In this e-newsletter:
Upcoming IN-PERSON Legislative Update / Social Hour – Dec. 17
For the month of December, I will be hosting an IN-PERSON Legislative Update / Social Hour on Friday, Dec. 17, from 4 to 5 p.m. This will take place at Brite Eyes Brewing Co. located at 1156 S. Burdick St. in Kalamazoo. I will be sharing some of the most recent news of the Michigan Legislature and offering an opportunity for residents of the 60th House District to share their thoughts and perspectives.
While an RSVP is not required, if individuals would like to register for the coffee hour or submit a question in advance, they can do so by sending us an email at JulieRogers@house.mi.gov. Please know that we will follow all CDC guidelines, and mask wearing is highly encouraged.
Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention Caucus Announce Legislation to Limit Firearm Magazine Capacity
On Thursday, the Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention Caucus held a press conference to announce our legislation to limit firearm magazine capacity. As legislators, we have a responsibility to protect our communities, reflect on the policy failings that undoubtedly lead to gun violence tragedies to unfold and honor the victims that we senselessly lost with action and prevention.
While it is extremely disappointing and frustrating to us that we have met resistance to taking proactive measures to prevent gun violence in the past, we are asking our colleagues to consider a change of heart and mind.
In the last three years alone, Democrats in both the House and Senate have introduced nearly 30 bills on gun reform, yet they lag in committee or cease to exist upon the close of another legislative session. Some of this legislation includes:
These proposals — many of which have been introduced time and time again — promote public safety and responsible gun ownership, and they are commonsense policies that seek to prevent tragedies, big and small.
Bills Aimed at Enhancing Identification, Prevention and Treatment of Lead Exposures Receive Hearing
This week, I testified in front of the House Health Policy Committee regarding a package of bills aiming to enhance identification, prevention and treatment of lead exposures. My bill in the package, House Bill 5418, would require an automatic referral to Early On for every child who has elevated blood lead levels. Families who receive an automatic referral would then have the option to enroll and participate in Early-On to receive additional resources and support to deal with the consequences of early childhood lead poisoning.
Aging homes, outdated policies, and lack of access to adequate funding for health and developmental interventions and remediation of lead exposures, have negatively impacted our state’s response to lead poisoning. While steps have been taken to address Michigan’s lead crisis, much work remains for the Legislature and the state to accomplish.
This bipartisan package of bills is pragmatic, proven and provides cost-neutral solutions that contribute to the ongoing body of work that must be accomplished to mitigate the impact of, and ultimately end, preventable lead poisoning in our state. As a healthcare provider, I have seen the devastating impact of lead exposure firsthand, and I will continue to advocate for movement on this legislation.
Kalamazoo State Theatre Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
Last week, it was announced that the historic State Theatre in downtown Kalamazoo has been given special recognition through its listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Administered in Michigan by the State Historic Preservation Office, the National Register of Historic Places is the United States federal government’s official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed worthy of preservation for their historic significance.
I am overjoyed by this announcement. Since attending my first concert at the State Theatre with my father as a young girl, I have marveled at the magic of this special building. Its starry night sky and glowing lanterns have lit many special performing arts events, and it is truly a treasured gem in the Kalamazoo community.
Bill Introduced to Designate a Portion of Highway U.S.-131 as the “Sergeant Ryan J. Proxmire Memorial Highway”
Last month, I introduced House Bill 5585 to designate a portion of highway U.S.-131 in Kalamazoo County as the “Sergeant Ryan J. Proxmire Memorial Highway.” On Aug. 15, Kalamazoo County Deputy Sheriff Ryan J. Proxmire made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty when he succumbed to a gunshot wound that he sustained the previous night while involved in a vehicle pursuit. For his actions and his leadership, he was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant on Aug. 16.
The Kalamazoo County community and the entire state of Michigan are forever indebted for the bravery and service of Sgt. Proxmire. While nothing can ever truly express our grief and gratitude for his sacrifice, we want to honor his memory for years to come by establishing this memorial highway in his name.
Proxmire began his service with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office on May 2, 2012. He started as a court security deputy, advanced to corrections deputy and filled a temporary sergeant role. He was then transferred from the jail division to the operations division to serve Kalamazoo County as a road patrol officer. His colleagues praised him as a positive member of the team who showed incredible leadership skills.