Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! Included in this edition are some important legislative and COVID-19 updates, along with a few resources I hope will prove helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1788 or email at KyraBolden@house.mi.gov for questions about this or any other state-level issue.
State Representative, 35th House District
Please be on the lookout for my upcoming events. The best way for me to serve you is making sure your voice is heard. You can watch live on Facebook and Zoom:
Join special guest, state Sen. Jeremy Moss and I for our first in person Coffee Hour of 2021 on Monday, June 21, at 5:30 p.m. in the Community Room in Lathrup Village City Hall! There will also be an option to watch via Facebook Live.
Join special guests Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Senator Jeremy Moss, Senator Rosemary Bayer, and Voters Not Politicians for a virtual town hall on Monday, June 28 from 5 to 6 p.m.! Zoom information will be provided in future e-newsletters.
Help us inform our neighbors about community resources and what is happening in Lansing. Every week, from May until August, we will be knocking on doors to meet the community where they are. All COVID-19 precautions will be followed to protect everyone’s safety, including masking up. To sign up to knock or make calls, follow the link.
On behalf of the 35th House District of Michigan, I want to thank you for attending the virtual COVID-19 Town Hall: “The Vaccine is approved. What’s Next?” on March 26, 2021. We were able to spread awareness of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and give further awareness about the three vaccine options. To view a recording of the town hall please click here.
Implicit Bias Training for Health Care Professionals
After working with Governor Whitmer for over a year as the Democratic Vice Chair of JCAR, rules have been instituted that will provide required implicit bias training to health care workers to improve health outcomes across the state.
Guardianship Bill Package
On May 18, 2021, I introduced House Bill 4849 which is a part of a state-wide bipartisan effort to protect Michigan’s vulnerable and elderly adults. I am grateful to be a part of the Elder Abuse Task Force led by Attorney General Dana Nessel. Together, we created the Guardianship Package composed of four bills that will set out the following requirements:
- Those who serve as guardians or conservators should be required to have a minimum level of training to serve as a guardian or conservator.
- State law should have specific procedure for appointing a guardian or conservator for a protected person.
- The role of guardians and conservators should be clearly outlined as that of a neutral party. Also, guardians and conservators should be required to take special precautions to safeguard a protected person’s property.
- Individuals subject to guardianship/conservatorship petitions should be afforded the time and ability to prepare a defense to the allegations being made against them.
- Wards or those who are interested in the welfare of a ward, must be able to easily request changes in guardianships and conservatorships, and to request an explanation of how a ward’s property has been used.
Estates and Protected Individual Code (EPIC) Legislation
On May 25, I introduced bipartisan legislation that seeks to adjust various financial thresholds to address the effect of inflation on various probate matters. The first bill amended the Michigan uniform transfers to minors act by editing the language regarding processes of transferring wills/ trust funds to minors. The second bill entitled “Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act” deals with titling of a watercraft.
Veteran Benefit Bills
On May 27, I introduced House Bill 4954. The bill seeks to amend the executive organization act of 1965 by creating a joint advisory committee concerning initiatives to increase awareness of veterans benefits established between Departments of Health and Human Services and Military and Veterans Affairs. HB 4954 was accompanied by House Bill 4955, entitled the Vietnam Veteran Era Bonus Act. HB 4955 will amend the language referring to the time period of service required for the veteran to receive a bonus. It also expands guidelines to those who can receive benefits.
COVID-19 Updates & Resources
Ascension Michigan Southfield Community Vaccine Clinic
In partnership with the City of Southfield, Ascension has launched a Southfield Community Vaccine Clinic in the Southfield Pavilion located at the Southfield Municipal Campus, 26000 Evergreen Road. To register for a vaccine appointment, visit ascensionhealth.inquicker.com/vaccine. No appointments needed. Individuals who are 16-17 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and will need to select “Pfizer vaccine” when setting up their appointment online.
For all vaccine related questions, contact Ascension Health Connect at (866) 501-DOCS (3627).
COVID-19 Vaccine Help
If you know someone who doesn’t have access to the internet and they’re eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine or need help with vaccine translation services, call2-1-1 and press ‘5’ for free, confidential assistance.
COVID Emergency Rental Assistance Program
COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) is a federally funded program available through Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to help Michigan tenants facing pandemic-related hardships avoid eviction while also ensuring landlords can recoup owed rent. The program can provide rental and utility assistance for eligible renter households so that they retain their housing stability. The CERA program is an important resource for those who have experienced financial hardships due to the pandemic and provides peace of mind to renters by ensuring they will be able to stay in their homes.
MSHDA is currently administering the CERA Program through its statewide network of local nonprofit housing resource agencies.
MSHDA estimates that 50,000 to 55,000 families will be able to receive financial assistance through CERA. For more info on who is eligible, check out the FAQ page here.
How to Apply?
MSHDA has an online application portal for application intake. This is the best way to apply for those that have a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Tenants and landlords can also apply through their local service agency. Please see the CERA Contact List for the service agency in our county.
New Federal Programs to Expand Internet Access for Michiganders
We know that many families here in Michigan still do not have access to reliable, high-speed internet. This makes learning and working in the 21st century increasingly difficult. As we have all had to rely on virtual tools to get through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important now than ever to bridge the digital divide and equip Michiganders with the tools they need to succeed. These exciting federal programs will be instrumental in expanding access to crucial broadband services.
Emergency Broadband Benefit
This program will provide a discount of up to $50 per month off a qualifying household’s internet bill (and up to $75 per month for households on tribal lands). In addition, some internet service providers are also providing discounts on the purchase of internet-capable devices, like laptop computers.
More than one million Americans enrolled in this program during its first week. Some of the most common ways that families qualify are:
- They participate in SNAP, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit.
- They experienced a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020, and had a total household income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers.
- They received a federal Pell Grant in the current award year.
- They were approved for benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program.
- They meet the eligibility criteria for their internet service provider’s pre-existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
Visit www.GetEmergencyBroadband.org to learn more and enroll, call (833) 511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week, or sign up directly with your internet service provider.
Broadband Infrastructure Grants Available through NTIA
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has released the rules for the Broadband Infrastructure Grant program that was created under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. This program will provide a total of $288 million in grants to public-private partnerships established to expand broadband service.
Emergency Connectivity Fund Grants Soon to Be Available through FCC
The Federal Communications Commission has released a report and order providing details about the Emergency Connectivity Fund created under the American Rescue Plan, which will provide $7.1 billion in grants that can support schools and libraries in providing connectivity to students, school staff and library patrons who would otherwise lack access to connected devices and high-speed internet service sufficient for remote learning.
May Business and Frontline Worker of the Month
I am proud to announce that Luxury Strike Bowling LLC was named the May Business of the Month and April Anderson, from the Henry Ford Health System, was named the May Frontline Worker of the Month! Congratulations to our winners, and thank you for all that you have done for our community.
Help us recognize both a front-line worker and local business. Please send your nominations to me here: Suggest a Tribute
National Gun Violence Awareness Day
Every day, more than 100 Americans are killed with guns and more than 230 are shot and wounded. These survivors are faced with a life-long process of physical and emotional healing. On June 4, I joined thousands of Americans who wore orange to raise awareness about gun violence.
June is Pride Month in the United States, a time to remember history and celebrate how far we’ve come in advancing the rights of LGBTQ+ people, but also to reinvigorate our efforts to continue the fight for equality and against discrimination and hatred.