The past few weeks have been busy in the Michigan House of Representatives, as we have been working on passing a variety of legislation that supports all Michiganders. I hope everyone is staying safe and warm with all the snow we got Wednesday and Thursday. I look forward to seeing many of you at my upcoming district events in the next few months.
Gov. Whitmer recently announced that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will be distributing 10 million free KN95 masks to ensure Michiganders can protect themselves from COVID-19 and the omicron variant as the state continues to respond to the pandemic.
Community organizations, local MDHHS offices, health departments and Area Agency on Aging offices will be distributing the free KN95 masks. Find a distribution site at Michigan.gov/MaskUpMichigan.
Recovery of Improperly Paid Unemployment Benefits
Last week in session, I voted YES on House Bill 5265 to amend the Michigan Employment Security Act by requiring a waiver of improper payments of the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program where the improper payments were distributed to claimants under ineligible criteria used by the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). This bill would ensure that every claimant who received notice of recertification relating to the finding of ineligible criteria within their PUA claims will not be harmed by an error made by the UIA. This bill was passed by the House on Jan. 26 by a vote of 101-1 and was referred to the Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee. I hope you support me in my decision to vote yes on HB 5265.
First Time Home Buyer Savings Program
Last week in session, I voted YES on Senate Bill 145, which would create the Michigan First-Time Home Buyer Program, allowing residents who have not owned a home in three years prior to the purchase of a home to use funds in a tax-advantaged First-Time Home Buyer Savings account to cover the down payment and closing costs for a new home. I voted yes because down payments for first-time home purchases often pose a major challenge to many low- to moderate-income residents and young people getting started with careers, and the bill’s tax advantage would provide an incentive to keep young, talented workers here in Michigan. This bill was passed by the House on Jan. 26 by a vote 86-16 and passed in the Senate on Jan. 27 by a vote of 36-1. On Feb. 1, SB 145 was presented to the governor to be signed. I hope you support me in my decision to vote yes on SB 145.
Information continues to change rapidly, and we are working hard to share updates and information as quickly as possible on social media. Please take a moment to like and follow me on Facebook, as this is where information will be shared first.
You may want to sign up for committee notices to receive the most up-to-date information on bills. By doing so, you will receive notifications as soon as the committee chairs post the next meeting’s date and time, making you among the first to know when committees will be meeting and what legislation is placed on the agenda for debate. For your convenience, the link to the sign-up page is here.
Upcoming Time with Donna
Join me virtually at my next coffee hour in February. We’ll talk about upcoming legislation and answer any questions you have on topics most important to you.
When: Thursday, Feb. 10, from 7-8 p.m.
What to Do in HD 52
Chelsea District Library: Frida Kahlo’s Garden
The Chelsea District Library is holding the nationally toured exhibit of Frida Kahlo’s famous garden at Casa Azul. Open during library open hours from Feb. 1 to March 16. (Exhibit closes 30 minutes before the library does).
When: Feb. 1 to March 16, from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Chelsea District Library
More Information: Go to the library’s website
Where to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine in Washtenaw County
The Washtenaw County Health Department hosts a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at its offices in Ypsilanti. All three FDA-approved vaccines and boosters are available. Please note that you must now schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine; the clinic is no longer accepting walk-ins. If you would like to also receive the flu shot, you can request it at the same time. You can find more information here.
Where: Washtenaw County Health Department, 555 Towner St. in Ypsilanti
When: Please sign up for a timeslot here. If no times are available, please check back as appointment slots are updated regularly.
The Washtenaw County Health Department’s website has a list of locations in Washtenaw County where you can sign up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This list gives the location and any links needed to schedule your vaccine appointment. Find the list here.
Additionally, if you need assistance getting to a COVID-19 vaccination site in Washtenaw County, you can book a FREE door-to-door ride through the AARP Ride@50+ Program. This program can be used by any person of any age in Washtenaw County.
Phone Number: (844) 900-4892
Code: Vaccinate Washtenaw (if this number is busy, call (734) 773-0907)
We will continue to provide information for vaccination clinics throughout the district as they get scheduled.
Order Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests
Every home in the U.S. is now eligible to order four free at home COVID-19 tests and are estimated to ship in 7-12 days. Order your tests here and have them when you need them.
You can receive continual updates from the MI Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) by clicking here.
Washtenaw Community Mental Health (CMH)
CMH is a 24-hour crisis services and mobile crisis team that can assist navigating mental health care services. You can call or text the CARES team at (734) 544-3050.
I Want to Hear from You
During this challenging time, I want to hear from you. What do you need? How can we help you? Please, reach out to me at DonnaLasinski@house.mi.gov.
State Representative, House District 52