Welcome to my e-newsletter! I’m honored and humbled to serve as our community’s voice at the Capitol in Lansing. As we continue into the 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:
Upcoming Community Conversation
Please join in on our community conversation on Aug. 19, starting at 6 p.m. on Facebook Live. I will give a brief legislative update, and then we will have a conversation about behavioral health. We will have a presentation from our special guest with THRIVE, Dr. Matthew J. Samocki.
We hope to save some time for Q&A, so come with questions for our guests. You can join us on Facebook Live by clicking here or searching @StateRepAmosONeal.
I hope to see you there!
Child Tax Credit
Raising kids can be expensive, and the Child Tax Credit is here to help. President Biden’s American Rescue Plan increased the amount of the 2021 Child Tax Credit to support families with children. The full benefit of the Child Tax Credit is now $300 per month per child under age 6 and $250 for each child age 6 to 17.
If you filed your 2020 taxes this year, filed your 2019 taxes last year or used the IRS “Non-Filer Portal” to get a stimulus check last year, you don’t need to do anything; the IRS will automatically send you a monthly payment by direct deposit or check.
If you didn’t file taxes in the last two years, you just need to fill out a simple form available at www.childtaxcredit.gov.
Unlock Michigan Petition
This week in Lansing, we could have been focusing on passing a final budget or providing flood relief for our hardest-hit areas; instead, Republicans chose to take up an initiative petition based on Senate Bill 857 of 2020 to cripple the ability of Gov. Whitmer, and future governors from both parties, to act quickly and decisively during public health emergencies. Specifically, the Unlock Michigan petition repealed the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945, which Whitmer used to declare and extend a state of emergency during the pandemic. The Legislature could have sent the proposal to the ballot and provided every citizen with the opportunity to voice their opinions and vote. The law this measure removed had already been ruled invalid by the Michigan Supreme Court and is thus just another political power grab.
House Bill 4411 – Line Item Veto
On July 14, Gov. Whitmer vetoed a line item in the fiscal year 2022 K-12 budget which would have sent $155 million to an unproven literacy program at Grand Valley State University backed by for-profit education boosters. We commend this veto and agree that we need to be using these dollars for our kids, not corporations. This is money that could be given directly to schools, with educators who are in the best position to give students the support they need. Literacy coaches and in-school programs only are allocated $31.5 million in the current budget. We need to do more to increase this and stop using our limited resources in ways that will not directly benefit our students.