Hello, and welcome to my e-newsletter. I would like to take this moment to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve you in the 95th House District and to act as your voice in the Capitol. This issue of my e-newsletter will provide you an update on what’s going on in the community and at the Capitol this month, including:
- Upcoming Coffee Hour
- Gov. Whitmer’s Executive Orders to Protect Water, Environment
- Legislature asks MI Supreme Court to Hear Case on Paid Sick Leave, Minimum Wage
As your representative, I am most effective at my job when acting on your input, and I encourage you to reach out to me and my staff with any questions, comments or concerns you may have about issues in the district or legislation that will impact our state. You can contact me toll-free at (855) 347-8095, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my website, guerra.housedems.com. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your commitment to the community we both call home.
Upcoming Community Events
My coffee hours are a chance to sit down in an informal setting and discuss issues facing our state. My next coffee hour will be held on:
- Monday, Feb. 25 from 9-11 a.m. at the Buena Vista McDonald’s, located at 3200 Holland Road in Saginaw
In addition, United Way will be holding a listening session to hear about the issues that matter to Saginaw County. The listening session will be held on:
- Wednesday, March 6 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Hoyt Library Auditorium, 505 Janes Ave. in Saginaw
If you can’t make it to the coffee hour or this listening session, please feel free to contact me by email or phone. I hope to see you soon!
Gov. Whitmer’s Executive Orders to Protect Water, Environment
This month, Gov. Whitmer took decisive action to curb our state’s ongoing water and environmental crises by issuing two executive orders and one executive directive. One order strengthened Michigan’s PFAS Action Response Team, which helps to locate PFAS contamination and takes action to protect sources of drinking water from these dangerous chemicals.
The executive directive entered Michigan into the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of state governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Finally, one of the orders reorganized the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to create offices for a clean water public advocate, an environmental justice public advocate, as well as an office of climate and energy, while also eliminating three corporate-dominated panels that oversee the department.
These corporate panels were established by the legislative majority before Gov. Whitmer took office, which is why legislative Republicans in both the House and Senate passed resolutions to reject this order. Simply put, these polluter panels seek to keep corporate interests at the heart of environmental policy here in Michigan. That’s not right, and that’s why I so strongly supported Gov. Whitmer’s executive actions.
Earlier this week, Gov. Whitmer issued a new order to reorganize the DEQ, this time leaving in place the panels as she awaits a ruling on their legality from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. I wholeheartedly support Gov. Whitmer in her efforts to strengthen our environmental protections and once again put Michigan families ahead of wealthy corporations.
Legislature asks MI Supreme Court to Issue Opinion on Paid Sick Leave, Minimum Wage
This week, the House and Senate adopted resolutions directing the Legislature to ask the Michigan Supreme Court to issue an opinion on two key legal questions surrounding the adopt-and-amend strategy used by legislative Republicans last term to gut citizen-led ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage and guarantee all Michiganders the right to paid sick leave. As many of you will remember, last year just before the election, the Legislature voted to adopt these ballot initiatives, meaning they would be left off the November ballot. Then, only a month after the election, those same legislators took up the initiated laws again, this time amending them drastically to reduce the minimum wage increase as well as restrict the number of Michiganders entitled to paid sick leave.
I suspected this might occur when the initiatives were passed in September, which is why I did not support their robbing Michiganders of the opportunity to make their voices heard on those issues. The Legislature is asking the Supreme Court to issue an opinion on the legality of this action, specifically seeking answers to the following questions: Is it legal for the Legislature to adopt citizen-led ballot initiatives and later revise them in the same legislative session? And if so, are the gutted versions of the minimum wage and paid sick leave laws legal? I eagerly await the answers to these questions of constitutionality, and I will be sure to keep you updated as the situation develops.
State Rep. Vanessa Guerra