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 Lansing. This issue of my e-newsletter will provide an update on what’s going on at the Capitol this month, including:
- Upcoming Coffee Hour
- Ending Birth Certificate Discrimination
- Gov. Whitmer Calls for MCCA Audit
- Principal Residence Exemption
As your representative, I am most effective at my job when acting on your input. 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 or through my website. Thank you for your commitment to the community we both call home; I look forward to hearing from you!
Upcoming Coffee Hour
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:
- Friday, April 19, from 8-9:30 a.m. at the Dawn of a New Day, 210 S. Washington Ave in Saginaw.
If you can’t make it to the coffee hour, please feel free to contact me by email or phone. I hope to see you then!
Ending Birth Certificate Discrimination
Currently, anyone born before Oct. 1, 1978, to unmarried parents does not have their birth records on file at their county clerk’s office. As a result of this discrimination, they have a more cumbersome process of going to the state to retrieve their vital records, taking more of their time and costing them more money because of circumstances entirely out of their control. There is no reason for this
Earlier this year, my colleague Rep. Steve Johnson and I introduced House Bills 4152-4153 to put an end to this unnecessary and archaic discrimination.
This legislation will ensure individuals are charged the same amount to receive a copy of their birth records, regardless of the marital status of their parents when they were born. People should not have to pay more to retrieve a copy of their birth certificate because their parents weren’t married when they were born. It is time to level the playing field for everyone.
Gov. Whitmer Calls for MCCA Audit
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer directed the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) to conduct an audit of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) after the board voted to impose an additional fee increase of $28 on drivers this year. This increase would be added to a driver’s insurance premium, bringing the total MCCA fee to $220 per vehicle.
The MCCA has increased the fee motorists pay to cover catastrophic medical claims annually for the last three years — 6.3 percent in 2017, 13 percent in 2018, and 14.5 percent in 2019 — resulting in drivers paying more than twice as much as they did in 2008.
However, since the MCCA is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act or Open Meetings Act, it is difficult to verify their reasoning. At a time when Michigan families are struggling with the rising cost of auto insurance, it is critical that we have access to the underlying information. I will continue to work with Gov. Whitmer and my colleagues in the Legislature to create long-term solutions to bring the MCCA out of the shadows.
Principal Residence Exemption
The Michigan Department of Treasury is reminding Michiganders that a Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) does not expire.
Inaccurate posts being shared on social media are claiming that Michigan taxpayers will experience a surge in property taxes due to their PRE expiring after 25 years. In return, the state Treasury Department and local assessors are experiencing a surge in inquiries from residents who are trying to verify this misinformation or submit unneeded paperwork.
A PRE exempts a residence from the tax levied by a local school district for school operating purposes up to 18 mills. To qualify for a PRE, a person must be a Michigan resident who owns and occupies the property as a principal residence.