Dear friends and neighbors,
Welcome to my monthly e-newsletter! As always, I’m excited to be working on your behalf up here in Lansing. The Legislature has been busy the first half of this year, so I’ve got plenty of updates for you.
Remember, there’s no problem too big or small to call or email my office about. If you’re having problems with unemployment, paying bills, or with getting food, reach out to us and we can get you connected with the state and local resources you need. My staff is available at (517) 373-8670 or MariManoogian@house.mi.gov.
Yours in Service,
State Representative, District 40
Deputy Minority Whip, House Democratic Caucus
House Passes Fiscal Year ’22 and Supplemental Budgets
Last month, the House passed 16 departmental budgets for the 2022 fiscal year and a series of supplemental budget bills to allocate billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funding. Unfortunately, this irresponsible budget proposal reads more like a partisan agenda than actually providing the support and relief that Michiganders need now. It includes 75% funding cuts for many state departments, focuses on unnecessarily paying off bonds early instead of investing in transformational projects, and ties many vital programs to removing gubernatorial authority.
House Democrats proposed nearly 50 amendments to right the many wrongs in this proposal, and almost all of which were rejected. The budget bills went on to pass largely along party lines. In the wake of the worst crisis we’ve seen in our lifetimes, now is the time to invest in our people, our economy and our infrastructure, but the budgets that passed last week fail to deliver.
As we look to pass a final budget for the 2022 fiscal year, I’m committed to ensuring that Michiganders don’t receive crumbs from the billions of federal dollars given back to us by Washington. With House Democrats working hard with the Governor to ensure a budget surplus this year, we can work to put a budget together that works for Michigan families.
House Democrats Will Protect Access to Care and Hold Insurance Companies Accountable
My House Democratic colleagues and I are sounding the alarm to highlight the urgent action needed to pass House Bill 4486, which will protect vulnerable residents who are in danger of losing access to life-saving care.
Starting July 1, reimbursements rates for specialized rehabilitation services will be slashed by 45%—leaving thousands of critically injured Michigan citizens without the care they paid for and need to survive. House Democrats are calling for a cost-neutral solution to this looming crisis that requires auto insurers to reimburse providers at the same rate as they do providers in a hospital setting.
I stand for protecting vulnerable victims, and my House colleagues and I will continue to fight on behalf of accident survivors and all Michigan consumers. I’m proud to be a cosponsor of HB 4486 and will continue to urge the Majority to take this bill up before the clock runs out on this critical care.
COVID Emergency Rental Assistance Program
COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) is a federally funded program available through 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 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.
Applying for CERA is easy through MSHDA’s online application portal. 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.
I’ll continue to encourage residents of the 40th District to get vaccinated for COVID. This year has been so hard for so many, and with the hope of this pandemic coming to a close so near to us, I want to ensure that every resident who wants a vaccine can get one.
Following CDC guidance, if you or your family member is 12 years old or older, you’re eligible for a vaccine. Search for local clinics or pharmacies with the vaccine at https://oaklandcountyvaccine.com/ or through your local healthcare provider,
Having problems getting a vaccine? Let us see if we can help by calling us at (517) 373-8670 or emailing us at MariManoogian@house.mi.gov.
And please remember, this pandemic isn’t completely over. Please continue to follow guidance or requests from local businesses and our fellow community members regarding mask-wearing, even if you are vaccinated.
Awards for the Month
As a reminder, we are always accepting nominations for Business of the Month, Teacher of the Month and First Responder of the Month. If you know a business or a person deserving of recognition in our area, reach out to us at MariManoogian@house.mi.gov!
Do you know a student who would be interested in being an intern for our office during the fall term? Have them send in their resume and cover letter to MariManoogian@house.mi.gov to apply! Internships are approximately 20 hours per week and can take place either virtually or in our Lansing office starting this fall.
Is there a virtual or in-person community event you would like for me to attend? Let me know by emailing MariManoogian@house.mi.gov!
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