Welcome to our March e-newsletter!
Included in this edition are some important legislative updates, community events and other resources I hope will prove helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1792 or email at FeliciaBrabec@house.mi.gov for questions about these or any other state-level issues.
State Representative, 55th House District
Upcoming Coffee Hour
Please join me for our next Coffee Hour! This is an opportunity to chat, ask me questions and share how I can best represent you in Lansing. I will be hosting my Coffee Hour virtually this Saturday, March 19, from 10-11 a.m. It will be streamed via Zoom and my Facebook page. We hope to see you there!
Connecticut v. Griswold Resolution
With March being Women’s History Month, I introduced a resolution confirming that Griswold v. Connecticut was rightly decided.
The 1965 United States Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut continues to be foundational to modern-day civil rights. The case established the constitutional right to marital privacy, which effectively created access to birth control. Access to birth control has played a pivotal role in the fight for gender equality. The Griswold decision recognizes that to take away a woman’s right to birth control is to take away the fundamental right to privacy, bodily integrity and family planning. As your representative in Lansing, I will continue to fight for women’s rights.
No Vote on Suspending State Gas Tax
Recently, I voted against legislation that would suspend the state’s $27.2 cent-per-gallon gas tax for six months. The suspension of Michigan’s gas tax would take an estimated $725 million from the Michigan Transportation Fund. Suspending the gas tax would prove harmful to our state’s infrastructure, which in turn would negatively affect our residents and local governments. If we do not fix our roads now, our residents will end up paying more money in repairs than they ever would at the pump.
Additionally, there is no mechanism to ensure consumers actually receive all of the relief provided from the tax cut. We need to ensure we have the money to focus on our roads, bridges and highways across the state. While I recognize the need to provide relief to our residents from skyrocketing energy costs, I worry of the long-term effects this legislation could have on Michiganders.
No Vote on Tax Cut for the Wealthy
I also voted no on Senate Bill 768, which would lower the state income tax rate to 3.9% for individuals. The plan would also offer a $500 tax credit per child under the age of 19. I voted against this legislation because it would provide tax breaks for Michigan’s wealthiest individuals while creating drastic budget shortfalls. It is fiscally irresponsible and could lead to significant cuts to vital services like public safety, infrastructure funding and education.
Amendment Offered to Enact Safe-Storage Legislation
I was disappointed to see the majority party bring up several firearm related bills without considering any of the gun-safety legislation that has been introduced by my colleagues and me. We voted on House Bills 5187 and 5188, which collectively prohibit the governor, the director of the Department of Health and Human Services, and local health officers from from issuing executive and emergency orders that affect the possession, registration, display, sale, and transfer of firearms and firearm accessories, ammunition and reloading equipment, and other deadly weapons.
Michigan has seen the devastating effects of gun violence, and there has been no attempt from the majority party to improve our gun-safety laws. As many of you know, I introduced legislation that would require firearms to be properly secured by their owners to prevent accidental injury or death when they have minors in the home. I offered an amendment to tie-bar the safe-storage legislation to HB 5187. This means that HB 5187 would only take effect if my legislation was enacted. Even though this amendment was defeated, I will continue to push for safe storage of firearms to ensure the safety of all Michiganders.
Community Priority Fund
The Community Priority Fund (CFP) is a strategic initiative funded by Washtenaw County’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) allocation. The goals are to increase equitable, community-informed allocations of ARP funding and to support full ecosystem development for organizations who have not been previously eligible to contract with Washtenaw County.
Eligible proposal will fall under one of the following ARP approved categories:
WHO should apply?
Legal organizations and business entities that are currently working in areas of Washtenaw County with high social vulnerability are eligible to apply. Individuals are not eligible for CPF funding.
HOW do I apply?
The Community Priority Fund application will be available from Monday, March 7, at 9 a.m. through Thursday, April 7, at midnight. All complete applications submitted by the deadline will be considered. You may also attend a CPF Technical Assistance Session prior to applying. The sessions are designed to answer questions and offer guidance on the application process. Attendance at a technical assistance session is optional but strongly advised.
TA sessions (click a date to register):
Click here to apply or learn more.
New Hands-On Camp Hosted by Ann Arbor Fire Department
The Ann Arbor Fire and Police Departments will debut a new four-day camp in June for local students. Blaze & Blue camp is a free, hands-on program for young women 13-18 years of age. Participants will experience the most challenging and exciting tasks in firefighting, first response and law enforcement in a supportive, educational and interactive environment. More info here.