Welcome to my Capitol & Community Update e-newsletter! This week started with my monthly coffee hour, where we had great attendance and conversations about the issues impacting our state and our community. These events serve as my in-district office hours, time that I devote to hearing from constituents on the issues they would like to raise. If you missed this one, you can always attend one in the future. I would love to hear from you!
Please encourage neighbors and friends in HD 41 – Troy and Clawson – to also sign up for 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 by email at 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
Monthly Coffee Hour
Please join me for my in-person office hours, where I will be giving legislative updates and taking your questions about the issues facing our state and our community. Please refer to the policy of the venue regarding masks. Physical distancing is also strongly encouraged during the event.
In 2022, in order to make for a more consistent schedule for constituent events, I will be holding my coffee hours this year on the fourth Monday of each month from 4:30-6 p.m. at the centrally-located Troy Community Center. The information for my next coffee hour is as follows:
When: Monday, Feb. 28, from 4:30-6 p.m.
Where: Troy Community Center (3179 Livernois Road in Troy)
Disinformation Training Town Hall
Please join me and NARAL Pro-Choice America for an in-depth training on the disinformation surrounding reproductive health care. As reproductive rights are being threatened, it’s more critical than ever to stand up for reproductive freedom and fight back against disinformation fueling attacks on abortion and our democracy more broadly. Together, we will learn what disinformation is, how to identify it and how to respond to it in our everyday lives.
When: Monday, Jan. 31, from 7-8:30 p.m.
Where: Zoom (Register here)
The following are highlights from recent legislative developments. You can see all of my sponsored legislation and co-sponsored legislation from this term in the provided hyperlinks. I provided a brief update for the Troy City Council this week and will be providing one for the Clawson City Council soon as well!
Disabilities, Care and #JusticeForAllie
Some highlights of the week were hearing about how legislators can address the challenges individuals with disabilities and direct care workers face at our Disability Caucus and Care Caucus meetings. At the end of the day, it will be essential that the majority party in the Legislature sends the governor a budget that provides adequate funding for related community support programs and initiatives. However, there are also non-appropriations avenues we can take to improve the lives of those with disabilities and show our respect for them. I’ve been happy to advocate in this space since introducing my bipartisan Justice for Allie legislation.
Dr. Korematsu’s Michigan Capitol Visit
At the Capitol, we were also honored with a visit from Dr. Karen Korematsu. She is the daughter of civil rights icon and one-time Michigan resident Fred Korematsu, who bravely fought the government’s unjust decision to intern Japanese Americans during World War II. He appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court, though it would be some time before they ruled in his favor. Dr. Korematsu has been traveling the country to promote awareness of her father’s life and legacy of standing up for our civil liberties. I have been proud to sponsor bipartisan and bicameral legislation to recognize Fred’s birthday, Jan. 30, as Fred Korematsu Day in the state of Michigan – House Bill 4161. If you would like to find more information about Dr. Korematsu’s work or the legacy of Mr. Korematsu, click here.
I-75 Sound Study
At my last coffee hour, a major point of conversation was about noise pollution stemming from I-75. This issue stems from construction from the I-75 Modernization Project and the related increased highway capacity championed by former Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson in 2016.
Since taking office in 2019, I have advocated for increased noise mitigation measures in impacted residential areas. Additional segments were added that year thanks to joint advocacy between my team, local residents and MDOT. After hosting a meeting for residents to communicate with MDOT officials directly in October 2020, I was able to secure $300,000 in our state budget for a new sound study, which represents another chance for impacted areas to be eligible for sound wall implementation.
Per state and federal regulations, all federally funded projects that increase roadway capacity are required to be studied to determine the reasonableness and feasibility of noise protection. Sound walls cannot be implemented without the results of the study. Once the study is complete, we will have a better understanding of how we can proceed with noise mitigation efforts.
In the meantime, I will continue to advocate for citizen participation and transparency in the sound study. I’m also working to bring awareness to the issue and advocate for additional funding with colleagues on the Appropriations Committee, the governor’s office and Congresswoman Stevens. The city of Troy has also been advised on how they can work to fund the project as well.
Have a Say in Infrastructure Spending
Last year, Congress passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and President Biden signed it into law. This means that Michigan is expecting to receive billions of dollars from the federal government to fix our roads and bridges, improve high-speed internet access, keep our Great Lakes and our drinking water clean, and more.
As your state representative, I want to hear from you about how you think this money should be spent. I invite you to go to this website to take the “Invest in MI Community” survey. You’ll get a chance to make your voice heard on what matters most to you. In addition, listening tour stops will be scheduled across the state, including a stop near you, to discuss those topics in greater detail. Then we’ll take those discussions to the Capitol and fight for the projects you care about.
Investing in infrastructure is an investment in all of us. These federal dollars are a unique opportunity to make critical improvements, and that’s why I want to hear from you!
Free COVID-19 Tests
Per the federal government’s free COVID-19 testing program, at-home rapid COVID-19 tests are available for free at COVIDTests.gov, with every household eligible for four free tests that will be shipped directly to Michiganders’ homes.
Testing, in addition to getting vaccinated and wearing masks, is a crucial tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This federal program will remove barriers and make testing easy and accessible for all Michiganders, while also empowering residents to take immediate action after receiving a test result.
When to use an at-home test:
State of the State
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivered her fourth State of the State address virtually on Wednesday, Jan. 26. She spoke to the progress we’ve made together, shared her comprehensive vision for Michigan and laid out policy proposals to put Michiganders first. More information can be found here.
During her speech, she highlighted issues and accomplishments that I’ve championed here in the Legislature. She pointed to our bipartisan elimination of the tampon tax, which goes into effect this week on Wednesday, Feb. 3, and will drive down costs for Michiganders.
Gov. Whitmer also highlighted the inroads our state is making economically, such as GM’s recent announcement to invest $6.5 billion dollars in Michigan for electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing, bringing thousands of jobs to our state. As a former auto engineer, I know how important it is to ensure that Michigan remains a leader in automotive innovation, and I was proud to sponsor a bill (House Bill 4802) in the bipartisan package to expand EV infrastructure in our state.
Community Recognitions and Resources
Small Business of the Month
Each month, I recognize two small businesses in our community, one in Troy and one in Clawson, as my small businesses of the month. To nominate a business for this recognition, please fill out this form on my website.
Tributes, Letters and Certificates
Do you know someone in the district who is retiring and would like a legislative tribute to celebrate their years of service? Has a local team or group reached a milestone that they would like to be acknowledged with an official certificate for each member? Our office can provide legislative tributes, letters and certificates on a wide range of recognitions for constituents. If you would like to request any of these materials for yourself or others, please email my office at PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov with as much information as possible on the requested recognition, and we will work with you to arrange delivery or presentation of the recognition!
E-News Archives and Constituent Downloads