Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! Included in this edition are some important legislative and COVID-19 updates, along with a few resources I hope will prove helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1788 or email at KyraBolden@house.mi.gov for questions about this or any other state-level issue.
State Representative, 35th House Districts
Save the date!
Please save the date. On Friday, March 18, from 2-3 p.m., my office will be hosting a Tax Season Virtual Town Hall. Keep an eye out for further information!
Film Tax Credit Legislation
On Tuesday, Feb. 1, I introduced House Bill 5724, which would help rebuild Michigan’s economy through the reinstatement of the historically successful film incentive program. This bill is part of a bipartisan package that would elevate Michigan as a leader in film production through a credit on tax liability for only verified, qualified expenditures by the industry. This will create lasting jobs in editorial facilities, stages and prop houses. Additional industries that directly help the production industry will also be impacted, including carpenters, catering, location rentals, hair, makeup, hotels, restaurants and many others.
Addressing Impact Inflation Has on Probate Matters
I am pleased to report that my bill, HB 4800, passed the House 98-4! This bill is a part of a bipartisan package with state Rep. Graham Filler and would adjust various financial thresholds to address the effect of inflation on a variety of probate matters. The bill has been transmitted to the Senate and referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety.
Changes to the Michigan Liquor Control Code Incentivize Economic Growth
Last week, HB 5062, received a hearing before the Senate Committee on Regulatory Reform and was reported favorably to the Senate as a whole. This bill would make some minor changes to the Michigan liquor control code to clarify the definition of “redevelopment” to incentivize economic growth in our downtown development districts.
Tampon Tax Repeal Now In Effect
Michigan has officially ended the tampon tax. For years, the Progressive Women’s Caucus and many legislators championed our bills to end period poverty, and we finally got this done. As of Feb. 3, menstrual products are exempt from Michigan’s 6% sales tax.
COVID-19 Updates & Resources
Oakland County Health Division Expands Testing Sites Because of COVID-19 Surge
Record numbers of COVID-19 cases are prompting Oakland County Health Division to expand COVID-19 drive-through testing. To make an appointment, go to www.oakgov.com/COVID and click on the “COVID Testing” button or contact the nurse on call at (800) 848-5533.
COVID-19 Vaccine Help
If you know someone who doesn’t have access to the internet and they need the vaccine or need help with vaccine translation services, call 2-1-1 and press ‘5’ for free, confidential assistance.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines specifically in Oakland County visit the county’s website. The website also has resources for testing and FAQ about COVID-19.
Oakland County Veterans Resource Fair
Oakland County is holding a Veterans Resource Fair on Feb. 24, from 9 a.m. to noon at American Legion Post 377, 4819 Mary Sue St., in Clarkston. The Oakland County Veteran Services will be giving out $50 Meijer Food Cards to veterans who are Oakland County residents and have their DD214 with them.
Invest in MI Community Survey
The federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law in mid-November. It promises to deliver billions of dollars for Michigan that will help us make large-scale positive investments and create good-paying jobs.
Gov. Whitmer has asked state departments to begin planning on how to spend this money, but the Legislature has a role to play, too. That’s why we want to hear from you! House Democrats know that it’s those we serve, the people living in and working in our communities, who know best what infrastructure needs to be improved.
- Is there a local road that needs to be repaired?
- A bridge that is due for replacement?
- Do you have issues with your drinking water or a lake or stream nearby?
- Is internet access slow where you live and does it hold people back from excelling at school or work?
Now’s your chance to tell us! Please click this link to fill out the survey with as much detail as possible. We’ll collect responses from across the state and partner with state and local officials, along with industry experts, to turn your input into action and rebuild Michigan.
Special Benefits for Military Members and Veterans Provided by the MI Department of Treasury
Current and former military members may be eligible to receive these benefits through the Michigan Department of Treasury:
- Military Pay Tax Exemption – Military pay is exempt from Michigan tax, including military retirement benefits and exit and separation pay.
- Children of Veterans Tuition Grant – This program provides undergraduate tuition assistance to the children of Michigan veterans who were totally and permanently disabled, missing in action or died while serving. Students may receive scholarship assistance for up to four academic years for a total of up to $11,200.
- Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption – A property tax exemption for real property used and owned as a homestead as outlined in state law.
- Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) for Active Duty Military Personnel – Property owners can retain a PRE while on active duty if their property is rented or leased.
- Property Tax Relief During Active Military Service – Property owned by a serviceperson cannot be sold to pay delinquent property taxes during a tour of active duty.
- Summer Property Tax Deferment – A service member, veteran or widow or widower whose income outside of military compensation is no more than $7,500 per year may be eligible for a summer property tax deferment.
- Federal Military Spouses Residency Relief Act – The spouse of an individual in the military may not be subject to the state’s taxation if they are a nonresident of the state, the service member is present in the state due to military orders, the spouse is solely in the state to accompany the service member, and the spouse maintains a domicile in another state. This act was amended in December 2018 to alternately allow military spouses to elect the same state of domicile as their service member spouse, even if they are not present in that state.
Black History Month
February is National Black History Month. It is an annual celebration and recognition of African Americans and our role in U.S. history. This is a time to reflect and honor the sacrifices made by many who have fought and continue to fight for equity and equality for the Black community.
American Heart Month
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Michigan and nationwide. American Heart Month was created to spread awareness and encourage people to focus on their cardiovascular health. The first Friday in February marks National Wear Red Day and raises awareness for women’s cardiovascular health. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and takes more lives each year than all forms of cancer combined, yet too many people are unaware. Cardiovascular disease is 80% preventable with a healthy lifestyle, however, everyone needs to understand their personal risk factors and family history to protect their heart health.
Rosa Parks Day
Feb. 7 has been recognized each year as Rosa Parks Day in Michigan. This day honors the leadership and dedication of a woman who spent her life fighting for civil rights. Her arrest in 1955 for refusal to give up her seat for a white man led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which then led to the desegregation of buses, and thus, was a major spark in the Civil Rights Movement. On this day, we celebrate her courage and honor her legacy. We must learn from her example to do our part to achieve a more just society.