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 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!
In this Edition:
- Legislative Update
- College Affordability Tips and Tricks
- Upcoming Events
State Budget Supplemental
The 2019-20 budget was signed into law by Gov. Whitmer on Sept. 30, but her administration was cut from negotiations between the Republican-led House and Senate. As a result, she exercised her administrative power to line-item veto nearly $1 billion in programs and shifted the way dollars were spent through the use of the State Administrative Board in order to cover basic and mandatory government costs like parolee and probationer oversight. As the governor herself stated, the budget sent to her by the Legislature would otherwise significantly underfund departments to a degree that would affect their basic operation.
With nearly $1 billion in outstanding and unspent appropriations, the Legislature must pass a supplemental before the state’s budget is truly complete. The House and Senate GOP have introduced 23 bills in each chamber to restore $256 million in funding to vetoed programs. The bills can be found HERE by searching 5061 through 5084 to see all the programs they want to restore funding to.
The governor has also proposed a supplemental with the Senate’s Appropriations Democratic Vice Chair Curtis Hertel. Her proposal includes a $100 million deposit into the Rainy Day Fund to help Michigan in its next economic downturn, as well as funding for veteran grants to counties, additional road patrol cost-sharing with counties, and an Autism Navigator program to help individuals with disabilities succeed.
Vaping Flavor Ban Update
Last month, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an emergency order to ban the sale of flavored vape cartridges for 6 months due to the surging rates of youth and underage usage, as well as the emerging connection between vaping and several deaths nationwide.
In response, several vape shop owners filed a lawsuit and the ban was temporarily lifted by a Michigan judge. Gov. Whitmer’s administration has filed with the Michigan Supreme Court to have the case immediately heard due to the emergency nature of her executive order.
In the coming weeks, the Michigan Supreme Court will decide if they will immediately begin the case and start hearing arguments or wait for the issue to fully play out through the lower court system.
Licensed Professional Counselor Scope of Practice
Earlier this month, the House and Senate both unanimously passed House Bill 4325 and yesterday it was signed into law by the Governor. This bill codifies the scope of practice for Licensed Professional Counselors in Michigan and allows them to continue practicing as they have been for over three decades. Rule changes recently proposed by the Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs agency would have threatened access to mental health care for thousands of Michiganders that this legislation will preserve.
I’m proud to have supported this bill, and I’m also thankful for the groundswell of community activism and support that led to its overwhelming and speedy passage.
College Affordability Tips and Resources
The Sallie Mae Paying for College Resource is a new, go-to destination to help students and families make a plan to pay for college. The resource is free, easy-to-use and includes great information on all the important topics related to paying for college.
The featured video series takes families through the process of paying for college. Over the course of eight short videos, learn not only what resources are available to help pay for college, but also the basics of financial aid and the questions to consider before choosing a college. Watch by topic or the entire series.
Chapter 1: Introducing resources to help pay for college
Chapter 2: How to pay for college
Chapter 3: How to find out what college really costs
Chapter 4: How to find free money for college
Chapter 5: How to fill out the FAFSA
Chapter 6: Understanding your financial aid offers
Chapter 7: What you need to know about student loans
Chapter 8: Filling financial gaps
I hope you find this information beneficial this academic year!
|MI Student Aid
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, Nov. 15, from 8:30 to 10 a.m.
Where: Dawn of a New Day Coffee House, 210 S. Washington Ave.in Saginaw
Never hesitate to reach out to me or my staff if you have any questions or concerns!
95th House District