In this e-newsletter:

  • Upcoming Coffee Hour: May 17
  • District Service Office Block Party
  • Storm Recovery Resources
  • May is Michigan Moves Month resolution (passed unanimously)
  • Occupational Therapy compact bill package passes the House (and PT)
  • Vulnerable Roadway Users
  • Budget Bills pass the House
Rogers Coffee

Upcoming Coffee Hour: May 17

Please join me for an informal, in-person discussion of legislative and community issues:

Friday, May 17

Noon to 1 p.m.

Westwood Fire Station (on the lawn)

1310 Nichols 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

District Service Office Block Party

Please join us, from 4-6 p.m. today, May 10, as my District Service Office will be hosting our annual block party, which is held on the 300 block of Burdick Street near the Kalamazoo Valley Museum — the North Burdick Block Party. This event typically draws hundreds of constituents and gives them a chance to connect with community-based organizations, get updates on what’s going on in the state Legislature, enjoy music, dancing, food, games, arts, crafts and more! The event will also provide free health screenings by the Kalamazoo County Mobile Health van, Western Michigan University’s Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine and the Michigan Nurses Association.

Storm Recovery Resources

On May 7, Gov. Gretchen  Whitmer, alongside city of Portage Mayor Patricia Randall and Kalamazoo County Board Chair Tami Rey declared a State of Emergency in Kalamazoo, Cass, Branch and St. Joseph counties after major storms and three tornadoes caused significant damage to roads and buildings. This activated the State Emergency Operations Center, which allows the Michigan State Police’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division to coordinate state and local efforts to expedite getting resources to impacted communities.

Our hearts go out to those affected by the storms. Our district and Lansing offices are available to help with resources, you can reach us at (517) 373-1783 and (269) 382-4676, or at Here are some additional resources:


Michigan Moves Month Resolution Unanimously Passes the House 

This week, the House unanimously passed my resolution, House Resolution 224, which declares May 2024 as Michigan Moves Month in the state of Michigan.

Michigan Moves Month is designed to celebrate, promote and encourage every Michigander to be more physically active and benefit from the mental and physical rewards of moving their bodies. More and more people in Michigan are working sedentary jobs and spending fewer hours being physically active daily.

We know physical activity is an essential public health intervention that can help prevent the development of negative health outcomes and strengthen our societal health and well-being. As the weather finally begins to warm, and with summer around the corner, May is the month to celebrate the outdoors and get moving.

This resolution is supported by and promoted through the Michigan Fitness Club Association, the Michigan Recreation and Park Association, the American Heart Association, the American Physical Therapy Association Michigan Chapter and SHAPE-MI.


Occupational and Physical Therapy Compact Bills package passes the House

On May 2, the House passed groundbreaking legislation to enter Michigan into an Occupational and Physical Therapy licensure compacts with overwhelming bipartisan support. My bill, House Bill 4169, and 4170 sponsored by state Rep. Doug Wozniak (R-Shelby Township) would enter Michigan into the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact (OTLC). The OTLC is an interstate professional licensing compact that will address licensure portability. It allows occupational therapists to practice in all states that have joined the compact. Similarly, House Bills 4504 and 4505, sponsored by state Reps. John Fitzgerald and Dale Zorn, respectively, would enter Michigan into the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact (PTLC) to boost access to services.

As a practicing physical therapist who works alongside other physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants, I can personally share with you that we have many workforce issuers, just like several other health care professions. In fact, one of the many reasons I still practice physical therapy a few days a month is because my hospital desperately needs each and every one of us who picks up weekend and other shifts to help rehabilitate our patients who are in need. When we don’t have enough therapists, there can be additional hospital costs as discharges are delayed.

The bills have all been referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy, where they await a hearing.


Vulnerable Roadway Users Legislation

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety passed Senate Bills 617 and 618, sponsored by state Sens. Sean McCann and Veronica Klinefelt, respectively. Companion legislation, House Bills 5224, sponsored by me, and 5225, sponsored by Rep. Bill G. Schuette received a hearing in the House Transportation, Mobility and Infrastructure Committee on April 22. The package of bills, which are tie-barred, expands protections to pedestrians, bicyclists, individuals using a wheelchair, or an individual riding or operating a vulnerable transportation device.

As an avid runner and cyclist, these bills are important to me and others across the state. I have personally known residents in my county who have sustained serious injuries after being struck by a vehicle, and I have experienced a few near misses myself while on the road or the shoulder of the road. As a physical therapist, I have seen firsthand the trauma and suffering some of my patients have endured after being hit while they were out exercising and enjoying life.

The Senate bills await a vote on the floor, and the House bills are expected to be reported out of the House committee soon.


Michigan House of Representatives Moves Budget Bills

This week, the Michigan House of Representatives passed its recommended fiscal year 2024-2025 budget. It includes substantial investments in mental health, preventive care and access to nutritional food. As a health care provider, I’m pleased to have voted for all of the state budgets, but especially HB 5556, the Department of Health and Human Services budget, which includes increased support to expand Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, resources to improve maternal and infant health outcomes, and funding for many other programs to improve the health and wellbeing of Michiganders.

Additionally, as a former county commissioner, I am thrilled there are additional funds for the revenue sharing trust fund as well as lead service line replacement grants, which will help make local units of government whole for the essential public services they provide to our communities. On the heels of the destructive tornado that touched down in Kalamazoo County this past week, I am equally hopeful for the $50 million allocation for climate change-related emergency disasters in HB 5510, which would provide much needed dollars to reimburse local communities for costs incurred.

The bills have now been referred to the Senate, where they await negotiations.