Dear Neighbor:

Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including some updates on the state’s efforts to address COVID-19 and its effects on housing, employment, and more.

State Budget Agreement for Fiscal Year 2021: School Funding Increased

This week, the Michigan Legislature approved a budget for the next fiscal year. Despite predictions about serious revenue shortfalls, no cuts were made to K-12 schools, higher education, or local governments. Some of the highlights of the $62.7 billion budget include funds for mental health and other support for students; hazard pay for teachers; a $66 per-pupil increase in school funding above current funding levels; $10M to cover COVID-19 related costs to nursing homes; and $40M for increased wages for direct care workers. You can read more about the FY 20-21 budget here.

Early Voting Began Yesterday

Early voting in Michigan began yesterday. If you are voting by absentee ballot, get your completed ballot in the mail as soon as possible. You can also return your ballot to your clerk in person, and many clerks offer drop boxes. Then you don’t have to worry about postage or potential mail delays. The Secretary of State provides a great online resource where you can register to vote, request an absentee ballot, find your polling place, and much more. You can find that website here.

Gov. Whitmer Pledges to Make Michigan Carbon Neutral by 2050

This week, Gov. Whitmer signed an executive order that created the Michigan Healthy Climate Plan, which puts Michigan on track to be carbon neutral by 2050. This order also created the Council on Climate Solutions, which will work with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) to develop the strategy for how our state will move towards decarbonization. This program will clean up our environment and will bring good, sustainable clean energy jobs to Michigan.

COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Provided at No Cost to Patients Through 2020

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) announced on Sept. 18 that almost all of the state’s health insurers have agreed to waive out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing and treatments through the end of the year. This includes copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. To find a COVID-19 testing location, please visit, or call the state coronavirus hotline at 1-888-535-6136.

While legislative offices remain closed to the public, my team is still providing responsive service as they work from home. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (517) 373-0587 or by email at if we can help.


Kara Hope

State Representative