The summer and warm weather is here, but that doesn’t mean our work in the legislature is slowing down.
We’re still working to appropriate the federal COVID-19 relief funds that will go to schools, small businesses, renter and landlord assistance, SNAP and infrastructure projects, along with completing our state budget.
Also, Michigan has been seeing a promising and dramatic drop in COVID-19 cases and deaths as our state’s vaccination numbers increase. We are at 60% and herd immunity is at 70%.
Thank you all for doing your part, and getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
To reach out, please email me at DonnaLasinski@house.mi.gov.
State Representative, 52nd House District
COVID-19 Vaccine Data as of 6-16-2021:
State Total Residents Vaccinated: 4,904,499, 60.6%
State Total Vaccines Administered: 8,755,222
Washtenaw Total Residents Vaccinated: 215,423, 66.5%
Washtenaw County Total Vaccines Administered: 393,561
COVID-19 Data as of 6-9-2021:
State Total Confirmed Cases: 892,651
State Total Confirmed Deaths: 19,574
Washtenaw County Total Confirmed Cases: 24,065
Washtenaw County Confirmed Total Deaths: 292
Historic Investment in Preschool Funding
I was proud to join Governor Whitmer for the announcement of her plan to fund preschool education to ensure that all eligible children in Michigan have access to high-quality, affordable early education opportunities that prepare them for success.
The Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP), the state-funded preschool program for four-year-old children, has not been able to meet demand and currently only 66 percent of eligible children statewide are served by GSRP or federal Head Start programs. The plan announced today would increase funding for GSRP to ensure eligible 4-year-olds are served.
This plan proposes an additional $255 million in federal dollars and $150 million in state dollars, for a total of $405 million, for GSRP over the next three years. This funding will ensure that all children and families will have access to the GSRP and Head Start programs.
Every parent wants the best for their child, starting with an opportunity to attend a high-quality preschool. For many families, this is out of reach. Children who start school behind, rarely end up ahead. I have been passionate about the need for accessible, high-quality preschool education for all since my work over a decade ago at the Great Start Collaborative. I am proud to stand with Governor Whitmer to support this historic proposed investment in the future of our children and state
Broadband Internet Expansion
My colleagues and I introduced a legislative package to bring high-speed internet to more Michigan homes and businesses. This legislation was introduced when Gov. Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Gilchrist announced the creation of an Office of High-Speed Internet.
Since I first came to Lansing, I have been working to expand high-speed internet access, both in my district and across our state. I am thrilled that the Whitmer administration is taking action with us.
Our legislation will:
I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues and the Governor to expand internet access in our community.
Thank you Fire Chief Hoeft
At the end of June, Fire Chief Craig Hoeft will officially retire after 43 years of service to the Saline Area Fire Department, during which 22 of those years he was Fire Chief. Chief Hoeft has been a leader and an exceptional member of our community.
I was honored to present him with a tribute thanking him for his incredible service and dedication. He has given so much to our community, and I wish him a long and happy retirement with his wife, children and grandchildren.
House Bill 4486 / Senate Bill 314 and Seriously Injured Persons
As many of you know, on July 1, 2021 thousands of vulnerable auto accident victims will lose the care they need and many seriously injured patients will have no place to go. In the rush to pass the 2019 Auto No-Fault Reform, an unintended consequence was that insurance companies will be allowed to slash what they pay specialized rehab centers for brain injury-related care.
Without legislative action, health care providers will be reimbursed at only 55% of the rate they currently charge for care and treatment. By cutting medical reimbursements for providers at a flat 45% across the board, current law would reward those who were overcharging and punish those who charged fair rates.
I have been working tirelessly to get my colleagues to take up House Bill 4486 and Senate Bill 314, which would fix this tragedy waiting to happen.
This is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. This is a human issue. We passed auto insurance reform in a bipartisan manner. We should pass this simple fix in a bipartisan manner as well. We need action now.
Child Tax Credit
Thanks to the American Rescue Plan families have access to the largest child tax credit ever.
For every child 6-17 years old, families will get $3,000 ($250 each month), and for every child under 6 years old, families will get $3,600 ($300 each month).
Don’t miss this opportunity!
You can find more information about how to receive this credit here.
COVID-19 Vaccination Sites in Washtenaw County
The Washtenaw County Health Department has been setting up vaccination clinics all over the county. These clinics are open to anyone 12 years or older. While they say to register in advance they are encouraging no appointment, walk-ups making them perfect for anyone working from home, passing through on errands or wanting to receive the vaccine on their lunch break.
You can see the full list of clinics here.
Where to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine in Washtenaw County
If you aren’t able to stop by one of the vaccination clinics, there are places all over Washtenaw County administering the COVID-19 vaccine.
You can see all those places here.
Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
The Emergency Broadband Benefit program is an opportunity to lower the costs of connecting to the internet if you are in underserved areas.
Eligible households can receive a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband internet service. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 for the purchase of a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer.
You can apply here.
Criminal Record Expungement
You can have certain criminal offences expunged from your record, meaning that when you apply for a job, housing, financial aid or a professional license, you won’t have to list those criminal offenses. It also means that if employers, landlords or educational / professional institutions search your criminal history, they will not be able to see those criminal offenses.
You can apply for expungement assistance here.
The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office has an FAQ on expungements you can read here.
If you have questions about expungement, contact the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office Conviction Integrity & Expungement Unit (CIEU) at CIEU@washtenaw.org
Michigan Reconnect Scholarship Program
Michiganders over 25 who have not completed a college degree can now attend in-district community college for free! Check out the Michigan Reconnect Scholarship Program to see qualifications and how to apply.
To learn more, visit here.
Home and Heating Credit
Anyone struggling with their energy bills can apply for the Home and Heating Credit through the MI Dept. of Treasury. All applications must be received before Sept. 30,2021.
To learn more and claim this credit check here.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) will administer the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) Program through its network of local nonprofit agencies starting March 15, 2021. CERA can provide rental and utility assistance for eligible renter households so that they retain their housing stability.
You can find more information and apply for the program here.
If you have lost your employer-provided health care due to layoffs, reduced hours, or a change in income during the COVID-19 crisis, please remember that you have up to 60 days to enroll in new coverage.
If you have questions, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services can help. Contact DIFS toll free at 877-999-6442 if you need assistance.
Find if you are eligible for the special enrollment period here.
Apply for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace here.
Governor Whitmer acted to protect workers from retaliation by their employers, if they stay home because one of their close contacts has tested positive for COVID-19: Click here for post and further information.
The Attorney General’s office has created a website to help you “know your rights” as an employee if you are still required to work during this time. Click here
You can receive continual updates from the MI Dept. of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) by clicking here.