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!
House Passes Bill Providing Snow Day Relief for Schools
This week, the House passed House Bill 4206 to provide K-12 schools with flexibility following declarations of emergency. The flexibility comes by way of an additional exception to the minimum days of student instruction required by the State School Aid Act when the governor has declared a state of emergency. These extra days, which otherwise would count against a school’s current exceptions, could relieve pressure on districts to keep schools open when the conditions may be unsafe locally, but are not considered to be emergencies by the state. The bill passed the House by a vote of 101-7 and is now expected to be taken up by the Senate Committee on Education and Career Readiness for review.
My support of this legislation was contingent on the inclusion of compensation for hourly public school employees for the work days they would miss, which was not provided in the initial bill. While salaried employees like administrators and teachers would have been paid under the original bill, hourly employees who work just as hard every day to ensure our students are successful were left out. I’m pleased to report that a last-minute amendment to HB 4206 provided compensation for hourly workers and I was able to offer my support of the legislation.
On March 5, Gov. Whitmer released her budget proposal. I look forward to working with the governor and my colleagues in the House to create a budget that properly funds our schools to prepare students for success, fixes our crumbling infrastructure and supports the health and safety of our communities.
It’s important to remember that the governor’s budget proposal has yet to be finalized. Receiving feedback from communities across the state will be an important part of the process moving forward. As your state representative, I want to know what priorities you have for our state’s budget. In order to help me fight for a budget that reflects the needs of our community, please take a moment to fill out a brief survey on my website by clicking here.
If you have any specific questions or concerns regarding the budget, you can also reach out to my office at (517) 373-0152 or by email at email@example.com.
I hope you can join me for one of my upcoming coffee hours! I look forward to having an informal conversation with you about the issues that families are facing in our community.
When: Friday, May 24, from 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Where: Dawn of A New Day Coffee Shop, 210 S. Washington Ave. in Saginaw
Missed the Tax Filing Deadline?
Michigan taxpayers who missed the April 15 state income tax filing deadline have options for filing a late return. The Michigan Department of Treasury recommends past-due tax filers consider:
- Filing a return to claim an outstanding refund. Taxpayers risk losing their state income tax refund if they don’t file a return within four years from the due date of the original return. Go to mifastfile.org to learn more about e-filing.
- Filing a return to avoid interest and penalties. File past due returns and pay now to limit interest charges and late payment penalties. Failure to pay could affect a taxpayer’s credit score and the ability to obtain loans.
- Paying as much tax as possible. If taxpayers must pay outstanding taxes but can’t pay in full, they should pay as much as they can when they file their tax returns. Payments can be made using Michigan’s e-Payments service. When mailing checks, carefully follow tax form instructions. Treasury will work with taxpayers who cannot pay the full amount of tax they owe.
Taxpayers who receive a final tax bill and are unable to pay the entire amount owed can consider:
- Requesting a penalty waiver. Penalty may be waived on an assessment if a taxpayer can show reasonable cause for their failure to pay on time. Reasonable cause includes serious illness, a fire or natural disaster, or criminal acts against you. Documentation should be submitted to substantiate the reason for a penalty waiver request.
- Making monthly payments through an installment agreement. For Installment Agreements lasting for 24 months or less, taxpayers must complete, sign and return the Installment Agreement (Form 990). The agreement requires a proposed payment amount that will be reviewed for approval by Treasury.
- Filing an Offer in Compromise application. An Offer in Compromise is a request by a taxpayer for the Michigan Department of Treasury to compromise an assessed tax liability for less than the full amount. For more information or an application, visit michigan.gov/oic.
The last three options for final tax bills should be filed separately from the state income tax return.