We hope everyone has been enjoying the beautiful weather so far this summer! All the sunshine has made it possible for my team to get out into the district and meet so many of you at the doors and at our first in-person coffee hour!
The Legislature is currently in the middle of our in-district working period. If we can ever 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
Monday, Aug. 23, from noon-1 p.m.
Belleville Library, 167 Fourth St. in Belleville
Governor Whitmer Signs Bills Extending Driver’s Licenses
Governor Whitmer recently signed Senate Bills 507, 508 and 509, which will extend the validation of state drivers licenses and personal identification cards to help put Michigan drivers first.
This legislation extends the expiration of all vehicle registrations, driver licenses and state IDs to 120 days after an original expiration date between March 31 and Aug. 1 of this year, and it waives late fees or refunds them retroactively to residents impacted by pandemic restrictions. Also, all offices are open to any residents who need in-person services, which they can access by walking up or scheduling their visits online or by phone.
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 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.
Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the delta variant. However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the delta variant can spread the virus to others. To reduce their risk of becoming infected with the delta variant and potentially spreading it to others, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people do the following:
Let’s continue to build back what this pandemic took from us, together!
UIA Repayment Notice Waivers
The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has begun to notify claimants who are no longer eligible to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits, due to requalification, that overpayments will be waived.
In June of this year, claimants were asked to requalify for PUA by providing the agency with the necessary information to remain eligible for the federal program. Four PUA COVID-19 eligibility reasons that were included at the beginning of the pandemic no longer qualify. Under federal law, UIA had to re-evaluate PUA eligibility for individuals who selected one of the non-qualifying reasons.
After the notifications were issued, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer supported Michigan’s use of waivers from the Department of Labor, stressing that, “No one who followed the rules and received benefits through no fault of their own should have to pay back money to the federal government.”
Of the roughly 690,000 claimants that were asked to requalify, about 241,000 responded to the UIA’s request. Waivers will be granted to the initial group of approximately 350,000 non-responses, many of whom may no longer be collecting benefits.
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
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 and make this happen.
We look forward to meeting you at the door sometime this summer!
Unity in the Community: A Youth-Led Mental Health Awareness Event
I was beyond speechless as a little over a week ago, our House District 21 Student Advisory Group put on the first ever ‘Unity in the Community’ event. It was a youth-led mental health awareness organized day full of activities, games, speakers, open mic, paintings, murals and more.
We tasked the students as part of the internship requirements to plan and execute a community wide initiative. I was ecstatic to see so many participate and the sense of ownership everyone took on. We were honored to partner with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan to support these bright students — thank you, Shawn Wilson and team!
Special thanks to our guest speaker, Leon Judd, the president of NAMI, yoga coach Nishi Singhal and board members from Plymouth-Canton Community Schools.
I am constantly reminded how our world will be in good hands as I see our future leaders in action. I can’t wait for the next one!
Final SAG Meeting
We want to thank all of our dedicated Student Advisory Group members for their hard work these past few months. Our SAG students recently had their final meeting, in which they received special recognition certificates from our office showing their dedication to bettering the community and wanting to be actively involved at such a young age.
Punjab FC Michigan Mela
It was my honor to present the organizing committee of the Punjab FC Michigan Mela a very special tribute on behalf of the state of Michigan.
My entire family and I had a blast, and my sons even got to compete in a race, each winning silver medals. This family friendly Punjabi mela included golf, soccer and volleyball tournaments, as well as live kabaddi competition and live Punjabi music. It was wonderful to see local communities come together for a family fun filled day of activities, games, food and music.
The event was yet another example of the rich culture of House District 21, and I left the event with a tremendous sense of pride. Can’t wait for the next one!
Secretary of State Branch Visit with Secretary of State Benson
Thank you, Secretary Jocelyn Benson, for the opportunity for my colleagues and me to visit Michigan Secretary of State’s Office locations and learn about improvements and changes happening across Michigan to make SoS visits more accessible and easier for everyone.
Excited to learn that most offices have same day or next day appointments available today!
Ribbon Cutting at Preservation Park
Thanks to Canton Township Government and Canton Leisure Services for including me in yesterday’s ribbon cutting. I am still saddened every time I walk into Preservation Park and don’t see our barn, but the pavilion will serve as a great place for our community!
Interns of House District 21
Our office just wanted to say a big thank you to our interns who worked in our office for the spring and summer semesters! Mitchell Page, Chloe Barbosa and Maheep Singh have been huge assets to our team and to the constituents of the 21st House District. We appreciate you greatly, and we are thankful to have had you in the office!
If you or someone you know is interested in interning with our office, we are currently searching for our fall semester interns (Aug./Sept.-Dec.). We are looking for college aged or older students for a hybrid in-person and online position. If you are interested, please send a copy of your resume and cover letter to our office at RanjeevPuri@house.mi.gov.
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.