With temperatures getting warmer, I’m excited to be able to get out and about in our community to participate in all of my favorite springtime hobbies, like gardening, paddling and riding bikes. I hope you and your loved ones can find time to relax and spend some time enjoying our beautiful parks and green spaces too!
I wanted to reach out today and give you an update on what our office has been working on. If you have not already, please consider liking “State Representative Rachel Hood” on Facebook to see updates on our work here in Lansing. As always, we are here for you. If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out.
We are here to serve you!
Prevailing Wage for Renewable Energy Projects
I recently introduced legislation that would require employers to pay a prevailing wage to employees who work on renewable energy projects, to prohibit retaliation and provide remedies. House Bill 6099 would ensure employees in the renewable energy sector receive fair and competitive wages and benefits. The folks who work in renewable energy jobs build our worlds — they are our electricians, engineers, welders, technicians, construction workers and tradespeople. They work hard to create the infrastructure we’ll rely on for generations, and it is our duty to ensure they are paid fairly for their work.
Expanding the EITC and Repealing the Retirement Tax
The families and seniors of our state are some of the most hard-working folks I come across, and they deserve to keep more of their hard-earned money. To help make this a reality, I introduced House Bill 4986 last year. This bill aimed to increase the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit to 20% of the federal credit for individuals with no qualifying children and 25% of the federal credit for children with qualifying children. After tax year 2021, all taxpayers eligible for the federal EITC will receive a Michigan EITC equal to 20% of their federal EITC.
I am also proud to co-sponsor legislation to repeal the unfair retirement tax in Michigan. Rolling back the tax on retirement income would save half a million households nearly $1,000 a year. Our seniors who have worked hard and budgeted for their whole lives should not have to worry about affording essentials such as rent, prescriptions, utilities and more.
Fighting to End the Gun Violence Epidemic
The terrible violence committed in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24 is not the first of its kind. As we have seen with Buffalo and Oxford over the past months, there is action needed now to stop the growing violence epidemic that has gripped our communities. No parent should have to lose a child to senseless gun violence. We must address the policy issues that will prevent these tragedies from happening again in our communities. I support policies such as enacting common-sense gun laws, incentivizing safe gun storage, increasing access to mental health resources, and expanding tools for law enforcement, education professionals, parents, and health care providers to allow them to act when red flags are raised. My heart aches for the loved ones of those lost in Uvalde. Let our prayers be collective and sustained, and let us take action for better laws and enhanced mental health resources for our communities.
Standing for Choice
The recent draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court would strip people of their fundamental right of control over their own body. I was honored to join the “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally earlier this month to advocate for essential reproductive rights. Medical decisions should be made between a person and their doctor without government interference, and the overturning of Roe v. Wade would take us back to a time where individuals feared for their lives for making a choice that is the best for their life and body. As your representative in Lansing, I will continue to advocate for the right to choose for all Michiganders.