Dear Neighbor,

Now that spring has sprung, I hope you have been able to find respite from the turbulent Michigan weather and are eagerly anticipating summer as much as I am. Last month, I spent time reading to students at 14 elementary schools, hosting a community coffee hour, and visiting seniors. As the weather warms, I look forward to continuing to connect with you all at community events.

Included in this edition are some important legislative and community updates, along with a few resources I hope will prove helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-0144 or email at with questions about these or any other state-level issues.


Alabas A. Farhat

State Representative, 3rd House District

Upcoming Events

Coffee Hour

Friday, April 19, at 11 a.m. at Family Bakery, 17032 W. Warren Ave., Detroit, MI 48228

State of Michigan Tribute Nominations

If you know an individual, business, or community landmark that you believe deserves special recognition in the form of a tribute, please reach out to my office or submit a request here. One of my favorite parts of serving as your state representative is visiting teachers, small-business owners, and others to offer our gratitude for the work they do to support our community on a daily basis.

Legislative Snapshot: Pushing the People’s Agenda

Rep. Farhat delivers remarks on his bill on the Michigan House floor.

This month, I was proud to champion legislation directly affecting our community.

House Bill 5555 allows for the purchase of food and beverages at hookah lounges. Current state law is uniquely restrictive toward these establishments. My bill, in connection with my colleague state Rep. Mike Harris’ House Bill 5554, would create a new license classification that would streamline the process for business owners. By removing unnecessary and restrictive red tape from hookah lounges, these small businesses will expand employment, generate greater tax revenue, and diversify their incomes.

House Bill 5613 will create an alternative licensure pathway for international medical school graduates (IMGs) looking to move to Michigan. My bill, along with state Rep. Luke Meerman’s House Bill 5612, would create an alternative license pathway with several requirements to ensure safety. By creating an alternative pathway for IMGs, these bills will attract educated physicians to Michigan and address the physician shortage we are facing. In order to be eligible for this alternative licensure, an IMG applicant must hold a medical degree from a foreign medical school recognized by the World Health Organization.

Both of these bills are currently making their way through their respective committees, and I look forward to voting yes when they come to the House floor. I also look forward to providing you with many more exciting legislative updates as I continue to work on a wide variety of Legislation. As always, please contact my office with any questions or input.

April is Arab American Heritage Month

Ramadan Kareem! I hope you are all having a blessed month, taking time for family, reflection, prayer, and community. I am honored to serve as a representative of the Arab community in Lansing and strive everyday to live our values and champion our issues.

This month, I will be offering a resolution on the House floor to name April as Arab American Heritage Month in Michigan. I am proud to offer this resolution to highlight the contributions of the Arab American community to our region, state, and country. I always look forward to engaging with you all, especially during this important month.

Caring for Our Families and Seniors

I was delighted to visit the Morley Manor Senior Home last month and greatly appreciated the warm welcome. My staff and I took time to serve lunch, listen to issues, and share personal stories. I always enjoy listening and engaging with our seniors, and I look forward to visiting more throughout the year.

A photo of Rep. Farhat speaking to residents at a local senior center.

Additionally, you may have gotten a text from my office highlighting the retirement tax repeal. The Retirement Tax Rollback is part of the Lowering MI Costs plan that was signed into law. It rolls back the three-tier system of limitations and restrictions on the retirement and pension deductions. More information about the Retirement Tax Rollback can be found here.

Volunteer Opportunity

On Monday, May 4, ACCESS will hold its 18th annual National Arab American Service Day. On this day of service, Arab Americans nationwide will volunteer to make a positive difference in our communities.