I am so excited to share with you what the Michigan House of Representatives has been working on these past few weeks. We in Lansing have been working diligently to get meaningful legislation passed for District 80 and the state of Michigan.
In this issue:
- What Have We Done?
- Community Events & Updates
What Have We Done?
Child Labor Laws: In response to a New York Times article detailing the widespread, illegal use of child labor in West Michigan and throughout the country, I introduced House Bill 4932. This bill would increase financial penalties against bad actors by five to 10 times the current fines. It also mirrors federal law in providing specific enhanced penalties on employers that violate the law if the misconduct results in death or great bodily harm. Children have a right to be safe and focus on their education. Teenagers should not be working on egg farms for 12 hours a day, they should not be working the night shift on the assembly line and they should not be working under hazardous conditions. The bill was voted out of committee and is ready for action on the House floor.
Kindergarten Oral Health: In collaboration with a Senate colleague, I have worked to address the issue of childhood oral health. Sponsored by state Sen. Sam Singh, Senate Bill 280, which passed the House and Senate and is ready for the governor’s signature, aligns the kindergarten oral health assessment with the vision and hearing tests that have been in place for decades. This bill is yet another step in our ongoing efforts to improve oral health among our youth and keep them in school where they belong. The bill would require a dentist or dental hygienist to conduct a limited clinical inspection to identify signs of oral or systemic disease, malformations or injuries and to provide referrals for diagnosis and additional treatment, if needed. If a child already has an established dental care team, they would be able to have their dentist sign a form saying that they have been screened and thus not required to be screened again in the school setting.
Affordable Care Act: On Oct. 19, Gov. Whitmer signed legislation codifying key provisions of the Affordable Care Act into Michigan law. This ensures affordable health care coverage for millions of Michiganders and their families will remain, regardless of federal court decisions. The package of legislation includes prohibiting insurers from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions, allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s health insurance and other aspects of “Obamacare.” It also ensures that Michiganders do not lose coverage if federal laws change.
Community Events & Updates: Kentwood Seniors – Thanksgiving Feast Lunch: Wednesday, Nov. 15, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Kentwood Activities Center (355 48th St. in Kentwood). More info here. Thank you for reading! If you need support or resources, or have any questions regarding legislation or state government in general, please feel free to reach out to me at my office via email at PhilSkaggs@house.mi.gov or by calling (517) 373-0836.
80th House District