Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! Included in this edition are some important legislative and COVID-19 updates, along with a few resources I hope will prove helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1788 or email at KyraBolden@house.mi.gov for questions about this or any other state-level issue.
State Representative, 35th House District
Save the Date!
Please save the date. On Jan. 24, 2022, from 5-6 p.m., my office will be hosting a Financial Literacy Town Hall. Keep an eye out for further information!
Allowing Survivors to Remain Anonymous
My bill, House Bill 4856, passed 96-6 in the House on Nov. 4. This bill will protect the identity of parties proceeding anonymously in civil actions alleging sexual misconduct from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. I am proud to have worked with my colleagues on this bill to protect survivors.
The Importance of Accurately Telling Our Country’s History
Probate Financial Thresholds Adjustments
I testified before the House Committee on Judiciary, along with state Rep. Graham Filler and the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan, on a bipartisan set of bills, including my bills, HB 4900 and 4901. These bills would adjust various financial thresholds to address the effect of inflation on a variety of probate matters. In many cases, these adjustments will make it easier for the public to complete asset transfers without involving the court system.
Ceremonial Bill Signing With Gov. Whitmer
Earlier this month, Gov. Whitmer hosted my office for a ceremonial bill signing of HB 5058 of 2019! HB 5058 was a bipartisan bill that passed both chambers unanimously. This bill, now signed into law, requires that notices sent to victims of juvenile offenses be sent to a designated address if requested by the victim.
Incentivizing Economic Growth in Downtown
I am pleased to report that my bill, HB 5062, was unanimously passed through the House Committee on Regulatory Reform! This bill would make some minor changes to the Michigan Liquor Control Code to clarify the definition of “redevelopment” and incentivize economic growth in our downtown development districts.
COVID-19 Updates & Resources
COVID-19 Vaccine and Other Prevention Measures Best Way to Fight Recent Surge in Community Transmission
Following a recent increase in community transmission of COVID-19, the Oakland County Health Division is urging residents to continue to get vaccinated along with other prevention measures such as masking indoors or in large crowds outdoors, social distancing, practicing good hand hygiene and staying home when ill.
Oakland County’s seven-day percent positivity rate for COVID-19 tests has jumped to 12.42%. There were more than 7,400 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 from Nov. 1-14. More than 1 in 4 of the new cases were residents 18 years old and younger. More than 30% of the new cases were among 20-39 year-olds.
Oakland County Health Division’s epidemiologists reviewed some of the cases and determined that the increase in community transmission is general and broad and not attributable to a particular location or activity.
The Health Division continues to offer pediatric, first, second, third and booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments remain available and strongly encouraged at OaklandCountyVaccine.com or by contacting the Nurse on Call at (800) 848-5533.
Oakland County Launches Advantage: Apprenticeships Funding Program to Help Local Employers Attract Talent
Oakland County Michigan Works! is launching a program to encourage companies in a variety of industries to pursue registered apprenticeships by providing them with funding to help offset apprentice tuition, on-the-job wages and other related costs.
Apprenticeships, funded by a $625,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, are being introduced as part of Oakland County’s celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, Nov. 15-21. Oakland County Michigan Works! held a virtual workshop for employers on Tuesday, Nov. 16, to share details on the funding program, benefits of apprenticeship programs and how to build them, and the advantages of hiring U.S. military veterans as apprentices.
Michigan Surpasses 70% Vaccinated Milestone for Ages 16 and Older
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced on Nov. 15 that Michigan has reached the state’s 70% goal of eligible residents age 16 and over receiving at least one dose of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. To date, nearly 5.7 million Michiganders have received at least one dose since they became available less than a year ago.
Children Ages 5 to 11 Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), doctors and state public health leaders are urging Michigan parents to get their children ages 5 to 11 vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 pediatric vaccine. The vaccine has received emergency use authorization for this age group from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Nov. 2.
COVID-19 Vaccine Help
If you know someone who doesn’t have access to the internet and they’re eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine or need help with vaccine translation services, call 2-1-1 and press ‘5’ for free, confidential assistance.
Places that offer the vaccine in the Southfield area:
CVS Pharmacy, Beaumont Health, Kroger Pharmacy, Meijer Pharmacy, Walgreens
ONE ON ONE Interview With Chris Campbell
I had the opportunity to speak with Chris Campbell from the City of Southfield’s Multimedia Services on Channel 15. Click this link to watch the interview.
Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist’s Thriving Cities Tour
I joined Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, state Sen. Jeremy Moss and Mayor Ken Siver in welcoming Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II to City Hall on Nov. 15 during his Thriving Cities tour to give an update on infrastructure, housing, job opportunities and environmental justice. I am very grateful to have such strong relationships with our local, state and federal representatives!
MDHHS: “First Influenza A Outbreak in State Serves as Reminder to Get Flu Vaccine”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is asking Michiganders to get their flu and COVID-19 vaccinations, wear masks in indoor settings, social distance when possible and stay home when they are ill to prevent additional outbreaks of the flu and COVID-19.
House Democrats, Gov. Whitmer Deliver Historic Investments in Child Care
On Nov. 8, Gov. Whitmer announced the launch of the Child Care Stabilization Grant, which 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 to rebound, Michigan families need reliable access to quality and affordable child care.
The Child Care Stabilization Grant application is now open. Licensed child care providers are eligible to apply and should visit www.Michigan.gov/childcare 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.
House Democrats will continue to partner with Gov. Whitmer to ensure quality care for our kids, better wages for frontline heroes, like our dedicated child care providers, and the stability all Michigan families deserve.
New Filers for UIA Must Now Register with Michigan Works! to Receive Benefits
The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) announced that beginning Nov. 7, unemployed workers filing a new claim for benefits will be required to register for work with Michigan Works! staff and verify their registration with either an in-person or virtual appointment. More information about this announcement can be found on the LEO website.
Visit the UIA website at www.Michigan.gov/UIA for more information about Work Registration.
For a list of local Michigan Works! Service Centers, visit www.MichiganWorks.org.
Special Benefits for Military Members and Veterans Provided by the MI Department of Treasury
Current and former military members may be eligible to receive these benefits through the Michigan Department of Treasury:
- Military Pay Tax Exemption – Military pay is exempt from Michigan tax, including military retirement benefits and exit and separation pay.
- Children of Veterans Tuition Grant – This program provides undergraduate tuition assistance to the children of Michigan veterans who were totally and permanently disabled, missing in action or died while serving. Students may receive scholarship assistance for up to four academic years for a total of up to $11,200.
- Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption – A property tax exemption for real property used and owned as a homestead as outlined in state law.
- Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) for Active Duty Military Personnel – Property owners can retain a PRE while on active duty if their property is rented or leased.
- Property Tax Relief during Active Military Service – Property owned by a serviceperson cannot be sold to pay delinquent property taxes during a tour of active duty.
- Summer Property Tax Deferment – A service member, veteran or widow or widower whose income outside of military compensation is no more than $7,500 per year may be eligible for a summer property tax deferment.
- Federal Military Spouses Residency Relief Act – The spouse of an individual in the military may not be subject to the state’s taxation if they are a nonresident of the state, the service member is present in the state due to military orders, the spouse is solely in the state to accompany the service member, and the spouse maintains a domicile in another state. This act was amended in December 2018 to alternately allow military spouses to elect the same state of domicile as their service member spouse, even if they are not present in that state.
State Resources Available to Help Jobless Find Work
There are numerous free resources and programs available to support individuals in taking their next steps. Whether they want to conduct a job search, explore new career pathways, or discover educational or training programs, there are many opportunities they can pursue.
- Pure Michigan Talent Connect at MITalent.org is a free job search resource that lists more than 90,000 jobs currently available in Michigan.
- The Michigan Return to Work Playbook is an online portal that features job readiness and industry/job specific resources as well as resources to support specific individuals (such as veterans or individuals with disabilities).
- Career exploration, resume assistance, interview skills, classroom and on-the-job-training, virtual and in-person job fairs and more are provided through a local Michigan Works! service center. Call (800) 285-WORKS or visit michiganworks.org.
- Apply for health care coverage, food and cash assistance, and more using the Michigan Department of Health and Humans Services’ MI Bridges system, which also lists helpful state and local resources.
UIA Virtual Appointments Offer More Accessibility for Michiganders
Closed caption option available for deaf and hard of hearing customers
The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has added a virtual appointment option for customers needing assistance with their claims, including a dedicated link for customers who are deaf or hard of hearing utilizing voice-to-text closed captioning.
In addition to phone and in-person appointments, customers can now also schedule virtual appointments. Virtual appointments provide personal contact with a customer service agent with the convenience of a remote connection.
The 20-minute virtual appointments can be scheduled online up to one week in advance at Michigan.gov/uia. Click on “Schedule an Appointment.” The UIA expects to schedule up to 340 virtual appointments per day.
“We’re excited to expand the ways that customers can get one-on-one service if they need assistance with their claim,” said Liza Estlund Olson, former acting director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency. “Offering virtual appointments also helps us to be more responsive to our customers who are Deaf or hard of hearing.”
“The UIA’s efforts to implement a virtual meeting platform option and enhance service accessibility to the public, particularly at this time, are excellent,” said the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Employment and Training Director Stephanie Beckhorn. “The platform’s real-time captioning and chat features may provide those with disabilities, such as deafness or hearing loss, a readily available accommodation so they can engage UIA and receive their services.”
Once the virtual appointment is scheduled, customers will receive an email with a link to join the appointment via Google Meet at the appointed day and time. Customers will need to have a Gmail account to join from a mobile device. They do not need to have a Gmail account to join from a computer.
Hours of operation for virtual appointments are:
- Monday – Wednesday from 8:15 a.m. – 4:25 p.m.
- Thursday – Friday from 8:15 a.m. – 3:35 p.m.
In addition to scheduling a virtual appointment, Customers may contact UIA by:
- Calling the UIA Customer Service telephone line at (866) 500-0017.
- Chat with an agent through the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) at From the MiWAM home page, click on I want to . . . Chat with an Agent.
- Schedule a phone appointment or in-person appointment at Michigan.gov/uia. Click on Schedule an Appointment.
Customers in need of other special accommodations to participate in a virtual meeting should request the accommodation when initially scheduling their appointment.
So far, the Agency has held more than 12,000 virtual appointments, including 212 which utilized the closed captioning feature.
Native American Heritage Month
November is nationally recognized as Native American Heritage Month. In this month, we honor the contributions, achievements, sacrifices, and cultural and historical legacy of the original inhabitants of what is now the United States and their descendants: the American Indian and Alaska Native people. Michigan is home to 12 federally recognized Native American tribes. It is important to celebrate their heritage and acknowledge the work that still needs to be done for Indigenous peoples.
The Michigan House of Representatives’ office building is named after Cora Anderson, who was the first woman and person of Native American descent to become a Michigan state representative.
America Recycles Month
November is also America Recycles Month. It was established to encourage people across the country to commit to recycling. Now more than ever, it is crucial to find more ways to reduce, reuse and recycle our waste to mitigate pollution and help do our part in the fight for a more sustainable planet. We must also acknowledge that recycling is not the only solution and that we must reduce our plastic consumption and find better, more sustainable renewable energy resources while holding corporations accountable for pollution.