Our last Coffee with Christine for 2023 will be held at the Oshtemo Township Building (7275 W Main St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009) on Dec. 8th at 10:30 a.m.. This is a change from our usual last Friday of the month to accommodate everyone’s holiday season plans. I always look forward to meeting constituents face to face, answering questions and hearing your concerns directly. I hope to see you there!
My last few weeks in Lansing have been something of a whirlwind! We made good on promises to move meaningful and impactful legislation for our state. There are several important issues that I would like to highlight for you below.
The Reproductive Health Act (RHA)
House Bills 4949 to 4959 would create the Reproductive Health Act and amend several existing laws to revise and repeal provisions of law related to abortion services. This set of bills helped codify rights under the passed Proposal 3 ballot measure. I was the primary sponsor of House Bill 4953 in this package and am proud of the work done by all the bill sponsors to make this happen. Since my first day in office, I have always been a strong advocate for a woman’s right to choose and adamant that the government should not prevent people from making the private health care decisions that are right for them. I am so grateful to be a part of such a historical bill package for women across our state.
Clean Energy and Jobs Act & Clean Energy Future
The transition to renewable energy is already underway, and if we do not act now, Michigan will get left behind. Michigan has a chance to be a national leader in renewable energy, drawing development and jobs to our state. Together, the Clean Energy and Jobs Act and Clean Energy Future bill packages set bold, achievable goals for a clean energy standard and the permitting changes to make them happen. They reduce energy waste and target efficiency improvements in underserved communities, ensuring no one gets left behind. The bills mandate community benefits and good-paying union jobs while standing up for the rights of private property owners to use their land as they see fit.
Drug Immunity Legislation
Michigan is the only state in the nation that gives blanket immunity to drug companies if their product has FDA approval. While most medicines are safe when used as directed, that is not always the case. Consumers deserve some level of recourse if the medicine they take causes undue injury. This legislation brings that right back to the citizens of our state.
KVCC’s Capital Outlay Project
Capital outlay projects allow public universities and colleges around the state the opportunity to help fund new infrastructure or facility needs on their campus. I was proud to work with the House Appropriations Chair Angela Witwer to help secure $19.5 million in capital outlay dollars for Kalamazoo Valley Community College. This money will go towards renovations for the Advanced Technology wing at the Texas Township Campus and will help fund an expansion of their spaces that house the Automotive Technology program.
End of the Year
This has been one of the most productive legislative sessions in years. The House voted more days this year than previous Republican-led legislatures over the last 20 years. We have passed over 150 bipartisan bills and had 198 public acts signed into law. We delivered real, tangible solutions at a historic rate through legislation that puts people first. The passage of legislation for clean energy, record investments in education, reproductive healthcare and expanding workers’ rights are all examples of the people-focused policies we have passed so far. Now it is time for us to get back to our hometown communities and constituents to continue listening and taking action to make the future brighter for all Michiganders.
During this time, I will continue to meet with constituents, attend local events and meetings and host my regular coffee hours. In addition, my office is always available to contact with meeting requests, concerns or support for legislation and to assist with any issues you may be having with the state government. It is my pleasure to serve the 40th District and I look forward to continuing the great work we have accomplished in the 102nd Legislature.
Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment
Time is running out to enroll in a health plan during the Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period, which ends on Jan. 15, 2024.
High-quality health insurance leads to a healthier Michigan and all Michiganders can evaluate their options at HealthCare.gov before the Jan. 15 enrollment deadline.
If you are worried that you will not be able to afford the health insurance you need or that it is too difficult to enroll, help is available! Newly expanded subsidies can help Michiganders find a health plan for less than $10 a month. Free, local enrollment help available. Find out more at LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov.
If you need health coverage in 2024, act now! You must enroll by December 15 to have coverage beginning January 1, 2024. If you sign up between December 15, 2023 and January 15, 2024, your coverage will begin on February 1, 2024.
Resources are available at Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance or by calling the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services’ call center at (877) 999-6442 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
November is American Diabetes Month
Did you know that nearly 1 in 2 Americans has diabetes or prediabetes? Our country’s diabetes epidemic includes the ever-growing number of people with Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. With the knowledge that this disease is hurting too many people, the American Diabetes Association® (ADA) is committed to fighting diabetes through a focus on advocacy, education and research. If you are an individual living with diabetes, if you are a parent, caregiver, health care provider or an individual worried about your risk, the ADA has a wealth of resources to support you, available in English and Spanish.
Many people are not aware they have prediabetes or even type 2 diabetes. Whether for your own information or to share with another, please consider taking our risk test.
You can also call 1-800-DIABETES to speak with someone live and receive general information on diabetes. This is a great way to learn or expand your current knowledge base about diabetes – from symptoms and treatment to management and medication. Arm yourself with the knowledge to prevent type 2 diabetes or live well with diabetes. Our resources can also help you navigate the journey you are on—with the tools, health tips and food ideas you need. Wherever you are with diabetes, you can still live your best life.
I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving this Thursday! I hope you find yourself surrounded by friends, family and other loved ones as you celebrate the things you are thankful for. I am thankful for my friends and family, the work that my colleagues and I have been able to accomplish this year in Lansing, and for all my constituents that I have the privilege to serve.
Thank you all for staying connected with my updates, as always please feel free to reach out to my office at any time should you have questions or concerns about any legislative or local issues. My office can be reached at ChristineMorse@house.mi.gov or (517) 373-8670 and any friends or neighbors who wish to join my mailing list can do so here.