Welcome to our June 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
In-person Coffee Hour
Please join me Saturday, June 18, at 9 a.m. at Fuller Park for a special coffee hour in celebration of Juneteenth. Directly after the coffee hour, we will participate in the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Juneteenth Symposium, marching from Fuller to Wheeler Park. The coffee hour will be live-streamed on my Facebook page. We hope to see you there!
Senate Committee Hearing on PSYPACT Legislation
More exciting news! Recently, two bills I introduced with state Rep. Kahle were given a committee hearing in the Senate. House Bills 5488 and 5489 would include Michigan as a participating partner in PSYPACT, an interstate compact allowing licensed psychologists to practice telepsychology across state lines or temporary in-person, face-to-face psychological practice for up to 30 calendar days. Given the unavoidable life changes and challenges brought on by the pandemic, the need for mental health care has exponentially increased but the number of providers has not. PSYPACT would address this need and allow psychologists to increase access to care — particularly for populations that are currently underserved, geographically isolated or lack specialty care. Currently, PSYPACT has been enacted in 33 states. I am excited to continue advocating for this legislation and other measures that will promote access and remove unnecessary barriers to mental health treatment for Michigan residents!
Introduction of Bills to Address Michigan Teacher Shortage
This week, I joined state Rep. Ranjeev Puri and other colleagues to introduce legislation to address Michigan’s teacher shortage. Specifically, we introduced bills that would create a tuition-free pathway for paraprofessionals to earn their teacher certification and an associated fund for that program. This legislation would offer an approach to teacher recruitment that is grounded in the needs of our local communities. Recruiting and preparing teachers from the local community will increase retention and equip schools with well-prepared teachers who are knowledgeable about the needs of students and families in the community.
Free Ride Weekends – Just Show Your Library Card!
The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) and the Ypsilanti District Library (YDL) are partnering this summer to provide Free Ride Weekends during the YDL Summer Challenge!
Every Saturday and Sunday from June 11 to Aug. 28, library cardholders can ride any of TheRide local fixed-route buses for free. All you need to do is show the driver your valid library card when boarding the bus.
The Summer Challenge kicks off on June 11, so you can ride TheRide to the library for games and snacks and to sign up for the challenge.
Free Hearing & Vision Screenings with Washtenaw County Health Department
All children must have their hearing and vision tested before starting kindergarten or preschool. The Washtenaw County Health Department offers free office appointments for hearing and vision screenings throughout the summer for children entering school in the fall. Appointments are currently available from May until August 2022.
Call (734) 544-6786 to schedule, or learn more about the Washtenaw County Health Department Hearing and Vision Program at bit.ly/WCHDseehear.