In this e-newsletter:
Upcoming Virtual Coffee Hour – Sept. 17
My coffee hour for the month of Sept. will be on Friday, Sept. 17, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. This will be a virtual coffee hour. I will be providing a legislative update and offering an opportunity for residents of the 60th House District to share their thoughts and perspectives.
Residents of House District 60 who would like to attend the coffee hour on Sept. 17 should register by clicking here or by sending us an email at JulieRogers@house.mi.gov by noon on Sept. 16. An access link will be sent on the afternoon of Sept. 16 to those who have registered.
Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony Held at Michigan State Capitol
On Thursday, Sept. 9, the Michigan House of Representatives held the annual Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony in recognition of the men and women who have put their lives on the line to save others. Their heroic acts that day and every day since continue to serve as an inspiration for a generation.
I was honored to be joined by Assistant Chief Victor Green from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS). Assistant Chief Green also oversees the KDPS Office of Community Affairs – Community Police Officers (CPOs) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Professional Standards.
It was extremely humbling to also be joined by the family of Kalamazoo County Deputy Sheriff Ryan J. Proxmire, who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the Kalamazoo County community.
Extreme Abortion Ban in Texas is Dangerous to Women and Families
The extreme abortion ban that took effect in Texas earlier this month is dangerous to women and their families. This ban makes it illegal for someone to get an abortion if they are more than six weeks pregnant, which effectively eliminates the option to end a pregnancy for many people.
When making complex, deeply personal decisions that determine the direction of our lives, every individual should be able to choose what’s right for them. For some, that might mean deciding to end or continue a pregnancy. We can’t know a person’s circumstances or the factors informing their decisions — but we do know that medical decisions must be left to each individual and their trusted health care providers.
As your state representative, today and every day, I will continue to fight for reproductive rights for all.
$75 Million in Funding Proposed for Safer Streets
Last month, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the $75 million MI Safe Communities framework, which calls for investments in local police, getting illegal guns off the streets and providing additional funding for jobs, education and the justice system. The proposal would be funded by the federal American Rescue Plan.
Unfortunately, the Kalamazoo community has been experiencing a rise in gun violence. Knowing this, we can’t afford to waste all of the hard work our communities have put in to reduce violent crime: we must meet this surge head-on. I am thankful that Gov. Whitmer’s proposed plan would provide the funding necessary to develop new and innovative community-based solutions to gun violence and give our kids the employment and education opportunities they need. Every Michigander deserves the right to feel safe, no matter where they live. Byy investing in our children, getting illegal guns off the street and funding policing, we can ensure our community’s safety.
Stronger Consumer Protections Needed in Light of New Auto Insurance Industry Report
A devastating new report shows that Michigan policyholders were overcharged $1.12 billion by auto insurance companies in 2020. In light of this news, my Democratic colleagues and I renewed our calls to hold the auto insurance industry accountable and pass laws to protect accident victims.
The report comes as the auto insurance industry has made significant cuts to health care providers’ reimbursements for the treatment of catastrophic injuries. This puts their care in jeopardy. A new law that went into effect in July, slashed the reimbursement rate for specialized rehabilitation care by 45 percent, leaving survivors with severely limited options for the specialized care that they need — and sometimes no options at all.
The report, conducted by the Consumer Federation of America and the Center for Economic Justice, found that nationwide “auto insurers reaped windfall profits of at least $29 billion in 2020 as miles driven, vehicle crashes and auto insurance claims dropped because of the pandemic and related government actions.”
As a practicing physical therapist for more than 20 years and sponsor of House Bill 5125, I have treated many auto accident survivors. While it has been a privilege to help rehab these individuals, many have severe, complex and often lifelong complications that take more than a couple of weeks of physical therapy. Their lives have been changed forever. Despite faithfully paying their premium year after year, insurance companies in Michigan are walking away from their end of the agreement while raking in historic profits. It’s unconscionable that they refuse to invest in the care of policyholders injured in auto crashes while reaping record-shattering profits across the country.