In this e-newsletter:
- Upcoming Social Hour: Dec. 15
- 2023 Legislative Accomplishments
- 2023 Tax Filing Information
- Legislation Effective Feb. 13
- Online Absentee Ballot Request Signed into Law
- Veterans and Immediate Family Holiday Food Basket Distribution
Upcoming Social Hour: Dec. 15
Please join me for an informal, in-person discussion of legislative and community issues at:
Friday, Dec. 15
4-5 p.m. (please note the time)
Wax Wings Brewing Company at 3480 Gull Road in Kalamazoo
While advanced registration is not required, anyone who would like to RSVP or submit questions in advance may do so by emailing JulieRogers@house.mi.gov or by calling (517) 373-1783.
2023 Legislative Accomplishments
It has been an incredibly productive legislative year with bills that have been waiting for decades finally signed into law. This historic majority worked with the governor to see over 270 bills signed into law, including laws to eliminate the retirement tax, enact common-sense gun safety legislation, safeguard important health care protections by codifying the Affordable Care Act into Michigan law, protect LGBTQ+ rights by updating the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and so many other important policies that will protect Michiganders and support our families. I want to thank the many stakeholders who helped my colleagues and I to see these vital pieces of legislation enacted. Numerous people from the 41st House District joined me to testify in support of important legislation in multiple committees.
Even with policies to ensure an affordable transition to clean energy production, protecting workers’ rights to organize and eliminating outdated laws to protect women’s access to reproductive health care, much remains to be done. I am excited to continue the people’s work in 2024 and continue our record of delivering real change for Michigan families.
2023 Tax Filing Information
As you look ahead after the holidays to tax season, I wanted to provide information that will help you with filing your paperwork and ensure you reap the tax benefits recently enacted. There were two major tax changes for Michiganders this upcoming tax season:
- The Earned Income Tax Credit or the EITC (also commonly called the working families tax credit).
- The retirement tax rollback.
The EITC is a benefit for working individuals with a tax credit of up to $2,080. Your eligible credit amount depends on several factors — including your income, filing status, number of “qualifying children” and/or if you are disabled. The rollback of the retirement tax is part of the Lowering MI Costs plan. It rolled back the 3-tier system of limitations and restrictions on the retirement and pension subtraction and quintupled a tax credit for working families.
It is important to note that both the retirement tax rollback and the Earned Income Tax Credit changes will not go into effect until Feb. 13 as there was not enough support from Senate Republicans for immediate effect of these laws. If you qualify for either the EITC or new retirement tax rollback, the Michigan Department of Treasury will hold tax returns to be processed until after the relevant laws take effect on Feb. 13. You DO NOT need to do anything else to ensure you qualify for these benefits, other than ensuring your physical address is current with the Department of Treasury. To update or change your physical address visit https://www.michigan.gov/taxes/questions/iit/accordion/general/change-address which has guidance on how to update your address through the IIT e-Service, via phone or by mail.
As always, I encourage you to consult with your individual tax preparer or accountant for further information and to advise you on your best options when filing your taxes.
Finally, tax season runs from Jan. 23 to April 15, 2024 for on-time filing. To file a late filing extension, Oct. 15 is the late filing deadline.
Legislation Effective Feb. 13
My colleagues and I worked diligently in a bipartisan way this year. Thankfully, I was a part of a number of bipartisan bill packages including the Sexual Assault Prevention and Education bills and the Crime Victims’ Rights bills. I also fostered bipartisanship through the Health Policy Committee, which I am fortunate enough to Chair. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, a number of bills failed to garner enough Republican support for immediate effect. This has resulted in the delay of implementation of these important policies. As a result, a snapshot of legislation that will take effect on Feb. 13 includes the following:
- Retirement Tax Rollback and Earned Income Tax Credit — House Bill 4001
- Repealing the 1931 statute that criminalizes abortion — House Bill 4006
- Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention Bills — Senate Bills 79-83, House Bills 4138, 4142 and 4143, 4146-4148
- The Affordable Care Act implementation in state law — House Bills 4619-4622 and Senate Bills 356-358
- Banning conversion therapy — House Bills 4616 and 4617
- Election safety and access bills necessary because of Proposal 2 — Senate Bills 367, 370 and 373 and House Bills 4696,4697, 4699 and 4702
- Protecting LGBTQ+ rights under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act — Senate Bill 4
I am happy that as of Feb. 13, Michigan will benefit from these important policies going into effect.
Online Absentee Ballot Request Signed into Law
My bill, HB 4570, was signed into law on Friday, Dec. 1. While serving as acting governor, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson signed HB 4570, which codifies existing policy to allow voters to request an absentee ballot online be sent to their home through a secure web-based portal. This bill does not impact the manner in which a person votes, where they vote, when they vote or provide an alternative voting process. To be clear, it is NOT online voting. This law simply allows a registered voter to apply online for an absentee ballot to be sent to their home. Voters must still fill out the paper ballot and return it either via mail or by physically returning it to the local clerk or designated secure ballot drop box.
Two-thirds of Michigan voters supported Proposal 2 in 2022 to make voting more accessible. This simple step reflects the will of the people. It ensures that a secure and convenient method to apply for an absentee ballot online will remain available for voters in the future. I am thrilled that this option will remain for voters as it is now enshrined in state law.
Veterans and Immediate Family Holiday Food Basket Distribution
During this season of giving, it’s important we remember our veterans who sacrificed so much for our country. I am delighted to be joining Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health to co-host a free holiday food box and resource guide distribution for veterans and their immediate families. Veterans and their families can stop by the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services parking lot located at 311 E. Alcott St. in Kalamazoo from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 16, to receive the food. Veterans will be able to choose between a turkey or ham dinner with sides. We will distribute until all the food boxes are gone. I hope to see you there!
As we reflect on the successes of this past year, we are already planning for 2024. Please contact our office with suggestions or ideas you may have to help improve the health and safety of Michiganders. You can email us at JulieRogers@house.mi.gov or by calling (517) 373-1783.