Happy fall! There is nothing better than a Michigan fall, and our office is excited for the cider and donuts that come along with it. As summer has come to a close so has our in-district work period. We have now returned to Lansing for our three-day-a-week session schedule and normal committee hearings. I am excited for the work ahead in the coming months.
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
- FY 21-22 Budget Update
- State Resources Update
- What We’ve Been Up To
UPCOMING TIME WITH RANJEEV
Community Legislative Canvass With Rep. Puri + Cider & Doughnuts!
Oct. 16, starting at 10 a.m.
Independence Park (1898 Denton Road in Canton)
On Oct. 16, Team Puri will be heading out into the Canton community and going door-to-door to check in on our neighbors! Will you join us?
Legislative canvassing is a great way for our team to get out in the community and talk with residents about how we can better serve them in Lansing. Come out and get to know Team Puri and the 21st House District by helping our team connect with constituents. We will be welcoming fall with plenty of cider and doughnuts!
Sign up to join us here.
Child Care Legislation Committee Testimony
It’s been a big week for child care in Michigan!
Last Tuesday, I testified in the House Children, Families, and Seniors Committee in support of my bill — House Bill 5044 — which allows for the creation of infant-toddler contracts.
HB 5044 is part of a larger package of legislation that is focused on concrete steps to strengthen the child care industry and make child care businesses more sustainable.
As both a father to two small boys and an appointed member of the governor’s Childcare Workgroup, I am so proud of the work we’ve done here. This package is a step toward a more accessible, affordable and higher-quality system for our families, children and state.
Child care is not a partisan issue: it is often the single largest expense for Michigan working families. Child care is an economic and labor issue as well, as many young parents (predominantly women) are burdened with the choice of having to pick between child care and their careers.
So, in addition to continuing my support for policy changes, I was proud to vote YES on the fiscal year 2022 budget on Wednesday, which makes a historic $1.5 billion investment in child care.
FY 21-22 BUDGET UPDATE
MI Legislature Passes FY 2022 Budget That Makes Historic Investments
This week, the Michigan Legislature passed a $70 billion state budget for the next fiscal year. House Bill 4400, which funds higher education, and Senate Bill 82, which provides funding for general government, passed with large bipartisan support. I am proud of the work we did here — we were able to come together and find common ground to take care of Michiganders.
A few highlights in the budget include:
✅ A historic investment in child care will decrease costs for working families, expand access, and support childcare providers.
✅ $196 million for local bridge bundling program (over 100 local bridge projects).
✅ New investments in drinking water, the Great Lakes, contaminated site cleanups and high-water infrastructure grants:
✅Fully funds the Michigan Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners tuition scholarship programs.
✅ Funds new health disparities initiative ($8.4 million) and expanded sickle cell coverage ($6.7 million).
✅Invests in new troopers, professional development training and body cameras for the State Police. Continues grants to local first responders for training and equipment needs.
✅ $500 million for the Rainy Day Fund and other quality investments, including the State IT Investment Fund, state building energy efficiencies and cyber defense measures.
This budget will grow an economy that works for all Michigan families, expand the path to good-paying jobs, protect our natural resources and drinking water, and rebuild our infrastructure to create a safer Michigan.
The budget includes nearly $2.7 billion in the federal stimulus dollars that were sent to Michigan earlier this year but still leaves another $7 billion on the table. I look forward to the work that lies ahead to ensure that every last available dollar is brought home to our communities.
The budget now heads to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk, who has said she’ll sign the bills. As a reminder, part of the FY 2022 budget is already complete. Back in July, Gov. Whitmer signed the state’s $17 billion FY 2022 School Aid Budget, which funds our K-12 schools.
Boilerplate Language in Budget Affecting Public Health Orders
I have already heard from constituents who have concerns surrounding the boilerplate language that is included in the budget regarding local health departments, masks and vaccines. Having voted YES on the budget bills, I need to be clear that I would not have voted for this budget if it tied the hands of our schools or public health officials to protect Michiganders.
For example, language is included in the passed budget that would require community colleges and universities to have exemption and reporting requirements if mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy is implemented. There is also language that would ban many local mask mandates.
I would not have voted for this budget if not for the many experts who consider the language requirements to be unenforceable and unconstitutional.
I stand with the governor’s office in opposing any attempts that diminish local ability to manage this pandemic or prevent local health departments from doing their jobs.
Gov. Whitmer’s team will be doing a legal review, and she will likely declare any legally dubious boilerplate unenforceable.
STATE ASSISTANCE UPDATE
PUA Unemployment Benefits Ended Sept. 4
A number of federal unemployment programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), ended 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.
If you find that you are in need of assistance with your unemployment claim, you can contact my office using this form.
State Resources for Job Search
There are numerous free resources and programs available to support individuals in taking their next steps. Whether they want to conduct a job search, explore new career pathways or discover educational or training programs, there are many opportunities they can pursue.
- Pure Michigan Talent Connect at MITalent.org is a free job search resource that lists more than 90,000 jobs currently available in Michigan.
- The Michigan Return to Work Playbook is an online portal that features job readiness, industry/job specific resources and resources to support specific individuals (such as veterans or individuals with disabilities).
- Career exploration, resume assistance, interview skills, classroom and on-the-job-training, virtual and in-person job fairs, and more are provided through a local Michigan Works! service center. Call (800) 285-WORKS or visit michiganworks.org.
- Apply for healthcare coverage, food and cash assistance, and more using the Michigan Department of Health and Humans Services’ MI Bridges system, which also lists helpful state and local resources.
FEMA Wayne County Flooding Assistance
Wayne County is offering financial assistance for residents impacted by the June 2021 flooding. Funding will support them in covering damages and costs that have not been covered by FEMA or private property insurance. This grant is intended to cover the costs of tangible goods and belongings such as carpets, couches, drywall and food. Additionally, this grant may be used to cover contracted labor if the applicant can provide itemized quotes or receipts from their contractor. You can read more information on if you’re eligible for assistance here.
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO
This week, Team Puri was lucky to be joined by the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and two of their student volunteers to canvas in HD 21!
As a team, we were able to knock on more than 200 doors, helping our office connect with constituents across the district. Legislative canvassing gives our office a better understanding of how we can best serve you in Lansing. Thanks to the MLCV!
Michigan House of Representatives 9/11 Ceremony
On Sept. 9, the Michigan House of Representatives held its annual Sept. 11 ceremony to commemorate Michigan first responders lost in the line of duty during the past year, honor those lost in the 2001 attacks and recognize first responders serving in Michigan communities today.
I was proud to be joined for the ceremony by Canton Public Safety Department’s Director of Police, Chad Baugh.
The brave and courageous actions of our first responders 20 years ago helped save many lives that tragic day. Honoring their lives and telling their stories allow us to shine a light on a day that looms so dark. The attacks forever changed our country and led to a dramatic rise in hate crimes for many communities.
It is important to continue to work together to build an America in which we are all safe and welcome. Director Baugh and his men and women honor the sacrifices made each and everyday as they continue that all-important work, and for that, I thank them.
Education Secretary Cardona Visit
I had the honor to welcome U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona during his tour of Plymouth High School. The secretary was able to see so much of what makes Plymouth-Canton Schools some of the best in the state. I am always proud to show off our district, and it was great to spend some time at the Plymouth Canton Education Park (PCEP) with the secretary!
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.