Dear Friends and Neighbors,
From my family to yours, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you have a great holiday season and a year filled with much success and happiness.
I also wanted to share some major news for our district: The Michigan House of Representatives passed legislation that would attract new jobs and investment to Michigan. Senate Bills 769 and 771 and House Bill 5603 would create a fund and two programs to back innovative programs and bring new jobs to Michigan in fast-growing industries, such as electric vehicles and battery cell manufacturing. The House also passed SB 85, which put money into the fund that SB 769 creates. These bills would allow Michigan to compete with other states to win projects that will lead to tens of thousands of new, good-paying union jobs and protect hundreds of thousands more.
Even between last week, when we voted on the House version of these bills, and today, we learned that GM will be making a decision on an investment in Delta Township of over $2 billion that will create hundreds of jobs, perhaps more than a thousand.
I am thrilled that our area of the state is benefitting from this investment. And with the passage of these bills, other parts of Michigan will benefit, too.
We are giving our state the tools to attract more investments like these, helping businesses locate or expand here, creating more and better jobs for the best workforce in the world. These bills are good for communities large and small and will set our state up for success for decades to come.
I encourage you to reach out to me and my staff with any questions, comments or concerns that you may have regarding our community or state and with any policy ideas. Please do not hesitate to reach out by phone at (517) 373-0853 or send an email to AngelaWitwer@house.gov.
State Representative, 71st House District
In This Issue:
Upcoming Coffee Hours
Please join me for one of my virtual Weekly Wrap-ups with Witwer. You can find the event on my Facebook page. Please also like and follow my page to stay connected with updates from the Capitol. I look forward to seeing you at a coffee hour soon!
In the District
November Small Business of the Month Winner: Greenwood District Studios
I’d like to congratulate our November small business of the month winner Greenwood District Studios! Greenwood District Studios is Michigan’s first Black-owned television and movie studio. They also opened a comedy club in a revitalized, formerly vacant movie theater. I applaud any pioneering business that brings jobs and entertainment to the Capital area.
If you own a business or know of a business that you think should be recognized for its outstanding service to the community and its customers, please fill out the form here. I look forward to reading your submissions and showcasing a new small business in our community next month!
November Teacher of the Month Winner: Jennifer Richardson
Honoring Chief David Dickson
I want to honor our chief sergeant-at-arms. Chief David Dickson has led our House Sergeants for nearly 20 years after a full career in law enforcement. On Tuesday, I joined the Speaker of the House to honor Chief Dixon as he will be retiring at the end of the month. I’m fortunate I will see him often as he is a neighbor and a constituent, but I will miss him watching over us. Happy retirement, my friend.
Attending the Eaton County Small Business Roundtable
Earlier this month, I attended the Eaton County Small Business Roundtable. As a small-business owner myself, I care deeply about making sure that the needs of the small-business owners in Delta Township are being met. I loved talking with small-business owners, updating them on what I’m doing in the House to help them thrive and hearing how I can best support them at the Capitol.
Investing in Meat and Poultry Processors
I applaud Gov. Whitmer for her investment of $1.4 million in federal funds to help the state’s meat and poultry processors recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds will ensure that they can expand their capacity and modernize their processing to compete in a competitive marketplace. These changes will help them serve more customers in more places.
The funding was made possible by a United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant. Remaining program funds will be available as well through a forthcoming request for applications.
How Residents Can Get Help with Financial Assistance and Shutoff Protections
I would like to take a moment to remind Michigan families that there are resources available due to the efforts of Gov. Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel, the Michigan Public Service Commission, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and other state agencies in order to save people money and help keep the heat on this winter as temperatures drop.
For additional information available resources, check out the Michigan Public Service Commission’s tip sheet on home energy assistance and shutoff protections.
Beware of Utility Scams, Report Unfair Prices
The Department of Attorney General has provided consumer protection resources through Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Utility Imposter Scams Consumer Alert.
To report a utility scam or if you have information regarding potentially unfair energy costs, please file a consumer complaint online. If you have questions, you can reach Attorney General Nessel’s Consumer Protection team by calling (877) 765-8388.
Committee on Commerce and Tourism Votes Out My Cobbler Bill
I’m pleased to announce that my bill, House Bill 4994, which allows cobblers to donate their unclaimed shoes, has been voted out of committee and is headed to the full House! I’m very optimistic about the odds that this bill will pass the House, head to the Senate and eventually be signed into law. You can read more about my bill here in an article from the Lansing State Journal.
Regulatory Reform Committee Hears Testimony
The Regulatory Reform Committee heard testimony on several bills last week. Senate Bill 405 would increase the interest that pawnbrokers could charge from 3 to 4%. Those who charge more would be subject to a fine of up to $5,000.
The committee also heard testimony on House Bills 5429–5432. I sponsored and co-sponsored bills in this package to allow providers to offer vehicle protection products, including debt waivers and vehicle value protection agreements, and to help consumers if they owe more after insurance payments following an auto accident. The bills would also offer extended protection on wear and tear, provide a 30-day period during which consumers can cancel or return GAP products without fees or penalties, and ensure that GAP product providers adhere to strict standards that protect consumers. These bills will help ensure that Michigan drivers have the protections they need and deserve.
Agriculture Joint Committee Meeting Hears Presentation on Controlling Algae Blooms
In a joint meeting of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees, we heard testimony from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on a program devoted to controlling phosphorus run-off from farms. Phosphorus run-off causes algae blooms, which are toxic to both humans and wildlife. The Best Management Voluntary Practices Program offers incentives to farmers to change their practices to reduce phosphorus run-off and protect our state’s environment.
Updates From the Health Policy Committee
The Health Policy Committee voted out several bills this week:
They also heard testimony on the following:
Other Updates From the House
The House passed several bills last week:
Whitmer Signs Bills on Tech Security, Liquor Licensing and Government Processing
Gov. Whitmer signed the following bills into law: