Dear Neighbor,

It’s a great time to be outside this spring as summer is rapidly approaching. I’ve been busy working in Lansing during this year’s budget season. Below are a few updates and highlights from the past month.

Introduced an Amendment to Double Mental Health Funding For Police, Firefighters, and EMTs

On May 8, I stood on the House floor in support of my amendment to HB 5556 that would provide an additional $2.5 million toward a grant program aimed specifically at providing support for firefighters, police officers and EMTs. This would bring the total amount of funding for these services to $5 million. It is imperative that we recognize the mental health challenges faced by those who serve to keep people in our communities safe. This amendment was adopted.

On May 17, I met with Romulus police officers and firefighters to discuss the mental health challenges that they face within their fields. We can’t expect our first responders to continue to serve and protect us without providing the necessary tools to navigate the mental toll their jobs take on them. These brave individuals confront trauma and adversity on a daily basis, and it is our duty to ensure they have access to the mental health resources they need to cope and heal. Thank you to all of these heroes for everything you do.

Introduced a Resolution to Increase Funding for Double Up Food Bucks

On April 30, I spoke in support of my legislation, House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 14, calling on the federal government to increase funding for Michigan’s Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program. DUFB supported over 211,000 Michigan households and 782 Michigan farms in 2023 by providing a dollar-to-dollar match (up to $20 per day) at participating grocery stores and farmers markets for purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables with a Bridge Card. In addition, I have asked for an appropriations request in the budget for a $1 million increase in state funding for this program.

Buying food is expensive right now, especially for our neighbors struggling to put food on the table. DUFB has proven to be an essential resource for many families to eat nutritional meals while also supporting our local farmers. The program is currently available at 230+ participating farmers markets, farm stands and grocery stores across Michigan. An increase in funding would allow this widely successful program to expand into more stores and markets and to benefit more families, and more farmers. I’m pleased that my resolution was adopted by the Michigan House. More information about this great program can be found here.

Delivered an AED donation to Dundee Community High School

On May 20, we delivered an AED donated by Damar Hamlin and the NFL to Dundee Community High School. My colleagues and I understand the importance of public safety and school safety, and we have worked hard to provide lifesaving solutions. We worked alongside the American Heart Association (AHA) and the NFL to pass House Bills 5527 and 5528 to ensure a well-maintained AED is available in every Michigan school.

AEDs are critical lifesaving devices capable of restoring a normal heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest. The presence of AEDs along with a cardiac arrest plan in schools can significantly increase the chances of survival in such emergencies. With AEDs readily available, school staff and students can take swift action, crucially reducing the time to defibrillation, which is the key to increasing survival rates. These bills not only guarantee that lifesaving AEDs are accessible in our schools but also ensure that educators and coaches are trained to use them effectively.

Fighting for More Funding for Monroe County Community College

I am fighting for Monroe County Community College’s capital outlay request to renovate and expand the Welch Center for Health and Public Safety. This renovation and expansion would add critically needed classroom and laboratory spaces for registered nursing, practical nursing, certified nursing assistant (CNA) and respiratory therapy programs. Additionally, it would add classroom and laboratory space to allow for the creation of new programs and forge new partnerships with local health care providers. The MCCC criminal justice program would be relocated into the building with dedicated space needed to ultimately expand the program into accredited Police, Fire and Paramedic Academy. Approval of this request would greatly benefit Monroe County and the surrounding communities by expanding options for career development and increasing public safety.

EGLE Held a Groundwater Permitting Presentation in the Agriculture Committee

On May 22, members of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) held a presentation in the Agriculture Committee focused on groundwater permitting. Specific topics included Michigan’s groundwater, permitting process initiatives, groundwater quality permitting and groundwater quantity permitting. These important issues are something I’ve heard about from farmers across the state, and I’ve been working diligently with both farmers and EGLE to facilitate conversation, address concerns and find solutions. More information about EGLE can be found here.

MDARD Update on Avian Flu

On May 1, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Tim Boring signed a Determination of Extraordinary Emergency, “HPAI Risk Reduction Response Order” to protect Michigan’s poultry and livestock industries from Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). This order went into effect on May 8 and applies to all of Michigan’s dairy and commercial poultry facilities.

The emergency order requires the following measures to be taken:

  • All Michigan dairy farms, as well as poultry operations considered commercial by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) must develop and implement biosecurity practices that include:
    • Designation of a biosecurity manager.
    • Designation of a line of separation to represent the perimeter of a secure area, limiting access points.
    • Establishment of cleaning and disinfection practices and procedures at those access points for both vehicles and individuals. This must include deliveries of feed and other supplies as well as training for employees.
    • Establishment of a log book maintaining a record of all vehicles and of individuals who have gotten out of vehicles and crossed those access points, to be retained and made available for examination upon request by MDARD.
    • All lactating dairy cattle, and those in the last two months of pregnancy, are prohibited from being exhibited until there are no new cases of HPAI in dairy cattle in the State of Michigan for at least 60 consecutive days. No dairy cattle of any age from an infected premises may be exhibited until further notice.
    • All exhibitions or expositions of poultry are prohibited until such time that there are no new cases of HPAI in domestic poultry in the State of Michigan for at least 30 consecutive days. As defined in the Animal Industry Act, “poultry” means, but is not limited to, chickens, guinea fowl, turkeys, waterfowl, pigeons, doves, peafowl and game birds that are propagated and maintained under the husbandry of humans (MCL 287.703(iii)).

More information about MDARD’s emergency response order can be found here, and updates from the FDA can be found here.

At this time, three people in the U.S. have become infected with HPAI. Two of these people have been farmworkers in Michigan who were exposed to infected cattle. At this time, none of the counties in our district are known to have HPAI infections. Counties with HPAI infected cattle are currently Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Clinton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Montcalm and Ottawa. Up-to-date information from MDARD, including maps of counties with confirmed cases and the option to sign up for HPAI email updates, can be found here. MDARD press releases about HPAI can be found here.

Community Infrastructure Updates

The village of Dundee has been awarded a Community Technical, Managerial and Financial Support for Lead Service Line Replacement (TMF LSLR) grant totaling over $325,000. This is a crucial step in improving our local infrastructure and protecting our residents. More information about this grant award can be found here.

Holcim US Inc. received over $200,000 from EGLE’s Dam Risk Reduction Grant Program for the removal of the Macon Creek Dam in Dundee. This funding will be used to proactively eliminate the risk of failure due to deteriorating conditions. Direct deliverables from this project include a topographic and bathymetric survey of the dam, its impoundment and the potential upstream drawdown impact area, which will be used as an existing conditions basemap for design plans. More information can be found here.

MDARD announced the grant recipients for County Fair and Exhibitions. In our district, this included $100,000 to Lenawee County Fair for livestock barn improvements and $100,000 to Monroe County Fair for parking lot expansion.

Finally, Milan received a $954,500 SPARK grant for enhancements to Wilson Park. Michigan SPARK grants help local communities renovate and redevelop public recreation opportunities for residents and visitors — especially those communities who were hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Milan was one of only 31 projects out of 400 applicants statewide to receive a SPARK grant, part of $65 million in funding from the state to local parks and recreation programs made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act. The grant funds awarded to Milan for Wilson Park will go toward permanent restrooms, an all-inclusive playground, security cameras, new basketball courts, pickleball courts (where the current basketball court is located), shade structures around the splash pad and a fitness circuit. More information about this grant award can be found here.


State Representative Reggie Miller

Michigan’s 31st House District

Office Phone: (517) 373-0159