Dear Friend,

With Thanksgiving coming up later this week, I wanted to take a moment to let you know how thankful I am for the opportunity to serve each and every one of you. My team and I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving week, filled with laughter, joy, family and lots of stuffing. Remember to stay mindful of the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and do your part to keep your loved ones safe and healthy. Our office will be closed on Nov. 25 and 26 for Thanksgiving, but remember you can always email us or leave a message, and we will get back to you on Monday.

In this edition of my e-newsletter, you will find the following:

  •       Legislative Update
  •       Helpful Resources


As always, it remains my privilege and honor to serve you. Please feel free to reach out if we can ever be of assistance.

In Service,


Legislative Update

Recycling Week

On Nov. 10, the House of Representatives unanimously passed my resolution commemorating Recycling Week in the state of Michigan. This resolution served as a renewed commitment from the Legislature to improving recycling and the overall sustainability of our state. As Michigan continues to face the negative impacts of pollution and climate change, it is essential that we take these threats seriously and do our part to protect the environment. I take our designation as the Great Lakes State very seriously and believe we have a responsibility to protect our waterways from plastics. Take some time to review the rules about recycling rules and best practices through the city of Lansing and the Michigan Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy.

To view my speech about Recycling Week on the House floor, click here.

Recycling Week

Reproductive Health Act

As vice chair of the Progressive Women’s Caucus, I recently worked with my colleagues to introduce the Michigan Reproductive Health Act (RHA). I sponsored one of six bills in the package, which would guarantee an individual’s freedom to make decisions about their own reproductive health, including abortion.

Recently, we have seen a troubling trend of state legislatures across the country introducing laws that threaten the constitutional right to control our reproductive health. It is not any legislator’s job to control what goes on in the exam room. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, Michigan’s antiquated laws would result in a felony for anyone who provides or facilitates an abortion, unless the procedure would save the life of the person who is pregnant. The Reproductive Health Act would repeal the 1931 Michigan law outlawing abortions and eliminate existing barriers to abortion in our state. Reproductive health care is a personal matter that deserves the same privacy and protection as any other health care decision. I will keep fighting to protect the right to affordable, accessible health care for everyone until this package is signed into law and our rights are guaranteed.

Interested to learn more? Click here to view the press conference where we announced the introduction of the Reproductive Health Act.


Student Mental Health Days

The last year and a half have brought its fair share of challenges — from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to increased gun violence and racial unrest in our community. These hardships have had a devastating impact on many of our young people, who are struggling to deal with unprecedented levels of trauma and emotional stress. That’s why I introduced House Bill 5497, a bill to allow public school students to take up to five mental health days as excused absences. Under the legislation, a pupil must be given the opportunity to make up any schoolwork they missed during one of these absences. No medical note is necessary to substantiate the need for a mental health day.

This legislation was modeled after a recently enacted law in Illinois and would bring Michigan in line with several other states that allow excused absences for mental or behavioral health reasons — including Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Virginia. If signed into law, this bill would ensure Michigan’s children have the time and the space to get the help and care they need, without the added stress of repercussions at school.

In the meantime, if you or someone you know needs help working through a mental illness, you can call the National Alliance on Mental Illness help line at (800) 950-NAMI. NAMI also has helpful resources for parents and teachers to support children and teenagers with mental health.

Student Mental Health Days

Preventing Childhood Lead Poisoning

Amidst the backdrop of the ongoing water crisis in Benton Harbor, I joined with a bipartisan group of legislators to introduce a package of 10 bills to prevent and combat childhood lead poisoning. The bills would tackle a wide array of lead-related issues in Michigan. My bill in the package, House Bill 5417, would update the definition of “elevated blood lead level” in state law from 10 micrograms per deciliter to five to match the definition from the Centers for Disease Control. Current scientific research demonstrates that even low levels of lead exposure can lead to significant negative, long-term health impacts.

My bill would bring state law into accordance with this data. When it comes to environmental toxins, like lead, we need evidence-based policy. It’s also imperative that we tackle this issue through an equity lens, recognizing that Black and brown communities are often hit especially hard by this public health problem. We need to pass this legislation as soon as possible to ensure no child suffers unnecessarily from this preventable disease.

Lead Package

House Democrats, Gov. Whitmer Deliver Historic Investments in Child Care

On Nov. 8, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the launch of the Child Care Stabilization Grant that will distribute $350 million in grants to give every full-time child care professional a $1,000 bonus and keep child care programs open and serving kids.

I was proud to vote YES on the historic, bipartisan budget that made a $1.5 billion investment to expand child care access and opportunities for Michigan families. We know that for our economy to continue its rebound, Michigan families need reliable access to quality and affordable childcare.

The Child Care Stabilization Grant application is now open. Licensed child care providers are eligible to apply and should visit to review frequently asked questions and apply. Child care professionals will be awarded bonuses directly from their employer and do not need to apply. This is a non-competitive grant. Every eligible child care provider that submits a complete application will receive a grant award.

My Democratic colleagues and I will continue to partner with Gov. Whitmer to ensure quality care for our kids, better wages for our dedicated child care providers and the stability all Michigan families deserve.

Helpful Resources

MI BRIDGES Additional Assistance in November

I wanted to make sure you are aware that Gov. Whitmer recently authorized an additional November payment for SNAP beneficiaries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to make groceries more affordable in time for the holidays. More than 1.26 million Michiganders, nearly 700,000 households, will receive additional food assistance benefits.

Eligible clients will see additional food assistance benefits on their Bridge Card from Nov. 13-23. These benefits will be loaded onto Bridge Cards as a separate payment from the assistance that is provided earlier in the month.

Some Michiganders began receiving additional food assistance in April 2020 after the beginning of the pandemic that started the month before. In May 2021, all eligible households began getting extra monthly benefits. Federal approval is necessary every month.

All households eligible for SNAP receive an increase of at least $95 monthly, even if they are already receiving the maximum payment or are close to that amount. Households that received over $95 to bring them to the maximum payment for their group size will continue to receive that larger amount.

Eligible families do not need to re-apply to receive the additional benefits. People who receive food assistance can check their benefits balance on their Michigan Bridge Card by going online to or calling a consumer service representative toll-free at (888) 678-8914. They can ask questions about the additional benefits by calling or emailing their caseworker.

Customer service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Spanish and Arabic translation services are available. If you are deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing or speech-impaired, call the Michigan Relay Center at 7-1-1.

Remember that my office is always here as a resource for you if you are having trouble navigating state administered benefits. My team frequently assists residents who have questions about their benefit amount, changes to their benefits, as well as if they are having trouble getting in touch with their caseworker.

Capital Area United Way Hot Jobs

Hot Jobs

Communities in Schools Winter Clothing Drive

Clothing Drive

Driving Uninsured? Time Is Running Out to Get Penalty-Free Auto Insurance!

If you’ve been risking driving without insurance, you have until Jan. 1, 2022 to get auto insurance without paying any penalties! After Jan. 1, drivers can once again be charged a penalty or increased premium if they purchase auto insurance after letting their insurance lapse.

As a result of Michigan’s new auto insurance law, there’s never been a better time to shop for insurance! There are new, lower cost insurance options available, so be sure to shop around for savings.

If you’ve let your auto insurance lapse, you can get insurance without paying a penalty or increased premium – but you must apply before Jan. 1, 2022. Drivers who miss the Jan. 1, 2022 deadline will still be able to purchase insurance but may face additional penalties or premium increases.

If you are interested in learning more or have questions, visit or call the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services at (833) ASK-DIFS (275-3437).

Driving Uninsured