Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including some updates and news from your state government.
House Votes to Repeal the ‘Tampon Tax’
The House of Representatives voted to repeal the so-called “tampon tax” last week. Under House Bills 4270 and 5267, menstrual hygiene products would be exempt from the 6% state sales and use tax. These products are often inaccessible for low-income individuals. Michigan is joining 23 other states that have already eliminated state taxes on these necessities. I proudly voted yes on these bills, and I am encouraged that this reform has bipartisan support. HBs 4270 and 5267 are now awaiting a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee.
Legislature Continues to Push Unnecessary Election Restrictions
Last week, the House passed three more bills that will make it harder for Michiganders to vote by absentee ballot, a right which is enshrined in our state Constitution. Instead of sharing accurate information about elections with voters, the Michigan Legislature is adding to the confusion. I voted no on bills that would:
Redistricting Commission to Hold Lansing Public Hearing Thursday
In 2018, Michigan voters passed Proposal 2, amending the state constitution to create the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. Before Proposal 2, legislative redistricting was done by the state Legislature; this meant that whichever party was in the majority could draw the lines in their own favor. The commission is composed of 13 registered voters randomly selected through an application process. The commission includes four Republicans, four Democrats and five members with no political affiliation. They use data from the 2020 census, citizen input and other considerations to draw the lines.
Last week, the commission voted to approve draft maps of the state House, state Senate and congressional districts. Next, the commission will hold public hearings from Oct. 18 to 26 to get citizen input before moving into the final deliberation process. The Lansing public hearings are scheduled for Oct. 21 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. and from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Lansing Center, 333 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. Citizens can also submit public comments online at michigan-mapping.org.
Hope Office, Volunteers Speak with Constituents in Lansing
My team and I were out in Lansing last Friday to hear residents’ concerns, answer questions and share information on how my legislative office can help. Thank you to the volunteers who helped us out, and thank you to everyone who took the time to speak with us!
‘It’s Time for a Living Wage’ Virtual Town Hall Available to View Online
Last week, I participated in For Our Future Michigan’s It’s Time for a Living Wage Virtual Town Hall. I joined panelists from One Fair Wage and the Restaurant Opportunities Center to talk about how to secure rights for workers across Michigan and the U.S. and pending legislation that would help working families. If you were unable to watch live, you can view the discussion here.
Medicare Enrollment Period Open through Dec. 7
The Medicare open enrollment period began last Friday, Oct. 15, and goes through Dec. 7. During this period, you can shop for your Medicare 2022 Prescription Drug Plan or make changes to current Medicare coverage. Coverage for newly selected plans begins Jan. 1, 2022. Even if you are happy with your current plan, it is recommended to take the time to compare and make sure you are receiving the best possible coverage.
The Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) offers Medicare beneficiaries and their families assistance with understanding the eligibility process, enrollment, coverage, medical bills, Medicare supplementals and long-term care insurance. To get connected with a MMAP Counselor near you, call (800) 803-7174, or go to https://mmapinc.org/ and click on “Get Started.”
CORRECTION: Child Care Package Vote
Last week’s e-news contained an error regarding the vote on the bipartisan child care package (House Bill 5041–5048). All of these bills passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, but only two of the bills passed unanimously.
Please don’t hesitate to contact my office at (517) 373-0587 or by email at email@example.com if we can help.