Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to my latest e-newsletter!
I am most effective in my job when acting on your direct input. I encourage you to reach out to me and my staff with any questions, comments or concerns you may have regarding our community or state and with any policy ideas.
Please do not hesitate to reach out by phone at (517) 373-0853 or send an email to AngelaWitwer@house.gov.
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!
Upcoming Coffee Hours:
- 10 a.m., Friday, June 10, Flour Child Bakery in Grand Ledge
- 10 a.m., Friday, June 17, Location TBD
- 10 a.m., Friday, June 24, Charlotte Community Library
In the District
May Small Business of the Month Winner
Congratulations to International Minute Press located in Delta Township, our May Small Business of the Month!
As quoted by their nominator, “They have been supportive of the community on many occasions. They are the friendliest owners and staff that I have ever worked with. I enjoy any time I have business with them. They have expanded a few times over the years based on how they provide such a great service to their customers.”
Congratulations again on this recognition and thank you for your efforts in House District 71! Each month, I’ll be showcasing a small business in District 71 in this newsletter and on social media. If you own a business or know of a business that you think should be recognized for its outstanding service to the community and its customers, please fill out the June nomination form here.
May Teacher of the Month Winner
I’d like to congratulate our May Teacher of the Month winner, Lisa Hicks! Ms. Hicks is an eighth-grade math and science teacher at Eaton Rapids Middle School.
As quoted by Mr. Hicks, “I’d like to nominate my wife. She’s such a tireless and dedicated worker. It’s amazing to me just how much and how hard she works.”
Congratulations again on this recognition and thank you for your efforts in House District 71!
If there’s a teacher that you’d like to celebrate for June’s Teacher of the Month, you can nominate them here. I look forward to reading your submissions and to celebrating another outstanding teacher next month!
Keep an eye out at the beginning of June for new nomination forms that will be posted on my Facebook page and included in my next e-newsletter.
Charlotte Police Department Awards Ceremony
May 15-21 was National Police Week. It was a true honor to be invited and have the opportunity to thank the Charlotte Police Department during its awards ceremony. Chief Brentar welcomed the large group and presented awards to Sgs. Antcliff, Brown, Falk, and Hafner; Detective Poortvliet; Officers McDaniel, Carroll, Fullerton, Glidden, Callahan, Castle, Slaughter, and Homrocky; Eaton County Sheriff’s Capt. Wriggelsworth, and Deputy Towe. He also gave a special letter of commendation to Julie Meyer, administrative assistant.
Our community has great people protecting us. Thank you to all of the awardees and to all of the police officers who are there for us at some of our most needed times.
Governor Whitmer Awards MI Clean Water Grants to 15 Communities to Ensure Safe, Clean Drinking Water and Support Jobs
Recently, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer awarded more than $7.3 million in newly announced grants issued under the MI Clean Water Plan that will help 15 Michigan communities better ensure clean and reliable drinking water for residents.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) awarded the Drinking Water Asset Management (DWAM) grant of over $150,000 to the village of Bellevue here in our district!
Double Up Food Bucks
Buying food is expensive right now, especially for our neighbors struggling to put food on the table. Double Up Food Bucks is here to help. Those who shop for groceries with a SNAP/Michigan Bridge Card can double their benefits to purchase fresh, Michigan-grown fruits and veggies using Double Up Food Bucks. The program is available at 260+ participating farmers markets and grocery stores across Michigan. With farmers market season around the corner, it’s a great time to use the program! Learn how it works and find a participating location near you at DoubleUpFoodBucks.org.
Baby Formula Shortage
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that the state of Michigan is taking action to address the nationwide baby formula shortage. The governor brought together the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), including the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC), and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to ensure parents who need formula get the resources and support they need to provide for their babies. You can receive accurate and up-to-date information about the shortage here.
The Department of Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Team is committed to identifying and investigating any instances of price gouging related to the shortage. Complaints can be filed online through the Department of Attorney General’s website. If you have concerns about infant formula, contact your health care provider or FDA at 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332), or file a report online at MedWatch. Contact your child’s healthcare provider if you are unable to access the formula your child needs.
MDHHS released new guidance to help parents navigate the dos and don’ts as supply chains challenges and recalls result in limited supply around the country.
DOS: The department recommends that families do consider trying another brand of formula as most regular baby formulas are similar enough that most healthy babies can switch without problems. It is important that babies be fed an appropriate substitute if their usual formula is not available. All standard infant formulas for healthy babies meet the same FDA high standards for quality and nutrition.
DON’TS: The department recommends that families don’t feed their babies homemade formula, or “water down” formulas to stretch them out, as these are unsafe practices.
In response to the Abbott recall, Michigan has temporarily expanded access to alternate formula options that qualify for WIC assistance, to ensure families can use their benefits on formulas readily available. Approximately 85% of formula-fed WIC participants are affected. The most up-to-date information on WIC’s response to the formula recall can be found at Michigan.gov/WIC.
Michigan WIC staff are available to guide WIC clients to stores where a certain formula has been recently purchased. Some families may need to consider a formula change to one that is available, and in these cases, it is recommended families talk to their health care provider or WIC clinic for the best options.
Baby Formula Manufacturer Hotlines:
MyGerber Baby Expert: 1-800-284-9488
Abbott’s Consumer Hotline: 1-800-986-8540
Reckitt’s Customer Service line: 1-800 BABY-123 (222-9123)
Testimony in House Committee on Judiciary
I recently gave testimony on House Bill 5893 in the House Committee on Judiciary. The bill would add updates recommended by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and bring standards up to date. The bill would also empower the director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) to penalize those who violate NIST standards, for instance by putting a device into service without having the proper certification as required by law or failing to maintain weighing and measuring devices.
While it may seem technical, the goal of my bill is to protect consumers by ensuring that products are accurately labeled. Michigan consumers deserve to know exactly what they’re purchasing!
Fiscal Year 2023 Budgets
We had a busy week in the House passing the proposed fiscal 2023 budgets. While I was happy with many provisions in these budgets, I was particularly disappointed that we couldn’t come together to pass tax cuts for seniors and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit. It was also disappointing that we couldn’t secure support for the Office of Rural Development and investments in Michigan’s agricultural supply chain to lower grocery costs for Michigan families and promote rural economies.
As negotiations continue between House and Senate leaders and the governor, I will continue to do all I can to reach across the aisle to fight for a budget that works for all Michiganders.
Banning Drug Masking Products
In the House Health Policy Committee, we voted out Senate Bill 134, which would prohibit a person from selling or possessing with intent to sell a drug masking product.
Drug masking products are used to hide the presence of drugs or alcohol in urine. Banning these products will help ensure that those who work in positions of public trust don’t put the safety of others into jeopardy through drug or alcohol use.