Dear Neighbor,

Welcome to my monthly Capitol and Community Updates 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 information on my upcoming events, a legislative update, tax season savings reminders, news on funding coming to our district, additional opportunities for local organizations and residents, 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, You can reach my office by phone at (517) 373-3817 or by email at 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!

In Service,

Betsy Coffia
State Representative
House District 103

A picture of Rep. Coffia and Gov. Whitmer at a bill signing ceremony.

State Rep. Betsy Coffia, left, attends her first official bill signing with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for HB 4516, which expanded state domestic violence resources to tribal communities — one of three bills sponsored by Rep. Coffia that have been signed into law.

Upcoming Events

Please join me for my upcoming coffee hours, where I will give a legislative update and take your questions about the issues facing our state and our community! My 2024 legislative coffee hours occur monthly in one of the three counties located fully or partially in the 103rd District — Grand Traverse, Benzie and Leelanau — on a rotating basis. This month, my in-person coffee hour will be in Leelanau County, with a virtual session later in the day. These events are a great way to find out what policies I’m working on and to share your ideas and concerns with me!

PLEASE NOTE: This month’s virtual coffee hour will include a conversation with special guest state Rep. Mike McFall. We will discuss his recently introduced House Bill 5461, the MI Secure Retirement bill, which I was proud to co-sponsor. If passed, HB 5461 will expand retirement savings options in Michigan and allow employees to save for retirement even if their employer does not offer a program to do so. As of 2020, nearly 42 percent of Michigan’s private-sector workforce ages 18 to 64 lacked access to a retirement savings plan at work. We know particularly in northern Michigan, where we have many small businesses, it is often cost-prohibitive for employers to directly offer retirement benefits. I am excited about this possibility to not only help these small businesses integrate a retirement option for their workers at no cost to the employer as another tool to attract and retain talent, but also most critically, for workers to have access to a retirement plan. I hope you will join us for this important conversation.

March meeting information:

In-Person Coffee Hour

When: Monday, March 11, from noon to 1 p.m.

Where: Leelanau County Government Center

(8527 E. Government Center Drive in Suttons Bay)

A graphic with details about Rep. Coffia's in-person coffee hour.

Virtual Coffee Hour

with Special Guest, State Rep. Mike McFall

When: Monday, Mar. 11, from 4-5 p.m.

Where: Zoom (Register here)

A graphic with details about Rep. Coffia's virtual coffee hour.

Legislative Update

This has been the most productive legislative term in years, if not in decades. The legislature passed over 330 bills that have been signed into law so far, the vast majority with bipartisan support. Last year, the House voted more days than previous legislatures had over the last 20 years. The work does not stop here. It is my great honor to put the people of Michigan first by delivering on our promises, and I am ready to keep the momentum moving forward in 2024.

A photo of Rep. Coffia with several representatives of the Cherry Capital Airport (TVC).

From left to right, TVC Operations Manager Chris Sieklucki, TVC CFO Mark Bishop, TVC Airport Engineer Bob Nelesen, state Rep. Betsy Coffia, TVC CEO Kevin Klein and TVC COO Dan Sal.

The Michigan Legislature is in full swing with session, committees meeting and bills moving. In Lansing, I recently met with some representatives from the Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) to discuss their policy priorities, including my House Bill 4618 addressing a technical fix to allow TVC to enhance its employees’ medical benefits so they can better attract and retain talent. It was previously passed in committee unanimously! Additionally, my bipartisan package with our neighbor in the 104th District, state Rep. John Roth, to support local small business summer resorts has passed the House! House Bills 4312 and 4313 will now be considered by the Senate. Read testimony in support from Neahtawanta Inn here. These are just a few examples of the Michigan Legislature working in strong bipartisan fashion, something I’m very proud to see and participate in.

A photo of Rep. Coffia testifying in committee in support of her housing legislation.

State Rep. Betsy Coffia, left, testifies alongside representatives from MSHDA on her affordable housing bill package (HB 5030-32) in the House Economic Development and Small Business Committee.

I also had the opportunity to testify before the House Economic Development and Small Business Committee on my bill package to help the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) streamline its operations and save millions of dollars that can then be redirected toward their affordable housing goals. These bills, which have bipartisan co-sponsors, were previously passed by the Housing Subcommittee. While not a magic wand solution, this is just one more tool we are working to put on the table to address the housing crisis in our region and state, and I was thrilled to see Gov. Gretchen Whitmer highlight Traverse City’s housing needs in her recent State of the State address. I was also happy to hear Gov. Whitmer reaffirm that addressing affordable housing issues will be one of her top priorities this year in the recent tele-town hall the governor and I co-hosted for 103rd District constituents. Increasing our affordable housing stock will continue to be a top issue for me as a state legislator because it is such a crucial issue for the individuals and families of the 103rd District, and frankly, to the overall economic future of the region and our state.

A photo of Rep. Coffia and Attorney General Dana Nessel at an event about business scams.

State Rep. Betsy Coffia, right, joins Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, center, in Traverse City at a forum discussing how to avoid business scams.

Back home, I recently welcomed our Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to the 103rd District! I had the honor of introducing her at Traverse Connect’s town hall, at which she gave an informative presentation on avoiding business scams. Also, chi miigwetch to the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB) for hosting AG Nessel, myself and and the folks from For Love of Water (FLOW) at a roundtable discussion on the AG’s ongoing work on Line 5, as well as her Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons work, and how we can collaborate to increase support for survivors of domestic violence and deter abuse.

A photo of Rep. Coffia, Dana Nessel, and representatives from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and For Love of Water.

From left to right are FLOW Director Liz Kirkwood, GTB Council Chairman David Arroyo, FLOW Policy Director Carolan Sonderegger, Councilor Jane Rohl, Councilor Tina Frankenberger, Treasurer Donna Swallows, Attorney General Dana Nessel and state Rep. Betsy Coffia.

One of my favorite activities as an elected leader is visiting classrooms to hear directly from students what is on their minds as they look toward the future. I want to thank Mr. Joshua Veith and his class at Traverse City High School for a great classroom visit again this year. We had a wide ranging 90-minute discussion on topics the students wanted to discuss about state government and state issues. I always enjoy my conversations with students, and I am always learning from their perspectives on the world.

A photo of Rep. Coffia, teacher Joshua Veith and students at Traverse City High School.

State Rep. Betsy Coffia visits with students from Mr. Veith’s class at Traverse City High School.

I was also recently able to tour Truly Free, a local manufacturing business in Williamsburg along with representatives from Traverse Connect. The company produces a plant-based, non-toxic line of refillable cleaning products, making them one of the fastest-growing eco-friendly companies today. They have saved an estimated 13.5 million toxic laundry loads from seeping into the environment this year alone, over 3 million pieces of plastic from being dumped into our oceans, and freed over 300,000 homes from toxic chemicals — all while creating high-quality jobs in our region. I was so happy to make Truly Free my latest stop on my tour of local manufacturing businesses to learn more about their operations and how the state can support them and their workers. Thank you to Traverse Connect for helping my team continue our manufacturing tour this winter/spring!

A photo of Rep. Coffia touring the Truly Free facility.

State Rep. Betsy Coffia, left, tours the Truly Free manufacturing facility.

As always, legislation I have sponsored can be found here or by going to, clicking “Legislators” and then selecting “Sponsored Legislation” under my name. My co-sponsored legislation — which another legislator has sponsored, but to which I have added my name in support — can be found here. Real-time updates on my legislative work can also be found here.

Additional Updates

Money Back in Families’ and Seniors’ Pockets

Changes are coming for this year's tax season

Working Families Tax Credit

Earlier this term, I was proud to vote to expand the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for Working Families; it had been cut to 6% in 2012 by the Snyder administration despite proven benefits for working families. The EITC is a tax credit for working individuals with income below a certain level. The Michigan tax credit is similar to the federal EITC. The Lowering MI Costs Plan quintupled the Michigan EITC from 6% of the federal EITC to 30%, significantly expanding savings for Michigan taxpayers. In the 103rd, about 5,000 working families will qualify for this tax credit with an estimated $3 million back into the local economy for necessities like school clothing, car repairs, and other needs.

The expanded Michigan EITC is retroactive to the 2022 tax year, but the law change did not take effect when it was passed due to a lack of support from Republican senators. The law took effect on Feb. 13.

Tax Year 2022 (Jan. 1, 2022 to Dec. 31, 2022; due Apr. 18, 2023)

Federally eligible individuals who claimed the Michigan EITC on their 2022 MI-1040 received the original 6% credit. Between tax year 2022 and tax year 2023, the Michigan Department of Treasury addressed impacted returns. As of Feb. 13, Treasury is issuing supplemental check payments over a five-to-six-week period to provide eligible taxpayers with the remaining 24% portion of the credit.

These paper check payments will be issued to the most recent address on file with Treasury. If you have moved frequently or recently and have concerns about your address accuracy, you can manually update it through IIT eService. Visit how to change your address with Treasury for more information. Do not file an amended 2022 individual income tax return in an attempt to change your address or claim the increased Michigan EITC.

Tax Year 2023 (Jan. 1, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2023; due April 15, 2024)

Michigan’s 2023 tax return, forms and instructions (e-file and paper format) reflect the expanded Michigan EITC created in the new law. Treasury will address impacted returns submitted before Feb. 13 and prepare them for release so that Michigan EITC eligible individuals can claim the expanded credit.

Please go to for more information.

Retirement Tax Rollback

One of the first actions of the new Democratic trifecta was enacting the Lowering MI Costs Plan, repealing the Snyder-era 2012 tax on Michiganders’ retirement. Repealing the retirement tax provides an estimated 500,000 retirees with more options to choose the best taxing situation for their retirement benefits. Although subject to a four-year phase-in period beginning tax year 2023, this new law essentially restores the pre-2012 retirement and public and private pension subtraction for most taxpayers in Michigan beginning in 2026. This law change will ultimately benefit most retirees in Michigan while ensuring that taxpayers in unique circumstances are not harmed.

The phase in of this retirement tax repeal began on Feb. 13, 2024. The Department of Treasury will address impacted returns submitted prior to this date and prepare them for release so that eligible retirees can claim the most advantageous pension and retirement benefit subtraction.

Please go to for more information.

Funding Coming to the 103rd District

I am thrilled to share that our communities in Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties in the 103rd House District have recently been awarded the following grant funding from the State of Michigan:

  • Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan — $250,000: The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has awarded this funding from the Community Center Grant funds for Michigan municipalities and organizations to expand programming or work on capital projects to serve more Michiganders.
  • SEEDS Ecology and Education Centers — $250,000: LEO has awarded this funding from the Community Center Grant funds.
  • Botanical Garden Society of Northwest Michigan Inc. — $700,000: LEO has awarded this funding from the Community Center Grant funds to help grow educational and recreational programming for the community.
  • Red E Charging LLC — $424,605: The Michigan Infrastructure Office (MIO), in partnership with the Michigan Department of Transportation, has awarded this funding under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program to increase EV accessibility in Traverse City, marking a major step forward in Michigan’s transition to a cleaner, more sustainable transportation ecosystem.
  • Northwest Michigan Works! — $205,873: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and LEO announced this Young Professionals grant to provide youth and young adults with a meaningful introduction to the world of work, including on-site, hybrid and virtual career exploration and preparation activities, jobs skills and earned income.

Grant Funding Opportunities

Current federal and state grant and scholarship opportunities include:

  • County Fair Capital Improvement Grant: The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has made funding available for county fairs to make building and other capital improvements to their fairground facilities. Proposals are due by 5 p.m. on March 15.
  • Pollution Prevention (P2) and Sustainability Assessment Implementation Grant: The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has funding available to small businesses for implementing energy efficiency upgrade recommendations following an environmental assessment. Applications close March 30.
  • Dairy Business Builder Grant: MDARD and the federal Dairy Business Innovation Alliance is accepting applications for this grant, which aims to encourage small- to medium-sized dairy farmers, entrepreneurs and processors in the Midwest to pursue projects such as dairy farm diversification, on-farm processing, value-added product creation and efforts to market dairy products for export. Applications will be accepted until April 3.
  • Michigan Youth Livestock Scholarship: The Michigan Youth Livestock Scholarship Fund (MYLSF) is providing scholarships to outstanding youth who have exhibited at the premier livestock events in Michigan. Applications and qualification requirements for the MYLSF and the statewide scholarship can be obtained here. Applications must be submitted electronically no later than 11:59 p.m. on May 15.
  • Community Energy Management Grant: EGLE has made funding available to local governments, tribal governments and other public-service entities for energy-related projects. Applications close June 30.
  • Small Business Worker Protections Grants: The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) offers two grant programs — Consultation Education and Training Grants and MIOSHA Workplace Improvement to Safety and Health Grants to help organizations improve workplace safety and health through training and equipment. The grant period begins annually on Oct. 1.
  • Other Grant Opportunities: For more energy-related grants for local and tribal governments, visit EGLE’s Federal Funding Technical Assistance Webpage, part of the Catalyst Communities Initiative. The MIO also has a Technical Assistance Center for communities to get one-on-one assistance and directly contract with consultants for grant writing, administration, and other services.

Apply for State Boards and Commissions

As you may know, Gov. Gretchen 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 go to

E-News Archive, Publications, Recognitions

My e-news archive is available on my website here.

State publications on various topics are also available 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 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!