Today, I am very excited to share some news and updates with you. I am happy summertime is upon us, and things are slowly returning to “normal.”
I hope you all enjoyed a fantastic Fourth of July with your family, good barbeque, fun at the lake and maybe some mint chocolate chip ice cream! From my family to yours, happy Independence Day.
The Legislature is currently scheduled for our in-district working period. Although there is not much happening in Lansing for the next few weeks, our team is still working hard. 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
In-Person Coffee Hour *Date Change
Thursday, July 22, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The day is finally here! We are excited to host our first in-person coffee hour!
We will be at the gazebo at Canton’s Heritage Park — behind the Canton Township Police Department and Canton Township Administration Building, located off Veterans Way.
*Please note that the last e-newsletter had the incorrect date. The coffee hour will be on Thursday, July 22.
Youth Unity in the Community Event
Saturday, July 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Heritage Park Amphitheater
Our student advisory group (SAG) is working hard to plan a youth community event. The event is FREE and open to youth ages 12-18. The event is centered around strengthening unity among youth with a focus on mental health awareness and activities such as instructor-led yoga and working with a graphic artist on a mural that will be displayed somewhere in the community after the event.
We will have more information out next week, but if you are interested, please mark your calendars! The SAG kids are so excited to put on this event and we hope to bring out our middle and high school students to join us.
Fiscal Year 2021-22 Supplemental Budget
On Thursday, June 30, the Michigan Legislature adjourned for our summer in-district work period. It is possible that we are brought back to Lansing for a day in both July and August, but at this time, we are not scheduled to resume normal session days until September.
Before we adjourned on June 30, the Michigan Legislature passed a supplemental education funding bill that made a historic investment in our K-12 schools. HB 4421, Public Act 47, contains $4.4 billion in aid to the state’s K-12 schools from the federal government ($3.35 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act and $840.1 million from the CARES Act II, the latter of which had not been appropriated in an earlier supplemental).
On July 7, Gov. Whitmer signed this budget bill into law.
When we return to Lansing sometime in the coming months, further negotiations are yet to be resolved, including the bulk of the state’s 2021-22 fiscal year budget for departments, agencies, community colleges and public universities. It is my hope that we will continue to work across the aisle to pass a budget that reflects our priorities and meets the moment here in Michigan — our children, working families, small businesses and economy deserve nothing less.
As of last Tuesday, Michigan reported more than 9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered, with 62% of 16+ residents having received at least one dose while 54.2% of 16+ residents are considered fully vaccinated.
We have rounded a major corner in this pandemic, but it is important that we continue to remain vigilant. The highly contagious Delta variant now accounts for more than 51% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to new estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The good news is that the vaccines being used in the U.S. all appear to be highly effective at protecting against serious disease, hospitalization and death. For those who have not yet been vaccinated, it is highly encouraged you do so.
Let’s continue to build back what this pandemic took from us, together!
MI Shot To Win Sweepstakes
A few weeks ago, Gov. Whitmer announced the MI Shot to Win Sweepstakes, a lottery-style raffle that gives vaccinated Michiganders a chance to win more than $5 million in cash and college scholarships.
Prize and eligibility is as follows:
Michiganders can qualify to enter the sweepstakes by getting vaccinated against COVID-19 at Meijer or receiving their shot from their doctor, local health department, pharmacy, hospital etc. The sweepstakes began on July 1, 2021, and will end on Aug. 3 2021.
You can enter here. For more information, you can view the frequently asked questions document for the sweepstakes.
The sweepstakes are powered by Meijer in partnership with the Michigan Association of United Ways and state of Michigan; it is sponsored by different organizations across Michigan.
UIA Branch Offices Reopening
The Unemployment Insurance Agency is offering in-person unemployment insurance services by appointment only at 12 local unemployment offices.
Michiganders can go online to schedule 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.
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. Click here to view the full press release.
If you find that you are in need of assistance with your unemployment claim, you can contact my office by using this form.
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO
This past week, my team got out in the community and knocked on almost 500 doors to talk to constituents about what I am working on in Lansing and listen to any concerns they may have. We want to give a special shout out to the interns in our Lansing office, and a few students from our student advisory group, for braving the heatwave to join us to make this happen.
We look forward to meeting you at the door sometime this summer!
Canton Pride Event
On Friday, I was excited to join the Canton community at their first ever Pride OUTside event at Heritage Park. It was a great way for Canton families to stand with our LGBTQ+ neighbors and enjoy some food, live music and hear from some local groups. Happy Pride!
Belleville High Wins Award
Belleville High School was recently awarded $1,000 for competing in the Michigan College Access Network’s Dash for Cash incentive program! Belleville High saw a 6% increase in FAFSA completion during the 30 day competition meant to increase participation in FAFSA. We applaud the efforts of teachers, counselors, administrators and Belleville High students for accomplishing this increase and seeing to it that more of our students can have college access with the help of financial aid and FAFSA. Congratulations! The future of our students is bright.
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.