Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to my e-newsletter! As always, I am honored to have the opportunity to represent you in Lansing. I encourage you to stay up to date on what’s going on at the Capitol and continue to let me know about the issues you care about most.
In this Edition
- Auto Insurance
- Ban on Selling Vape Products to Minors
- Legislative Update
- Water Town Hall
How I Voted this Week:
This week, the House held session from 1:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. to debate and vote on auto insurance reform.
House Bill 4397 aimed to reduce auto insurance rates and seized the opportunity to address this decades-old problem. While the voting circumstances were not ideal, I worked with the time I was given to craft strong amendments. I turned to policy experts, fellow members, and my staff to ensure I was doing right by my district
As a member of the Select Committee to Reduce Auto Insurance rates, I listened to the testimony of stakeholders from every perspective of the industry. While the vote happened quickly, I was prepared and confident I made the right choice.
I offered amendments to encourage the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) to prohibit insurance companies from using non-driving factors to calculate rates and to remove the tolling provision, and they both were adopted. The removal of the tolling provision forces insurance companies to approve or deny claims within a year of the original claim and prohibits them from deferring responses year after year. If enacted, the current “file and use method” will be stricken and insurance companies seeking to raise rates can only do so upon approval of the director of DIFS, which is a department regulated by the governor’s administration and overseen by the legislative majority.
HB 4307 can be found at:
The non-driving factor amendment begins on page 6.
Ban on Selling Vaping Products to Minors
This week my colleague state Rep. Robinson held a press conference on Monday, alongside the Hamtramck Drug-Free Community Coalition, to discuss the rapidly growing public health crisis of vaping among children. I was happy to partner with him on this initiative because the health of our children is a priority for me. Senator Marshall Bullock’s Senate Bills 106 and 155 aim to ban the sale of vaping products to minors. We have to protect those that cannot protect themselves.
This month Reps. Sheryl Kennedy, Gary Eisen and I will be introducing an eight-bill package addressing Lyme Disease. The package includes:
- Ensuring treatment coverage under Medicare/Medicaid
- Encouraging the Commissioner of Health to work with health care providers and experts to develop a standard protocol process and patient notification of related symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, and other information relating to Lyme and tick-borne diseases
- Mandating medical facilities to report Lyme disease cases in the same fashion veterinary offices currently, do
- Giving physicians the power to administer high dose antibiotics as they see fit without administrative action
- Allowing access to both forms of Lyme testing and informing the patients of the problematic nature of testing for Lyme disease
- Having signs posted in high-risk areas alerting the public to the potential for contraction
- Mandating Lyme disease testing when donating blood
- And finally, a concurrent resolution recommending the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to protect the people of Michigan from Lyme disease by improving efforts to prevent, detect, and treat the disease
Upcoming Town Hall
Let’s talk water!
I will be hosting a town hall to offer resources on assistance programs like the 10/30/50 Payment Plan and Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP), and to offer guidance from representatives from the Detroit Water and Sewage Department including:
- Maintenance and repair team
- Drainage team
- Customer assurance service team
Mark your calendar for:
Friday, May 31, from 6-8 p.m. Third New Hope Church, 12850 Plymouth Road in Detroit
“Success is liking yourself, what you do, and liking how you do it.”
State Representative Karen Whitsett
t 9th House District