Welcome to my latest e-newsletter!
Hepatitis A Case in Genesee County Jail
The Genesee County Health Department has confirmed a case of hepatitis A associated with the Genesee County Jail. Individuals who were in the Genesee County Jail between March 25 and April 15, 2018, may have been exposed to hepatitis A. The Genesee County Health Department and the Genesee County Jail are working closely together to identify individuals eligible for the vaccine.
Vaccination can prevent the disease if given within 14 days of exposure. Anyone who was in the Genesee County Jail during these dates and has not been vaccinated for hepatitis A, or who has a sudden onset of any symptoms, should contact their doctor. It is important to get the vaccination as soon as possible. The Genesee County Health Department will host special hepatitis A vaccination clinics at the Genesee County Health Department Burton Branch, G-3373 S. Saginaw St. in Burton on Saturday, April 21, from 1-5 p.m. Regular clinic hours for hepatitis A vaccinations at the Genesee County Health Department Burton Branch are as follows:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 8-1 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.
Tuesday: 1-4 p.m. and Thursday evening by appointment
For more information, please visit www.gchd.us. The Genesee County Health Department, Hepatitis A Telephone Hotline number, is (810) 257-3048.
MDOT 2018 Construction Map Now Available for Download
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has posted the 2018 Paving the Way state construction map online for motorists to download. The public is encouraged to download the map and print it at home or at their nearest library. The map is available at www.michigan.gov/mdotmaps, and will also be on display in all rest areas and Welcome Centers across the state in the coming weeks.
The most up-to-date construction information for state roads is always available on the MI Drive traffic website at www.michigan.gov/drive.
Flint Health Care Employment Opportunities
Free training is available through the Flint Health Coalition for unemployed and under-employed people interested in working in health care. For more information or to apply, call (810) 232-2228 or visit the website at http://gfhc.org/fheo-application/.
Call 8-1-1 Hotline Before Digging
With spring having arrived and the weather turning warmer, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) reminds Michiganders to call 8-1-1 before starting any residential or business digging projects to safeguard against striking buried utility lines. April is National Safe Digging Month, and it’s important to everyone’s safety that homeowners and businesses call 8-1-1 a few days before starting small or large projects. After making the call, trained professionals from local utilities will come out to any job site for free to mark the approximate locations of underground gas, electric, communications, water, or sewer lines. Once utility lines are designated, a project can get started — but care still should be taken when working in marked areas.
Whether putting in a mailbox, planting a shrub, installing farm irrigation or breaking ground on a business expansion, utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, there’s still a risk of striking an underground service line. The depth of utility lines can vary for many reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Even if hiring someone to do the job, make sure they have called 8-1-1 before work begins.
To learn more about 811 and how to protect vital infrastructure, visit www.call811.com.
Michigan's 2018 Fishing License Season
For those interested in going fishing in Michigan, a new license was required beginning Sunday, April 1, for people who are 17 years of age or older. That day was the kickoff to the state’s 2018 fishing license season, as well as the new fishing regulation cycle. All 2018 fishing licenses are good through March 31, 2019. Anglers have eight options to choose from when making their purchase. All fishing licenses are good for all species.
For your convenience, there are two simple ways to buy a fishing license in Michigan:
1. Visit a local license retailer or DNR Customer Service Center and make a purchase in person.
2. Use the E-License system to buy a license online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just visit mdnr-elicense.com on your computer, smartphone or tablet to get started.
DNR Reminds New Hunters to Sign Up for Safety Classes
Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers remind new hunters that it’s not too early to sign up for safety classes. All first-time hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1960, must successfully complete a hunter safety course.
Even new hunters who are outside of the age requirement should consider taking a class. Hunter education courses teach responsibility, ethics, firearm safety, wildlife conservation and identification, game care, survival and first aid. Courses are offered across the state throughout the year, though most are conducted from August through October.
A course typically is comprised of two to five sessions with a total class time of 10 to 12 hours. Classes usually are conducted at outdoor clubs, schools, police stations and camps. In addition to traditional classroom courses, home-study and online courses — which use a self-paced method followed by a field day of material review and testing — are available. Students who elect to take an online or home-study course should contact an instructor prior to the course to ensure availability of the required field day. Students must successfully complete both the online or home-study course and the field day to earn their hunter education safety certificate. Hunter education is a partnership between the DNR Law Enforcement Division and more than 2,500 volunteer instructors. The program is funded through federal Pittman-Robertson Act taxes on sporting firearms, ammunition and archery equipment. Visit michigan.gov/huntereducation for more information on hunter education and to find a class near you.
Treasury: Taxpayers Can Check State Refund Status Online
The Michigan Department of Treasury reminds taxpayers they may check the status of their refund online by going to www.michigan.gov/wheresmyrefund.
Individuals who e-filed can check their refund status two weeks from the date confirmation was received that the state return was accepted. The status of paper-filed tax returns can be viewed from six to eight weeks after postmarking. The most up-to-date information about a taxpayer’s refund is on the “Where’s My Refund?” website. Taxpayers interested in learning the status of their refund are encouraged to use the website.
To ensure taxpayer privacy and security, the following information is required when checking the status of a refund at www.michigan.gov/wheresmyrefund:
- Social Security Number
- Tax Year
- Filing Status
- Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or Total Household Resources (THR)
Individuals can find their AGI on line 10 of the MI-1040. Total Household Resources are found on line 33 on the MI-1040CR or line 34 on the MI-1040CR-7. For more information, please visit: www.Michigan.gov/taxes.
The Forest Township Senior Center is offering a free exercise class from 12:15-1 p.m. every Wednesday. The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program is a low-impact physical activity program proven to reduce pain and decrease stiffness. The routines include gentle range-of-motion exercises that are suitable for every fitness level. This program is being paid for by Valley Area Agency on Aging and SilverSneakers Flex Programs. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Abbie Mars at Valley Area Agency on Aging at (810) 239-7671.
Tile Art Crafting at the Mount Morris Library
On Saturday, April 21, from 2-3 p.m., the Mount Morris Library is hosting a Tile Art Craft day. Anyone ages 6-16 are welcome to make easy ceramic tile art that everyone will enjoy. For more information, or to register, please visit the Genesee District Library website.
Squawk, Hiss, Meow! How Animals Tell Their Secrets
Ever wonder how animals tell each other about danger or where to find the best grub? Learn to decode the chitter-chatter of some very noisy, opinionated animals at the Clio Area Library on Saturday, April 28, from 11 a.m.-noon. You'll get to pet the animals there, too. For more information, or to register, please visit the Genesee District Library website.
April 10th Was Equal Pay Day
Jane and John met in college. Their relationship developed through study groups they formed while in the same engineering classes. With the same perspective on life, they decided to get married. Upon graduation, they both secured employment and ambitiously pursued their careers in the same field. It didn’t take long for Jane to learn that she only made 78 cents on the dollar to John. This news is shocking to her — they have the same degree and a nearly identical position. So why does she make so much less for the same work? Sadly, this story is a harsh reality for women in nearly every field across America.
The recognition of this struggle is why we prioritize days like Equal Pay Day. This year, April 10 marked Equal Pay Day in Michigan. Did you know that in 2016, women working full time in the United States typically were paid just 80 percent of what men were paid? Women of color often make even less. The 20 percent gap has narrowed since the 1970s, due largely to women’s progress in education and workforce participation and to men’s wages rising at a slower rate. Still, the pay gap is not likely to go away on its own. At the rate of change between 1960 and 2016, women are not expected to reach pay equity with men until 2059.
Equal Pay Day was initiated by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996 to highlight the gap between men and women’s wages. Equal Pay Day is held every April to symbolize how far into the new year women need to work to make what men did in the previous year. It is always on Tuesday to represent how far into the next work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week. In other words, because women earn less on average, they must work longer for the same pay.
Over a working lifetime, wage disparity costs the average American woman and her family. About 71 percent of all mothers in the United States work for pay. Of these, 68 percent are married and typically have access to men’s incomes, but married women’s earnings are nevertheless crucial to family support. 32 percent are single mothers and often the sole support of their families. Many without children, both single and married, work to support themselves and other family members. Not earning equal pay means that not only do women suffer a direct loss of wages, but they also earn less when it comes to Social Security benefits, pensions, and other long-term planning measures that lack behind their male counterparts.
If women like Jane were to earn fair pay, the security of their family would be strengthened and saving for retirement would be easier. Women could better provide for their families, save for their children’s education and futures and contribute more to the economy. If women were to earn fair pay, the American economy as a whole would benefit. The poverty level for both single women and families would fall dramatically. The U.S. economy would have produced an additional income of $447.6 billion if women received equal pay.
If women in Michigan were paid as much as men, they would be able to afford 81 more weeks of food for their family or nearly one additional year of tuition and fees for a four-year public university, or 13.5 more months of rent or more than 18 additional months of child care each year. Women earning fair wages benefits everyone.
State Representative Pam Faris
48th House District
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