The school year is officially upon us! I would like to say good luck to the students and educators across our district that returned to the classroom today. As the father of two small boys, one who started pre-school and one who started kindergarten, I can speak firsthand to the excitement felt throughout our household this morning.
As we begin a new school year and enter our first full week of September, I hope everyone had a relaxing Labor Day weekend with family and friends — Labor Day represents a day of finding unity and balance. In the late 19th century, labor unions sought to unify workers and find balance for work as they established many of the economic and social achievements we enjoy today — including creating a minimum wage and overtime pay, the 40-hour work week, collective bargaining rights, workplace safety standards, parental leave and weekends.
After the last 18 months, it is now more important than ever to stand with our brothers and sisters who fight for collective bargaining rights, restoring Michigan’s prevailing wage, repealing the so-called right-to-work laws, and closing the gender pay gap. Building a strong Michigan future also means building strong local communities. These values are important to me and my family, and I will work tirelessly to make Michigan a place where everyone can succeed.
The Legislature’s in-district work period is beginning to wind down. In a few short weeks, we will return to Lansing. 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
- Legislative Update
- COVID-19 Update
- Unemployment Update
- What We’ve Been Up To
UPCOMING TIME WITH RANJEEV
September Coffee Hour – Save the Date!
Sept. 27 from 6-7 p.m. in Canton (exact location TBD)
Our Office Is Seeking Legislative Interns!
If you or someone you know is interested in interning with our office, we are currently searching for our fall semester interns (September-December).
The office of state Rep. Ranjeev Puri is currently looking to fill an internship position. An intern would be expected to aid the representative and members of his staff in the areas of legislation, communications, constituent affairs, general office management and miscellaneous tasks. Some responsibilities will include monitoring legislation, research and written correspondence to groups and individuals within House District 21. Hours are negotiable. Students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.
Applicants must be a college student, veteran or participant in a job entry program. Strong applicants will have a positive attitude, great verbal and oral communication skills, knowledge of Microsoft applications, telephone skills, and writing skills. Previous office experience and knowledge of the Legislature and legislative process is a plus but not required.
If you are interested, please send a copy of your resume and cover letter to our office at RanjeevPuri@house.mi.gov.
HD 21 Student Advisory Group
Our team is excited to announce that we are opening the application for our Student Advisory Group for the fall/winter term! We were excited to have 35 students from House District 21 complete all requirements for the spring/summer, some who will likely return to continue with SAG again.
SAG provides a forum for high school students to meet with me and my team to hear updates on what is happening in Lansing, ask questions and share their own thoughts, ideas or concerns. SAG will allow students to network, learn more about state government and how it affects you, and provide opportunities to its members to engage in special projects.
To apply, fill out this form.
*Please note that all students will be required to submit a signed permission slip from a parent or legal guardian once accepted to participate.
Wayne County K-12 School Mask Mandate
As you have likely seen or heard by now, the Wayne County Department of Health recently announced that masks are now required for all students, educators, faculty and visitors in Wayne County K-12 schools and pre-schools.
I am glad to see that our local health officials have made this decision. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Michigan’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, have all recommended universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors regardless of vaccination status.
A few weeks into the new school year, growing numbers of U.S. school districts have halted in-person learning or switched to hybrid models because of rapidly mounting coronavirus infections. We know from this past year that COVID-19 has taken a huge academic, social, and emotional toll on our children — which is why the best place for them is in the classroom. Requiring masks to be worn in schools will allow our teachers to continue educating our children and focus their energy and efforts on student success. Our top priority is to keep students safe and in school for in-person learning — they need continuity and stability.
PUA Unemployment Benefits Ended Sep. 4th
A number of federal unemployment programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) ended last weekend on Sept. 4. Even if you have weeks remaining on a PUA or PEUC claim, these weeks will no longer be eligible for payment.
Weeks prior to Sept. 4 that are pending review, protest, non-monetary issues etc. can still be paid once those issues are resolved.
UIA Issues New Debit Cards
The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is reminding claimants who receive their benefit payment on a debit card that a new debit card for accessing their funds was issued by U.S. Bank. Claimants began receiving their new debit cards in early August.
The state of Michigan changed its debit card provider for unemployment benefits from Bank of America to U.S. Bank earlier this year. As of Aug. 25, new unemployment funds will be posted to the new U.S. Bank debit card.
Claimants may continue to use their current Bank of America debit card until Nov. 30. Bank of America extended the original Nov. 1 deactivation date to ensure cardholders have adequate time to use or transfer all remaining funds. Be sure to review all Bank of America correspondence for updates on key deadlines.
Claimants are advised to review any correspondence they receive from Bank of America regarding deadlines and how to access funds on Bank of America’s debit cards.
Funds on the Bank of America debit card cannot be transferred to the new U.S. Bank debit card; however, any remaining funds can be transferred to a checking or savings account at a bank or credit union.
Individuals who have not yet received their new debit card are urged to verify that the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has their current address on file. Claimants may update their contact information online through the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) or by calling UIA customer service at (866) 500-0017.
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
Families Against Narcotics Meeting
Thank you to Families Against Narcotics for having me join the monthly meeting to discuss the opioid epidemic in Michigan. We heard from survivors, families of victims, local law enforcement and others.
These stories of tragedies happening in our own backyard are harrowing, and any one life lost is one too many.
August Coffee Hour
Thank you to everyone who made it out to our August coffee hour at the Belleville Library. It was great to see so many familiar faces and a few new ones!
Indian Independence Day
Our diversity is our greatest strength. I had a busy week of attending a number of events around town and meeting so many of you!
We celebrated the Festival of Chariots and Indian Independence Day with the Consulate General of India, food festivals, community picnics and more!
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.