I hope that everyone is staying cool and enjoying the beautiful summer weather! I am excited to announce that as the state prepares to lift all COVID-19 restrictions on July 1, our team is planning in-person coffee hours and meet-ups starting in July! We are excited to be with you all again in person in a month!
If we can assist in any way, please do not hesitate to contact our office! My office is reachable by phone at (517) 373-2575, and by email at RanjeevPuri@house.mi.gov.
State Representative, 21st District
Proudly serving Belleville, Canton, and Van Buren Township
In this Edition:
- Upcoming Time with Ranjeev
- Legislative Update
- COVID-19 Update
- Unemployment Update
- What We’ve Been Up To
- District Spotlight
UPCOMING TIME WITH RANJEEV
As mentioned above, we are hoping to start monthly in-person coffee hours beginning in July! We will have more info on this in the next e-newsletter. However, we still plan to offer a virtual option in addition to the in-person meet-ups for the time being.
June Coffee Hour:
If you missed our coffee hour on June 14, you can re-watch it here.
16-bill Police Accountability package
Last week, House Democrats announced a bill package they will introduce focusing on police reform that will build trust, increase accountability and transparency, and improve policing.
The 16-bill package covers a wide variety of law enforcement issues, such as banning archaic and dangerous police procedures, including no-knock warrants and chokeholds, use of force and misconduct investigations, de-escalation training, and qualified immunity.
I will be proud to sign on as a co-sponsor of this bill package in the House. A similar bipartisan package is working its way through the Senate.
Legislature Recognizes Pride Month for the First Time
This year marks the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and the 51st celebration of Pride Month worldwide. Pride began as an uprising against police in June 1969. New York Police violently raided Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, a gay club that was a refuge for many queer people of color.
The Michigan House and Senate – both for the first time in history – adopted nonbinding resolutions acknowledging June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month, a departure from previous years in which such proposals have been denied being brought to the floor for consideration.
Celebrating Pride does not erase the trauma of the LGBTQ+ community, and it does not solve the aforementioned problems in our state. However, we have a duty to honor those who have fought tirelessly to get us to where we are today, to declare to LGBTQ Michiganders that we recognize their humanity, and to ensure that we do not lose sight of the end goal: liberty and justice for all.
Everyone should feel safe and proud to be who they are and love who they love. Happy Pride!
The Michigan State Budget Office and legislative appropriations leaders in both the House and Senate have begun setting spending targets for each state program. This was part of a deal the Legislature made with the Governor back in May. As I do not serve as a member of the Appropriations Committee, I am not involved in these early discussions and only see a budget in its final form once it is on its way to the House floor.
It is our understanding, though, that negotiations for the 2021-2022 FY are moving along. The Legislature was set to adjourn for in-district work on June 24, but this has been moved back until July 1 – the day set by statute as to when the Legislature must get a budget to the Governor.
Technically, fiscal year 2022 doesn’t start until Oct. 1, but our schools and local governments typically start theirs on June 1. This is why it is so important for us to pass a budget as quickly and efficiently as possible. Schools and local governments need to know what state dollars will look like for them to plan accordingly so they can plan their budgets accordingly.
I am committed to supporting appropriation bills that actually address the issues that have been proliferated due to COVID-19, and maintain the best interests of Michigan’s families. Michigan is in a good position to invest in our future like never before on the things that matter: our schools, good jobs, clean water, and to finally, fix our crumbling infrastructure.
I want to take a moment to thank those individuals who have reached out to my office to share their thoughts, concerns and priorities for this year’s budget. Your opinions and experiences are such an important part of crafting this legislation and I and my colleagues appreciate you doing your part.
Great Start Readiness
Governor Whitmer has announced the expansion of the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) with the goal of ensuring 22,000 more children are enrolled in preschool and early education.
Currently, only 66% of eligible children are enrolled in the GSRP or Head Start due to lack of funding, and the new plan would see all 65,400 eligible children able to enroll. The plan includes $255 million in federal funding for the program, in addition to $150 million in state dollars, to give the program a total of $405 million in funding to be used over the next 3 years.
Additionally, $50 million in federal funding would be used to ensure an adequate supply of providers, ensure additional access to transportation for early education, provide scholarships to early educators, and to expand outreach efforts to increase parental awareness of the availability of free programs in their area.
There is bipartisan support to expand preschool access for Michigan kids, and this plan would see to it that that occurs.
MI Clean Water Plan
Governor Whitmer announced the MI Clean Water Plan in October of 2020 that would be a historic, $500 million investment to rebuild Michigan’s water infrastructure and help provide clean, affordable water to Michiganders. This crucial work has bipartisan support in both the state House and state Senate.
After decades of underinvestment, Michigan will confront lead pipelines, PFAS contamination, undersized sewers, failing septic systems, unaffordable water rates and constrained local budgets. This plan calls for $102.1 million to lead service line replacement in low-income communities, $290 in bonding authority for water quality protection, $105 million to drinking water infrastructure and innovation and $2.9 million to help communities keep up with future needs.
This plan would create over 3,000 jobs and ensure that Michigan’s drinking water, our lakes and streams and wastewater treatment are given the proper investments that we so badly need.
Michigan has reported more than 8.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Wednesday. 59.9% of residents age 16 and older have received at least one dose and 50.9% of residents age 16 and older are considered fully vaccinated.
The curfew on Michigan restaurants and bars was lifted on June 1, the first step of the state’s plan for fully reopening. As of now, all COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan are set to expire on July 1. This includes any remaining capacity limits, mask mandates, etc., unless an individual business chooses to enforce some regulations themselves.
New MARVIN Call-in Schedule Began June 7
Beginning June 7, UIA is beginning a new call-in schedule for all claimants who certify by phone with MARVIN. Claimants who certify by phone must call on the scheduled day and time that corresponds with the last two digits of their Social Security Number (SSN). MARVIN can be reached at 1(866) 638-3993 Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Work Search Requirements Returning
While Michigan’s requirement to search for work to remain eligible for unemployment benefits has been suspended due to the pandemic, the requirements were reinstated as of May 30, 2021. For each week you claim unemployment benefits, you will be required to search for work and submit details of at least one work search activity per week.
You can find a list of FAQs regarding workshare here.
UIA Branch Offices Reopening
Michigan’s Unemployment Agency announced last week that they intend to open back up in person branch office beginning no later than July 12. The date for their re-opening could be sooner depending upon how quickly they are able to get its in-person offices up and going. Our office will be sure to keep you updated on the matter in the coming weeks.
If you find that you are in need of assistance with your unemployment claim, you can contact my office using this form.
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO
Memorial Day Ceremonies
Joined by my stunt double in attending Memorial Day ceremonies across District 21 in Canton and Belleville to commemorate and honor all of those who served our country.
National Gun Violence Awareness Day
Friday, June 4 was National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and I wore orange to help raise awareness about our state’s history with gun violence and the importance of responsible gun ownership.
More than 1200 Michiganders were fatal victims of gun violence just two years ago, including 31 children who used a firearm to take their own lives. Michigan ranks 20th in the nation for the highest firearm homicide rate, with Black males 42 times more likely than White males to be impacted by gun violence.
It’s no secret that we have a problem on our hands, and I am committed to introducing legislation to raise awareness of and reduce gun violence in Michigan. Later this year, I plan to introduce legislation for Extreme Risk Protection Orders, or Red Flag Laws. In addition, I will be co-sponsoring numerous other bills seeking common-sense gun reform.
One Detroit Discussion on Anti-Asian Hate Crimes
I was honored to join One Detroit for a much-needed discussion on the rise of anti-Asian American hate crimes. Hate and intolerance of any kind have no place in our society and we need to always stand in solidarity for what is right.
You can watch the episode here.
MIAT College of Technology Tour
I recently had the opportunity to visit MIAT College of Technology Canton, MI Campus to see all of the exciting work happening at the college. MIAT offers technical career training in many areas including Aircraft Maintenance, Energy, Wind, & HVACR. MIAT has partnered with leading organizations across impressive industries such as renewable energy, and works on job placement for students, with many students receiving multiple job opportunities before even graduating!
It’s truly amazing work and happening right here in our backyard in Canton.
Indian American Legislative Day
I had a great time at the second annual Indian American Legislative Day. It was a pleasure to join my colleagues in the Asian American Pacific Islander Caucus, as well as former House Democratic Leader Sam Singh to celebrate the leadership of Indian American trailblazers. Guest speakers included Raj Wiener, Roop Raj and Mandy Grewal. Thank you to all who made it such a successful event!
Congratulations Class of 2021!
I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to all of our young people who have completed such an accomplishment! This year has been so difficult, and the perseverance of this graduating class inspires us all. I know this was not the senior year you all had envisioned, but I know that our future is in good hands with such an engaged, passionate and resilient group of graduates like you.
21st House District Commencement ceremonies:
- Belleville High School: May 27
- Plymouth-Canton Educational Park: June 12 & 13
I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
During this challenging time, it is more important than ever to stay in touch. I want to hear from you. What do you need? How can we help you? My office is here to assist you or answer any questions you may have. Please, reach out to me at RanjeevPuri@house.mi.gov.
Communications from my office will be available via bi-weekly email updates or social media. With that said my office is always open – do not hesitate to reach out should you ever find yourself needing assistance.
Enjoy the beautiful weather!