Welcome to my Capitol & Community Update e-newsletter! With so much to celebrate in May — including Mother’s Day and Asian Pacific American Heritage — I hope that everyone has been able to enjoy the warmer (at times) spring season! Session keeps me inside more than I’d like, but as the Legislature enters into budget negotiations and as other critical policy issues arise , I remain committed to meeting challenges and representing our shared values in Lansing.
As always, please encourage neighbors and friends in HD 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
Human Trafficking Awareness Webinar
Please join me for a webinar briefing and discussion on the current state of human trafficking in Michigan and how we can work together to end it. Panelists include Dr. Lalitha Rudraiah, human trafficking survivor Adira James and MDHHS Division of Victim Services Project Director Tiffany Martinez.
When: Thursday, May 19, from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Where: Register at tiny.cc/Kuppa2022
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! They are a great way to find out what policies I’m working on and share your ideas and concerns with me! Please refer to the policy of the venue regarding masks and physical distancing. Here’s the next one:
When: Monday, May 23, from 4:30-6 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.
Preventing Corporate Pollution
Corporate polluters who poison our communities should not be the ones creating the rules that say they can. In fact, they should not be making rules on environmental issues at all, as it is a clear conflict of interest. I recently introduced HB 6059 to prevent corporate polluters from sitting on an environmental rules panel within the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). We must remain vigilant to ensure that our one and only home, the Earth, is habitable for future generations.
I recently introduced a resolution urging the governor to convene an Infrastructure Task Force to coordinate efforts to ensure that federal funding is used to advance climate, resilience and equity goals. Last year’s passage of the bipartisan infrastructure package represents the biggest opportunity to date to make progress toward a future with better outcomes for all citizens. To that end, my office has been working with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Michigan League of Conservation Voters (MLCV), the Michigan Sierra Club, and For Love of Water (FLOW) to shape this resolution. Please watch out for the resolution number to become available at my sponsored legislation page.
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) announced this week that over 55,000 claimants will not have to pay back a total of approximately $431 million in overpayments of federal pandemic unemployment benefits that the agency previously determined to have been improperly awarded. To date, the UIA has waived over $4.3 billion in overpayment debt for more than 400,000 claimants with more to come.
Additionally, roughly $11 million will be refunded to claimants who had been paying back their federal benefits overpayment, or it will be applied to any outstanding debt a claimant may have.
I am thrilled to see the UIA take these steps to remedy overpayment issues. No Michigander who did the right thing when applying for benefits should be required to pay anything back resulting from errors at the federal level. If you are experiencing non-judicial issues with your UIA claim, please contact my office using this form and we will be in contact about how we can assist you.
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 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.