It has been a busy start to the year in Lansing, and I want to thank all of you for your continued correspondence with my office. Whether it be to share your thoughts on a particular bill or issue, to ask a question or to advocate for something you want to see funded in the budget, we appreciate every call and email! My team is working tirelessly to respond to all of this correspondence, and we appreciate your patience!
For the next two weeks, the Legislature is on an in-district work period. This means that our team will be working remotely. We will convene again in Lansing for session on April 12.
As always, if our office can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to reach out.
State Representative, 21st District
Proudly serving Belleville, Canton and Van Buren Township
In this Edition:
UPCOMING TIME WITH RANJEEV
Due to a busy in-district work period, our office will not be holding a March coffee hour. But we have some exciting news… our team plans to hold our April Coffee hour in-person!
Community Coffee Hour
April 18, 6-7 p.m.
Location TBD — please monitor future e-newsletters and/or social media for an update!
$4.7B Supplemental Budget Prioritizing Water Infrastructure Sent to Gov. Whitmer
Last week, the Legislature voted to send a multi-billion dollar supplemental to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The supplemental bill passed the Legislature with large bipartisan support. This legislation is a huge step toward making long overdue water infrastructure improvements. I was proud to vote YES.
Senate Bill 565 includes billions for water infrastructure improvements (wastewater, drinking water and stormwater — including replacing lead service lines). The bill also includes millions for parks and recreation, broadband, homeowner and rental assistance, coronavirus recovery efforts, and local governments.
I am thrilled to see $50 million go toward the purchase of water filters for schools and child care centers. Many of my colleagues have been fighting for some of these investments for years, and thanks to federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan, we are finally able to make some critical investments that make a difference in the lives of our neighbors and communities.
Also part of the supplemental was House Bill 5525, which provides $100 million to the Unemployment Compensation Fund and another $40 million toward improvements and anti-fraud efforts by the UIA.
In the coming months, the Legislature will continue to work toward the fiscal year 2022 budget, and I am hopeful that we can continue to work together on a budget that prioritizes education, small businesses, child care and working families.
No Vote on Tax Cut for the Wealthy
Earlier this month, I voted no on Senate Bill 768, which would lower the state income tax rate to 3.9% for individuals. 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.
This bill did pass both the House and Senate, but Gov. Whitmer vetoed it on March 22. As your state representative, I am committed to doing all I can to put more money into the pockets of Michiganders and am fighting to bring home every federal dollar allocated through the American Rescue Plan to bring some relief to our hardworking Michigan families.
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO
March Is Reading Month
Over this whole month, Michigan and Michigan schools celebrate Reading Month in order to encourage kids to read more and show them that reading is fun! I have had the privilege of visiting numerous elementary schools across House District 21 to read to our young learners.
This week I had the privilege of reading the book “Same, Same But Different” to a kindergarten class. As a special treat, I even got to surprise my son as the mystery guest reader for his class!
After our reading, we did some open Q&A, and I received several kindergarten student suggestions for creating laws about endless ice cream and no homework.
Growing MI Business Grant Program Application Deadline on March 31
The Michigan Department of Treasury is reminding businesses that time is running out to participate in a $409 million business grant relief program designed to provide certain Michigan businesses financial support.
Under the Growing MI Business Grant Program, eligible businesses in operation before Oct. 1, 2019, may receive a grant of up to $5 million due to financial hardship. Eligible businesses that began operating between October 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020, may receive a grant equal to 25% of certain specified costs.
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 11:59 p.m. EST Thursday, March 31. Grant awardees will be notified in early summer and grant awards will be distributed by July 1.
Growing MI Business grants may be prorated depending upon the number of businesses that apply to ensure that all eligible businesses can receive funding. Grants will not be distributed based on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Under state law, there are nine types of businesses eligible for a grant:
Additional information about the Growing MI Business Grant Program — including frequently asked questions, fact sheets and previously recorded webinars – can be found at michigan.gov/abr. Individuals with questions about this grant program should email Treasfirstname.lastname@example.org.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Our office is always here to answer any questions, concerns or listen to any thoughts you have on any particular issue. The best way to reach us is by email at RanjeevPuri@house.mi.gov. Our team is working hard to respond to every email and voicemail left with our office in a timely manner. We appreciate your patience as we experience increased communications!
We also hope you will join us for upcoming coffee hours so that we can meet and I can hear what is on your mind.