Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including some updates and news from your state government.
Hope Offers Amendment to Protect Election Workers and Officials
Last week, I spoke in support of an amendment I proposed for House Bill 4897. This bill would allow additional poll watchers to be appointed to locations where absentee ballots are processed and to local clerks’ offices at any time on Election Day. The amendment I offered would tie HB 4897 to my bill, House Bill 5282, which would make it a misdemeanor to intimidate or harass an election worker or official. Taken together, these bills would protect elections officials and poll workers as they do the important work of running our elections.
Election challengers are an important part of the election process. They are there to ensure that the rights of voters are protected and that our election officials and poll workers follow the law. But the sad reality is that our election workers need protection, too. Unfortunately, clerks and election workers have faced harassment, intimidation and worse in recent years, just for doing their jobs. It is crucial that challengers, elections officials, poll workers and voters are able to serve their vital functions in our democracy in a safe, peaceful environment that is free from interference or intimidation.
Unfortunately, my amendment was not added to House Bill 5282. A video of my speech can be found here.
MI Treasury Department Urges Eligible Michiganders to Claim EITC on 2021 Taxes
The Michigan Department of Treasury encourages eligible families and individuals to claim federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) when they file their 2021 income taxes. To qualify for the EITC, individuals must have worked and earned an income under $57,414 and have investment income below $10,000. To learn more about the EITC and see if you qualify, visit irs.gov/eitc.
FAFSA Deadline Extended to May 1
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) deadline for current high school seniors has been extended to May 1. This form determines eligibility for state and federal financial aid, including grants, scholarships and student loans. Find more information and fill out the application at studentaid.gov.
The local nonprofit Capital Area College Access Network offers help completing the FAFSA. Call (517) 203-5011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants are also encouraged to seek help from their school counselors or college advisers.
Eligible Expungement Fair Applicants To Be Contacted
Individuals who pre-registered for my special guest Rep. Anthony’s and my upcoming expungement fair will receive an email from my office on March 17 to notify them of their expungement eligibility status. Those that qualify for expungement will need to pick up a copy of their certified record of conviction from the appropriate court to bring to the fair. Instructions on how to acquire a copy of your records will be included in the email to eligible participants.
The expungement fair will be held on March 23, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., at WMU Cooley Law School, 300 S. Capitol Ave., in Lansing. More information about Michigan’s new expungement laws can be found here.