helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1792 or email at FeliciaBrabec@house.mi.gov for questions about these or any other state-level issues.
State Representative, 55th House District
Upcoming Coffee Hour
Please join me for our monthly Virtual Coffee Hour. This is an opportunity to chat, ask me questions and share how I can best represent you in Lansing. I will be hosting my coffee hour this Monday, June 28 from 5-6 p.m. on Zoom and Facebook Live. You can join using the Zoom link, or you can ‘like’ my Facebook page and tune in for the livestream. I hope to see you there!
Introduction of Safe Storage Bill Package
Recently, my Democratic colleagues and I introduced several bills to encourage safe and responsible gun ownership in the state of Michigan. Children and teens are tragically injured and fatally shot every day from firearms in their own home, and research shows that states with safe storage laws experienced a significant decrease in firearm fatalities among minors. The majority of Michiganders support common-sense gun laws to reduce the risk of gun violence, especially among minors. Our bill package (HBs 5066, 5069 and SBs 550, 553) will require firearms to be locked and stored away if there are minors in the home because no one should have to endure a child or loved one being hurt by a preventable, firearm accident.
Introduction of Commercial PACE Bills
Rep. Rabhi and I recently introduced House Bills 5011 and 5012, which would update the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) statute to expand the use of C-PACE to finance an even wider range of projects. C-PACE helps businesses fund clean energy, water saving, and energy efficient upgrades. Expanding CPACE will give businesses the financial security to make energy improvements, as it can be difficult to come up with the initial money needed for energy efficiency projects. C-PACE spreads the financing over the functional life of a project at a fixed rate. Local governments here in Michigan have already adopted CPACE measures, including Ann Arbor! Both HB 5011 and HB 5012 recently passed the House Committee on Energy and will be moving to the House floor.
HOPE Bill Unanimously Passes the House
As many of you already heard, our HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) bill passed in the Michigan House of Representatives! This legislation is an incredibly important and necessary step towards ensuring that life-saving organs are used to save patients here in Michigan. Our bill is modeled after the federal HOPE Act, which removes barriers for organ transplants by allowing organs from HIV-positive donors to be transplanted into recipients who are also HIV-positive. Not only will the HOPE Act benefit HIV-positive individuals in need of an organ transplant, it also widens the total pool of available organs for all Michigan patients. Now this legislation will advance to the Senate for further legislative consideration! Gift of Life Michigan, our state’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery program, recently went live on Facebook to have a more in depth conversation with me about HB 4521. Check out our conversation on my Facebook page!
Banning Conversion Therapy
Earlier this term, Senator McMorrow and I introduced legislation that would permanently prohibit mental health professionals from engaging in so-called “conversion therapy” with a minor. I was honored to join Governor Whitmer at her press conference last week to announce an Executive Directive directing DHHS to ban state spending on conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ youth and adults. Conversion therapy is an outdated and harmful practice that is extremely dangerous for the mental health of LGBTQ+ individuals, and I am proud of our state for taking this important step in affirming our LGBTQ+ residents and banning government-funded conversion therapy.
Justice for All
I stood with Michigan legislators from the Detroit Caucus and the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus at a conference to announce our plan for police reforms in Michigan. We were honored to be joined by the mother and cousin of Breonna Taylor. Our Justice for All plan will increase accountability measures and ban dangerous police procedures, including no-knock warrants and chokeholds. We aren’t suggesting that the police be held to a different punitive standard, but rather that they be held to the same standard as everyone else. Justice for All aims to improve safety and increase public trust in those sworn to protect and serve by ending qualified immunity and increasing accountability all around.
This past Saturday was Juneteenth, and I was pleased to join our community in Washtenaw County to observe this day. Years in the making, Juneteenth is now a federal holiday marking the delayed news to Blacks in Galveston, Texas that slavery had ended. This year’s celebration was a milestone made towards the progress of equity in this nation. The Juneteenth flag will now fly at the County building until July the 4th. As it waves let us be reminded that change is still possible and we are the ones who made that happen.
Rescission of Emergency Orders
Director Hertel of Michigan DHHS recently announced that due to a significant decrease in positivity rates, case rates, hospitalizations, and COVID deaths in our state, the following emergency orders will be rescinded effective immediately on June 22:
SOS announces Changes to Increase and Advance Service for all Michiganders
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced her offices are adding appointments to serve 350,000 more Michiganders, greeters at office doors to assist in scheduling visits, and priority service for residents needing a disability placard.
The three changes Benson announced were:
University of Michigan Museum of Art is starting to open! Visitors must secure timed reservations in advance. Hours are Thursday 9am-8pm and Friday-Sunday 9am-5pm. Please note that the first two hours of each day are reserved to those with increased risk of severe illness. Admission is free! For more information: RESERVATIONS FOR UMMA SELF-GUIDED GALLERY VISITS June 24-27 Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite
Ann Arbor Summer Festival is happening! This summer is featuring a combination of in-person and digital events until July 5th. See the website for specifics: A2SF
The Ann Arbor Art Festival is right around the corner! This famous event which draws over half a million attendees will take place from July 15th-17th. Specific hours are 10am-9pm on the 15th-16th and 10am-7pm on the 17th. For more information: Ann Arbor Art Fair (theannarborartfair.com)
Felicia A. Brabec
House District 55