Welcome to our May 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, May 28, from 10-11 a.m. It will be streamed via Zoom and my Facebook page. We hope to see you there!
Continued Push for Gun-Safety Measures
I am profoundly overwhelmed that we are here again, with yet another school shooting where 19 kids and two teachers senselessly lost their lives.
My colleagues and I offered amendments to tie-bar legislation that requires background checks on all firearms and creates safe storage requirements for firearm owners in Michigan who have minors in the household. These bill packages were offered last May and June. Unfortunately, they have not received a hearing. It is worth noting that more than 80% of gun owners, and 90% of Americans overall, support universal background checks. This isn’t a policy debate — children’s lives are being lost, and more are at stake. We should not wait for another tragedy to pass reasonable gun safety measures.
Introduction of Legislation to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Youth Student-Athletes
This week, Sen. Jeff Irwin joined me in introducing legislation that would require parents of student-athletes to review and sign an information form about the warning signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). It would also require coaches to take an annual training course on SCA and remove players who exhibit symptoms of SCA.
Last year, a student in Washtenaw County tragically died from SCA during basketball tryouts. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, SCA takes the lives of thousands of children every year and is the number one cause of death of student-athletes. A study published by the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine showed that 72% of students who suffered from SCA experienced at least one symptom. Learning about the warning signs is critical.
Put simply, this legislation will allow our parents and coaches to be better informed so they can make more educated and safer decisions about the well-being of our student-athletes. This bill will raise awareness among players, parents, and coaches, which will help folks identify the warning signs of SCA. Thus, students can receive medical treatment prior to the extensive progression of the condition, which unfortunately results in death.
This legislation has now been implemented in sixteen other states and I hope to see Michigan added to that list.
No Vote on $2.7 Billion Tax Cut for the Wealthy
As some of you may remember, back in March I voted against a $2.5 billion tax cut. Recently, Republicans offered a much broader $2.7 billion tax cut. The new cuts included an Earned Income Tax Credit expansion and would also cut personal income taxes from 4.25% to 4% in 2023.
I voted against this legislation because it would provide tax breaks for Michigan’s wealthiest individuals and provide little relief for those who need it most. Additionally, our budget surplus is partially the result of one-time federal funding. An ongoing tax cut would lead to massive budget shortfalls that we would have to fill with cuts to things like schools, roads and public safety. Finally, this relief would not come to Michigan taxpayers until almost a year from now. With rising prices of gas and food as a result of inflation and supply chain disruptions, we need to support measures that benefit Michiganders now.
There is a better alternative. Gov. Whitmer has proposed the MI Tax Rebate Right Now. Instead of waiting until next year, the governor’s plan would send $500 to working families immediately. This plan is in addition to eliminating the punitive retirement tax and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit. This plan maintains a balanced budget and keeps investments for schools, infrastructure and communities in place. I could not vote for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, especially when there’s a better idea out there.
Washtenaw Foster Grandparent Program
The Foster Grandparent Program offers a unique opportunity for income-eligible seniors to provide educational support and mentorship to youth in school and daycare settings throughout the county. Volunteers receive a financial stipend, training and professional development to better understand the needs of the youth that they work with.
Since 1968, Foster Grandparents have helped children learn to read, provide one-on-one tutoring, and provided guidance and support to children at a critical time in their learning and development.
Individuals can apply by contacting Foster Grandparent Program Specialist Sandy Bowers at 734-544-3040 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, an application form is available here.