Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! I can’t wait to share with you some of my big legislative wins:
First, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed another one of my bills into law!
House Bill 4563, along with another bill I co-sponsored, HB 4562, would allow parole boards the option to conduct the review of prisoners up to five years after the prisoner was denied parole if the majority of the parole board finds that the prisoner’s history indicates there is a present risk to public safety. Currently, if a prisoner is denied parole, the parole board is required to conduct a review of the case at least every two years.
These bills make the parole hearing process more compassionate to the victims of violent crime and their families. Any time they testify at a parole hearing, they relive one of the worst moments of their lives. We need to make sure that they don’t undergo this ordeal any more often than is absolutely necessary.
Second, I’ve introduced a bipartisan bill package to create the Culvert Replacement Fund and an associated grant program to benefit local road agencies! Under the program, communities could apply to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for grant awards between $50,000 and $1 million.
Finally, the Senate Committee on Economic and Rural Development passed my cobbler bill! This bill would allow cobblers to donate unclaimed shoes after six months, which promotes charitable donation and helps these small businesses free up space.
I’m so proud to share these accomplishments with you and to serve you in Lansing. Please do not hesitate to reach out by phone at (517) 373-0853 or send an email to AngelaWitwer@house.gov if you have any concerns or questions.
State Representative, 71st House District
In This Issue:
- Upcoming Coffee Hours
- In the District
- General Update
- Legislative Update
Upcoming Coffee Hours
Please join me for one of my virtual or in-person Weekly Wrap-ups with Witwer. You can find the event on my Facebook page. Please also like and follow my page to stay connected with updates from the Capitol. I look forward to seeing you at a coffee hour soon!
- 11 a.m., Friday, April 15, The Brew Café in Delta Township
- 11 a.m., Friday, April 22, virtual on Facebook
- 11 a.m., Friday, April 29, the Grand Ledge Area District Library
In the District
President’s Leadership Institute Graduation Celebration
I had the honor of joining and being the guest speaker at Olivet College’s 10th graduation class of the President’s Leadership Institute.
Launched in 2013, the PLI was established to develop top leadership skills in Olivet’s students, as well as enable them to become principal professional and community leaders of the future. The college collaborated with experienced professionals that specialize in business coaching and professional development to design a program specifically catered for Olivet.
Keeping Our Community Informed at the Charlotte City Council Meeting and LRCC Delta Township-Eaton County Virtual Business Roundtable
Last week, I attended the Charlotte City Council and the LRCC Delta Township-Eaton County Virtual Business Roundtable’s monthly meeting to provide a state legislative update as well as hear our community’s issues and concerns. I enjoyed the chance to meet with local leaders and constituents, and, as a small-business owner myself, I always welcome the opportunity to connect with and better serve the small business community.
Great Lakes Christian College Crusader’s Women’s Soccer Team NCCAA National Champions
On March 2, I had the honor of congratulating the Great Lakes Christian College (GLCC) Crusader’s women’s soccer team on their 2021 NCCAA Division II National Championship. On November 20, 2021 the GLCC Crusaders women’s soccer team defeated the Arlington Baptist University Patriots at the Austin-Tindall Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Florida. I introduced House Resolution 245 in honor of the team’s accomplishment.
Charlotte Public Schools Agricultural Learning Center Ribbon Cutting
This week, I attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Charlotte Public Schools’ Agriculture Learning Center. Charlotte Future Farmers of America is the oldest running chapter in Michigan and currently has 84 7-12th graders. What a very deep tradition in Eaton County.
People ask me what I’ve enjoyed while being your state representative. Meeting students at the Capitol and gaining great friendships with the farmers has been a real blessing. Congratulations, Charlotte!
Ainger Road, Five Point Highway Bridge Maintenance Over I-69 in Eaton County Begins Monday
On Monday, The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will begin maintenance work on the Ainger Road and Five Point Highway bridges over I-69 in Charlotte. Construction is estimated to last through May 26 and July 1, respectively. The Ainger Road bridge will be closed and detoured, while the Five Point Highway bridge will remain open to two-way traffic with temporary traffic signals for the duration of the work on that structure.
This work is part of MDOT’s ongoing $210 million investment to rebuild I-69 between Island Highway in Charlotte, Eaton County, and I-94 in Marshall. Funding for this project is made possible by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Rebuilding Michigan program to rebuild the state highways and bridges that are critical to the state’s economy and carry the most traffic. The investment strategy is aimed at fixes that result in longer useful lives and improves the condition of the state’s infrastructure.
For project news and updates, subscribe to the I-69 rebuilding project e-mail list.
Growing MI Business Grant Program
Gov. Whitmer announced applications are open now through Thursday, March 31, for the new Growing MI Business grant program, which was signed into law at the end of last year to deliver $409 million in additional support to businesses across the state.
Individuals can apply for business resources online at www.michigan.gov/abr.
Each business must submit a completed online application to the Michigan Department of Treasury no later than March 31 at 11:59 p.m. Grant awardees will be notified in the spring and grant awards will be distributed by July 1.
Additional information about the Growing MI Business Grant Program – including frequently asked questions, fact sheets and previously recorded webinars – can be found on www.michigan.gov/abr.
Gov. Whitmer Announces $8 Million Investment to Support Construction Careers for More Than 640 Unemployed and Other Historically Underserved Michiganders
Gov. Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) awarded an $8 million grant to the Michigan State AFL-CIO Workforce Development Institute to support the Michigan Statewide Pre-Apprenticeship “Ready for Construction” (MiSPARC) program. The program will connect more than 640 unemployed and underemployed Michiganders to employment opportunities.
UI Hardship Waivers
Receiving unemployment benefits can sometimes lead to a determination of an overpayment, which must be paid back to the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA).
A claimant can protest UIA’s overpayment determination and appeal an overpayment redetermination. If a claimant chooses not to protest or appeal, they can seek a financial hardship waiver based on an individual’s financial inability to repay benefits they’ve received.
However, the timing to apply for a waiver is important.
If a claimant does not wish to protest or appeal, he or she can apply for the hardship waiver after the overpayment is established. If a claimant intends to protest or appeal, the hardship waiver application should not be submitted until after the protest or appeal is resolved. UIA will not process a waiver application if an overpayment protest or appeal is pending.
To apply for a hardship waiver, a claimant must complete and submit Form 1795 “Request to Waive Repayment of Benefit Overpayment Balance – Statement of Financial Condition”. This can be done through their MiWAM account.
Hardship waivers are decided on a case-by-case basis.
Stopping the Assault of Emergency Room Professionals
House Bill 5682 would amend the Michigan Penal Code to create enhanced fines for simple assault, aggravated assault, and assault with a deadly weapon if the victim is a health professional or medical volunteer who is performing his or her duties at the time of the crime. The enhanced fines would be double the standard fines for the offenses, but terms of imprisonment would not change. However, the enhanced fines would not apply if the defendant is a patient who is receiving treatment from the victim. The bill also would require the operator of a health facility to post signs there describing the enhanced fines under the bill.