Welcome to my Capitol & Community Update e-newsletter! After a mandatory month-long communications blackout, I am thrilled to be able to share updates with you all again and provide important resources to those in our communities.
As always, please encourage neighbors and friends in House District 41 — Troy and Clawson — to also sign up for these updates at kuppa.housedems.com and let us know if you have any thoughts on any state-level issues or requests for scheduling. My office can be reached by phone at (517) 373-1783 or by email at PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov. Be sure to also check out the latest on my social media platforms — @PadmaKuppaMI41 (Twitter) and @MIRepPadmaKuppa (Facebook)!
House District 41
Working with students at the Women of Tomorrow Mentoring Session at Clawson High School
Monthly Community Conversations
Please join me for my in-person office hours where I will be giving legislative updates and taking your questions about the issues facing our state and our community. These events are a great way to find out what policies I’m working on and share your ideas and concerns with me. Please refer to the policy of the venue regarding masks and physical distancing.
Our November meeting information is as follows:
When: Monday, Nov. 28, from 4:30-6 p.m.
Where: Troy Community Center (3179 Livernois Road in Troy)
Additionally, our December meeting will be moved up to avoid conflicts with holiday festivities. My final office hour information is as follows:
When: Friday, Dec. 16, from 4:30-6 p.m.
Where: Troy Community Center (3179 Livernois Road in Troy)
To see all of the legislation I have sponsored or co-sponsored this term, please follow the provided hyperlink, choose “primary sponsorship” or “primary and secondary sponsorship,” then select my name and press “Show Sponsored Items.” So far, I have co-sponsored 299 pieces of bipartisan legislation that have since been adopted or signed into law during my time in office, and I voted in favor of numerous other pieces of legislation that support the needs of Michiganders and help them thrive. You can also see my press releases page for additional updates and information.
I recently introduced a House resolution (HR), HR 360, calling on Congress to address the issue of online disinformation. Since online matters like these cross state lines, the federal government has jurisdiction and bears the responsibility of ensuring that our neighbors do not fall victim to malicious falsehoods that can impact them personally, as well as threaten our democratic institutions. As a state legislator, I am committed to using the tools at my disposal to press this issue with our federal partners and take action to create secure places to share information without dangerous disinformation efforts muddying the waters of fact vs. fiction, especially for our children and seniors.
Last week, my colleagues and I introduced a package of bills to provide clarity and promote religious inclusivity in Michigan law with input from various faith communities, including the Christian community. In instances where a “minister of the gospel” is mentioned in Michigan law, these bills update and provide additional language to be inclusive of the various religions observed and practiced by Michiganders across our state and our community. These bills affirm my commitment to being a representative for all constituents of this district and promoting pluralism and inclusion. At our office hours, I’ll share more about how an interfaith leader and a longtime friend reached out with this policy request and who I worked with to determine a consensus — it was a three-year project!
Lame Duck and Next Term
We are expecting that the lame duck period — the time between the November election and the end of the term — will be light on session meetings and policy movement, per statements by the current majority Republican leadership. So far, we are only expected to be in session again on Dec. 6. At the end of the term, all unpassed legislation will “die” and will need to be re-introduced to move forward. It has been an honor serving as your state representative, and I hope that you will tune into my farewell speech, which will be viewable here. In the new term, Troy and Clawson will be represented by Rep.-elect Sharon MacDonell of the 56th District and Rep.-elect Thomas Kuhn of the 57th District. Please reach out to them as you continue your advocacy on policy issues and initiatives!
Tips for Winter Insurance Coverage
The Department of Insurance and Financial Services provided tips for Michiganders to review their insurance documents and consider possible winter-related damages. Understanding your insurance coverage can help ensure you are financially protected for damage caused to your home and automobile if severe winter weather hits.
Tips for Homeowners:
Homeowners insurance policies usually cover damages resulting from burst pipes, ice dams, wind or a building collapse caused by the weight of ice or snow. Policies often exclude coverage for damages resulting from power outages unless the outage was caused by a covered weather-related instance, such as wind, ice or snow.
Home owners should review their insurance policy and take the following steps to help prevent winter damage:
- Keep homes heated to at least 65 degrees to prevent frozen pipes. If you are away from your home for an extended period of time, have someone check the home to catch any burst pipes.
- Keep gutters clean to prevent ice damming, which occurs when melting ice backs up under roof shingles before freezing again.
- Remove trees that have died or are rotting to prevent branches from falling under the weight of snow or ice.
Tips for Automobile Owners:
Driving in winter weather can be dangerous, even when driving carefully. Coverages you may consider purchasing, or confirming are in your plan, include:
- Collision Coverage — This type covers damages to your vehicle while driving, should your vehicle collide with another vehicle or hit a tree or utility pole from loss of traction due to ice and snow.
- Comprehensive Coverage — This insurance covers damage to an automobile that did not result from a collision.
- Property Protection — This coverage covers damages unintentionally caused to another person’s property.
New College Scholarship Website Launched
A new internet resource for the graduating class of 2023 is active. The webpage helps graduating students apply for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship to help lower the cost of college by thousands. Students should talk with their parents or guardians to gather the necessary documents to apply and fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Starting with the class of 2023, graduates are eligible for annual scholarships up to:
- $2,750 at a community college.
- $4,000 at a private college or university.
- $5,500 at a public university.
The scholarships are renewable for up to three years at a community college and up to five years at a private college or public university, totaling up to:
- $8,250 at community college.
- $20,000 at a private college or university.
- $27,500 at a public university.
New Energy Assistance Webpage
The Michigan Public Service Commission introduced a new energy assistance website designed to provide a collection of information to help with the burden of high energy costs. The webpage includes information and links to state and utility company programs that offer energy bill assistance to income-qualified households. It also includes links to contact info for all of the natural gas and electric utilities whose rates are regulated by the MPSC.
The website also includes links to information about the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program for phone and internet customers. It offers a discount on home phone and internet bills. The website can be found here.
Community Recognitions and Resources
Small Business of the Month
Each month, I recognize two small businesses in the community, one in Troy and one in Clawson, as our small businesses of the month. To nominate a business for this recognition, please fill out this form on my website.
Tributes, Letters and Certificates
Do you know someone in the district who is retiring and would like a legislative tribute to celebrate their years of service? Has a local team or group reached a milestone that they would like to be acknowledged with an official certificate for each member? Our office can provide legislative tributes, letters and certificates on a wide range of recognitions for constituents. If you would like to request any of these materials for yourself or others, please email my office at PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov with as much information as possible on the requested recognition, and we will work with you to arrange delivery or presentation of the recognition!
E-News Archives and Constituent Downloads