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.
Voter ID Bills
Last week, the Michigan Legislature rushed through a few bills that, if enacted, would disenfranchise vulnerable voters here in Michigan. I voted no on all of the bills. Senate Bills 303–304 change Michigan’s current voter ID law to make voting more burdensome. Instead of affirming their identity at the polling place under penalty of a 15-year felony, voters will instead be forced to use a provisional ballot. If they don’t come back to prove their identity in person within six days, their ballot will not be counted. We already have a voter ID law here in Michigan that works. More than 10,000 people utilized our current voter ID law in the 2020 election. Their votes matter just as much as anyone else’s. Additionally, this disproportionately impacts seniors, voters with disabilities and voters who have difficulty finding transportation to and from their polling location.
SB 303 also requires anyone applying for an absent voter ballot to take additional steps to prove their identity, such as mailing copies of their licenses or portions of their Social Security number. This needlessly puts people at risk of identity theft.
Fighting for Public Education
This week, I voted no on House Bills 5404 and 5405 because they are clearly unconstitutional. The Blaine Amendment to the Michigan Constitution, which has stood for more than 50 years, prohibits public money, including tax benefits, from going to private schools. The bills would allow corporations and billionaires to make tax-deductible contributions that would benefit students going to private schools and would take up to $500 million out of the budget annually. That is money that would, in part, benefit public school students.
To be clear, I do believe that parents should have the ability to send their children to the school they feel best fits their needs. However, the infrastructure already exists for private schools to accept donations. It is unconscionable that we would consider legislation that will ultimately result in taking funding away from our public-school students.
To see what we’ve been voting on over the past couple of weeks, please click here. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office at (517) 373-3920 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Livonia Department of Public Works Ribbon Cutting
It was great to be at the ribbon-cutting for the new Livonia DPW office this month. This new location has been years in the making and includes features specifically designed to save residents money.
It is crucial to have the voices of our community heard in Lansing. 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 fall as well, and we look forward to meeting you!
UIA Telephone Appointments
As claimants continue to navigate their unemployment claims, I wanted to remind folks that the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) offers telephone appointments for customers with specific claim issues.
By scheduling a phone appointment, customers can get assistance with issues at their convenience. A customer service agent will call the customers on the designated day and time they choose from the agency’s customer service line – (866) 500-0017. Claimants should be prepared to verify their identity with their Social Security Number and Driver’s License/State Identification Number.
Customers can schedule an appointment online up to one week in advance at Michigan.gov/uia for the following issues:
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: Sunday, Nov. 7, from 2 – 3 p.m.
Virtual: Monday, Nov. 22, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Never hesitate to reach out to me or my staff if you have any questions or concerns!