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
Please join me for our next Coffee Hour with special guest state Sen. Jeremy Moss on Monday, Nov. 15, at Lathrup Village City Hall, located at 27400 Southfield Road, Lathrup Village, from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
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
This past week, 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 notices sent to victims of juvenile offenses under the crime victim’s rights act to 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” to incentivize economic growth in our downtown development districts.
Uterine Fibroids Awareness Month
Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations
On Sept. 22, the House approved critical funding for the fiscal 2022 state budget that will support local infrastructure, public safety, community health, and parks and recreation projects. I am pleased to announce that my office was able to secure $200,000 for infrastructure grants for the city of Lathrup Village and $200,000 for sewer repairs in the village of Franklin.
Working with Gov. Whitmer, we have also secured an additional $50,000 for the city of Southfield to provide for repairs to damages done by the storms that hit Southeast Michigan this summer.
COVID-19 Updates & Resources
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 and Walgreens
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.
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:
In addition to scheduling a virtual appointment, Customers may contact UIA by:
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.
This video explains how to set up an appointment for customers who are deaf or hard of hearing. For hours of operation and office locations, visit the UIA website at michigan.gov/uia. View the full press release here.
Thursday, Nov. 11, was Veterans Day. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11, 1919, as the first commemoration of Armistice Day — the day when the Allied nations and Germany ceased hostilities in World War I exactly one year before. In 1938, Congress made Armistice Day an official U.S. holiday to recognize WWI veterans, but after WWII and the Korean War, and at the urging of veteran service organizations, the act was amended in 1954 to replace the word “armistice” with “veterans.” We now celebrate Veterans Day to recognize all American veterans, including those who served during both war and peace times.
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 and hold corporations accountable for pollution.