Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome back to my e-newsletter!
Budget Negotiations & Roads
With under a month to go before a potential government shutdown on Oct. 1, there is very little public information about the progress of budget negotiations. Gov. Whitmer is firmly standing by her proposed budget recommendations to address the state’s infrastructure crisis in the absence of any concrete plan from the legislative majority. However, she indicated in a recent interview that she would entertain other ideas that raise or come close to the $2.5 billion it will take to fix the roads. She also publicly rejected a plan proposed by some special interest groups to issue $10 billion in bonds in the hopes of lowering the state’s annual pension payments to free up money for roads.
House Democrats have brought a number of alternate revenue sources to the table in the last few months, including tolls on bridges and a tax on heavy trucks over 26,000 lbs. that are doing the most damage to our roads. Earlier this year, we asked you to tell us what you wanted to see from a road funding plan and the answer was unanimous: everyone should contribute their fair share when it comes to fixing the roads and infrastructure we all use every day.
Many of us have been working through the summer to find a budget compromise, but some legislative leaders are just now deciding to start thinking about solutions with only weeks to go. This is a manufactured crisis aimed at letting the clock run out and forcing the governor to capitulate on her main priorities or face a shutdown.
Where I’ve Been in District 71
August finished in a great way with a trip to Washington Elementary in Charlotte, where I delivered backpacks stuffed with school supplies to students. A special thanks Yvette Collins and AT&T for all of their help and generosity in our great district. Seeing the smiles on the students’ faces is a highlight of my day.
I also attended the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Grand Ledge kayak launch. It was a beautiful afternoon with many supporters including LEAP. The launch helps connect to other areas of the river including the two new kayak launches in Delta Township. It was an extra bonus that I was able to meet two of the newest residents of Grand Ledge – the precious twins of Brett and Emily Gillespie. Congratulations you two!
Earlier this week, I had breakfast at Delta Retirement Center. Once a month they host a breakfast honoring veterans from all over our area. I was able to go table-to-table thanking veterans from WWII, Vietnam, Korea and the Cold War. Dick Thelen was there speaking about the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and MaryAnn was there speaking about serving as a WWII Army nurse. MaryAnn recently celebrated her 100th birthday and has some amazing stories to tell about her life. While I shared my family’s military history, I marveled at a line I heard from one of the Veterans that day, “Think about all you are and have done versus all you have lost.”
How I voted this week
I voted ‘yes’ on the following bills this week on the House floor:
HB 4018 – Increases the fine for illegally taking a lake sturgeon to $500-$5,000.
SBs 23 & 24 – Creates a new act to establish criminal penalties for mail theft to provide more options for the prosecution of mail theft at the state level.
HBs 4372 & 4373 – Expand acts requiring license sanctions that would result in the permanent revocation of licenses for health care professionals and registrants convicted of sex under the pretext of medical treatment offenses.
HB 4378 – Protects information from FOIA disclosure that reveals the identity of a sexual misconduct survivor proceeding anonymously in a civil action.
HR 143 – Supports the U.S. cherry industry’s petition before the U.S. International Trade Commission stating unfair trade practices against Turkey and to urge the Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce to take action protecting U.S. cherry farmers.
Upcoming Coffee & Happy Hours
- Monday, Sept. 9, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Riverside Café in Bellevue
- Thursday, Sept. 19, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Joe’s Gizzard City in Potterville
- Friday, Sept. 27, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at Evelyn Bay Coffee Shop in Charlotte
- Friday, Oct. 4, from 8-9 a.m. at MorningLory Café & Bakery in Dimondale
- Monday, Oct. 7, from 8-9 a.m. at Cops & Donuts in Delta Twp.
- Thursday, Oct. 17, from 5-6 p.m. at Maple Leaf Inn in Vermontville
- Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 8-9 a.m. at Flour Child Bakery in Grand Ledge
- Friday, Nov. 8, from 8-9 a.m. at Fay’s Evelyn Bay Coffee in Charlotte
- Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 5-6 p.m. at Cugino’s Italian Restaurant in Grand Ledge
- Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 8-9 a.m. at Willowtree Coffee & Bakery in Olivet
- Friday, Nov. 22, from 8-9 a.m. at Swede’s Restaurant in Mulliken
- Wednesday, Dec. 4, from 8-9 a.m. at MorningLory Café & Bakery in Dimondale
- Friday, Dec. 13, from 8-9 a.m. at Fay’s Evelyn Bay Coffee in Charlotte
Upcoming District Walks
Here are some dates you can expect to see us in your neighborhood:
- Monday, Sept. 9, at 11 a.m., Lansing
- Monday, Sept. 16, at 11 a.m., Dimondale
- Friday, Sept. 20, at 11 a.m., Olivet & Bellevue
- Friday, Sept. 27, at noon, Delta Twp.
- Friday, Oct. 4, at 11 a.m., Potterville
- Friday, Oct. 11, at 11 a.m., Grand Ledge
**Contact Joe Fedewa at (517) 373-0853 or email@example.com if interested in participating in a district walk**
Elder Abuse Town Hall with Attorney General Dana Nessel
Please save the date for our next public town hall scheduled for Monday, Nov. 4, at 4 p.m. at the Delta Township District Library. Please note the time change. This event will focus on preventing elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. Joining us for a panel discussion will be special guests Attorney General Dana Nessel and AARP State Director Paula Cunningham to share updates about the AG’s Elder Abuse Task Force and AARP’s work designating Michigan as an Age Friendly State. We will also be joined by Tammy Lemmer from Tri-County Office on Aging to discuss some exciting programs they are working on in our region. All are welcome and no RSVP is necessary!
Other Upcoming Events in Eaton County
The Charlotte Frontier Days at still running through Sunday, Sept. 8. The annual Frontier Days Grand Parade will begin tomorrow (Saturday) at 10:30 a.m.
You still have time to make it out to the Grand Ledge “Market on the Grand” at Jaycee Park going on every Saturday through Oct. 26, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sponsored by the Grand Ledge Chamber of Commerce, the weekly market is a great place for farmers to sell their products directly to the Grand Ledge community. The market helps drive local economic development while bringing local produce and goods to the people of Grand Ledge.
State Representative Angela Witwer
71st House District