Welcome to my e-newsletter! I’m honored and humbled to serve as our community’s voice at the Capitol in Lansing. 2020 was a year unlike any other; as we continue into the new year and new term, rest assured the challenges families in our community and state are facing are at the top of my legislative priorities.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-0152 or email at AmosONeal@house.mi.gov if we can help.
State Representative, 95th House District
In this issue:
Federal Unemployment Benefits Update
House Bill 4434 takes away the $300 federal unemployment bonus going to residents who lost work during the COVID-19 pandemic. During debate on the House floor last week, Republicans argued that HB 4434 would usher in a true “return to normalcy” as the state prepares to move away from the pandemic-related restrictions this week.
My Democratic colleagues and I disagree. These dollars are the difference between keeping food on the table or their lights on for many Michiganders. Moreover, prematurely ending our participation in this program is to deny Michiganders their own tax dollars. It is entirely unacceptable.
Teacher Retention Package
Many of our teachers work tirelessly to provide the best education for our children. Unfortunately, they still have to work a second job to pay off student loan debt and put food on the table. That’s why I have supported the Respect Educators bill package introduced this week. It includes student loan debt forgiveness and competitive pay for our teachers so that they can be the best educators possible.
UIA Office Reopening
The UIA announced yesterday that 15 branch office locations are reopening effective immediately. This comes ahead of its initial goal to reopen offices by July 12. Sadly, not all offices will be able to open for in-person appointments at this time. Thankfully the office located in Saginaw at 515 N. Washington Ave. will be one of the open ones. This is still by appointment only but is a great step in the right direction to being able to further provide necessary assistance to those in need.
COVID Restrictions Lifted
It was announced this week that the remaining COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted as of June 22. That means that state-issued mask mandates, gathering restrictions and venue limits will be no more.
Some specific restrictions will remain in place for vulnerable populations in corrections, long-term care and agriculture. More information can be found at Michigan.gov/coronavirus.
I am so excited to see our vaccination rates climb because we all came together and are now able to get back to normal.