Welcome to my Capitol & Community Update e-newsletter! In addition to my other regular constituent outreach efforts, such as my bi-weekly Facebook Live coffee hours and weekend legislative walks in the district, I am happy to continue providing these email updates with the latest information, resources and opportunities relevant to our community members. I am also looking forward to seeing people in person at community events and hope to have in person hours at both public libraries as soon as we can do so!
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
Recently, on World Bee Day (May 20), Rep. Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills) and I introduced a pair of bills to protect pollinating insects in our state. My bill, HB 4895, would place a moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on public land. Chemically related to nicotine, neonicotinoids are a new class of insecticides that are often fatal to bees, monarch butterflies and other beneficial pollinators. Rep. Steckloff’s bill, HB 4896 would exempt milkweed plants from the definition of noxious plants for the purpose of eradication. Milkweed plants are rapidly disappearing due to loss of habitat and widespread usage of weed killers. This has been detrimental to pollinator populations who rely on these plants as a food source. Especially as pollinators are essential to Michigan’s food supply and economy and amidst concerning reports of declining populations of pollinators, it is essential that we take steps to protect them and thus, protect our state. The bills have been referred to the House Committee on Agriculture for further consideration.
In honor of May as Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month, Reps. Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck), Kelly Breen (D-Novi), Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth) and I introduced a four-bill legislative package that would establish the holidays of Eid, Lunar New Year, Vaisakhi and Diwali as official state holidays in Michigan. My bill, HB 4935, would recognize Diwali, which is one of the most widely-celebrated Indian American holidays and is observed by Michiganders of Hindu, Jain and Sikh faith. Many times, school or work falls on these holidays, and it can prevent people — especially APA individuals — from being able to celebrate with their families. Should the state recognize these holidays, we would be able to extend our recognition of APA Michiganders beyond the month of May. All four bills were referred to the House Committee on Government Operations for further consideration.
Justice for Allie
My first bill, Justice for Allie, is currently awaiting a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. This legislation, inspired by a courageous family of constituents, would close a loophole in the law to protect vulnerable adults from being sexually exploited online. Justice for Allie was also my first bill introduced last term. This session, Justice for Allie is a 2-bill package: HB 4159 and HB 4160. The latter bill was introduced by Rep. Julie Calley (R-Portland) and underscores our goal of bipartisanship. Following their passage from the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee, we are awaiting the next steps for the bill in the Judiciary Committee. Please help us to advocate on behalf of this bill by sharing your support with the members of the Judiciary Committee.
I recently reintroduced my bill HB 4802 in the bipartisan legislative bill package to expand electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure in Michigan, and now, the bill is getting a hearing! The five-bill package would allow EV charging stations to also be installed in Michigan rest areas off of state and U.S. highways, and create the Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Registration Act, to protect consumers and regulate the installation of these EV charging stations. Testimony will be heard on the entire bill package, HBs 4801–4805, in the House Energy Committee on Tuesday, June 8, at 11:30 a.m., and I will be there to testify. I welcome you to tune in!
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Currently, all Michiganders who are at least 12 years of age are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Those who are eligible can visit Oakland County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hub, Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine or the CDC’s VaccineFinder to find local health departments and vaccine clinics that are ready to book appointments.
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). Oakland County continues to have the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Michigan, so we all must remain vigilant and do our part to limit the spread of this virus. This includes getting vaccinated if you are able and continuing to wear masks, physically distance, and frequently washing our hands.