Welcome to this month’s Capitol and community update e-newsletter!
As always, please encourage neighbors and friends in House District 56 — Troy, Clawson, Royal Oak, Birmingham and Bloomfield Township — to also sign up for these updates at RepMacDonell.com. Please let us know if you have any thoughts on state-level issues or want to meet with me. My office can be reached by phone at (517) 373-2617 or by email at SharonMacDonell@house.mi.gov.
House District 56
Coffee Hour in Troy
Please join me for coffee and conversation in Troy in January! I will be there to give an overview of the Legislature’s accomplishments in 2023 and take your questions. Events like these are a great opportunity to share your thoughts and concerns directly with me.
When: Saturday, Jan. 13, from 10-11 a.m.
Where: Qamaria Yemeni Coffee Co., 5385 Crooks Road, Troy, MI 48098
Screening of the Environmental Documentary No Defense
Later in January, I will be co-hosting a screening of the documentary No Defense with Troy resident Tony Spaniola, co-chair of the Great Lakes PFAS Action Network and consultant on the documentary. Directed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sarah Ganim, No Defense tells the story of PFAS chemical pollution in drinking water by exploring the history of Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, Mich., the nation’s first recognized military PFAS contamination site. The documentary has helped build public awareness of PFAS pollution in Michigan, and I am so excited to screen it with one of its creators!
When: Sunday, Jan. 28, from 1-3 p.m.
Where: Troy Public Library. 510 West Big Beaver Road, Troy, MI 48084
The following are highlights from my recent work in the Legislature. All of my sponsored and co-sponsored legislation from this term are available at the provided hyperlink. You can also see my press releases page for additional updates.
The Hayes family; my staffer, Kelly Jones; and I stand with Gov. Whitmer after she signed House Bills 4320 and 4387 into law.
Justice for Allie legislation signed into law!!
After years of tireless advocacy, the Hayes family’s wait is finally over. Earlier this month, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law my “Justice for Allie” legislation, which criminalizes taking advantage of someone’s age or disability status to obtain explicit images of them. I will be forever grateful for Allie Hayes and her family for never giving up hope after six long years of fighting for this legislation and multiple stalled bills. What happened to Allie was horrific and never should have happened. Now, thanks to them, vulnerable adults are legally protected from online sexual exploitation. Their courage and tenacity will never cease to inspire me.
State Rep. Nate Shannon and I stand with Gov. Whitmer as she signs House Bills 4353 and 4354.
HOV and EV charging bills signed into law
Earlier in the year, Gov. Whitmer signed two bills of mine that will improve transportation options for Michganders while protecting the environment. Next year, I will follow up these accomplishments with more legislation to protect Michigan’s natural resources, economy and people, especially our most vulnerable populations.
- Signed in October, my House Bill 4353 is part of a package allowing the state Department of Transportation to build a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane along I-75 between Eight Mile Road and South Boulevard. Now, cars with two or more passengers will be allowed to use this lane. By encouraging drivers to carpool, the HOV lane will take cars off the highway and reduce commute times. In exchange for these bills being passed, the U.S. Department of Transportation gave Michigan $40 million for highway repairs. This will save Michiganders money and time while reducing air pollution from vehicles.
- Signed in late November, my House Bill 4706 will allow non-utility businesses like gas stations and retail establishments to sell EV charging services to customers. This bill unlocks tens of millions of dollars in federal funding set aside for businesses like these that wish to install charging stations and start selling electricity to EV owners. This will lead to more EV chargers being built in Michigan, making it more convenient to own an EV and encouraging EV ownership.
Community Recognitions and Resources
This month, I visited the AT&T Student Technology Showcase at the Capitol, where students from around the state showed off projects they’d built in their STEM classes. Michigan is raising a generation of innovators!
Submissions for Small Business AND Teacher of the Month
Each month, I recognize a small business in the community from House District 56 as our small businesses of the month. To nominate a business for this recognition, please fill out this form for Small Business of the Month. I am also excited to recognize a Teacher of the Month! Teachers are the backbone of this nation, and our district has the BEST teachers! Please fill out this form to recognize a Teacher of the Month.
Tributes, Letters and Certificates
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. If you would like to request any of these materials for yourself or others, please email my office at SharonMacDonell@house.mi.gov with as much information as possible on the requested recognition, and we will work with you to arrange delivery or presentation of the recognition!