Welcome to my Capitol & Community Update! I am honored and thankful for the opportunity to represent you in Lansing. I hope everyone is having a great holiday season and continues to stay healthy. My staff and I are here to serve you and help however we can.
Also, if you have any concerns that you’d like to voice to my office, please email us at RachelHood@house.mi.gov or give us a call at 517-373-1790. My Constituent Correspondent, Alex Zygmunt, will be happy to assist you with whatever you need.
Reproductive Health Act Bill Package
In Nov. 2022, Michiganders voted in favor of protecting reproductive rights for all. Recently, Michigan Democrats passed legislation that would help enshrine these rights into law. These bills assert the fundamental right to reproductive freedom. This allows state regulation of abortion after fetal viability while protecting the right to abortion for the pregnant person’s health. It prohibits penalties based on pregnancy outcomes and defines key terms. The bills propose amendments to criminal procedure related to sentencing guidelines for specific violations.
Clean Energy Package
Michigan Democrats recently passed legislation establishing a 100% clean energy standard by 2040, an 80% clean energy standard by 2035 and a renewable standard of 50% by 2030 — ambitious but achievable targets. The bills set long-awaited clean energy and renewable energy standards, increase energy efficiency targets, expand the role of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and create a new Community and Worker Economic Transition Office. I was proud to have voted yes on these bills to help move Michigan to a cleaner energy future.
I have been actively involved in shaping some exciting proposed changes to the Clean and Renewable Energy and Energy Waste Reduction Act of 2008. These proposed changes specifically include the addition of a requirement that the Michigan Public Service Commission issue rules concerning community solar facilities and establish applicable bill credit rates for facility subscribers. I was happy to bring this bill to the Committee on Energy, Communications and Technology for testimony on Nov. 8, along with my colleague, state Rep. John Roth (R-Interlochen), who has been working alongside me with his own bill to help bring this idea to fruition.
Research & Development Tax Credit
My colleagues and I have been working hard on a bill package that would establish a state-level tax credit for research and development (R&D) in Michigan. Specifically, the bill I have been involved with suggests adding a new chapter to the Michigan Strategic Fund Act, enabling the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) to institute an R&D tax credit for certain businesses. On Oct. 30, my colleagues in the House passed this bill package, helping businesses gain a better footing in our state.
Michigan Work Share Program
Michigan’s Work Share program allows employers to restart their businesses and bring employees back from unemployment. Employers can bring employees back with reduced hours while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to make up a portion of the lost wages.
Home Repairs with State Emergency Relief
State Emergency Relief assists with home repairs to correct unsafe conditions and restore essential services. Eligible home repairs may include repair or replacement of a non-functioning furnace, water heater or septic system. This program can be found through MI Bridges.
Michigan Homeowners Assistance Fund (MIHAF)
The Michigan Homeowners Assistance Fund (MIHAF) will help prevent foreclosure and displacements of homeowners due to the coronavirus pandemic. Applicants will be able to apply and submit required documentation through the web-based application or may be assisted by a third-party counseling agency or legal aid office. MSHDA also is partnering with Michigan 2-1-1, a nonprofit organization, to serve as a statewide call center to answer questions, provide program details and help homeowners with application submissions. Please note, this program is nearing the end of its federal funding, so be sure to submit your application by Friday, Dec. 8.
Double Up Food Bucks
Buying food is expensive right now, especially for our neighbors struggling to put food on the table. Double Up Food Bucks is here to help. For those who shop for groceries with a SNAP/Michigan Bridge Card, they can double their benefits to purchase fresh, Michigan-grown fruits and veggies using Double Up Food Bucks. The program is available at 260+ participating farmers markets and grocery stores across Michigan. With farmers market season already here, it’s a great time to use the program! Learn how it works and find a participating location near you at DoubleUpFoodBucks.org.