I am honored and humbled to be your state representative. As we return to the legislative session, I would like to share some of the great work we have done in the past nine months and our plans for the rest of the year. Please know that my staff and I are here for you.
If you need support or resources, have any questions regarding legislation, or state government in general, please feel free to reach out to me at my office via email or by calling (517) 373-0836.
80th House District
In this issue:
- What Have We Done?
- What’s Next?
- Community Events & Updates
What Have We Done?
Education Budget: In a joint effort with the Legislature, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a historic education budget for the state of Michigan in July. This bipartisan budget is the highest per-student investment in Michigan history. It also ensures all public school students get free breakfast and lunch and takes the first step toward free pre-K for all 4-year-olds. For more information, click here.
Red Flag Gun Laws: This April, common-sense gun laws were enacted in the state of Michigan. After two mass shootings that devastated our schools and communities in the past two years, our Democratic Legislature took action. Senate Bills 79-82 and House Bills 4138 and 4132 will establish universal background checks for all firearm purchases and safe storage requirements. For more information, click here.
House Bill 4932: Last month, I introduced HB 4932, which aims to bolster Michigan’s child labor laws. The legislation increases penalties against unethical companies that exploit and abuse young people in unsafe working conditions This legislation was introduced in response to a recent New York Times article detailing the widespread, illegal use of child labor right here in our district and throughout the country.
The bill would increase financial penalties against bad actors five to 10 times more than current fines. Violations after the first offense would increase from misdemeanors to felonies and, mirroring federal law, provides for specific enhanced penalties on employers that violate the law if the misconduct results in death or great bodily harm.
HBs 4933 & 4934: I have also introduced the Make it in Michigan tax credit to give income tax credits to college graduates who work and live in Michigan, helping to provide financial assistance with paying off burdensome student loans. This tax credit would allow those who choose to reside in Michigan after the completion of post-secondary degree at a college or university to receive a tax credit of up to 50% of the cost of tuition in the state as they pay off their student loans.
Governor’s “What’s Next Address”: On Aug. 30, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave a speech outlining her legislative priorities for the remainder of 2023. She focused on four main topics that impact the people of Michigan: the health of our people, planet, economy and democracy. Highlights of the address included passing the Reproductive Health Act that would roll back harmful restrictions on abortion, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, increasing clean energy standards in Michigan, and providing paid family and medical leave. Also, in light of the threats to the integrity of the 2020 election, the governor plans to work with the Legislature to shore up election security to ensure Michiganders’ votes are counted. To read the full speech, click on this link.
Community Coffee Hours with Rep. Phil Skaggs & Special Guest, Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks: Friday, Sept. 29, from 10:15-11:15 a.m. Please RSVP at the following link for the location: https://forms.gle/FTckNGVpfc1XMG1Y8
Kentwood Glow in the Dark Park: Saturday, Oct. 7, from 7-9 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park (355 48th St. SE).
Trunk or Treat: Saturday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Kentwood Department of Public Works (5068 Breton Road SE).
South Kent Community Expo: Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Kentwood Activities Center (355 48th St. SE).