The fall season is upon us, with cider mills, pumpkin pie and ghost stories calling our names. While you celebrate the wonderful opportunities that Michigan has to offer, I hope you’re staying up to date on what’s happening in Lansing.
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 or following me on Facebook @StateRepCherry. Want more frequent policy updates, info on community events or resources for your daily life? Follow my 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.
On Oct. 25, the United Auto Workers announced a successful contract agreement and end of the nationwide strike against General Motors. This strike was announced following expiration of the union contract 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 health care. I fully support the UAW and all our union members as we move forward toward a better future for us all.
Bipartisan Work to Protect Our Water
You may have seen that the House Natural Resources Committee heard testimony on my bill, House Bill 4747, which codifies the objectives of the childhood lead poisoning prevention and control commission. This bill will ensure we are consistently working to reduce the number of children in our state who are exposed to lead, and is part of a large, bipartisan package drafted to protect our water. The following house bills and a summary of what they will accomplish is here:
- HB 4742 (Howell) Requires testing of water for lead at Michigan veterans’ facilities established under 1885 PA 152.
- HB 4743 (Tate) Requires testing of water for lead at veterans’ facilities established under the Michigan veterans’ facility authority act.
- HB 4744 (Love) Requires testing and removing lead in drinking water used by vulnerable population centers.
- HB 4745 (Kahle) Provides $3 million in supplemental funding for the geological survey.
- HB 4746 (Griffin) Codifies the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART).
- HB 4748 (Whiteford) Establishes the childhood lead poisoning prevention and control commission.
- HB 4749 (Afendoulis) Requires testing for public water supplier proposing to hook up to a new water source.
- HB 4750 (Kennedy) Requires disclosure of lead service lines by water suppliers to customers and by landlords to tenants.
- HB 4064 (Neeley) Requires testing of drinking water used by schools and child care centers.
As we wait for movement on this package through the legislative process, feel free to view my testimony on this bill here: https://youtu.be/YBkqGGWc1Cc
Wild Game FOIA
In recent years, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources 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. 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. We must ensure our policies will protect practical and scientifically sound wildlife management options.
Today, these bills were voted out of Judiciary Committee and are now awaiting a full floor vote in the House. 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.
Helpful Resources for the Folks in the Forty-Ninth
Flint Property Portal: Get Your Data
Want to learn more about your house and those around you? Visit the Flint Property Portal here. The Flint Property Portal is made-up of city of Flint and Genesee County Land Bank Authority data. For this site, the city of Flint and the Land Bank have strategically collected and combined more than sixty data points for each of the 56,000 properties that comprise Flint, more than 4 million pieces of property information in total. The Land Bank and the city of Flint maintain this data and use it on a daily basis to make decisions.
You can look up information for properties in Flint, Michigan, such as ownership, value and condition. You can also make maps for your neighborhood, ward, or custom area. This site is delivered to you by the Genesee County Land Bank Authority and the city of Flint as part of their commitment to increasing the public’s access to information and ensuring governmental transparency and accountability.
Prepare for Winter Weather
I know no one wants to hear about it, but cold weather is coming. If you want to be prepared for possible hazardous weather but aren’t sure how-take a look at this information: https://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-1564-204517–,00.html
It’s better to start early than to be caught unawares.
Looking to learn a new language?
Genesee District Library card holders can use Mango, an interactive language learning application that uses movies, music and more to teach users a new language in a way that is both fun and engaging! If you are not already a library card holder you can fill out an application online or in person.
Adult Achievement Programs
The Center for Higher Educational Achievement offers a variety of adult achievement programs for adults 25 and older. Courses range from improving literacy to attaining a GED, to preparing for the GRE! For more information visit the Center for Higher Education Achievement website or call (810) 553-2140.
Protect Yourself from Tax Scams
As the state income tax filing season approaches, the Michigan Department of Treasury is asking taxpayers to be alert and watch out for tax scams. I’ve had a few constituents call my office with concerns over tax scams, and I want to give you a few tips to keep you from falling victim to these scams.
Cybercriminals typically increase their activity in the first part of the year through phone scams and email phishing schemes. These scammers try to obtain personal information using different tricks and tactics so they can file income tax returns and claim refunds on behalf of unsuspecting taxpayers. Some scammers may also allege a taxpayer owes taxes and aggressively demand payment for a quick payout.
The Michigan Department of Treasury will never:
- Initiate a phone call or email to ask for personal information.
- Call or email to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, Treasury will first send a bill through the U.S. mail to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
- Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Contacted by a scammer? Immediately hang up the phone or delete the email. If you have received a call or email from a scammer, you should report the case to the IRS through the web or by calling (800) 366-4484. To learn more about tax-related identity theft, go to www.michigan.gov/identitytheft
Halloween Ghosts and Goodies
Enjoy treats and tricks, cider and donuts, little monsters and big fun for the whole family. From an Enchanted Forest to the magic show at the Colwell Opera House or the straw maze and treat stops throughout the village, it’s sure to put all in the spirit of the season.
Tuesday, Oct. 29, until Thursday, Oct. 31, from 5 to9 p.m.
Hocus Pocus Movie with Q&A
Join actress Kathy Najimy for a live discussion and Q&A before a screening of the classic Halloween movie Hocus Pocus. She’ll be telling behind the scenes stories and answering your questions in-person before a screening of this Halloween classic.
Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 7 to 9 p.m.
At The Capitol Theatre (140 E. 2nd St. in Flint)
The Flint Institute of Music presents “Silent Film”
Come enjoy this F.W. Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu film with music performed by Andrew Roger from the Flint Theater Organ Club.
Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 7 to 9 p.m.
At the Flint Institute of Music’s MacArthur Recital Hall (1025 E. Kearsley St. in Flint)
Book Sale: Friends of Swartz Creek-Perkins Library
Come find your next great read at this used book sale.
Saturday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
At the Swartz Creek-Perkins Library (8095 Civic Drive in Swartz Creek)
Craft Academy: Fiber Arts with Yarn Brigade
Yarn Brigade members will introduce various fiber arts that make use of yarn, felt, fabric, embroidery floss and more.
Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
At The Local Grocer (601 Martin Luther King Ave. in Flint)
Flint’s Second Friday ARTWALK
Partake in delicious food, tasty beverages, live music and the works of various artists on display throughout a variety of downtown Flint galleries and businesses.
Friday, Nov. 8, from 6 to 9 p.m.
At Flint’s Downtown Entertainment District (Saginaw St. in Flint)
Second Saturday Trivia Night
Team up with friends in groups of six or less and compete against other challengers in six common categories including science, history, geography, literature, pop culture and more. Battle it out for bragging rights and small prizes for the top three teams. Recommended for ages 13 and older. Admission includes 7 p.m. laser show.
Saturday, Nov. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m.
At Longway Planetarium (1310 E. Kearsley St. in Flint)
Black History Film Series Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
Enjoy this documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns. In Burns’ signature style the 220-minute film serves as a biography of Jack Johnson, the first African-American Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World. The documentary highlights racism and social inequality during the Jim Crow era against which Jack Johnson lived in defiant opposition.
Saturday, Nov. 16, and Sunday, Nov. 17, starting at 2 p.m. both days
Located at The New McCree Theatre (2138 W. Carpenter Road in Flint)
I hope that this information has been helpful to you. As always, please feel free to reach out to me at JohnCherry@house.mi.gov or at (517)373-7515.
State Representative John Cherry