In this e-newsletter:
- Upcoming VIRTUAL Coffee Hour – March 18
- ‘Sgt. Ryan J. Proxmire Memorial Highway’ Bill Passes House
- Memorial Service Held in Lansing to Honor the Lives Lost Since Changes to Michigan’s Auto No-Fault Law Went into Effect
- AG Files Civil Lawsuit on Behalf of Michigan Against Dam Operators STS Hydropower and Eagle Creek Renewable Energy
- Rep. Rogers Named as the Grand Marshal of the 20th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Kalamazoo
- Arguments Made Before the Michigan Supreme Court on Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act
- Veterans’ Issues Listening Tour a Success
Upcoming VIRTUAL Coffee Hour – March 18
My March coffee hour will be held virtually on Friday, March 18, from 9-10 a.m. I will be providing a legislative update and offering an opportunity for residents of the 60th House District to share their thoughts and perspectives.
To attend the coffee hour, please click HERE to register or email my office at JulieRogers@house.mi.gov by NOON on March 17 and an access link will be sent to registered participants that afternoon. Attendees are also encouraged to submit questions in advance when they email the office to register.
‘Sgt. Ryan J. Proxmire Memorial Highway’ Bill Passes House
On March 8, my bill, House Bill 5720, was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support by the Michigan House of Representatives. The bill would designate a portion of highway U.S. 131 in memory of Sgt. Ryan J. Proxmire, who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty when he succumbed to a gunshot wound that he sustained while involved in a vehicle pursuit in August 2021. Last month, I was honored to have Proxmire’s family and members of the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office in Lansing to testify on HB 5720 during the committee process.
It was extremely humbling to be joined by Roanna Proxmire, Sgt. Proxmire’s wife, and Sheriff Richard Fuller from the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office in Lansing last month. Their testimony in support of House Bill 5720 was incredibly moving and heartfelt. Spouses and families of law enforcement share their loved ones with our communities, and they often sacrifice so much. We are entirely indebted for their service.
I also would like to extend my appreciation to Mark and Dawn Proxmire, Sgt. Proxmire’s parents, Capt. Amy Price from the Kalamazoo County Jail Division, and Lt. Troy Faulk from the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office, who were also in attendance during the House Transportation Committee’s hearing in February.
House Bill 5720 will next be sent to the Michigan Senate for consideration.
Memorial Service Held in Lansing to Honor the Lives Lost Since Changes to Michigan’s Auto No Fault Law Went into Effect
On March 1, a memorial service was held at a church across the street from the Michigan Capitol to honor the lives lost since the new auto no-fault law went into effect on July 1, 2021. It was a somber occasion and reminded me why I continue to fight to fix our auto no-fault laws.
I hear from constituents every day that are impacted by this heartbreaking issue. I remain vigilant about restoring auto accident survivors’ benefits. Thank you to all the survivors, health care providers and caregivers who continue to advocate for meaningful and necessary change.
AG Files Civil Lawsuit on Behalf of Michigan Against Dam Operators STS Hydropower and Eagle Creek Renewable Energy
I am thankful to AG Nessel for filing legal action against dam operators, STS Hydropower and Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, on behalf of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). It’s time to mandate clean up of the Kalamazoo River and hold polluters accountable.
While state environmental regulators from EGLE have attempted to reach a settlement agreement with STS Hydropower on the essential cleanup activities, they lack the necessary statutory power to require activities such as dredging to remove sediment without the company’s active agreement to participate. This is why House Bill 5661 remains important. It should not take years to require responsible parties to take corrective actions if they pollute our waterways.
This is an ongoing, man-made disaster, and I will continue to advocate for HB 5661 to expedite cleanup and prevent future tragedies like this from happening. This lawsuit is another tool to help hold this company accountable for trashing and ruining the Kalamazoo River.
Rep. Rogers Named as the Grand Marshal of the 20th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Kalamazoo
I am thrilled to be named as the Grand Marshal of the Irish American Club of Kalamazoo’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade by the Irish American Club of Kalamazoo. As the spouse of a dual citizen with both Irish and U.S. citizenship, it is an honor to serve in this role. The Irish American community has contributed greatly to our society throughout the years, and I am looking forward to celebrating on March 12.
The parade steps off at 11 a.m. on the Burdick Street Mall at Michigan Ave. and will march south down Burdick Street, turn right on Cedar Street, and end on the corner of Rose Street and Cedar Street. The parade will go on regardless of rain, sleet or snow.
Arguments Made Before the Michigan Supreme Court on Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act
Earlier this month, I had the privilege of watching Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel argue before the Michigan Supreme Court that the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) prohibits discrimination because of an individual’s sexual orientation. This is a historic and long-overdue moment for the LGBTQ+ community and their families.
The lawsuit, Rouch World LLC et al. v Michigan Department of Civil Rights et al., was brought by businesses that denied services to customers who were either a same-sex couple or an individual who was transitioning their gender identity. In October, on behalf of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) and the director of the MDCR, Nessel filed a bypass application in the Michigan Supreme Court. The Michigan Supreme Court agreed the case warranted immediate review on March 2.
Veterans’ Issues Listening Tour a Success
At the end of last month, we completed five statewide Veterans’ Issues Listening Tour sessions. It was a privilege hearing directly from our veterans about the issues that concern them the most. I am incredibly thankful to all of my fellow state representatives and local veteran organizations who joined us at their respective sessions. I am especially thankful for Director Zaneta Adams of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency for joining us every session.
As the Democratic vice chair of the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee, I will be compiling all of the data we gathered and developing a summary and resource guide, as well as looking at potential legislative initiatives.