Dear Neighbor,

Thank you for subscribing to my legislative updates. I hope you are enjoying the summer and the beautiful weather! In this update, I will be sharing helpful information on rental assistance for both tenants and landlords, information on the recently announced UIA overpayment waivers and the recently passed K-12 education budget.

Rental Assistance

If you’re a renter having trouble paying your rent, utilities or other housing costs — or if you’re a landlord trying to stay afloat with tenants in this situation — help may be available. State, local and federal programs are distributing billions of dollars in rental assistance to help renters stay housed during the pandemic.

There is still nearly $500 million remaining in Michigan’s COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program, funds that are set to expire in October. Visit the Michigan State Housing Development Authority page to learn more and apply.

Oakland County also offers several relief programs for rent, mortgage and utilities. You can visit the Oakland County website to learn more and apply.

You can also visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Rental Assistance Finder to locate additional resources to help renters and landlords navigate various financial hardships related to the pandemic.

Eligible Unemployment Claimants Granted Overpayment Waivers

The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has begun to notify claimants who are no longer eligible to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits that overpayments will be waived.

In June, claimants were asked to re-qualify 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 were later found by the U.S. Department of Labor to be non-qualifying. Under federal law, UIA had to re-evaluate PUA eligibility for individuals who selected one of the four non-qualifying reasons.

Of the roughly 690,000 claimants that were asked to re-qualify, 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.

Claimants will be notified through their MiWAM account or via U.S. Mail. Please reach out to my office if you need further assistance dealing with an unemployment claim.

K-12 Budget

This year, with collaboration across the aisle and with the governor’s office, we were able to provide more public education funding than ever to support teachers and students across Michigan. We were also able to pass the 2022 education budget on time, so districts did not have to set their budgets without knowing what support they would receive from the state. This historic budget finally closes the funding gap between districts, a goal that has been around since the passage of Proposal A in 1994. This budget also invests more into at-risk funding, special education and mental health services, and it funds pre-K at the same level as K-12 for the first time ever in Michigan, with the investment of an additional $168 million for the Great Start Readiness Program.

I am proud to serve as minority vice chair of the School Aid Subcommittee on Appropriations, and I am humbled to have had the opportunity to work on this historic budget. While this budget is a giant step in the right direction, there is still work to be done to ensure that schools are fully and equitably funded, and we must continue to provide the investments that our students and educators need and deserve.

Thank you for taking the time to read my legislative update. If you are in need of support or resources or have any questions regarding legislation or state government in general, please feel free to reach out to me at my office via email or by calling (517) 373-0478.