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 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!
In this Edition:
- Legislative Update
- Medicaid Work Requirements
- Online Voter Registration
While I have enjoyed spending time in our community learning about the issues that matter most to you, I am extremely pleased that the House reconvened session this week in Lansing so we could continue working toward passing a budget that ensures funding for vital programs many working families rely on. I was disappointed when Senate Republican leadership walked away from negotiations a few weeks back, leaving millions of Michiganders – and taxpayer dollars – hanging in the balance. However, the gridlock finally broke yesterday as the House was able to come together in a bipartisan effort to pass a supplemental budget that restores critical funding and allows the men, women and children impacted by this impasse to be put at ease. This supplemental budget is a step in the right direction toward funding the priorities Michiganders care about most, including $10.5 million for more literacy coaches in our schools, $4 million to test and address PFAS contamination, and $250,000 directly for Saginaw County Community Corrections to help people during their encounters with the court system in our county. I am proud that we were able to deliver real solutions for our state’s most urgent challenges.
For more information on the supplemental budgets that passed, please feel free to contact my office or see the full list at the non-partisan House Fiscal Agency links below.
Medicaid Work Requirements
This week, Gov. Whitmer sent a special message to the state Legislature requesting a pause on upcoming changes to Medicaid work requirements until pending litigation surrounding the matter is resolved. I fully support the governor’s efforts to delay the implementation of these new work requirements, as premature action has the potential to be a significant waste of taxpayer dollars and cause unnecessary confusion in the event the law is struck down. While litigation in other states has resulted in an injunction being placed on the rule changes, the legislative majority seems intent on implementing these rules regardless. Therefore, I want to ensure that everyone has the information they need to be prepared should they take effect at the beginning of the new year.
In 2018, the Legislature voted to implement work requirements for Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries upon approval from the federal government, which occurred last December. Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, certain beneficiaries will be required to report to MDHHS each month 80 hours of work or other eligible activities, such as job training. If they do not report, they could lose their health care coverage.
MDHHS began sending notification letters in September to more than 270,000 Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries who currently are not exempt from the work requirements based on department records. To retain coverage, these individuals must comply with the new requirements beginning in January.
In addition to the September notification letters, MDHHS has put in place a communication plan to get the word out about the upcoming work requirements. The department has hosted webinars for community partners and providers and will build upon these efforts throughout the fall with paid advertising, media outreach, social media posts and additional outreach to community partners and stakeholders who work with people who may be affected.
In October, notifications were also sent out to Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries who are exempt from the work requirements, including people who will be age 62 and older.
If you have any questions about how Medicaid work requirements might affect you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office. Additional information about the Healthy Michigan Plan can be found at HealthyMichiganPlan.org. For more information about the work requirements and other changes, click on the Changes Coming in 2020 tab.
Online Voter Registration
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced this week that Michiganders can now register to vote or update their voter registration online at Michigan.gov/VoterRegistration. This is the culmination of work that began in 2018 when legislation was enacted to enable Michigan to join 37 other states in allowing online voter registration.
The secure, web-based online voter registration tool is available to citizens with a valid Michigan driver’s license or state ID card. Michigan residents without these documents can learn more about how they can register to vote by visiting the site. All other methods of voter registration, including registration by mail, will remain available. Michigan also began implementing automatic voter registration in September as part of driver’s license and state ID card transactions.
If residents are not sure whether they are registered to vote, they can visit Michigan.gov/Vote to find out.
Never hesitate to reach out to me or my staff if you have any questions or concerns!
95th House District