Welcome to my Capitol & Community Update e-newsletter! I hope that you were able to enjoy these past two weeks that were filled with celebration and summer weather. Sunday was the official first day of summer! I hope that everyone took time to honor Juneteenth and celebrate Father’s Day!
At the Capitol, we’ve been busy voting on bills, hearing and giving testimonies, and attending meetings before we break for summer recess. 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 happy that I have been able to see people at in-person community events and hope to have in person hours at both public libraries as soon as we can!
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
In-Person Coffee Hours
I am so excited to announce our first in-person coffee hours of 2021! The first will be at Zeoli’s in Clawson with special guests Oakland County Commission Chair Dave Woodward and Oakland County Commissioner Penny Luebs! These are in addition to our FB Live Coffee and Chat every two weeks (info below).
When: Monday, June 28, at 5-6:30 p.m.
Where: Zeoli’s Modern Italian Restaurant (110 E 14 Mile Rd in Clawson)
Save the date…
When: Tuesday, July 13, at 5-6 p.m.
Join me to knock doors in the community! We’ll be talking with neighbors in Troy and Clawson about the issues that matter to them, so we can update our legislative agenda in Lansing. We will meet outside the main entrance of the Troy Community Center for a quick training and to distribute materials at the start of each shift. New volunteers are welcome!
When: Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
How: Register at https://tinyurl.com/KuppaWalks
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 coffee hour where I will provide updates and answer your questions about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other issues facing our community. You don’t have to have a Facebook account to attend/watch, and the video will be available for you to share with friends after the event. I hope to see you there!
When: Friday, July 2 @ 6 p.m.
How: Visit my Facebook page (@mireppadmakuppa)
When: Friday, July 16 @ 6 p.m.
How: Visit my Facebook page (@mireppadmakuppa)
Recently, on World Bee Day (5/20), state Rep. Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills) and I introduced a pair of bills to protect pollinating insects in our state: HB 4895 and HB 4896. Pollinators are essential to Michigan’s food supply and economy, and amid concerns about 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. Please help us to advocate on behalf of this bill by sharing your support with the members of the Agriculture Committee.
Justice for Allie
My first bill this term, Justice for Allie, is still 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 goals of bipartisanship and protecting the vulnerable. Following their passage from the House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee, we are awaiting next steps for the bills in the Judiciary Committee. Thank you to everyone who has continued to support these bills on their legislative journey! Please help us to advocate on behalf of this bill by sharing your support with the members of the Judiciary Committee.
I recently testified on my bill, HB 4802, in the House Energy Committee on June 8 and June 17. The bill is part of a bipartisan legislative bill package (HB 4801-4805) to expand electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure in Michigan. After working with industry leaders, the Whitmer administration, and a bipartisan group of legislators, I am hopeful that these bills will be voted out of the committee soon. I am proud to support efforts to ensure that Michigan remains a leader in the automotive industry!
Governor’s Visit & Child Care Announcement
During Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent visit to Troy, she spoke about how critical quality, affordable child care is to Michigan families and to our economy through her plan to invest in and expand affordable child care. This plan utilizes grants to both families and child care services in order to keep them afloat while recovering from the pandmeic. This money comes from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
I made the decision to leave the workforce 20 years ago for a short time because of the lack of quality, affordable day care. No one else should have to.
Glad to have champions in the Executive Office, Oakland County, business leaders and my legislative colleagues here. It goes to show that this isn’t just a working moms’ issue — these changes ensure families can access the care they need and providers have some financial certainty.
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 your hands.
Lifting Remaining Restrictions
Since December 11, 2020, the FDA has granted emergency use authorization to three vaccines to prevent COVID-19, providing a path to end the pandemic. As of June 15, 2021, 60.6% of Michigan residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The introduction of highly effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines have greatly reduced the spread of COVID-19 across the United States. Because of this, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is lifting capacity limits in both indoor and outdoor settings and the state will no longer require residents to wear a face mask. To view a detailed list of our current public health guidelines, click here.
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.
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.
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.