Despite the rapidly changing weather, summer is officially upon us! I hope that, as COVID restrictions lift across the state, you and your loved ones can enjoy time together and take advantage of the amazing outdoor activities Michigan offers. If you’re looking for a good place to start getting out and enjoying the sunshine, look no further than our own community. Macomb County has several metro parks available for our shared enjoyment, and I hope to see you out there soon as our in-district work period draws close.
Throughout the in-district work period, I will be knocking on doors and having direct conversations with residents, but in the meantime, I wanted to share some important pieces of information with you all. In this newsletter, you’ll find information on my upcoming conversation hours, updates on my recently introduced legislation, and an exciting addition to the Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP). If you have any questions about these or any other topics, please do not hesitate to reach my office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also want to take a moment to note that for the first time this year, two important celebrations have been officially recognized at different levels of government. This year, Juneteenth was signed into law as a federal holiday. It is also the first time the Michigan Legislature has passed resolutions commemorating Pride Month in the state. These celebrations are also calls for reflection as we look at how far we still have to go to achieve true equity in our nation, and I am grateful for their official recognition as a step down this path.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. Have a safe and happy summer!
Upcoming Conversation Hours
- Saturday, July 10, at 10 a.m. via Zoom
- Thursday, July 29, at 6 p.m., will be an in-person coffee hour. Please see my Facebook page for an updated location as the date approaches.
- Saturday, August 14 at 10 a.m. via Zoom
- House Bills 4881–4882 (Teddy’s Law): Last term, I introduced a bill that would require cats and dogs used in laboratory testing to be offered up for adoption rather than being euthanized following the completion of the tests. This term, I reintroduced this legislation as a two-bill package alongside state Tommy Brann. The package expands on legal protections for shelters and labs acting in good faith and strengthens the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) ability to hold bad actors accountable. Several states have already passed similar legislation, and I am hopeful that Michigan can prove to be on the leading curve of this issue.
- House Bill 5139: I was honored to join with members of the Democratic Caucus to reintroduce a package of legislation that improves protections for workers across the state, from expanding overtime eligibility to ensuring meal breaks. To learn more about the Working Hard for Working Families Package, please watch this video.
- Pride Month Package: In recognition of Pride Month, I joined with colleagues to introduce over 50 bills that, taken together, would update gendered language in our state statute. These bills will help simplify the language in our laws while increasing equality in their application. It was an honor to be part of this package for two terms in a row.
Michigan Education Savings Program Update
As a father of two, I know saving for my children’s future is always at the top of my mind. The Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP) allows parents, grandparents and other family members to help defray the cost of higher education with a 529 savings account. These accounts are free from federal taxation and have state-level tax benefits as well. You can learn more about the program here.
In addition to the existing monetary benefits of the account, saving with MESP just got easier with the introduction of their mobile app, READYSAVE 529. The app is available in both the Apple and Google Play app stores and allows you to make changes to your 529 account on the go! If you have a young one in your life, or if you plan to return to school yourself, please consider taking advantage of this program.