I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed the company of their family and friends! The House was back in session this week after an in-district work period. It continues to be a pleasure to serve and represent you 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.
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.
Budget Supplemental Passes House; Awaiting Senate, Governor
This week, the House voted to supplement the budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year by restoring funding to critical needs such as the School Aid Fund, education and healthcare. After an unusually long and difficult budget process, this is a positive step.
I have heard from many residents of the 49th House District who were concerned about funding for programs to support PFAS monitoring, public charter schools and lead abatement. Funding for these items and more will be available through Senate Bill 152 and Senate Bill 154.
These two bills ensure that our departments can fund important programs without risking basic financial stability and ability to operate.
Some highlights from these bills include:
County Jail Reimbursement Program: Provides $14.8 million in funding for the County Jail Reimbursement Program, which reimburses counties for housing eligible felons, who otherwise may have been sentenced to prison, in county jails.
PFAS and Emerging Contaminants: Provides funding for a one-time appropriation of $15 million for PFAS monitoring and testing. At least $4 million would be allocated for grants to municipal airports for costs related to PFAS monitoring and additional testing of wells.
Healthy Homes and Lead Abatement: Provides $4.5 million in funding for the Healthy Homes line item to support public health initiatives related to the revised lead and copper rules including education and outreach, drinking water investigations in communities with lead level exceedances, and distribution of water filters.
County Veteran Service Fund: Provides $4 million in funds for grants to eligible counties for veteran services to include advocacy, advice, and assistance with obtaining eligible veterans benefits.
Public School Academies Foundation Allowance Increase: Funds $35 million to provide public school academies with an increase of $240 per pupil, equivalent to other school districts. The foundation allowance would increase 3.0 percent, from $7,871 to $8,111.
We need to work together as Michiganders to ensure that our state is fiscally stable and that we support our families and communities. . This supplemental is a good step toward agreement after an abnormally long budget process. For more budget updates, follow my Facebook page @StateRepCherry, or visit the House Fiscal Agency webpage here. There, you’ll find the most updated information on the budget process.
Work Requirements for Healthy Michigan Start Next Month
Beginning January 2020, some Michiganders who qualify for health care under Healthy Michigan will be required to report work and related activities to keep their health care. Individuals required to report their work hours should have received information earlier this fall, but here is what you need to know.
One or more of the following work or activities qualifies toward the 80-hour per month work requirement:
- Having a job or income;
- Being a student;
- Looking for a job;
- Volunteering (this activity can only be used for three months, either consecutively or nonconsecutively, each calendar year);
- Doing job training;
- Participating in a tribal employment program;
- Participating in rehab (substance abuse);
- Doing vocational training; or,
- Doing an internship.
- Individuals enrolled in Healthy Michigan plans will have until the end of the month to report hours for the previous month. It is important to know that those who fail to report for three months in a calendar year may lose coverage.
Some individuals may qualify for an exemption through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Exemptions include but are not limited to pregnancy, medical frailty and status as a full-time student.
For the full list of exemptions, visit the Healthy Michigan website. If you or someone you know might qualify for an exemption, download the exemption application.
Accessible, affordable healthcare is a human right. I continue to work with my colleagues make sure every Michigander has access to quality, affordable health care coverage they can depend on. If you need additional assistance with these work requirements or any other question, my staff and I are also happy to help direct you to the right experts and resources.
Helpful Resources for the Folks in the 49th
Free/Reduced Care Dental Directory
To help connect underserved patients with oral health care, the Michigan Dental Association has created a directory of dental clinics throughout the state. The Free/Reduced Care Dental Programs Directory will help you and your family find clinics where they can receive free or discounted dental care.
Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools Health Centers
There are 11 RAHS school-based health centers in Genesee County and Washtenaw County. You can contact your nearest RAHS health center to find out how they can help you and your student stay healthy! RAHS centers are open to all school age youth up to 21 years old. You don’t need to be a registered student of the school to receive services. The RAHS centers accept insured and uninsured patients, regardless of your ability to pay.
The Genesee County Action Resource Department (CARD)
The Genesee County Action Resource Department (CARD) is a great resource for folks in the 49th. CARD can help you with everything from finding decent housing that works for your budget to finding gainful employment. They can be a fantastic resource for people trying to get back on track. Whether it’s a place to stay or job training, they can provide the resources you need to reach your goals! For more information call (810) 232-2185 or visit their website.
White Christmas at the Capitol Theatre
Visit Flint’s Capitol Theatre this holiday season and enjoy a festive movie on a big screen. White Christmas is about some WW2 vets-turned-entertainers scheme to help a retired general with his strapped New England inn by putting on a big musical show with the help of their army buddies and a singing sister act. Recommended for families of all ages. For more information and a schedule of upcoming events at The Capitol Theatre visit capitoltheatre.com.
When: Wednesday, Dec. 18, 7 – 9 p.m.
Where: The Capitol Theatre, 140 E. 2nd St. in Flint
Tour Your Town: Visit Stockton House!
Stockton House was constructed in 1872 by Thomas and Maria Stockton. In 1920, the grandson of Thomas and Maria sold the property to the Archdiocese of Detroit for the establishment of a hospital, to be operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Then, in 2002, the house was purchased by For Flint Investments. It was renovated in 2005 and designated as a Michigan Historical Site and State Historical Marker. Visit this hidden gem of Flint and learn about its unique history.
When: Saturday, Dec. 21, 1 – 4 p.m.
Where: Stockton House Museum, 720 Ann Arbor St. in Flint
Story Time with Miss Nancy at Mt. Morris Library
Bring the kids and join the ever-animated Miss Nancy for stories, songs and dance at Mount Morris Library. No registration necessary.
When: Friday, Jan 10, from 10 – 11 a.m.
Where: Mt. Morris Library, 685 Van Buren Ave. in Mt. Morris
I hope this information has been useful to you. As always, please reach out if there is anything further I can help with.
State Representative John Cherry
House District 49