Hello and welcome to my end-of-year e-newsletter. I would like to take this moment to say it has been a privilege to represent our community in the 95th House District and to serve as your voice in Lansing in 2019. This issue of my e-newsletter will provide a recap of legislative action in the past year, as well as upcoming times to meet with me.
As your representative, I am most effective at my job when acting on your input. I encourage you to reach out to me and my staff with any questions, comments or concerns you may have about issues in the district or legislation that will impact our state. You can contact me toll-free at (855) 347-8095, by email or through my website. Thank you for your commitment to the community we both call home; I look forward to hearing from you!
In this Edition:
- Upcoming Events
- 2019 Legislative Recap
I hope you can join me for my upcoming coffee hour! I look forward to having an informal conversation with you about the issues that families are facing in our community.
When: Friday, Jan. 17, from 8 to 9:30 a.m.
Where: Dawn of a New Day Coffee House, 210 S. Washington Ave. in Saginaw
2019 Legislative Recap
Michigan is currently facing a literacy crisis, with over half of grade school students failing to read at the level they should. Nearly half of all third-grade students statewide did not score “proficient” on the Michigan Student Test of Education Progress (M-Step) in 2016, suggesting an unsustainable number of third-grade students may be held back based on their test scores due to a new requirement to retain elementary school students based solely on the third-grade reading proficiency assessment. Providing funding to increase the number of literacy coaches is a step in the right direction toward addressing this crisis. I will continue to fight for programs that provide our students with the resources they need to learn and grow.
The opioid epidemic is a crisis that impacts us all. I was proud to support the passage of bills that address this crisis, including a bill to require prescribers to check a patient’s prescription and drug history before prescribing controlled substances. I also supported the passage of a bill to expand the list of facilities allowed to carry and administer overdose-reversing medication to include libraries, schools and EMS workers.
I proudly supported the passage and enactment of a bipartisan package to “Raise the Age” at which criminal offenders are automatically tried as adults from 17 to 18. Before this package was passed, Michigan was one of only four states that treated all criminally charged 17-year-olds as adults, regardless of the crime. Prosecutors will maintain the discretion to transfer 17-year-olds to the adult court system depending on the severity of the crime. I voted in favor of this bill package because I believe it is important to ensure 17-year-olds can access age-appropriate services in the juvenile system, so we can focus on effective rehabilitation that sets them on the path to becoming productive members of our communities after they’ve taken responsibility for their actions.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced this week that Michiganders can now register to vote or update their voter registration online at Michigan.gov/VoterRegistration. This is the culmination of work that began in 2018 when legislation was enacted to enable Michigan to join 37 other states in allowing online voter registration.
The secure, web-based online voter registration tool is available to citizens with a valid Michigan driver’s license or state ID card. Michigan residents without these documents can learn more about how they can register to vote by visiting the website. All other methods of voter registration, including registration by mail, will remain available. Michigan also began implementing automatic voter registration in September as part of driver’s license and state ID card transactions.
Given our state’s abundance of natural resources, we have a duty to protect those resources and the jobs they provide for hardworking families, including our Great Lakes. Michigan deserves lawmakers who are willing to be leaders in the fight for responsible management and preservation of the environment. That’s why I’m fighting for legislation to mitigate the effects of pollution and protect our families from contaminated water. The recently passed supplemental budget is a step in the right direction toward funding these efforts, including $4 million to test and address PFAS contamination.
In August, I introduced House Bill 4841 as part of a broad plan to expand air quality protections in Michigan. This package of bills would improve public health by expanding air quality criteria, strengthening standards and local control for the emissions permitting process, and ensuring greater transparency and accountability between polluters and the communities they impact.
Never hesitate to reach out to me or my staff if you have any questions or concerns!
95th House District