Welcome to our October e-newsletter!
Included in this edition are some important legislative updates, community events and other resources I hope will prove helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1792 or email at FeliciaBrabec@house.mi.gov for questions about these or any other state-level issues.
State Representative, 55th House District
Upcoming Coffee Hour
Please join me for our next Coffee Hour! This is an opportunity to chat, ask me questions and share how I can best represent you in Lansing. I will be hosting my Coffee Hour virtually this Saturday, Nov. 13, from 10-11 a.m. It will be streamed via Zoom and on my Facebook page. We hope to see you there!
Progressive Women’s Caucus Introduces Bills to Support Domestic Abuse Survivors
I was honored to join members of the Michigan Progressive Women’s Caucus and domestic violence survivors in holding a press conference to unveil a package of bills to prevent domestic violence, support survivors and help protect survivors from further abuse. Survivors deserve to have support, like paid medical leave, privacy rights and eviction protection. While we may not be able to erase the trauma endured by survivors, we can take common-sense measures to address some of the legal gaps and provide the resources and protections survivors need to begin rebuilding their lives.
PSYPACT Committee Hearing
Recently, I testified during the House Health Policy Committee to discuss House Bills 5488–5489, which would include Michigan as a participating partner in PSYPACT, an interstate compact allowing licensed psychologists to practice telepsychology across state lines or temporary in-person, face-to-face psychological practice for up to 30 workdays. Given the unavoidable life changes and challenges brought on by the pandemic, the need for mental health care has exponentially increased but the number of providers has not. PSYPACT would address this need and allow psychologists to increase access to care — particularly for populations that are currently underserved, geographically isolated or lack specialty care. Currently, PSYPACT has been enacted in 27 states. I am excited to continue advocating for this legislation and other measures that will promote access and remove unnecessary barriers to mental health treatment for Michigan residents.
No Vote on House Bill 5097
This month, I opposed legislation that would prohibit any form of race or gender stereotyping, including the history of such stereotyping in America, from being included in a core academic curriculum developed by the State Board of Education or by school districts. This legislation operates under the false assumption that critical race theory is being taught in our K-12 classrooms and does not address any of the real issues our schools are facing. All of our students, especially students of color, deserve an equitable education and the right to have frank and honest discussions about how racial and gender stereotypes have impacted them. I am concerned that if this bill is enacted, it would be used to prevent teaching about structural racism and the lasting effects it’s had on our society. It is imperative that we protect educators’ and students’ rights to talk freely about race and gender in schools.
Washtenaw County Mental Health Listening Tour
I want to thank all of you who have participated in our Mental Health Listening Tour! Your efforts will help inform future legislation that seeks to improve our Community Mental Health System. There is still time to provide feedback at one of our later stops! On Nov. 15 from 5-6:30 p.m., we will be at the Washtenaw County Learning Resource Center, 4135 Washtenaw Ave. in Ann Arbor. If you are interested in attending this stop, please register here. We also have the upcoming dates available on my website at brabec.housedems.com under “events.”
Child Care Stabilization Grants Fall 2021
Child care providers are heroes. We are grateful for the work you do for our children and communities. This fall, the Legislature passed, and Gov. Whitmer signed, a budget that includes over $700 million in grant funding to support child care providers.
These funds are available to help keep the doors open and focus on what matters most — supporting kids and families.
Visit this website for all the information you need to apply for the Child Care Stabilization Grant, track your expenses, and make investments in your program and facility.
Michigan Opioid Settlement Survey
You can provide the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services with input about the use of settlement funds in Michigan for substance use services and reducing the harms caused by opioids. The survey takes about 20 minutes.
Opioid Settlement Survey: https://bit.ly/3vzWLUj
November Pull-Over Prevention & Mutual Aid Fair
On Saturday, Nov. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Pull-Over Prevention will provide free car repairs for lights, tires and fluids to prevent interactions with law enforcement. This event will also feature free food from FedUp Ministries, and the Washtenaw County Health Department will be there distributing free COVID-19 vaccines. Pet Pals Mutual Aid will also be distributing free pet supplies, and there will be a variety of snacks and COVID safety supplies. Child care is provided! Click here for more information on the event.
I hope you found this information useful. Please feel free to contact my office if we can ever be of any assistance.
Felicia A. Brabec
House District 55