Welcome to the latest edition of my e-newsletter!
Included in this issue are some important updates, along with a few resources I hope you find helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-0844 or email at NataliePrice@house.mi.gov for questions about this or any other state-level issue. Please follow me on Facebook to get regular legislative updates as well.
5th House District
In this issue:
- Upcoming Events
- Community Conversation with Special Guest Sen. Mallory McMorrow: Jan. 29
- Virtual Town Hall: Feb. 9
- Legislative Updates
- Governmental Updates & Resources
- Down Payment Assistance Program in Detroit
- Unemployment Benefits Tax Forms Now Available Online
- Southeast Michigan Water Assistance Programs
- Important Dates
- State of the State Address: Jan. 24
- Community Conversation: Jan. 29
- Virtual Town Hall: Feb. 9
- 2023 Legislation Takes Effect: Feb. 13
My office will start off the new year with a community conversation at the Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham on Monday, Jan. 29, at 5:30 p.m., with special guest State Sen. Mallory McMorrow. As budget season begins, this will be a chance to have a well-rounded discussion about what matters to you and your communities. We would love for you and your neighbors to join us as we prepare for another year of policymaking that puts Michigan families first.
Virtual Town Hall
I am also excited to announce that my office will continue our monthly Virtual Town Halls in addition to our regularly scheduled in-person Community Conversations. These virtual events are a more informal opportunity to speak with me directly as well as joining other constituents in an online chat about the issues that matter most to our communities. We will have our next Virtual Town Hall on Friday, Feb. 9, from noon to 1 p.m. on Facebook Live.
Looking forward to another year of delivering for our communities
Last year, I worked with my colleagues in the House to show Michiganders what it means when government works for the people. From passing common-sense gun safety legislation to protecting the right to reproductive health care to paving the way for our state’s clean energy future, we are realizing a bold vision for Michigan’s future.
In addition to passing legislation that positions Michigan as a leader on climate action and civil rights, we have been putting money back in people’s pockets. We ended the state tax on retirement income, boosted the state Earned Income Tax Credit and enacted a budget that included universal school lunches from pre-kindergarten through high school. As we enter the new year, I am committed to continuing the work that makes Michigan a place that will draw the best and brightest for generations to come.
In 2023, I was proud to work for you on the following legislative successes:
- Passing the Reproductive Health Act, removing unnecessary and burdensome barriers to abortion care and other basic reproductive health care.
- Funding the Michigan Achievement Scholarship to put higher education in reach of more students and families.
- Cutting taxes for working families so their earnings can go further.
- Eliminating unnecessary red tape that presents challenges when our state invests in critical buildings, such as public colleges and universities.
- Investing in essential infrastructure — such as roads, schools and water lines — to support Michigan’s growing economy.
- Instituting telemedicine parity, requiring insurance companies to reimburse health care providers the same amount whether the appropriate service is rendered in-person or via telemedicine.
- Making breakfast and lunch free for students in public school, saving parents time and money.
- Restoring prevailing wage to make sure state-contracted employees are paid what they’re worth.
- Leading the Midwest on clean energy policy through passage of the landmark Michigan Jobs, Michigan Energy package, a critical step toward Michigan’s clean, socially conscious, energy-independent future.
Please note this is not an exhaustive list of all the issues our office is working on. Stay tuned for updates as we continue working on our agenda that puts working families first.
Governmental Updates & Resources
Down Payment Assistance Program has helped more than 300 Detroiters become homeowners; Round 2 coming in 2024
The Down Payment Assistance Program helps Detroiters become first-time homeowners by providing up to $25,000 in down payment assistance to about 450 low- and moderate-income earners. Due to the program’s overwhelming success, applications are currently closed, but a second round of funding is expected to open in early 2024. Interested Detroiters are encouraged to visit DetroitDPA.org for more information and to be notified when new applications become available.
Unemployment benefits tax forms now available online
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has released 1099-G tax statements for individuals who collected unemployment benefits in 2023. Claimants can access their statements on the Michigan Web Account Manager and should receive paper copies by the end of January if requested. Claimants are advised to review and save their statements, which indicate the total benefits paid and tax withholdings. If discrepancies are identified, claimants can request revised statements.
New resources, including the Claimant Roadmap and first-time filer coaching sessions, are now available. Also, the agency is in the design phase of a new computer system expected to be fully functional in 2025, incorporating modern technology and anti-fraud measures. Other transformative actions include launching the UIA Modernization Workgroup, securing grants, addressing claims backlogs, revamping the agency’s website and rebuilding the UI Trust Fund. Over 76,000 overpayment waivers have been approved, and overpayment collections on claims filed since March 1, 2020, have been halted.
Residents in need are encouraged to apply for water assistance programs
Oakland residents: The Water Residential Assistance Program, or WRAP, provides assistance to eligible low-income households who receive water and/or sewer service from Great Lakes Water Authority member partner communities. Households can receive help with paying down past due balances and receive water and sewer bill payment assistance for up to two years. Eligible seniors and permanently disabled persons can obtain bill credit assistance without an expiration date. Participants may also receive conservation assistance and minor plumbing repairs. For more information or to apply, contact the United Way for Southeastern Michigan at (248) 983-5656 or visit the application portal.
Detroit residents: The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has programs to assist with paying utility bills. The DWSD Lifeline Plan is an income-based water affordability plan that erases water debt and offers qualifying customers a low, fixed monthly bill. The 10/30/50 Plan is a payment arrangement to help residents pay off past due water and sewerage bills, regardless of income level. To learn more, visit the DWSD website or call (313) 386-9727 for information about the Lifeline Plan or (313) 267-8000 for information about the 10/30/50 Plan.
State of the State Address: Jan. 24
Community Conversation: Jan. 29
Virtual Town Hall: Feb. 9
2023 Legislation Takes Effect: Feb. 13