It’s been a busy time in the Capitol and the district these past two weeks. I was joined in Lansing by students from Hamady High School and Southwestern High School, kicked off March is Reading Month in our elementary schools, held two coffee hours and heard from the governor on her budget priorities.
We all know how important it is to stay involved and up to date on what’s happening in our government, that’s why I’m participating in an informational PFAS Town Hall tonight, Friday, March 8 from 6-8 p.m.
Join me and special guests state Reps. Sheryl Kennedy, Sheldon Neeley and Tim Sneller to learn about the spread of PFAS and what to do if you live in a contaminated area. I hope you can join us tonight.
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.
Governor Whitmer’s Budget Proposal
Gov. Whitmer’s budget plan, released on March 5, covers many of the issues facing our state. Michigan is still at a crossroads and we need to decide if we want to continue to be at the bottom of the nation in education and infrastructure or move in a new direction by investing in our state and our people.
The budget recommendation totals $60.2 billion, up 3.6 percent from the current fiscal year 2019 budget, which includes a General Fund total of $10.7 billion and a School Aid Fund total of $15.4 billion. Excluding increased funding for transportation needs, the total recommended budget is up just 2.5 percent.
It’s going to take hard work and strong steps to reach the governor’s goals by 2030, but we can do it. Some of the goals Gov. Whitmer laid out for Michigan are:
- Get 90 percent of state roads in good/fair condition and provide additional resources for local roads.
- Have clean drinking water for all communities.
- Have Michigan students reach 60 percent post-secondary attainment.
- Make Michigan a leader in 3rd grade literacy rates.
The budget calls for increased investment in roads of $2.1 billion through a 45 cent gas tax increase. It will end the use of school aid fund dollars for uses outside of K-12 education, resulting in a funding increase of over $500 million for our schools. Local communities would see a 3 percent increase in revenue sharing from the state and there is a total of $100 million in spending reductions within state departments.
While I wait to hear more testimony regarding this budget, the needs across our state, and how funds will be distributed, I appreciate hearing thoughts and ideas from concerned citizens like you. I would urge you to follow the progress of this budget and other legislation on the topic by visiting legislature.mi.gov or for more in-depth reviews, visit the House Fiscal Agency website. To see the governor present her executive budget recommendation, click here.
Construction to Begin on I-475
The Genesee County portion of I-475 will receive a 44-million-dollar overhaul starting Monday, March 11. The project features a long-term, 50-year pavement plan that goes well beyond filling potholes. Lighting will be improved along several stretches of the highway along with improved signage and a complete resurface of the highway. Lanes and traffic will also be redistributed to improve driver safety. The project is almost completely funded by federal money with around 10 percent matching state funds. Once the project begins, southbound I-475 will be closed and detoured from the north junction of the I-475 interchange to I-69, with MDOT asking drivers to follow a posted detour using southbound I-75 to eastbound I-69. Barring any weather delays the project is expected to be completed by November of 2019.
Coffee with Cherry
Join me for coffee and conversation! I’ll give a brief legislative update and then open it up for any questions, comments or concerns you’d like to share. These events are family friendly and coffee will be provided.
Friday, March 15 from 2-3 p.m.
Highlands Estate (Mobile Home Park)
2197 E. Mount Morris Road in Mt. Morris.
Monday, April 15 from 2:45-3:45 p.m.
Swartz Creek High School
1 Dragon Drive in Swartz Creek
Thursday, April 18 from 6-7 p.m.
Flint Public Library
1026 E. Kearsley St. in Flint
Monday, April 22 at 10-11 a.m.
Calvary United Methodist Church
2111 Flushing Road in Flint
Resources for Folks in the 49th
Join the 2020 Census Team and Be a Part of History!
New and exciting career opportunities are available both in office and in the field. The US Census Bureau will be hiring temporary staff to carry out the 2020 census. This is a great opportunity to find work and be a part of history! For more information call (855) 562-2020 or go to the census jobs website at census.gov/jobs.
Grant Writing 101
In this interactive session, participants will gain an understanding of what grants are, and are not, gain strategies for identifying potential funders; learn to identify the common components of grants; begin work on creating those components and determine which projects or programs in your organization might be eligible for grant funding. This session will also cover common reasons grants are not funded and ways to avoid these mistakes.
When: March 7, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Where: Baker College Undergraduate Studies Building E203, 1050 W. Bristol Road in Flint
For more information, contact Brianna Mosier at (810) 600-1451.
Learn a Language!
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!
Center for Higher Educational Achievement
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.
Riddle of the Tribolite
Enjoy this puppet-filled musical adventure set underwater 500 million years ago. With humor and songs, this world premiere explores family, loss and our connection to, and impact on, our planet. Guests can enjoy an opening night reception following tonight’s performance. For more information and a schedule of upcoming performances at Flint Repertory Theatre visit their website.
When: Friday, March 8, from 7-9 p.m. and Saturday, March 9, from 2-4 p.m.
Where: Flint Repertory Theatre Elgood Theatre, 1220 E. Kearsley St.in Flint.
Alzheimer’s Research Night
Join us to learn about the science of Alzheimer’s and the latest developments in Alzheimer’s research with the President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association- Greater Michigan Chapter, Jennifer Lepard and Dr. Judy Heidebrink from the University of Michigan and the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center
When: Tuesday, March 12, from 5:30-8 p.m.
Where: University of Michigan – Flint Harding Mott University Center Michigan Rooms, 400 Mill St. in Flint.
Cooking with Ming: Sweet and Sour Chicken
No need to order take-out! Let Genesee District Library’s favorite chef, Ming Louie, teach you the basics of Sweet and Sour Chicken and Chicken Fried Rice.
When: Tuesday, March 19, from 6-7 p.m.
Where: 120 North Maple St. in Flushing.
Story Time with Mr. Johnnie
March is reading month! Come celebrate at the Swartz Creek Library for stories, songs and more!
When: Thursday, March 21, from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Where: 8095 Civic Drive in Swartz Creek
Mt. Morris Library Book Club
Have a passion for reading? Come on down to the Mt. Morris Library to discuss some good reads!
When: Saturday, March 23, from 11-12 p.m.
Where: 685 Van Buren Ave. in Mount Morris
Hour of Code: Star Wars Challenge
This is a fun-filled class for beginners learning how to code! This hour-long class will teach you how to code a Star Wars video game. No prior experience is needed!
When: Saturday, March 23, from 11-12 p.m.
Where: 120 N. Maple St. in Flushing
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
House District 49