Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome back to my e-newsletter!
With only a handful of scheduled session days left until the beginning of the next fiscal year, it’s more important than ever we get a budget soon that is right for the people of Michigan. On Monday, 30,000 state workers received an email from the State Budget Office notifying them of what would happen in the event of a government shutdown if we do not have a budget completed by Oct. 1. I remain confident that both sides will come together and avoid this crisis, but it’s important these state workers remain updated in the event a deal is not made by then. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have specific questions about how a potential shutdown would impact your situation.
Where I’ve Been in District 71
Last week, I was invited to join Sen. Ed McBroom on a panel to discuss legislative issues impacting appraisers and tax assessors. We spent most of the time addressing the “dark stores” bills that would close a tax loophole that has allowed big-box retailers to egregiously lower their property tax assessments at the expense of local municipalities. The effects of the lost local revenue from this loophole are felt the most in rural areas that already struggle to meet increasing financial demands who rely on every tax dollar to make ends meet. A big thanks to Kern Slucter of Windsor Township for the invite and for organizing this!
We held a solemn memorial service in the House on Sept. 11. We honored the first responders who lost their lives that tragic day 18 years ago and those from Michigan who lost their lives in the line of duty over the past year. It was an honor to host Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich and Assistant Fire Chief Tyger Fullerton from the Charlotte Fire Department as my guests for the ceremony.
I presented a tribute to the Eaton County Victim’s Advocate Group to celebrate their 20th anniversary of serving our community. Sheriff Reich told the group about the important role these advocates play in helping citizens on their hardest days. Mary Clark, an original Victim’s Advocate and Delta Township Clerk, accepted the tribute on behalf of all the advocates.
I presented Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital CEO Matt Rush a tribute for receiving Michigan Health & Hospital Association’s 2019 Healthcare Leadership Award. Matt has done a lot for our community and Hayes Green Beach since he started 20 years ago. Congratulations, Matt!
Lastly, I stopped by Willow Ridge Elementary School in Grand Ledge to honor Erica Sampson, a second-grade teacher, who was nominated and recognized as my office’s Teacher of the Month. Her nomination spoke of the way she helped all students be more confident in their classroom work, along with the endless love and support she displays. Congratulations, Erica! Thank you for all you do for our children.
How I voted this week
A number of bills voted on this week were “budget implementation” bills that make technical changes to laws impacting the state budget. The House also passed a bipartisan School Aid budget that is estimated to give an additional $4.5 million dollars to Eaton County schools by increasing School Aid spending by 2.7 percent statewide. I voted ‘yes’ on the following bills this week on the House floor:
HB 4242 – Increases the School Aid budget by 2.7 percent for FY 2020. Doubles new money available for special education from $30 million to $60 million. Raises the minimum per-pupil foundation allowance from $7,871 per child to $8,111.
SB 452 – Directs revenue collected above $37 million from both regular cell service providers and prepaid cell phones be used to reimburse local 9-1-1 providers for the costs related to wireless emergency service and Next Generation 9-1-1.
HB 4446 – Allows connected organizations to provide certain financial benefits, items, and services to a separate segregated fund under the Campaign Finance Act.
HB 4190 – Establishes that the Michigan Strategic Fund may not enter into new agreements for Michigan Business Tax (MBT) credits unless the action reduces the total amount of the credit to the applicable business.
HBs 439 & 440 – Extends the sunset dates on various corporate filing fees.
SBs 438-441 – Extends the sunset dates for various regulated occupation fees.
SB 442 – Extends the sunset dates for per-vehicle fees paid by limousine carriers, taxicabs, and transportation network companies.
SB 443 – Extends the sunset dates for several fees under the Uniform Securities Act.
SB 444 – Extends the sunset dates for various licensing and Quality Assurance Assessment Program (QAAP) fees in the Public Health Code.
SB 445 – Extends the sunset on licensing fees for substance abuse disorder programs.
SB 447 – Extends the sunsets on the stormwater discharge fee, surface water discharge, inland lakes and streams permit fees, ordinary high water mark service fee, Great Lakes shoreline permit fees and the submerged lands permit fees.
SB 448 – Extends the sunset on electronic device manufacturer’s fee and electronic device recycler registration fee.
SB 450 – Extends the sunset on various livestock dealer licensing fees.
SB 451 – Extends the sunset on the Michigan Energy Assistance Act, allowing for the continuation of the Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP).
HB 4128 – Allows a custodial parent to change the name of a minor child with notice to the noncustodial parent if the noncustodial parent has been convicted of first- or second-degree murder.
HB 4209 – Allows a township treasurer’s designee to accept property tax payments.
HBs 4370 & 4371 – Requires medical professionals to preserve a patient’s medical records concerning medical procedures or treatment that involve vaginal or anal penetration for a minimum of 15 years to allow sexual assault survivors to pursue a case and seek justice.
To get more detail about any of these bills or to easily track their progress, visit www.legislature.mi.gov.
Upcoming Coffee & Happy Hours
- Friday, Sept. 27, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at Evelyn Bay Coffee Shop in Charlotte **Budget Update**
- Friday, Oct. 4, from 8-9 a.m. at MorningLory Café & Bakery in Dimondale
- Monday, Oct. 7, from 8-9 a.m. at Cops & Doughnuts 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 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Cugino’s Italian Restaurant in Grand Ledge
- Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 8-9 a.m. at Willow Tree 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:
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in participating in a district walk**
Elder Abuse Town Hall with Attorney General Dana Nessel
Please join me for our next public town hall scheduled for Monday, Nov. 4, at 4 p.m. at the Delta Township District Library. 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. Anyone is welcome and no RSVP is necessary!
Other Upcoming Events in Eaton County
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. 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