Welcome to the latest edition of my e-newsletter!
Included in this issue are some important updates, along with a few resources I hope you find helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-0844 or email at NataliePrice@house.mi.gov for questions about this or any other state-level issue. Feel free to also follow me on Facebook to get regular updates as well.
5th House District
In this issue:
- Save the Date: Community Conversation on March 20
- Legislative Updates
- House Democrats Deliver on Promises
- Lowering MI Costs Plan Signed into Law
- House Energy Committee to Hold Hearings on Recent Power Outages
- State Updates & Resources
- MPSC to Host Town Halls for Public Comment on Recent Power Outages
- Recycling Infrastructure and Small Community Education Grants Available
- Students, Families Encouraged to Apply for Michigan Achievement Scholarship
- Detroit Taxpayers Can Now Pay Tax Bills Online
- Other News
- Detroit Office of Disability Affairs Community Listening Session on March 15
- Grow Detroit’s Young Talent to Provide Summer Jobs for 8,000 Youth
- Important Dates
Save the Date!
Please mark your calendars for Monday, March 20 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. I will be joining special guests, state Sen. Jeremy Moss and state Rep. Jason Hoskins, for a community conversation at the Southfield Public Library (26300 Evergreen Road, Southfield, MI 48076). We will be giving a legislative update and answering questions from the community. Hope to see you there!
House Democrats Deliver on Promises to Michiganders
Over the past few weeks, my colleagues and I have been busy working to pass several bills out of the House that will help make Michigan a safer, fairer and more welcoming state.
Below is some of the work we’ve been doing at the Capitol:
- Introduced commonsense gun safety reforms that include legislation for extreme risk protection orders and require secure storage of firearms.
- Passed legislation to require universal background checks for all firearm purchases.
- Passed an expansion of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act that would add protections for LGBTQ+ Michiganders.
- Repealed the unconstitutional 1931 law that criminalized abortions in the state.
- Restored prevailing wage and repealed the anti-union, so-called “right-to-work” law.
We are proud of the work we’re doing, and this is just the beginning. Feel free to visit housedems.com for more information on how we’re keeping our promises to Michiganders.
Lowering MI Costs Plan Signed into Law
Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed HB 4001 into law. This includes the Working Families Tax Credit and a repeal of the retirement tax. This legislation will bring tax relief to our working families and seniors and will put money back in the pockets of Michiganders.
The Working Families Tax Credit is a revision to the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that will increase it from 6% to 30% of the federal credit. This will save an average family about $3,000. Also included in this legislation is the repeal of the state’s tax on retirement income. This could save seniors in our state an average of $1,000 per year.
House Energy Committee to Hold Hearings on Recent Power Outages
Following severe storm systems that wreaked havoc throughout Michigan over the past few weeks, hundreds of thousands of Michigan households and businesses lost power. Detroit-area utilities DTE and Consumers Energy are among those under criticism over the power outages that occurred at the end of February and beginning of March. State Rep. Helena Scott (D-Detroit) has announced the House Energy, Communications, and Technology Committee — which she chairs — will hold a committee hearing to hear testimony from power company leaders and Dan Scripps, chair of the Michigan Public Service Commission.
The committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, March 15, at 9 a.m. Feel free to tune in at the following links:
State Updates & Resources
MPSC to Host Town Halls for Public Comment on Recent Power Outages
The Michigan Public Service Commission has scheduled a series of public town hall meetings to hear from those impacted by power outages that left hundreds of thousands of Michiganders without electricity after recent ice and snow storms across the Lower Peninsula.
The MPSC will host two in-person town halls in areas hard hit by the ice storm on Monday, March 20, in Jackson and Dearborn. Details are as follows:
- Jackson: Monday, March 20, from noon to 2:30 p.m. at American 1 Credit Union Event Center, 128 W. Ganson St., Jackson, MI 49201
- Dearborn: Monday, March 20, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Fordson High School – Auditorium, 13800 Ford Road, Dearborn, MI 48126
The MPSC will also host a virtual town hall meeting, live streamed over Microsoft Teams, on Tuesday, March 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. A link to the meeting will be posted closer to the day of the virtual town hall on the event’s webpage.
In addition to attending the in-person or virtual town halls, written comments also may be submitted to the MPSC by mail to:
Michigan Public Service Commission
PO Box 30221
Lansing, MI 48909
You may also send your comments by email to email@example.com.
Recycling Infrastructure and Small Community Education Grants Available
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has announced its Recycling Infrastructure Grant Program’s Request for Proposals (RFP) and Small Community Education Grants:
Michigan Recycling Infrastructure Grants
A minimum of $3.3 million will be available as matching grants that support Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s climate priorities by supplementing efforts to grow the statewide recycling rate, ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion, and increase access to recycling. These grants specifically target projects that increase:
- Collection and processing capacity of recyclable materials or food waste.
- Access to recycling or food waste composting infrastructure.
- Participation rates in recycling or food waste composting programs.
Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, tribal governments, school districts, universities/colleges, local health departments, regional planning agencies, cities, villages, townships, charter townships, counties, municipal solid waste authorities and resource recovery authorities located in Michigan. The application deadline is Friday, May 19.
Visit Michigan.gov/EGLE to learn more. For questions, please contact Tracy Purrenhage, recycling specialist, at PurrenhageT@Michigan.gov or (517) 282-2380, or Jeff Krcmarik, recycling specialist, at KrcmarikJ@Michigan.gov or (269) 615-2912.
Michigan Small Community Education Grants
This opportunity is to provide access to recycling education resources specifically for small communities with fewer than 10,000 households. Eligible applicants for Michigan Small Community Education Grants are nonprofit organizations, tribal governments, regional planning agencies, cities, villages, townships, charter townships, counties, municipal solid waste authorities or resource recovery authorities located in Michigan serving fewer than 10,000 households with a curbside and/or drop-off recycling program.
Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, until allotted funds are disbursed. There is NO match requirement for this grant. For additional information, please visit RecyclingPartnership.org/MI-EGLE.
Students, Families Encouraged to Apply for Michigan Achievement Scholarship
State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks is encouraging Michigan students and their families to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so they have the opportunity for assistance available from the Michigan Achievement Scholarship.
Students who graduate from high school in Michigan with a diploma or certificate of completion or who have achieved a high school equivalency certificate in 2023 or after will be eligible for more financial aid from the state of Michigan:
- Up to $2,000 if they attend an eligible training provider in Michigan, per year, up to two years.
- Up to $2,750 if they attend a Michigan community college, per year, up to three years.
- Up to $4,000 if they attend a Michigan private college or university, per year, up to five years.
- Up to $5,500 if they attend a Michigan public university, per year, up to five years.
Completion of the FAFSA is required to be considered for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship. To get started with the FAFSA, go to FAFSA.gov.
To learn more about the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, high school students and families are encouraged to register for a free informational webinar provided by Michigan Department of Treasury’s MI Student Aid team. The webinar will cover eligibility requirements, award amounts, important action items for students and families, and additional resources and program information.
Please register for one session only, as space is limited:
- Tuesday, March 21, at 6:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, April 4, at 6:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, April 18, at 6:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m.
Additional information about the Michigan Achievement Scholarship is available at Michigan.gov/MIStudentAid.
Detroit Taxpayers Can Now Pay Tax Bills Online
City of Detroit individual income taxpayers can now pay by eCheck or debit or credit card their estimated payments, annual return payments, proposed tax due payments, 10-day demand payments, assessment payments or audit payments. Previously, taxpayers were required to mail a check to the state Treasury Department in Lansing.
To make a city of Detroit individual income tax payment, taxpayers must go to Michigan.gov/Taxes and then click on the “City of Detroit Individual Income Tax” button. Afterward, select “Sending Payments to Treasury,” review the available electronic payment options and then select “Make e-Payment.”
The state’s eCheck system does not accept payments for Detroit property taxes and other fines. Those looking to pay property taxes can continue to do so in-person, by mail or online at DetroitMI.gov.
Federal, state and city individual income tax returns and payments for the 2022 tax year are due on April 18.
Detroit Office of Disability Affairs Community Listening Session – March 15
Please join the Office of Disability Affairs for a virtual meeting, where you will receive updates and provide inputs on accessibility and equitable opportunities for the disability community in Detroit.
Sessions are held monthly on Wednesdays, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., with the next meeting scheduled to take place on March 15. You can join the conversation via conference call at (312) 626-6799 and meeting ID: 858 9883 2372 or via Zoom at https://cityofdetroit.zoom.us/j/85898832372 and meeting ID: 858 9883 2372
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit DetroitMI.gov/Disability.
‘Grow Detroit’s Young Talent’ to Provide Summer Jobs for 8,000 Youth Ages 14-24
Detroit youth interested in a summer job should visit GDYT.org to apply. Registrations will be open until May 31.
After an individual expresses interest in a summer work experience through the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program, the applicant will be randomly selected through a lottery system. Selected youth must complete all enrollment forms and upload the required documents into the CareerEdge portal. All properly registered GDYT youth will receive a minimum 12 hours of work-readiness pre-training prior to the start of their summer employment.
During May and June, select partners will have the opportunity to interview youth candidates at a GDYT-sponsored career fair for Career Pathways Internships, Industry-Led Training, and Pre-Apprenticeships, or through a virtual Career Fair. Successful GDYT-registered youth will also attend a Youth Orientation, where they will receive additional materials regarding timekeeping, benchmark achievements, and the GDYT Handbook. For more information about the youth applicant process, refer to GDYT’s Roadmap to Success at GDYT.org.
- Women’s History Month – Commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.
- National Reading Month – A month to motivate Americans of all ages to read every day.