Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! It continues to be a privilege to represent Livonia, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our community in Lansing. I encourage you to stay up to date on what’s going on in Lansing and continue to let me know about the issues that matter to you.
Last week, my colleagues and I held a press conference to highlight a package of bills that will improve teacher benefits, training and more. For this package, I partnered with State Rep. Lori Stone, a former teacher, to create legislation that would modify teacher evaluations to a two-tiered, non-punitive system not based on student growth. Time and time again, studies have shown that standardized testing does not accurately portray a student’s growth, and it definitely doesn’t represent a teacher’s effectiveness at their job. My bill would make sure that teachers are evaluated in a way that better represents a teacher’s overall success in the classroom.
Protecting the Right to Vote
On the same day that the Michigan Senate Oversight Committee released its report stating that there is no evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election, Michigan House Republicans rushed through a series of bills that would make it harder to vote. Under this package, you can be denied the ability to vote even with a valid photo ID if your signature on your application does not match the signature in the poll book, which might be decades old. This has a disproportionate impact on elderly voters and those with disabilities whose signature most likely has changed over the years. As your State Representative, I remain in staunch opposition to any attempt to make it harder for you to exercise your right to vote. I voted no on all three bills.
I was proud to work with my House colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do one of the most important jobs our communities sent us to Lansing to do: pass a budget on time to fund vital programs that working families rely on. Among other items, House Bill 4410 provides funding for the Michigan Reconnect program, small business support and workplace development, a wage increase for direct care workers, and nutrition assistance for senior citizens. Additionally, I was incredibly proud to vote yes on House Bill 4411, which makes a transformational investment in education by bringing every district up to the same level of per-pupil funding.
Unfortunately, the legislature left Lansing yesterday without voting on a budget to provide flood relief, additional nursing home funding, or child care assistance. It’s unacceptable and we should not be returning to our districts this summer without having it done.
It is crucial to have the voices of our community heard in Lansing. As the legislature transitions to an in-district work period, my staff and I have hit the ground running on our door-to-door legislative check-ins. So far, I have had great conversations about the importance of investing in education, repairing our economy, and expanding access to quality, affordable health care. My team and I will be out in the district throughout the summer, and we look forward to meeting you!
I hope you can join me for one of my upcoming in-person and virtual coffee hours! I look forward to having an informal conversation with you about the issues families face in our community. The in-person coffee hour will be held at Coffee + Cream here in Livonia, and for virtual coffee hours, you can join the livestream on my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/RepPohutsky
In-person: Monday, July 5 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Virtual: Monday, July 19 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Wayne County Flooding
If you are in need of help related to the flooding that occurred this past weekend, please dial 2-1-1 or go to mi211.org to be connected to United Way, who can offer resources.
UIA Offices Reopening
The Unemployment Insurance Agency will be offering in-person unemployment insurance services by appointment only at 12 local unemployment offices beginning June 30.
As of June 23, Michiganders can go online to start scheduling appointments. Each appointment slot is 15 minutes and may be scheduled up to a week in advance. Appointments are available from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Customers must schedule an appointment online to be seen by a UIA representative. Walk-in appointments will not be accepted. To schedule an in-person appointment, visit Michigan.gov/uia and click on Schedule an Appointment.
Although the agency anticipates appointments to fill up quickly, appointment slots do become available each day as cancellations occur. The agency expects to serve about 900 customers per day in person. Appointments are not transferable to other customers.
The agency will still maintain some COVID-19 safety protocols such as requesting that customers wear a mask before entry. Customers should bring their driver’s license or photo ID, and any other documents pertinent to their claim. Individuals who are late for their appointment may have to reschedule.
In addition to scheduling an in-person appointment, Customers may contact UIA by:
Local UIA office locations to be open for appointment only:
Benton Harbor, 401 8th St.
Detroit, 3024 W. Grand Blvd., Suite L-385
Gaylord, 931 Otsego Ave.
Grand Rapids, 3391-A Plainfield Ave., NE
Kalamazoo, 1600 South Burdick St.
Lansing, 5217 Perry Robinson Circle
Marquette, 1498 Odovero Drive, Ste. 2
Muskegon, 2700 Baker St.
Saginaw, 515 N. Washington Ave
Sault Ste. Marie, 1118 East Easterday Ave.
Sterling Heights, 43015 Hayes Road
Traverse City, 1209 S. Garfield Ave., Ste. C
Never hesitate to reach out to me or my staff if you have any questions or concerns!
19th House District