Hello and welcome to my e-newsletter. I would like to take this moment to thank you for allowing me to serve you in the 95th House District and to act as your voice in Lansing. This issue of my e-newsletter will provide an update on what’s going on at the Capitol this month, upcoming times to meet with me and other relevant information for our community.
As your representative, I am most effective at my job when acting on your input. I encourage you to reach out to me and my staff with any questions, comments or concerns you may have about issues in the district or legislation that will impact our state. You can contact me toll-free at (855) 347-8095, by email or through my website. Thank you for your commitment to the community we both call home; I look forward to hearing from you!
I hope you can join me for my upcoming coffee hour! I look forward to having an informal conversation with you about the issues that families are facing in our community.
When: Friday, June 21, from 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Where: Dawn of a New Day Coffee House and Cafe, 210 S. Washington Ave. in Saginaw
Saginaw County Flooding
Given the recent flooding in Saginaw County, I highly encourage everyone, whether you experienced property damage or not, to visit this helpful page by the Department of Insurance and Financial Services on how to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.
Auto Insurance Reform Passes
Following weeks of bipartisan negotiations, the House recently passed a sweeping overhaul of Michigan’s auto insurance system. The final bill includes several provisions put forward by House Democrats including the elimination of non-driving rate-setting factors, guaranteed rate reductions and increased consumer protections.
Senate Bill 1 prohibits insurance companies from using several non-driving factors to calculate rates – including zip code, marital status, education level and credit report – as well as removing the tolling provision and allowing drivers to choose their own PIP (Personal Injury Protection) coverage.
The removal of the tolling provision requires insurance companies to approve or deny claims within a year of the original claim and prohibits them from deferring responses year after year.
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 Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), which is a department regulated by the Governor’s administration.
These changes will go into effect for policies written after July 2020.
The high cost of car insurance has contributed to the poverty of so many people in our community. People who already struggle with owning reliable transportation are forced to choose between driving legally with insurance or feeding their family. This new law is not perfect, but after four years with no results, I can finally say that people will have coverage and they will pay less for it. I can finally say that your gender, marital status, or zip code won’t be reflected in your insurance bill. I can finally say that something has been done.
It is not the full coverage for everyone that I wished it was, but Saginaw County residents deserve a chance to drive legally and with protection without it affecting their ability to provide for themselves and their families. This compromise is long overdue and I’m thankful Gov. Whitmer was able to get this done within her first year in office.
Detroit Students Right to Literacy
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel recently filed a lawsuit against the state on behalf of Detroit students alleging that they were deprived of their right to literacy due to an inadequate learning environment. The lawsuit claims that underfunding led to poor conditions in schools, including a lack of teachers and textbooks.
I fully believe that every child has the right to a great education, which includes literacy. Some of my colleagues have recently introduced a package of bills called the ‘B.O.L.D. Education Plan’ to help ensure this right is protected, which includes amending the Michigan Constitution to define literacy as a birthright. I fully support their efforts and will continue to use my position to fight for every Michigan child.
U.S. Supreme Court Halts Redistricting
A panel of three federal judges last month ruled that thirty-four Michigan congressional and state legislative districts constituted a durable, unconstitutional gerrymander — which the Court characterized as “particularly severe” — and gave the Michigan Legislature until August 1, 2019, to enact legislation redrawing the offending districts.
Republican intervenors from the Michigan State Senate, Michigan State House, and Congressional Republicans filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to put the case on hold, which was granted.
I am disappointed by this ruling and remain ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work ensuring that our legislative districts are fair and constitutional.
Never hesitate to reach out to me or my staff if you have any questions or concerns!
95th House District