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 join me for our next Virtual Coffee Hour with my special guest, state Sen. Jeremy Moss, on Monday, Oct. 18, at 5:30 p.m. To join the Coffee Hour via Zoom, please follow this link.
FY 2022 Appropriations
On Sept. 22, the House approved critical funding for the fiscal year 2022 state budget that will support local infrastructure, public safety, community health and parks and recreation projects. I am pleased to announce that my office was able to secure $200,000 for infrastructure grants for the City of Lathrup Village and $200,000 for sewer repairs in the Village of Franklin.
House Bill 4856 Testimony
On Sept. 21, I gave testimony before the House Committee on Judiciary on HB 4856, which would allow the identity of a survivor of sexual misconduct who files a civil action to remain anonymous, no matter the verdict. This bipartisan legislation contributes to common-sense policy changes that ensure survivors in our state are protected and able to have their unique and individual needs met.
COVID-19 Updates & Resources
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, call 2-1-1 and press ‘5’ for free, confidential assistance.
State Resources Available to Help the Jobless Find Work
There are numerous free resources and programs available to support individuals in taking the next steps in finding a career. 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.
UIA Virtual Appointments Offer More Accessibility for Michiganders
Closed caption option available for deaf and hard of hearing customers
The Unemployment Insurance Agency has added a virtual appointment option for customers needing assistance with their claims, including a dedicated link for customers who are deaf or hard of hearing, utilizing voice-to-text closed captioning.
In addition to phone and in-person appointments, customers can now also schedule virtual appointments. Virtual appointments combine the personal touch of a customer service agent with the convenience of a remote connection.
The 20 minute virtual appointments can be scheduled online up to one week in advance at Michigan.gov/uia. Click on “Schedule an Appointment.” The UIA expects to schedule up to 340 virtual appointments per day.
“We’re excited to expand the ways that customers can get one-on-one service,” said Liza Estlund Olson, acting director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency. “Offering virtual appointments also helps us to be more responsive to our customers who are deaf or hard of hearing.”
“The UIA’s efforts to implement a virtual meeting platform option and enhance service accessibility to the public, particularly at this time, are excellent,” said the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Employment and Training Director Stephanie Beckhorn. “The platform’s real-time captioning and chat features may provide those with disabilities, such as deafness, hearing loss or other disabilities, a readily available accommodation option to engage in and receive UIA services.”
Once the virtual appointment is scheduled, customers will receive an email with a link to join the appointment via Google Meet on the appointed day and time. Customers will need to have a Gmail account to join from a mobile device. They do not need to have a Gmail account to join from a computer.
Hours of operation for virtual appointments are:
In addition to scheduling a virtual appointment, customers may contact UIA by:
Customers in need of other special accommodations to participate in a virtual meeting should request the accommodation when initially scheduling their appointment.
So far, the agency has held more than 12,000 virtual appointments, including 212 that utilized the closed captioning feature.
This video explains how to set up an appointment for customers who are deaf or hard of hearing. For hours of operation and office locations, visit the UIA website at michigan.gov/uia. View the full press release here.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Domestic Violence Awareness Month is held throughout the month of October and was originally created as a way to bring advocates across the nation together to end domestic violence. Communities around the country will celebrate the tremendous progress survivors and advocates have made over the years, mourn for those whose lives were taken by domestic violence and connect with one another in a true sense of unity to end domestic violence for good.
Domestic Violence can affect anyone, at any time and in any relationship. If you feel like you are experiencing abuse, call (800) 799-SAFE or (800) 787-3224 TTY.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday celebrated on the second Monday of October in the United States in lieu of Columbus Day. Indigenous Peoples’ Day, at its core, aims to celebrate and honor the past, present and futures of Native peoples throughout the United States. It also acknowledges the legacy of colonialism, which has devastated Indigenous communities historically and continues to negatively impact them today. More importantly, however, Indigenous Peoples’ Day moves beyond the narrative of oppression and honors the histories, cultures, contributions and resilience of contemporary Native peoples.