I am honored to serve as state representative for the 29th House District and am proud to be a strong advocate in Lansing for the residents and families of our community. Please encourage your friends and family to stay connected and subscribe to this e-newsletter. It will keep you up-to-date on legislation and policies coming from the Capitol, as well as my coffee hours and other community events I will host so we can get together face-to-face.
In this issue:
- What’s Happening in Your Government
- Upcoming Community Events
- Community Recap
What’s Happening in Your Government
The summer in-district work period is over, and the Legislature is back in Lansing. There are still a great many things my colleagues and I would like to accomplish this year, but the most pressing would be our state budget. As budget negotiations between legislative leadership and Gov. Whitmer continue and the Oct. 1 deadline quickly approaches, rest assured I will always fight for a budget that reflects our values and ensures funding for vital programs many working families rely on. Michigan will face serious problems in the years ahead unless we implement serious solutions now. We need a responsible and fair budget that invests in the future of our state.
For me, that means making sure all of our children have equal access to a quality education. One major part of making sure our children have access to this is adequate funding. Right now, the Legislature and the governor are in a budget standstill, and Michigan’s schools have been forced, since July, to write their budgets based on the funding they hope to get from the state. If a compromise has not been reached by Sept. 30 at 11:59 p.m., the government may shut down.
We cannot allow this to happen. I know I am tired of seeing the gridlock in D.C., and I am sure the people of Michigan are as well; we do not need to see it here at home, too.
House Democrats have put forward options and stated the values you all have shared with us, such as fighting to equitably fix the roads while also properly funding our schools. It is imperative that everyone in Lansing remembers the oath we all took when we became elected officials to protect and defend the Constitution of both the U.S. and Michigan. If we fail to fulfill our constitutionally mandated duties, we not only fail ourselves but also each and every Michigander in the state.
My Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate unveiled a plan to crack down on companies committing payroll fraud, increasing penalties for bad actors while strengthening oversight to protect businesses playing by the rules. Unscrupulous companies stole an estimated $429 million in wages and overtime pay from hardworking Michiganders between 2013 and 2015, impacting more than 2.8 million workers. In addition to the impact on individual workers, payroll fraud costs Michigan taxpayers $107 million a year in tax revenue.
Michigan workers shouldn’t have to wonder if they will be defrauded or shortchanged by their employers. Being asked to work off the clock or having your paycheck reduced without your knowledge is an insult to our hardworking citizens and the honest work they put in every day. I am pleased that my colleagues are taking much-needed action to protect our communities from bad actors, and I look forward to continuing this fight for our working families at the Capitol.
Monarch Butterfly Update
Earlier this year, I introduced House Bill 4467 to designate the monarch butterfly as the official insect of Michigan at the request of the Sylvan Lake Garden Club. Currently, Michigan does not have a designated state butterfly or insect. Monarch butterflies are one of many crucial pollinators that help to cross-fertilize many plants, a process that is vital to the success of the state’s agriculture and tourism industries.
Since the bill’s introduction, I have been privileged to meet with many other people who support the monarch butterfly receiving this great honor. I have also learned a lot about the significance of the monarch to our ecosystem and agriculture industries. Over the last few years, we have heard about the decline of monarch butterflies and other precious pollinators. This is about so much more than making the monarch our state butterfly; this is about making sure we don’t lose any more of them.
Which brings me to the update I wanted to share with you, our bill has been sent to the House Government Operations Committee with no hearing in sight. My team and I have not given up, and we will keep you updated on our progress and any new developments.
Upcoming Community Events
Backpack Give Away
My staff and I have partnered with community leaders and local activists to collect backpacks, school supplies, and necessities for the children in our community. We will be presenting the fully supplied backpacks and to the Pontiac Board of Education tonight, Monday, Sept. 9, 6 p.m. at 47200 Woodward Ave. in Pontiac. If you would like more information, please contact me at my office toll-free at (855) 473-4635 or by email at BrendaCarter@house.mi.gov
Governor’s Service Award
Special congratulations to Mary Ann Ryan who received the Senior Volunteer of the Year Award. Mary Ann Ryan has been saving lives with one selfless act of service at a time through the integration of programs that she helped begin years ago. Through her career as a registered nurse, Mary has always acted as a voice for those who didn’t always have one. Additionally, Mary’s service has led to the launch of the Recuperative Center – which is the only place in southeast Michigan where homeless individuals can receive proper post-hospital care. Mary didn’t simply give her time; she wanted to help enact long-lasting changes that helped to improve the system. She has achieved her goal, and the community appreciates all she has done.
Last week Monday, I joined Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters (MRCC), Sheet Metal Workers Local 80 and the Building and Construction Trade Council for Detroit’s annual Labor Day parade. I enjoy walking in the Labor Day Parade every year. It reminds me of how important it is to celebrate and honor the contributions of workers in our country and state. Even though Labor Day has passed, it is important never to forget how vital Michigan workers are to our state and identity.
I was also joined by several of my fellow legislators, including state Sen. Santana, and state Reps. Kuppa, Manoogian, and Bolden. Following the parade, the MRCC held a Family Festival at the newly renamed TCF Center. The festival included rides, a bounce house, carnival-style games and a catered lunch.
On Aug. 26, Operating Engineers Local 324 invited me and several of my colleagues to attend a special tour of the IUOE 324’s Construction Career Center. It was a great opportunity to learn more about how we can support and promote careers in the skilled trades and discuss policy priorities.
Thank you for taking the time to read this e-newsletter, and I hope you found the information helpful.
State Representative Brenda Carter
29th House District