I hope everyone has been having a great summer since we last spoke! Michigan House Democrats and I are eager to return to session and get back to work for Michiganders. I look forward to seeing many of you at my upcoming district events in the next few months.
As always, you can contact my staff and me at (517) 373-0828, by email at DonnaLasinski@house.mi.gov or by visiting my website at https://housedems.com/donna-lasinski/ with any questions, thoughts, or suggestions.
Student Loan Forgiveness
Last week, President Biden announced targeted debt relief for individuals with Federal Student Loans, which will forgive up to $20,000 in Pell Grant loans and up to $10,000 in federal student loans for non-Pell grant recipients held by the Department of Education. Those eligible for this relief are individuals with an income less than $125,000 or $250,000 for married couples. Additionally, the pause on repaying federal student loans has been extended one final time until December 31st, 2022.
Last Friday, Governor Whitmer highlighted how Michiganders can benefit from the Biden-Harris Administration’s Student Debt Relief Plan. There are important benefits Michiganders should be aware of in addition to the loan forgiveness amounts listed above, including an extension of the pause on payments for all borrowers through the end of the year, a new rule that could cut monthly payments in half, and enhanced eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
To learn more, FAQ’s can be viewed here.
Assistance with Groceries
Last week, Governor Whitmer announced that Michigan families who are eligible for food assistance benefits continued to receive at least an additional $95 monthly payment in August to help lower the cost of groceries and keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets. The additional assistance will help more than 1.3 million Michiganders in over 700,000 households.
Eligible families should have received the payment on their bridge card by August 22nd. You can check your benefits balance on your Michigan Bridge Card by going online to www.michigan.gov/MIBridges or calling a consumer service representative toll-free at 888-678-8914. If you have additional questions about the additional payment please contact your caseworker.
House Republicans Vote to Keep ’31 Abortion Ban
On August 17th Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee unanimously voted to defeat an amendment that would repeal the 1931 law that criminalizes abortion in the State of Michigan. The amendment would have connected the passage of House Bill 5289 to repeal the ’31 abortion ban with HB 5956. The amendment failed 12-16. Additionally, House Democrats offered a variety of other amendments in committee, including an amendment that would tie the passage of House Bill 5542, the Reproductive Health Act.
Michigan House Democrats are continuing to fight for Women’s reproductive health rights. Every woman should have access to safe and reliable reproductive health care, and we must trust that the best person to make the right decision about their reproductive health is that person and their doctor, not politicians.
If you would like to read more on what House Dems are doing to support women across Michigan, you can find our press releases here.
Upcoming Time with Donna
We are actively planning new coffee hour dates for the fall, and as soon as we have the information we will share here and on our social media pages. We are looking forward to seeing you in person!
Low Income Household Water Assistance Program
The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is a temporary assistance program aimed at helping income-eligible residents in participating Washtenaw County cities pay outstanding water and wastewater bills. The program provides up to $650 for water and wastewater bill payments for household accounts in arrears or disconnected status, and/or need assistance with reconnecting services that have been disconnected. Applications and funding are open through September 30th, 2023, or until funds have been depleted.
Cities and townships that are currently participating in LIHWAP include Dexter, Milan, Saline, Superior Township, Sylvan Township, Village of Manchester, and Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority. Augusta Township and the City of Ann Arbor will soon be added to the list.
For eligibility requirements, more information on the program, and to fill out an application, visit https://www.washtenaw.org/3633/LIHWAP
What to Do in HD 52
Chelsea Library’s Family Comedy Night
Join the Chelsea District Library to hear clean comedic routines that are sure to have the whole family laughing! Comedian Chris Young will perform with young local stand-up comics. Registration is required.
When: Thursday, September 15th, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Where: Chelsea District Library, McKune Room
More information and register for free: https://chelseadistrictlibrary.libnet.info/event/6814124
Saline Community Fair
This weekend Saline is hosting their annual Community Fair! Come out and join Saline residents in a fun filled few days riding rides, seeing animals, and eating a variety for good fair cuisine!
When: August 31 – September 4th
Where: 5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
More information: http://www.salinefair.org/
DTE and Consumers Outage Resources
Both DTE and Consumers Energy have helpful resources for monitoring and reporting power outages. Below are links to these resources:
- To see if there is a power outage near you: https://outage.dteenergy.com/map
- To report an outage: https://outage.dteenergy.com/report-outage
- To check status of an outage: https://outage.dteenergy.com/status
- To report a downed power line call 9-1-1 and go to https://outage.dteenergy.com/report-down-line
- To see if there is a power outage near you: https://www.consumersenergy.com/outagemap
- To report an outage: https://www.consumersenergy.com/outages/report-outage
- To check the status of an outage: https://www.consumersenergy.com/outages/check-outage
- To report a downed power line call 9-1-1 and Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050
If you see a downed wire: Always assume if the wire is not arcing and sparking, it is energized. The wire is always dangerous.
Do you know of any potholes that need fixing or road issues that need to be solved?
The Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) makes reporting non-emergency road problems fast and easy. On their website under “report an issue”, the WCRC Fix It tool allows
you to choose where the issue is occurring, select a service category, and upload any additional details. Use this website to report an issue: https://www.wcroads.org/residents/report-an-issue/ For residents across Michigan, MDOT also has a reporting tool for potholes. https://www.michigan.gov/mdot/travel/commuters/potholes To learn about local road work projects in your area, the WCRC has many useful resources on past, current, and upcoming road work. Under the Road Work & Construction tab, you can find a map of ongoing projects, a weekly road work schedule for each Washtenaw Township, and much more. Check out the links below for more info:
Current Road Work and Construction: https://www.wcroads.org/road-work-construction/projects/
Weekly Road Work Schedule: https://www.wcroads.org/weekly-road-work-schedule/
Past Road Work and Construction Projects: https://www.wcroads.org/road-work…/past-projects/
Where to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine in Washtenaw County
The Washtenaw County Health Department hosts a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at their offices in Ypsilanti. All three FDA approved vaccines and boosters are available. Please note that you must now schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine, the clinic is only allowing walk-ins during clinic hours Monday-Friday 9am-11:30am and 1-3:30pm.
Where: Washtenaw County Health Department 555 Towner St. Ypsilanti, MI 48198
When: Please sign up for a timeslot here, if no times are available, please check back as appointment slots are updated regularly.
The Washtenaw County Health Department’s website has a list of locations in Washtenaw County where you can sign up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This list gives the location and any links needed to schedule your vaccine appointment. Find the list here.
Additionally, if you need assistance getting to a COVID-19 vaccination site in Washtenaw County, you can book a FREE door-to-door ride through the AARP Ride@50+ Program. This program can be used by any person of any age in Washtenaw County.
Phone Number: 844-900-4892 Code: Vaccinate Washtenaw (if this number is busy call 734-773-0907)
We will continue to provide information for vaccination clinics throughout the district as they get scheduled.
You can receive continual updates from the MI Dept. of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) by clicking here.
Washtenaw Community Mental Health (CMH)
A 24-hour crisis services and mobile crisis team that can assistance navigating mental health care services. You can call or text the CARES team at (734) 544-3050.
I Want to Hear from You
During this challenging time, I want to hear from you. What do you need? How can we help you? Please, reach out to me at DonnaLasinski@house.mi.gov.
State Representative, House District 52