This Hello Friends,
I hope everyone is enjoying our first few weeks of unofficial Autumn, including the beautiful sight of the leaves changing color throughout our district. Students across the district have gotten back into the swing of school and football has returned on the weekends. It’s shaping up to be a great Autumn.
This week begins Hispanic Heritage Month, a month dedicated to highlighting past and present contributions of the Hispanic community that have gone and continue to go unnoticed. Legislative session has resumed and I’m hard at work with my fellow representatives crafting and passing legislation that will help aid our great state.
I want to thank all the attendees at my Elder Abuse Town Hall this week. Materials from the presentations will be available shortly here: https://housedems.com/cherry/downloads. I would like to thank the Krapohl Senior Center for hosting us.
If you want to stay involved and up to date on what’s happening in Lansing and the district, there are a few different options available to you. You can visit the House website to view our weekly session meetings or any committee meetings you might be interested in. You can also stay updated by visiting my website at Cherry.housedems.com, following me on Facebook @StateRepCherry or following me on Twitter @JCherry4MI.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, I hope you will reach out to me. You can email me at any time at JohnCherry@house.mi.gov or call my office at (517) 373-7515.
This week, the United Auto Workers called for a nationwide strike against General Motors following the expiration of the union contract at midnight on Saturday after talks stalled in the negotiation process. I want to make it very clear that as the grandson of UAW Local 659 retirees, I know it takes courage to stand up for workplace rights, fair wages and affordable healthcare. I fully support the UAW workers in their fight for American jobs, fair wages and affordable health care and stand in solidarity with them, both as I visit the picket line and as I continue my work in Lansing.
Currently, the FY20 budget is still being negotiated. Despite the tight deadline, we remain hopeful a budget compromise can be reached before the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. As of right now, discussions on developing a road funding solution have been separated from the larger negotiation so we can focus on finalizing the budget. The goal is to avoid a government shutdown.
There are a couple of remaining sticking points, including: (1) proper funding for public education and (2) funding for and drinking water cleanup and infrastructure improvements.
I will keep you posted as this situation continues to develop. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact my office with questions or concerns.
Game FOIA Bill Package
In recent years the Michigan DNR was forced to end Grouse drumming surveys due to unsportsmanlike use of FOIA laws to determine the location of ruffed grouse in order to target those populations to hunt. We must ensure our policies will protect practical and scientifically sound wildlife management options.
Previously, I introduced House Bill 4736 as part of a bipartisan bill package (House Bills 4735-4737) with Reps. Leslie Love and Scott VanSingel that is aimed at preserving the scientific integrity of DNR studies and halting unsportsmanlike conduct in the taking of game species.
HB 4735 would amend the natural resources and environmental protection act to provide for sentencing guidelines of those who have signed and violated the waiver. HB 4736 would establish the procedure for the signing of the waiver by requestor and HB 4737 would amend the code of criminal procedure to provide for sentencing guidelines.
Currently these bills are awaiting testimony in Judiciary Committee. I was able to testify in support of them on Sept. 3 in the House Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation committee. You can view my testimony here: https://youtu.be/Ya3rF_vm-Oo.
If you would like to follow the progress of these bills and other legislation of interest, you can do so by visiting http://legislature.mi.gov.
Michigan Senior Advocates Council
The Michigan Senior Advocates Council (MSAC) is a nonpartisan group of senior delegates made of various racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and environmental backgrounds, who travel to Lansing monthly from all corners of the state to inform elected officials about issues facing seniors in their communities. The MSAC was created in 1977 by the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan (4AM) to fulfill the mandate of the Older Americans Act to advocate on behalf of older adults. Since its creation, MSAC has generated thousands of letters and petitions, numerous phone calls, and countless face-to-face contacts with legislators and other state officials. The MSAC has done invaluable work for our aging services system including the first prescription drug program, statewide expansion of the MI Choice Waiver, funding increase for meals-on-wheels and other in home and community-based services and creation of home heating assistance, just to name a few. If you would like to contact them regarding issues pertaining to senior citizens, you can do so at (517) 886-1029 or by email at MSAC@4ami.org.
Valley Area Agency on Aging
Valley Area Agency on Aging provides action, advocacy and answers on care for the elderly and disabled adults of Genesee, Lapeer and Shiawassee Counties, by enhancing lives, empowering choices, sustaining independence, and supporting caregivers and families. They provide a variety of services under 3 departments; Community Access Department, Information and Assistance Department-Aging, and Disability Resource Center and Program Development Department.
Under the Community Access Department, these services include adult day services, assistive devices & technologies, care management programs, care transitions, care coordination & support, crisis intervention program, in home services, medication management, MI Choice Waiver Program, Nursing Facility Transition Program, Respite, and Home Injury Control.
Under the Information and Assistance Department-Aging and Disability Resource Center these services include Art Therapy, Flint Seniors Matter, Gate Keeper Program, Information & Assistance, Independence by Choice, Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program, Outreach, Options Counseling and Valley Community Connect Program.
Finally, the services for the Program Development Department include Caregiver Training & Education Programs, Congregate Meals, Elder Abuse Prevention & Education, Home Delivered Meals, Legal Services, and Retired & Senior Volunteer Program.
If you would like to learn more about the services they provide and how to utilize any of them, you can contact them at (810) 239-7671.
Conversations with Cherry
Have questions, comments or ideas to share? Join me for my in-district hours. I’ll give a brief legislative update, then I’ll have time for any questions, comments or concerns you’d like to discuss. These events are family friendly and resources are available.
Friday, Sept. 27, from 2:30. to 3:30 p.m.
Liberty Family Dining
6277 W. Pierson Road in Flushing
Wednesday, Oct. 2, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
The Van Buren Library
685 Van Buren Ave. in Mount Morris
Friday, Oct. 4, from 11 a.m. to Noon
620 W. Court St. in Flint
Stockton House Museum Historic Tours
Visit this hidden gem of Flint and take a tour to learn about it’s unique history that dates back to 1872. This site has been recognized as a State Historical Site since 2005.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Located at the Stockton House Museum (720 Ann Arbor St. in Flint)
Broadway Musicals Concert
Enjoy a night of well-loved songs from American Musicals. Hear songs from all the Broadway favorites. Registration required by visiting the Genesee District Library online.
On Thursday, Sept. 26, from 6 to 7 p.m.
Located at the Flushing Area Library (120 North Maple St. in Flushing)
Flushing Autumn Festival
An autumn extravaganza that showcases all that is fall in Michigan, including pie eating contests, chalk art contest, chili cook off, pumpkin painting, arts & crafts and much more.
On Saturday, Sept. 28, from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Located at Flushing’s Downtown Entertainment District (Main Street in Flushing)
Fall Harvest Festival at Applewood Estate
A family event that will have a variety of activities such as cider and apple tasting in the heirloom orchard, animals in the historic barn, live music groups, live performances, children’s outdoor games, strolling entertainment, interactive farm trucks, educational presentations by local organizations and more.
On Saturday, Sept. 28, from 11 a.m. to5 p.m.
Located at Applewood Estate (1400 E. Kearsley St. in Flint)
Bath Scrub and Bath Bombs
Come and make your own bath scrubs and bath bombs that you can take home. Registration required by visiting the Genesee District Library online.
On Saturday, Sept. 28, from 1 to2 p.m.
Located at the Genesee-Johnson Library (7397 North Genesee Road in Genesee Township)
I hope this information has been helpful to you. As always, reach out if there is anything I can do for you.