Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including some updates and news from your state government.
Last Day to Register for Expungement Fair
Today is the last day to register for the upcoming expungement fair on March 23 from 4-8 p.m., at WMU Cooley Law School, 300 S. Capitol Ave. in Lansing. Ingham County residents who want to participate in this event must fill out a screening form here. This form will be available until 11:59 p.m. tonight, March 10.
Expungement removes arrests and convictions from a person’s public criminal record. Individuals who are eligible for expungement will be contacted by my office between March 17 and March 22.
Last night, my special guest, state Rep. Sarah Anthony and I, along with Attorney General Dana Nessel and Capital Area Michigan Works!, held a virtual expungement town hall. The purpose of the event was to help community members with criminal convictions prepare for the upcoming expungement fair. This town hall is available to watch on my Facebook page. More information about Michigan’s new expungement laws can be found here.
Michigan House Democrats Introduce Package That Puts Workers First
I recently sponsored House Bill 5815, which would amend the Public Employment Relations Act to presume that public employers engaged in unfair labor practices if they stop operations or sub-contract work within a year of its employees electing a bargaining representative. This bill was part of the 34-bill Putting Workers First package that would restore and strengthen organizing, collective bargaining and workers’ rights in Michigan.
Bill to Remove Cap on County Rewards Unanimously Passes House
House Bill 4173, which would remove the $2,000 limit on the amount of money a county can offer as a reward for the arrest and conviction of wanted criminal suspects or jail escapees, has unanimously passed the House of Representatives. This is the second term I have sponsored this bill, and the fourth term it has passed the House. HB 4173 now awaits a hearing in the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.
Attorney General Nessel, Community Leaders Announce $26 Billion Opioid Settlement
This week, I stood with Attorney General Dana Nessel and other local leaders to announce the $26 billion opioid settlement with pharmaceutical distributors. This settlement took three years to negotiate and is the second largest multistate agreement in U.S. history. These funds will go towards opioid treatment and opioid abuse prevention. State and local governments will begin to receive this money in the second or third quarter of 2022. Ingham County was one of the first governmental units in the country to join the litigation.
Advocacy to End Child Marriage Continues; Zonta Recognizes Effort with Yellow Rose Award
Earlier this week, I spoke to a coalition of women’s advocacy groups about the bipartisan bill package (House Bills 4226–4229) to ban child marriage that my colleagues and I re-introduced last year. Thank you to Zonta District 15, the Center for Gender in Global Context at MSU, and the United Nations Chapters from Greater Lansing, MSU and Detroit for giving me a platform to raise awareness on this important issue.
Currently, Michigan law allows 16- and 17-year-old children to marry with permission from a parent or guardian, and children younger than 16 can marry with both parental and judicial approval. Between 2000 and 2018, at least 5,259 children were married in Michigan alone, some as young as 14. Of those, 83% of the marriages were between girls and adult men. For the last two terms, Rep. Sarah Anthony and I have been leading the charge to ban child marriage in Michigan.
I am honored to announce that I was the recipient of the Michigan Capitol Area 2021 Zonta Yellow Rose for my work to end child marriage in Michigan. The yellow rose is given in recognition of International Women’s Day to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations.
Watch for Workers and Orange Barrels, Infrastructure Improvements Coming to Ingham County
Last week, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, state Sen. Rosemary Bayer and I got a chance to fill some potholes in Delhi Township. Gov. Whitmer’s recently proposed fiscal year 2022-23 state budget includes $6.3 billion to fix state and local roads, bridges, and to bolster airports, transit and rail programs. This would be the biggest transportation infrastructure investment in our state’s history. The governor also issued an executive directive to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) urging it to use all available resources, including overtime pay, to speed up pothole repair.
Improvements Planned for U.S. 127
U.S. 127 between the Jackson/Ingham county line and Cedar Street (M-36) in Ingham County will receive $62 million for road resurfacing and bridge repair. This project is expected to support 800 jobs. It is part of Governor Whitmer’s Rebuilding Michigan program. More information can be found at Michigan.gov/RebuildingMichigan.