Welcome to my monthly e-newsletter! As your state representative in the 102nd Michigan Legislature, I am happy to provide these regular updates on my legislative work. In this issue, you will find a legislative update, a survey on our regional child care needs, education opportunities, and resources for how my office can assist you!
Neighbors and friends in House District 103 are encouraged to also sign up for these updates at my website, RepCoffia.com. You can reach my office by phone at (517) 373-3817 or by email at BetsyCoffia@house.mi.gov. Be sure to check out the latest on my social media platforms as well. As this legislative session continues, I welcome your continued feedback and encourage you to reach out if my team and I can ever be of assistance to you!
House District 103
State Rep. Betsy Coffia presented a tribute for the opening of the United We Smile dental clinic in Garfield Township, which will provide dental care for underserved populations such as children and veterans, at no cost to patients.
Monthly Legislative Coffee Hours
Please be advised that I will not be holding office hours for the month of September, but we will be back on our regular schedule for October.
Please join me for my in-person coffee hours, where I give legislative updates and take your questions about the issues facing our state and our community! My legislative coffee hours occur in each of the three counties located fully or partially in the 103rd District — Grand Traverse, Benzie and Leelanau. These events are a great way to find out what policies I’m working on and to share your ideas and concerns with me!
October meeting information:
Grand Traverse County Coffee Hour
When: Monday, Oct. 9, from 9:05-10 a.m.
Where: Long Lake Township Hall
(8870 N. Long Lake Road, Traverse City, MI 49685)
Benzie County Coffee Hour
When: Monday, Oct. 9, from 1-2 p.m.
Where: Red Door Coffee House
(19631 Maple St., Lake Ann, MI 49650)
Leelanau County Coffee Hour
When: Monday, October 9 from 3-4 p.m.
Where: Leelanau County Government Center – Room CMR
(8527 E. Government Center Drive, Suttons Bay, MI 49682)
State Rep. Betsy Coffia speaks with constituents at a recent coffee hour.
Since final approval of the budget in late June, the Michigan Legislature has been on an in-district work period until this week. I have taken this time over July and August to tour local businesses, do presentations to update local county commissions in all three counties, hold regular coffee hours, volunteer in our communities, knock over 4,500 constituent doors and thousands of calls with my team and volunteers conducting a legislative survey (which you can still complete online), craft several new pieces of legislation to be introduced in the fall, participate in Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians tribal ceremonies and the annual powwow, and engage in a variety of other ways with folks in Michigan’s 103rd district.
State Rep. Betsy Coffia and volunteers Valerie, Barb and Taylor prepare to head out for a shift of legislative door knocking.
As our students go back to school, the Michigan Legislature is similarly returning to form in Lansing. So far this session, the Legislature has passed policies to reduce tax burdens for working families and seniors, strengthen workers’ rights, establish suicide/violence prevention safeguards, expand LGBTQ+ Michiganders’ protections from discrimination, support students’ learning needs, implement voter-approved reproductive health care rights, and promote individual freedoms. We have and will continue to work on crucial needs for the 103rd and Michiganders as a whole such as access to housing, child care and mental health.
State Rep. Betsy Coffia hosted Michigan House Speaker Joe Tate in Traverse City in August.
As always, you can find legislation that I have sponsored here or by going to legislature.mi.gov and clicking “Legislators” and then selecting “Sponsored Legislation” under my name. My co-sponsored legislation — which another legislator has sponsored and championed, but to which I have added my name in support — can be found here.
State Rep. Betsy Coffia meets with local nurse practitioners.
Take The Family Child Care Survey!
Are you a parent of a child 0-17 years old? If yes, our community is looking to hear from you!
Do you use child care of any kind? What’s been your experience of seeking, using and paying for care? Whether you are happy or unhappy with available options in your community, please complete this short survey.
The survey is anonymous and confidential and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. It is being hosted by Networks Northwest, a regional agency that is leading an effort to create a regional plan to address gaps in child care in our 10-county region (Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee and Wexford). The agency is looking at issues of state and local policy, new partnership models, and other approaches that will improve access to high-quality, affordable child care for families throughout our region.
The first step is knowing more about the current need, so please complete the survey as soon as you can. Networks Northwest wants to hear from as many families in northern Michigan as possible, and it needs your help by submitting your input and spreading the word with other families you know who face child care challenges. For more information, contact: email@example.com.
Have You Heard About MI Reconnect tuition free college & MI Achievement Scholarship?
Back to school isn’t just for children! If you’re thinking about starting or returning to college to prepare for a secure and rewarding career, now is the time.
Michigan Reconnect is a scholarship program for eligible adults who want to pursue an associate degree or skills certificate. MI Reconnect pays the remaining balance of in-district tuition and mandatory fees after other state and federal financial aid have been applied. Students who attend out-of-district community colleges will receive a large tuition discount, with the only additional costs compared to those who reside inside the college’s tax district being the difference between in-district and out-of district tuition. We encourage you to call the Northwestern Michigan College admissions office to clarify what tuition assistance you qualify for based on what county you live in. You can call the office at (231) 995-1054 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
An eligible adult must be at least 25 years old, be a Michigan resident for at least one year, have a high school diploma (or high school equivalency or certificate of completion), and not yet earned an associate or bachelor’s degree. Thanks to recently passed legislation, the age limit will lower to 21 for the upcoming fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. The application for Michigan Reconnect and additional program information are available now at Michigan.gov/Reconnect.
MI Achievement Scholarship
Students with or currently earning a high school diploma, certificate of completion or high school equivalency can apply for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship and lower their cost of college by thousands of dollars a year. Students should talk to their parents or guardians, gather documents and fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible in order to take advantage of this scholarship opportunity.
Students who are eligible for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship may receive more financial aid from the state:
- Up to $2,000 if they attend a career training program 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 or are enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program at a Michigan community college, per year, up to five years.
Visit Michigan.gov/Achievement for program information, frequently asked questions and more.
SAVE Plan: New Student Loan Repayment Program
The SAVE plan is an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan that calculates payments based on a student loan borrower’s income and family size — not their loan balance — and forgives remaining balances after a certain number of years. Get more info and apply here.So, what’s new? The SAVE Plan significantly decreases monthly payments by increasing the income exemption from 150% to 225% of the poverty line; the plan eliminates 100% of remaining interest for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans after a scheduled payment is made; and the SAVE Plan excludes spousal income for borrowers who are married and file separately.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that student loan relief would not be treated as taxable income in Michigan. Roughly 1.4 million Michiganders eligible for relief will not owe any state taxes for receiving benefits of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program or other student loan forgiveness.
Apply for State Boards and Commissions
As you may know, Gov. Whitmer makes appointments to nearly 250 statewide boards and commissions. These appointments are opportunities for Michiganders to engage with their state government on the issues they care about and represent their expertise and communities at the state level.
Vacancies can be viewed online. Each board listed includes the number of total members, number of vacant seats and specifications for each vacancy. If you match the descriptions and are interested in applying, please visit Michigan.gov/appointments.
E-News Archives, Publications, & Recognitions
My e-news archive is available on my website here.
State publications on various topics are also available on my website here. Physical copies of any of these publications can also be mailed to you by emailing my office with your request!
Do you know someone in the district who is retiring and would like a legislative tribute to celebrate their years of service? Has a local team or group reached a milestone that they would like to be acknowledged with an official certificate for each member? Our office can provide legislative tributes, letters and certificates on a wide range of recognitions for constituents and local small businesses. If you would like to request any of these materials for yourself or others, please fill out this form or email my office at BetsyCoffia@house.mi.gov. Please provide as much information as possible on the requested recognition, and we will work with you to arrange delivery or presentation of the recognition!