Hello and welcome to my e-newsletter. I would like to take this moment to thank you for allowing me 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, upcoming times to meet with me and other relevant information for our community.
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!
Proposed House Budget
Earlier this summer, I voted against the House version of the budget because it fundamentally fails to ensure the wellbeing of the people of our state. Rather than acknowledge the hole that years of corporate tax cuts and underinvestment have left in our state’s finances, the House budget proposal sticks to the status quo and fails to raise the new revenue we need to permanently fix our roads and schools.
To partially fund road repairs, the House budget would divert funds that should go to schools and local governments. The House budget would convert the sales tax on gas to a gas tax, stripping our schools of constitutionally guaranteed revenue and leaving our students even further behind. And, at current gas prices, this scheme would raise only a third of the total revenue needed for roads.
Because the sales tax to gas tax conversion and the cuts to state agencies combined still wouldn’t be enough to come close to fixing the roads, the House budget also proposes to sell public assets including the Blue Water Bridge, several highway welcome centers, airports and a rail line. This tactic makes no sense. Funding our roads is an ongoing, annual need, and a one-time fire-sale will not raise enough money to fund even one year of road improvement.
I hope you can join me for my upcoming coffee hour! I look forward to having an informal conversation with you about the issues that families are facing in our community.
When: Friday, August 16, from 8:30 – 10 a.m.
Where: Dawn of a New Day Coffee House and Cafe, 210 S. Washington Ave. in Saginaw
Citizens Redistricting Commission
Every 10 years following the U.S. Census, district lines for political offices must be redrawn in states across the country to accurately reflect their changing populations. In Michigan, a randomly selected commission of citizens will be responsible for drawing U.S. Congressional and Michigan State legislative district lines. Voters passed this constitutional amendment in the November 2018 general election, which makes citizens — not legislators or special interests — responsible for drawing district lines. The commission will be composed of 13 Michigan registered voters: four who self-identify as Democrats, four who self-identify as Republicans and five who self-identify as unaffiliated with either of those political parties.
Redistricting is a process that happens every 10 years, but this is the first time a new citizen-led commission of 13 randomly selected commissioners will be mapping Michigan’s future. According to the constitution, the Secretary of State’s Office must develop and administer the application and selection process for voters interested in serving as commissioners. We believe the public should be part of this transparent, independent process at every step.
Though not constitutionally required, the Secretary of State is seeking public feedback on the draft language for the application and accompanying commissioner eligibility guidelines through Aug. 9. You can review the draft application and submit comments here.
EGLE Grant Brings Fresh Food Market to Saginaw
A property in Saginaw will be redeveloped as a Fleck’s Fresh Mart with help from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). The Saginaw Downtown Development Authority was awarded a $249,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant to revitalize and safely reuse a vacant parcel at 2040 North Michigan Avenue.
The site has been vacant for 10 years after old industrial and auto-related businesses with leaking underground storage tanks contaminated the property. The brownfield grant will be used to evaluate and manage contaminated soils, install barriers to control gasoline vapors that could remain in the soil or groundwater, and demolish old building foundations to ensure the safe redevelopment of the property.
Wirt-Rivette Group and RPF Oil will redevelop the currently vacant parcel into a Fleck’s Fresh Mart and gasoline station. The $2,225,000 redevelopment will create eight full-time and part-time jobs. Fresh Mart will provide residents and commuters a healthier alternative to traditional convenience store foods.
EGLE partners with communities to protect public health and the environment and revitalize contaminated property. EGLE grants and loans pay for environmental investigation and cleanup on brownfields, which are vacant or abandoned properties with known or suspected environmental contamination.
Power Outage Credits Following Recent Storm
Consumers Energy and DTE customers may be eligible for a $25 credit if they were without power for more than 16 hours as a result of recent storms.
Consumers are eligible for a credit under “normal conditions” if the utility fails to restore service within 16 hours after an outage resulting from conditions other than catastrophic conditions. Catastrophic conditions are defined as an event that results in an official state of emergency or an event that results in interruption of 10 percent or more of the utility’s customers and the utility fails to restore power within 120 hours.
Credits are also available for repetitive interruptions if a customer experiences more than seven interruptions in a 12-month period. Customers need to notify their electric utility of all service outages and should record the date and time of each outage; when the company was notified of the outage and how it was notified; and when the service was restored.
Any customer of an electric utility regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission is eligible for this credit. Customers must contact their utility to determine whether they are eligible for the credit. Online forms for Michigan’s two largest utilities – DTE and Consumers Energy – are available by clicking on these links:
Never hesitate to reach out to me or my staff if you have any questions or concerns!
95th House District