Welcome to my Capitol & Community Update e-newsletter! As the Michigan Legislature is now on Thanksgiving break and won’t hold session for the next two weeks, I’m excited to reflect on the policy work we’ve accomplished so far, continue our constituent outreach efforts and plan a path forward as we transition to the second half of the term. I am also happy to continue providing these email updates with the latest information, resources and opportunities relevant to our community members.
Please encourage neighbors and friends in HD 41 to also sign up to receive these updates at kuppa.housedems.com and let us know if you have any feedback on the newsletter or concerns about any state-level issues. As always, you can reach my office at (517) 373-1783 or PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov. Be sure to also check out the latest on my social media platforms — @PadmaKuppaMI41 (Twitter) and @MIRepPadmaKuppa (Facebook)!
House District 41
Mental Health Listening Tour: Troy and Clawson Stop
Whether you are interested in learning more about mental health, sharing experiences or offering expertise, everyone is welcome to attend this listening session. The feedback we receive from participants will help my legislative colleagues and I craft policies that will better support the mental health needs of Michiganders.
When: Thursday, Nov. 18, from 5-6:30 p.m.
How: Virtual on Zoom (link)
In-Person Coffee Hour
Please join me for an in-person office hour, where I will be giving a legislative update and taking your questions about the issues facing our state and our community.
When: Friday, Dec. 3, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Where: Downtown Charlie’s (236 S. Main St. in Clawson)
Tampon Tax: ELIMINATED
Michigan has officially axed the tax! On Nov. 4, I attended my first bill signing as Gov. Whitmer signed bipartisan legislation that I championed this term into law. Beginning in early February 2022, tampons, pads and other menstrual products will no longer be subject to Michigan’s sales and use tax, making these products more affordable for those who need them.
Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
My bill, HB 4802, was recently passed by the Michigan House of Representatives! This bill is part of a bipartisan bill package to expand EV infrastructure in Michigan to support our auto industry and protect our environment. The bill is now being considered by the Senate Energy and Technology Committee, where you can advocate for its passage!
Justice for Allie
The first piece of legislation I introduced in both of my terms so far recently received a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee! This legislation, inspired by a courageous family of constituents, would protect vulnerable adults from online sexual exploitation. This session, Justice for Allie is a bipartisan duo of bills, HB 4159 and HB 4160. The bills passed their first committee unanimously, and now we are awaiting a vote before the Judiciary Committee. Thank you to everyone who has continued to support these bills on their legislative journey!
Budget Wins for Troy & Clawson
Gov. Whitmer recently signed into law a budget I voted in favor of that makes pivotal investments in our cities, our schools and our state. Key funding areas that will help strengthen the economy include child care, education, infrastructure and business development. This budget also includes:
I was proud to see funding in the budget for some of the projects that I have championed since taking office in 2019 based on direct input from constituents. Read my full statement here.
House Dems Pass FY 22 Budget
I was proud to work with my House colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass a budget that will make historic investments in Michigan’s future.
My House Democratic colleagues and I fought to ensure this budget works for Michigan families across our state, and I am so proud to deliver critical funding for a number of my key priorities:
This budget is a far cry from the budget originally proposed by the Legislature last spring, which included a 75% funding cut for most departments. House Democrats fought hard to negotiate a real budget that is good for working families, students, seniors and everyone in the district and the state.
In the wake of the worst crisis we’ve seen in our lifetime, it’s more important than ever that we invest in our communities and ensure everyone in our state has the support they need to not only recover but thrive.
I look forward to continuing negotiations around the remaining federal dollars available to Michigan and bringing even more funding home to our community.
Currently, all Michiganders who are at least 5 years of age are eligible to receive the safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine. Those who are eligible can visit Oakland County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hub, Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine or the CDC’s Vaccine Finder to find local health departments and vaccine clinics that are ready to book appointments.
The FDA has granted full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. For information regarding the third “booster” dose of the vaccine, visit the CDC’s guide on booster shots.
If you know a vaccine-eligible individual who doesn’t have access to the internet or needs help with vaccine translation services, call 2-1-1 and press ‘5’ for free, confidential assistance. If you need additional help navigating the vaccine scheduling process, call the COVID-19 hotline at (888) 535-6136 (press 1).We all must remain vigilant and do our part to limit the spread of this virus. This includes getting vaccinated if you are able, continuing to wear masks when appropriate, physically distancing and frequently washing your hands.
COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA)
COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) is a federally funded program available through MI State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to help Michigan tenants facing pandemic-related hardships avoid eviction while also ensuring landlords can recoup owed rent. The program can provide rental and utility assistance for eligible renter households so that they retain their housing stability. The CERA program is an important resource for those who have experienced financial hardships due to the pandemic and provides peace of mind to renters by ensuring they will be able to stay in their homes.
MSHDA is currently administering the CERA Program through its statewide network of local nonprofit housing resource agencies. MSHDA estimates that 50,000 to 55,000 families will be able to receive financial assistance through CERA. For more info on who is eligible, check out the FAQ page here.
HOW TO APPLY? MSHDA has an online application portal for application intake. This is the best way to apply for those that have a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Tenants and landlords can also apply through their local service agency. Please see the CERA Contact List for the service agency in our county.
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 nearly $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 child care.
The Child Care Stabilization Grant application is now open. Licensed child care providers are eligible to apply and should visit 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.