Welcome to my Capitol & Community Update e-newsletter! As the Michigan Legislature is returning from an in-district work period, I was thrilled to get to spend more time in the community to connect with residents. Thank you to everyone who attended our town hall and met with me at other events and gatherings. I’m excited to take these conversations back with me to Lansing as we return to session!
As always, please encourage neighbors and friends in House District 41 — Troy and Clawson — to also sign up for these updates at kuppa.housedems.com and let us know if you have any thoughts on any state-level issues or requests for scheduling. As always, you can reach my office at (517) 373-1783, or by email at PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov. Be sure to also check out the latest on my social media platforms — @PadmaKuppaMI41 (Twitter) and @MIRepPadmaKuppa (Facebook)!
House District 41
Monthly Community Conversations
Please join me for my in-person office hours where I will be giving legislative updates and taking your questions about the issues facing our state and our community! Please refer to the policy of the venue regarding masks and physical distancing. The information for the next one is as follows:
When: Friday, April 29 from 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Where: Troy Community Center (3179 Livernois Road in Troy)
The following are highlights from recent legislative developments. You can see all of my sponsored legislation and co-sponsored legislation from this term at the provided hyperlinks. Please also see my press releases page for additional updates and information.
Justice for Allie
My legislation to prevent vulnerable adults, including seniors and those with disabilities, from being sexually exploited online continues to languish in the House Judiciary Committee. The bills are HB 4159 and HB 4160, with the latter being sponsored by Rep. Julie Calley, making this a bipartisan package.
This legislation is very close to our community, having been inspired by a Troy family. Thank you to everyone who has continued to advocate for the advancement of this important legislation with the chair and members of the Judiciary Committee. I have not given up, and I’m uplifted to see that you have not either.
Auto No-Fault Fix
After Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth indicated that he will not address the care crisis that Michiganders who have experienced catastrophic car accidents are currently facing, my Democratic colleagues and I introduced a series of bills.
This package of bills, which has gained bipartisan support, would address concerns related to transparency and accountability in Michigan’s auto no-fault law. My bill, HB 6002, would prevent conflicts of interest by prohibiting insurance companies or the third-party companies that are associated with the insurance company from reviewing administrative appeals. More information can be found here.
I-75 Sound Mitigation
Those who follow my regular updates know that the I-75 sound mitigation effort is one of the top issues that I hear about from constituents. Thus far, by working with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and state Sen. Mallory McMorrow, we were able to secure $300,000 in the state budget for a new I-75 sound study and an additional $4 million for the implementation of the project.
The sound study will provide impacted areas another chance to qualify for sound mitigation and is set to be complete by the end of the year. My statement on this can be found here. Thank you to all who helped make this possible, including those who recently advocated during our Transportation & Infrastructure Town Hall!
Per a question that was asked at the town hall, to view disbursements of state funds for state-administered highways, click here. RCOC also provided further clarification on how the Legislature has chronically underfunded infrastructure projects.
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has paused new wage garnishments and intercepts of State of Michigan tax refunds in about 398,000 cases where workers collected federal unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, until at least May 7 while UIA completes its review of claimant accounts that may qualify for overpayment waivers.The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) granted the temporary pause after Gov. Whitmer intervened seeking the legal authority from USDOL and Congress to hold state collections until cases could be reviewed and/or issued waivers so that eligible Michiganders are not negatively affected for following the established rules when they applied for benefits.Additionally, according to UIA Director Julia Dale, there will be “more good news in the weeks to come for those waiting to hear about overpayment waivers.” The collections pause involves cases where workers were told they must pay back benefits they received. About 385,000 of the total cases include overpayments under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. More information can be found here.
Community Recognitions and Resources
Small Business of the Month
Each month, I recognize two small businesses in the community, one in Troy and one in Clawson, as our small businesses of the month. To nominate a business for this recognition, please fill out this form on my website.
Tributes, Letters and Certificates
Do you know someone in the district who is retiring and would like a legislative tribute to celebrate their years of service? Has a local team or group reached a milestone that they would like to be acknowledged with an official certificate for each member? Our office can provide legislative tributes, letters and certificates on a wide range of recognitions for constituents.
If you would like to request any of these materials for yourself or others, please email my office at PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov with as much information as possible on the requested recognition, and we will work with you to arrange delivery or presentation of the recognition!
E-News Archives and Constituent Downloads
My e-news archive is available on my website here. Constituent downloads are also available on my website here.