Dear Neighbor,

I am thankful for the opportunity to serve as your state representative in Lansing. This past year has been a busy one for our community, and I am excited with all the work that has been done. We passed legislation aimed at ensuring Michigan grows stronger and more resilient than ever before. We passed a historic budget focused on creating jobs, investing in education, and supporting working families. That means fighting for better access to high-quality health care, good paying jobs, and excellent education opportunities. In 2023, I was proud to sponsor and co-sponsor 244 bills and resolutions! I have continued to fight for our community so that everyone is included, and nobody is left out. I am honored to be your voice in Lansing and am continuing to act in 2024.

This edition includes some important legislative and community updates, along with a few resources I hope will prove helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-0144 or email at with questions about this or any other state-level issue. Also, please connect with me on my new legislative Facebook page: State Representative Alabas Farhat.


Alabas A. Farhat

State Representative, 3rd House District

Upcoming Events

Coffee Hour

Infographic with photo of Rep. Farhat and details about his March 15 coffee hour.

This month’s coffee hour will take place at Family Bakery in Detroit on Friday, March 15, at 11 a.m. Please check out my Facebook event for more information, or to share with friends.

Standing up to Hate

Rep. Farhat speaks to press on Capitol floor.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal posted a bigoted opinion piece which sought to sow fear and division among our community. I was deeply offended by the irresponsible and dangerous rhetoric promoted by the newspaper. In response, I introduced House Resolution 182 to offer a full condemnation of their bigotry and islamophobia. Any bad actor seeking to paint our friends, neighbors, and family members as less patriotic or un-American must be denounced and called out for what it is. I will always stand up to fearmongering and celebrate the richness and vibrancy of our community.

Legislative Snapshot

Rep. Farhat addresses the Michigan House chamber.

This month, I was proud to champion legislation directly affecting our community.

House Bill 5447 would require that state departments include a Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) category when collecting and reporting data. This bill is designed to increase visibility and equity among the Arab American community. Without a MENA classification, many of our community members are immeasurably harmed by a lack of data and visibility. State departments such as MDHHS are uniquely positioned to collect data that is critical when assessing the needs of racial and ethnic populations. With my bill, a classification will be added to every state agency’s forms.

House Bill 5448 would allow our public universities to better serve the MENA population of our state by requiring inclusion of a MENA category during the admissions process. This category on higher education admissions will allow the state and universities to track admissions, understand trends and fulfill commitments to equal opportunity for this community. Collecting accurate, detailed data about our state’s residents and how that data interacts with education, employment, housing, health care, political representation, and other important social institutions is essential to improving outcomes, distributing resources, and providing support from our state’s agencies.

House Bill 5463 would establish the definition for microenterprise business and microenterprise centers in state law. These definitions will help foster support for businesses with 10 or fewer employees, which make up the backbone of our economy. By adopting a definition, state agencies such as the Michigan Economic Development Corp. will be better able to serve these crucial businesses.

If you’re ever curious about the status of pending legislation or you would appreciate further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office.

March is Reading Month

Rep. Farhat reads a picture book to elementary school students.

This month, I will visit close to 15 schools throughout our community, reading to children and gaining a better understanding of how classrooms are dealing with challenges in the post-pandemic world.

I have always focused strongly on bringing resources back to our schools. That is why I am proud to have worked on a budget for preK-12 schools that dramatically increased funding for students in Dearborn, Detroit, and Melvindale.

The budget we were able to pass included:

  • Increased funding for preschool programs to open more slots for our toddlers so nearly every eligible child can access quality preschool.
  • Increased mental health and wraparound services for all students.
  • A $310 million funding increase for special education services.

Pushing the People’s Agenda 

House Dems are working on legislation to change the lives of our neighbors, and we’ve accomplished so much already.

  • Environment: We worked to reform our recycling and solid waste laws and pass legislation to protect our communities from PFAS.
  • Lowering Costs: We quintupled the Earned Income Tax Credit. The EITC is a tax benefit for working individuals below a certain income level that results in a credit of varying amounts.
  • Fighting Blight: I commended the State Land Bank’s allocation of $750,000 to renovate blighted properties and create affordable housing opportunities in Wayne County.
Rep. Farhat listens to testimony on a dais in committee.

Caring for Our Families and Seniors 

Our families and children have been a top priority since coming into office. House Democrats have worked hard to ensure all residents of Dearborn, Detroit, and Melvindale thrive in all stages of life. I am proud to say I have worked on legislation and expanding access on protecting our seniors from scams and abuse, child care, and housing relief.

  • Protecting our Seniors from Scams and Abuse: We worked on legislation to stop predators from financially exploiting our seniors and to offer more safeguards for those in assisted living.
  • Child Care: We’ve invested to expand access to affordable child care AND increase pay for care workers.
  • Retirement Tax Repeal: The Retirement Tax Rollback is part of the Lowering MI Costs plan that was signed into law. It rolled back the three-tier system of limitations and restrictions on the retirement and pension deductions. More information about the changes can be found here.

Fighting to Rebuild Our Water Infrastructure

I was proud to help secure over $9.2 million for Melvindale’s water infrastructure through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund grant from the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. Guaranteeing universal access to affordable, clean drinking water is one of my top priorities. I am committed to working with my colleagues and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to:

  • Pass the Water Shutoff Protection Act and move toward real water affordability.
  • Allocate billions of dollars to make our communities more resilient to storms and flooding.
  • Replace ALL the lead service lines in Dearborn, Detroit, and Melvindale.

In the News