Welcome to my bi-weekly Capitol & Community Update e-newsletter! To ensure more consistent delivery of information, as I understand that many House District 41 residents rely on these updates for regular district-related news and resources, my e-newsletters will now go out every other Tuesday around 10:00am.
As always, you can reach my office by voicemail at (517) 373-1783 or by email at PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov for any thoughts or questions about state-level issues. Be sure to also check out the latest on my website at kuppa.housedems.com and on my social media platforms — @PadmaKuppaMI41 (Twitter) and @MIRepPadmaKuppa (Facebook)!
House District 41
Virtual Coffee Hours
Mark your calendars! Every other Friday at 6 p.m., be sure to jump on my Facebook page (@mireppadmakuppa) and join me for a virtual office hour where I will be providing updates and answering your questions about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other issues facing our community. I hope to see you there!
When: Friday, April 23, beginning at 6 p.m.
How: Visit my Facebook page (@mireppadmakuppa)
When: Friday, May 7, beginning at 6 p.m.
How: Visit my Facebook page (@mireppadmakuppa)
VNP Redistricting Town Hall
Save the date for my upcoming town hall on our state’s ongoing redistricting process, presented by Voters Not Politicians (VNP)! A non-partisan organization, VNP will present information about the Redistricting Commission, how constituents can use mapping tools to understand the process, and what are communities of interest.
When: Friday, April 30, beginning at 4 p.m.
How: Register at https://tinyurl.com/KuppaVNP
Promoting Equal Pay for Equal Work
To recognize March as Women’s History Month, I introduced House Bill 4586 on March 24, which was All Women’s Equal Pay Day. HB 4586 would prohibit employers from engaging in certain discriminatory practices and is part of a larger Progressive Women’s Caucus bill package to ensure equal pay for equal work. The bill awaits a hearing in the Workforce, Trades, and Talent Committee.
Supporting Women in the Workforce
I also introduced House Bill 4597 on March 25, 2021, in an effort to improve and better support efforts to promote women in the workforce in Michigan. HB 4597 would require corporations in Michigan to report data regarding women in leadership positions. Corporations reporting low representation for women on their executive board would also be required to submit a statement on any policies and efforts they have made regarding the representation of women on their board. The bill has been referred to the Workforce, Trades, and Talent Committee where it is currently awaiting a hearing.
Expanding Unemployment Insurance
On March 11, 2021, I introduced House Bill 4507 to expand unemployment benefits and remove unnecessary barriers, especially the ones set in 2013 that are currently crippling the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). This bill would strike the provision regarding absences without notice of an employee who involuntarily leaves employment. The bill currently remains in the Government Operations Committee where it awaits hearing.
Currently, all Michiganders over 16 will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Those who are eligible can visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine to find local health departments and other local vaccine clinics that are ready to book appointments. Currently, Oakland County has started a “Save Your Spot” sign-up for the vaccine. Follow these steps to reserve your spot:
- Visit the Oakland County website and select “Save Your Spot”
- Fill out your information and submit
- You will be notified via text, phone, or email when there are vaccine doses available
Vaccination locations and appointments can also be found on VaccineFinder, through the CDC. By entering your zip code, it will show you the closest vaccination locations near you and if the location has vaccines in stock.
If you know a vaccine-eligible individual who doesn’t have access to the internet, or they need help with vaccine translation services, call 2-1-1 and press ‘5’ for free, confidential assistance. If you need additional help navigating the vaccine scheduling process, call the COVID-19 hotline at 888-535-6136 (press 1).
March Small Business of the Month
Every month, I recognize two businesses as “Small Business of the Month” — one in Clawson and one in Troy. Small businesses are the heart of our communities and the dedicated people who operate them deserve their hard work and contributions to be acknowledged. Congratulations to March’s recipients: r. collective salon in Clawson and Explore Yoga in Troy!
Governor Whitmer has issued a recommendation to residents to try to avoid in-person dining and urges schools to go online for the next 2-weeks to curb the spread of COVID. Oakland County currently has the highest number of COVID cases in Michigan, so we must do our part in order to limit the spread and keep our Oakland County residents safe.
Michigan’s Work Share program allows employers to restart their business and bring employees back from unemployment. Employers can bring employees back with reduced hours – while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to make up a portion of the lost wages.
The Michigan Reconnect program ensures that Michiganders who are 25 or older and do not have a college degree will have an opportunity to earn a tuition-free associate degree or skills certificate at their in-district community college.
MI Classroom Heroes COVID-19 Grants
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks announced the expansion of the MI Classroom Heroes COVID-19 Grants to include a new grant program for Great Start Readiness Program (GRSP), Head Start, adult education and young adult (ages 18-26) special education teachers.
Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC)
It’s estimated that each year thousands of Michiganders who are eligible for both the federal and state EITC do not claim them. If a federal EITC is granted, the state of Michigan will provide a 6% supplemental EITC when the taxpayer files his or her state income tax return. To learn how to claim this credit, visit the IRS website.
Anyone struggling with their energy bills can apply for the Home and Heating Credit through the Michigan Department of Treasury. All applications must be received before September 30, 2021. You can file for the credit online here.
Family Support Program (not government run)
Families looking for assistance paying for childcare or summer care for children 0-14 can apply for scholarships through the Family Support Program.
Home Repairs with State Emergency Relief
State Emergency Relief assists with home repairs to correct unsafe conditions and restore essential services. Eligible home repairs may include repair or replacement of a non-functioning furnace, hot water heaters or septic systems.