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 and Twitter to get regular updates as well.
5th House District
In this issue:
- Upcoming Events
- Community Conversation Today!
- Legislative Update
- Working Hard Throughout the Summer Legislative Recess
- State Updates & Resources
- Michigan Children Win with Healthy School Meals for All
- Expansions to GSRP Will Benefit Thousands of Children and Families
- Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund Domestic Violence Grant Pre-Screen Form
- Medicaid Beneficiaries will Continue to have an Extra Month to Submit Eligibility Renewal Paperwork
- Students, Families Encouraged to Apply for Michigan Achievement Scholarship
- Treasury: Applicants Wanted for Home Heating Credit
- Important Dates
Community Conversation Today!
My office will be hosting a community conversation at the Mathis Center in Detroit today, Aug. 22, at 5:30 p.m. I will be joined by special guest state Sen. Jeremy Moss. We will be giving a legislative update as well as answering questions from the community. We would love for you and your neighbors to attend and talk with us about any issues or concerns you may have.
Working Hard Throughout the Summer Legislative Recess
The Legislature may be adjourned for summer, but our office is continuing to work hard on behalf of the people of the 5th district. My office is currently leading the way on the following issues:
- Introducing the Reproductive Health Act (RHA), a package of legislation that will ensure continued access to safe and legal abortion in Michigan by repealing medically unnecessary abortion restrictions.
- Telemedicine parity, requiring insurance companies to reimburse health care providers the same amount whether the appropriate service is rendered in-person or via telemedicine.
- Amending the Vehicle Code to crack down on excessive Woodward Noise.
- Providing 100% disabled veterans and their widows who rent their homes the same tax break that 100% disabled veterans who own their own homes enjoy.
- Streamlining Michigan’s commercial paper program by eliminating the requirement that commercial paper pools of obligations mature five years after the date which the pools are established.
- Passing House Bill 4282 that I introduced, which funds capital outlay projects and structural improvements for community colleges and universities across the state.
- Designating the M-39 Highway as the “Bishop P.A. Brooks Memorial Freeway.”
- Amending the Food Law to allow microbrewers and other similar establishments which do not serve food to allow dogs on their premises.
Please note this is not an exhaustive list of all the issues our office is working on. Stay tuned for updates as we continue working towards passing our agenda that puts working families first.
State Updates & Resources
Michigan Children Win With Healthy School Meals for All
Starting this school year, Michigan’s 1.4 million public school children will be receiving nutritious free meals at school as a result of a $160 million appropriation in the state’s School Aid budget adopted by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Michigan School Meals will begin at the start of the 2023-24 school year to provide state reimbursement to schools for every breakfast and lunch served to Michigan’s public school students who receive meals through their school’s participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.
“This is a win for Michigan’s public school children,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “The Michigan School Meals program is an investment that gives our children the opportunity to focus on learning and a healthier future rather than worrying about their next meal.”
For more information, click or tap here.
‘Make it in Michigan’ Budget Expands Free Preschool
Expansions to free preschool will provide more families with greater early education options for their children.
The state Legislature approved, and the governor signed into law, a fiscal 2023-24 “Make it in Michigan” budget for this school year that includes an additional $72 million, for a total investment of $524 million, into the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP). The new state budget also allows for GSRP providers to expand their program from four instructional days a week to five days per week and from 30 instructional weeks a year to 36 weeks, and increases the number of families that can qualify for the program.
“Five instructional days a week and 36 instructional weeks a year will help our 4-year-olds better prepare for kindergarten and will help parents better provide education and care for their children. We are appreciative that the legislature and governor were supportive of these recommendations that MDE made last fall, which will offer trajectory-shifting opportunities for Michigan children and Michigan pre-school enrollment,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice.
For more information, click or tap here.
Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund Domestic Violence Grant Pre-Screen Form Due Sept. 1
Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund will provide a one-time grant of up to $10,000 to local and state domestic violence organizations with a demonstrated track record of supporting victims of domestic violence in their community with a focus on Black, Indigenous, and people of color. These general operating grants may be used to support activities related to successfully addressing domestic violence. Local and state domestic violence organizations that need support to strengthen their gun violence reduction efforts are encouraged to apply. If interested, complete an application by Sept. 1. Selections will be made quickly, and funding will hopefully be distributed by early October 2023. Note that an invitation to apply for the grant does not guarantee selection. To learn more about this grant program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medicaid beneficiaries will continue to have an extra month to submit eligibility renewal paperwork
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced that Medicaid beneficiaries with upcoming deadlines for returning renewal forms will have an extra month to submit paperwork to avoid loss of health care coverage due to not responding. This timeline will continue monthly going forward through May 2024 and does include individuals with a Monday, July 31 deadline.
This is the latest effort by MDHHS to preserve Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan eligibility for residents as requirements for annual renewals have resumed following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previously, the department gave Medicaid beneficiaries who had been asked to return forms by June 30 another month, with a new deadline of Monday, July 31 before they would be disqualified for not responding. That approach was successful with approximately 15,000 additional renewals in July and, as a result, MDHHS decided to apply that strategy going forward to this first year of eligibility renewals after the pandemic.
That deadline for the June cohort doesn’t extend further based on this announcement. Additional information about new due dates can be found in the Eligibility Timeline.
For more information, click or tap here.
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.
Additional information about the Michigan Achievement Scholarship is available at Michigan.gov/MIStudentAid.
Treasury: Applicants Wanted for Home Heating Credit
Michiganders who need help with their energy bills can now apply for the Home Heating Credit, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury (Treasury).
Low-income, deaf, disabled or blind persons, disabled veterans and senior citizens may qualify for the Home Heating Credit. Applicants are not required to file a Michigan individual income tax return to receive the credit.
Individuals can apply for the Home Heating Credit electronically through the e-File system.
Forms and instructional materials are available on the internet at Michigan.gov/IncomeTax or by calling 517-636-4486. Forms are also available at many libraries, Northern Michigan post offices, and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) offices across the state.
All applications for the credit must be received by Sept. 30, 2023.
Over the last five years, around 257,500 claimants each year have received the Home Heating Credit, with an average credit of $209.
- Community Conversation: TODAY, Aug. 22, at 5:30 p.m.
- Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 4