Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! As always, I am most effective in my job when acting on your direct input. I encourage you to reach out to me and my staff with any questions, comments, or concerns that you may have regarding our community or state and with any policy ideas.
Please do not hesitate to reach out by phone at (517) 373-0853 or send an email to AngelaWitwer@house.gov.
State Representative, 71st House District
In This Issue:
Upcoming Coffee Hours
Please join me for one of my virtual Weekly Wrap-ups with Witwer. You can find the event on my Facebook page. Please also like and follow my page to stay connected with updates from the Capitol. I look forward to seeing you at a coffee hour soon!
Upcoming Coffee Hours:
In the District
Walking in Our Community
Over the past year, I have been busy talking to folks in our community about the issues that are important to them, and we just hit a major milestone: Since April, my team and I have knocked on over 20,000 doors! I want to sincerely thank all the volunteers who have helped us reach so many people.
Indigenous People’s Day
I think it’s important to honor the native people of Michigan who’ve influenced our state so profoundly. Gov. Whitmer proclaimed Oct. 11 as Indigenous People’s Day to recognize the history and contributions of the indigenous tribes of our state. Last month, she hosted a summit with tribal leaders to have a seat at the table as we work together to take on the issues that affect all Michiganders.
Cochran Road Ramp Closure
The Cochran Road ramp to southbound I-69 in Eaton County will be closed for rebuilding until Nov. 8, 2021. This work is part of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) ongoing $210 million investment to rebuild I-69 between Island Highway in Charlotte and I-94 in Marshall and Calhoun Counties. Gov. Whitmer’s Rebuilding Michigan program made funding for this project possible. These funds go toward rebuilding the highways and bridges that are critical to the state’s economy, including our very own ramp from I-69 to Cochran Road.
The New Health and Aging Services Administration
On Oct. 14, Gov. Whitmer signed executive orders to establish the Health and Aging Services Administration within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The newly established agency will provide more coordinated services to Michigan’s growing aging population. Michigan’s Medicaid Office is also part of the new Health and Aging Services Administration.
Honoring the Late Representative Ernest Nash
I introduced a memorial resolution that was adopted by the House to honor our district’s former representative, Ernest Nash, who passed away earlier this year peacefully in his sleep at the age of 90 in his home in East Lansing. Rep. Nash was truly an American hero. He lived his life in dedication to public service, first as a member of the Navy, then as a Michigan State Police officer, the state representative for Eaton County and as a Special Projects Officer in the George H.W. Bush administration. We should all aspire to follow in his footsteps. I was honored to have Rep. Nash’s family join me for the introduction of the resolution.
Making Michigan’s Certificate of Need Program Transparent
House Bills 5074–5077 would require Certificate of Need reports, proposed review standards, meeting agendas and other information be made available to the public at specified time intervals. While I support making the Certificate of Need more transparent, I voted no on these bills because these administrative changes can be made without wasting taxpayers’ time and money on legislation, and I believe that efficient governance should be a high priority.
Funding Michigan’s Statewide Trauma System
I applaud Gov. Whitmer for signing House Bill 5094, which funds critical, lifesaving support for Michiganders through the Michigan Statewide Trauma System. The bill provides funding to the Michigan Statewide Trauma System for the next year while the administration works with the Legislature to identify a long-term funding source.
Licensing Private Sector Training Programs
I am happy to share that my House Bill 5260 passed the House this week! This bill would amend the Michigan Vehicle Code to authorize qualified trade organizations to conduct used vehicle dealer training programs. Many professions provide the training mandated by the state in order to maintain one’s license, and car dealers should be no different.
Creating the Office of Rural Development
It is key to ensure that rural Michigan has a voice within the administration, so I introduced House Bill 5406 to create the Office of Rural Development within the Department of Agriculture. The office would provide the executive office with counsel and perspective on the impact of current laws and legislation, executive orders, policies, regulations, rules and spending on rural communities.
Protecting Michiganders From Lead Poisoning
I introduced House Bill 5416, which is part of a package that would improve the identification, prevention and treatment of lead exposure. My bill would require that all child participants in the special supplemental food program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) receive lead testing. Other bills in the package would require physicians to receive training in how to treat lead exposure, update codes for renovators and support pre-renovation education programs.
Supporting Opioid Overdose Treatment
With overwhelming bipartisan support, the House voted to pass HB 5163, a bill I sponsored that would require emergency departments in the state of Michigan to be prepared to treat opioid overdoses and connect those suffering from addiction to continuing care. From 2010-2019, deaths from opioids rose by almost 1,000%. This bill would help prevent needless deaths and make sure patients get the care they need.