Dear Neighbor,

Welcome to my monthly Capitol and Community Update 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 — including introduction of an important transparency bill package many months in the making, tax season savings reminders (taxes are due April 15!), grant 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 photo of state Rep. Betsy Coffia delivering the invocation before House session.

State Rep. Betsy Coffia delivers the ceremonial invocation before House session on March 19.

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. These events are a great way to find out what policies I’m working on and to share your ideas and concerns with me!

A photo of state Rep. Betsy Coffia speaking to attendees at a recent coffee hour.

State Rep. Betsy Coffia, back center, hosts a coffee hour in Leelanau County on March 11.

My 2024 in-person coffee hours occur monthly in one of the three counties of the 103rd District — Grand Traverse, Benzie and Leelanau — on a rotating basis, with a virtual session later in the day. This month, my in-person coffee hour will be in Grand Traverse County. My virtual coffee hour will feature a special guest to discuss state mental health policies and legislation: House Behavioral Health Subcommittee Chair state Rep. Felicia Brabec.

April meeting information:

In-Person Coffee Hour

When: Monday, April 8, from noon to 1 p.m.

Where: Traverse Area District Library(610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City, MI 49686)

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

Virtual Coffee Hour

with special guest state Rep. Felicia Brabec

When: Monday, April 8, from 4-5 p.m.

Where: Zoom (Register here)

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

Legislative Update

This has been the most productive legislative term in years, if not in decades. The legislature passed over 340 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 as this legislative term continues.

Introducing the BRITE Act

The Michigan Legislature is in full swing with session and committees meeting and moving bills. On March 13, during Sunshine Week, an annual time to reflect on the importance of transparency in government, I introduced House Bills 558086 alongside my Democratic colleagues. Together, these bills aim to bring much-needed transparency and accountability reforms to our state government and elections. View our press conference here. For many years, Michigan’s ethics and transparency ranking among states has languished near the bottom of the barrel at 47th, according to the Center for Public Integrity. We know our constituents want and deserve better and that good governance quite literally underpins the integrity of everything we do. That’s why we developed our seven-bill package — the Bringing Reforms for Integrity, Transparency and Ethics (BRITE) Act. Developing the BRITE Act has been many months in the making alongside key state leaders such as Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Secretary Benson said of the introduction:

“After decades of being among the least transparent state governments in the nation, Michigan is now moving in the right direction. This legislative package will strengthen our ethics and transparency laws and make government more accountable to the people we represent. I’m grateful for the leadership of the bill sponsors and look forward to strengthening our system so that Michigan is known as a place where the practices of governing, legislating and leading are done with integrity by all involved, in accordance with the will of the voters.”

Anyone who has followed my work in the political sphere knows how important transparency is to me when it comes to public policymaking. I championed this as a Grand Traverse County Commissioner and continue to do so at the state level — sunlight is needed at every level of government. A special thank you to my legislative director Ashleigh Schoeninger for her tireless work and professionalism in helping bring this package to introduction, along with my House colleagues and their policy staff. The BRITE Act package will be heard for testimony in the House Ethics and Oversight Committee on April 18. NOTE: I highly encourage constituents to view the hearing at House TV and to submit testimony in support to the committee clerk here; this testimony will be included as part of public record for the hearing and is an important way for 103rd constituents and organizations to be heard in the policy making process. My bill in the package is HB 5585 and addresses transparency in who pays for lawmaker travel and event tickets; you can read more about the entire package here.

Delivering the Invocation

A photo of state Rep. Betsy Coffia delivering the invocation before House session.

State Rep. Betsy Coffia delivers the ceremonial invocation from the rostrum before her House colleagues on March 19.

Furthermore, I was recently selected to deliver the ceremonial invocation ahead of our March 19 House session. During the invocation, legislators or guests typically deliver uplifting spiritual messages from various faiths or philosophical traditions. I had the privilege to read aloud a passage that has resonated with me since childhood, including the portion of scripture where Christ says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” My invocation remarks served as a reminder of the importance for lawmakers to ensure our public policy work is on behalf of all Michiganders, especially our most vulnerable constituents. That same day, I also sponsored House Resolution 215, declaring March 2024 as Social Work Month in the state of Michigan. As a former social worker myself, I deeply appreciate the work that our social workers do to advocate in our communities for all of us to thrive. I was thrilled to see this resolution adopted, and you can read more about it here.

Equal Pay Legislation

Additionally, March 6 marked Equal Pay Day 2024, the date that symbolizes how far into the year the average woman must work (in addition to their earnings last year) in order to have earned what the average median man had earned the entire previous year – as a demographic, women currently earn 81 cents per dollar that men earn, according to a new report that also reveals that these disparities are even wider for women of color. In 2024, this is frankly unacceptable. As March also marked Women’s History Month, I joined my colleagues in the Progressive Women’s Caucus in introducing a package of bills that aim to help close the gender pay gap and promote pay equity. This 12-bill package works to diminish the discrepancies between pay by providing equal pay certification, requiring employers to educate employees of their equal pay rights, and requiring employers to follow certain protocol such as prohibiting inquiries about previous wages, and would allow for anonymous wage discrimination reporting through the Civil Rights Division. My bill in the package is HB 5623, and you can read more about the entire package here.

A photo of state Rep. Betsy Coffia speaking at the Building and Construction Trades Council Conference.

Rep. Coffia speaks at the Michigan Building & Construction Trades Council Conference about the Legislature’s pro-worker accomplishments on March 5.

In Lansing, I recently spoke at the Michigan Building & Construction Trades Council Conference and had the opportunity to connect with some of the folks from Up North who represent hard-working people in our region, including 103rd District constituents, business representative for the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 85 Clint Steele and Sheet Metal Local 7 union organizer John Coleman, along with business manager for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 498 David Fashbaugh. I was honored to have a chance to address the gathering and am proud to stand with working people across our great state.

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.

Community Update

Wrapping up March is Reading Month

In district, it’s been a great March is Reading Month reading to children across the 103rd House District! I had a wonderful time meeting with my youngest constituents at Old Mission Peninsula School, Long Lake Elementary School, Traverse Area District Library and Suttons Bay Library. Thank you to all of the great students, teachers, and librarians who invited me to join them this past month, and I’m excited to continue a few more visits in April so that I can read to as many interested groups as possible!

Talking Housing with Subcommittee Chair Grant

Also in-district in March, I was thrilled to welcome the new chair of the House Economic Development and Small Business Housing Subcommittee, state Rep. Kristian Grant, to Traverse City to discuss our region’s housing needs. I am grateful to Chair Grant for taking the time to visit our region and learn about our unique challenges when it comes to increasing our housing stock. I’m excited to continue bringing housing advocates from our region into direct conversation with Chair Grant in the coming weeks and months, as well as advocating in the Michigan Legislature to bring a Northern Michigan perspective to much-needed policy reforms that will promote access to housing for people of all walks of life and financial resources across our state.

Additional Updates

Money Back in Working 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, approximately 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 – Dec. 31, 2022; due April 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 5-to-6-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 – 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 prior to 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 earlier this year, 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 temporary 4-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. 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.

Broadband Access — BEAD Challenge

​​Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, along with the Michigan High-Speed Internet Office, announced the start of the State Challenge Process, encouraging Michiganders to help identify locations across the state that are eligible for high-speed internet infrastructure expansion through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program.

Challenges will be accepted through April 23 through an interactive State Challenge Portal. Learn more about the BEAD Program here and check out the Michigan Broadband Map.

Grant Funding Opportunities

Current federal and state grant and scholarship opportunities include:

  • Dairy Business Builder Grant: This federal grant, administered by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), aims to encourage small- to medium-sized dairy farmers, entrepreneurs and processors in 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.
  • Minority-Owned Food & Agriculture Business Capacity Building Grant: The MDARD Agriculture Development Bureau is offering a grant opportunity designed to build capacity and readiness for minority-owned food and agriculture businesses across Michigan to stabilize local communities, support jobs and promote regional economies. Proposals are due on April 18.
  • 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: The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has made funding available to local governments, tribal governments, and other public-service entities for energy-related projects. Applications close June 30.
  • Renewables Ready Communities Award: EGLE is establishing a new funding opportunity to award Michigan communities for hosting renewable energy projects. This adds to the existing value provided through tax revenue, community benefits opportunities, advancement of clean energy commitments and more. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until Sept. 30.
  • Wastewater Infrastructure Fund (WIF) Grant Program: This grant from MDARD aims to help the state’s food and agriculture businesses ensure compliance with Michigan’s environmental regulations. A webinar with details about the WIF grant will be held on April 11 at 2 p.m. Applications will be accepted continually until funding is exhausted.

EGLE is offering technical assistance to support local and tribal governments who seek to access federal funding through the Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). To learn more, visit EGLE’s Federal Funding Technical Assistance Webpage, part of the Catalyst Communities Initiative. EGLE will soon have a new grants system to provide enhanced tools to apply for grants or loans and promote transparency. Sign up for EGLE news and grant updates here.

Grant opportunities from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can be found here, or here where you can also sign up for email updates. Funding resources from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. can be found here. To learn about grant opportunities from the new Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential, visit Interested parties can also subscribe to email updates on these opportunities here.

EGLE Seeking Input on HER Programs

The federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) initiated the Home Energy Rebate (HER) Programs to help households save money on energy bills, improve energy efficiency, and reduce indoor and outdoor air pollution. The HER Programs consists of two programs: the Home Efficiency Rebates and the Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates.

The Home Efficiency Rebates will provide funding to lower the upfront cost of whole-home energy efficiency upgrades, aiding retrofitting and electrification efforts. The Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates will help finance the upfront cost of efficient home electric technologies.

EGLE is seeking input on a strategic, equitable and holistic implementation of the HER Programs in Michigan. You can provide input by submitting your comments or suggestions to For more information about the HER Programs in Michigan, please visit the EGLE MI Home Energy Rebate Programs web page. Michigan residents wanting to participate in a home energy rebate program should sign up for program updates.

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 Archives, 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!