Dear Neighbor,

Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including some updates and news from your state government.

Progressive Women’s Caucus Introduces Bills to Promote Maternal and Infant Health

The Progressive Women’s Caucus introduced a package of bills last week that would improve maternal and infant health in Michigan. My bill (House Bill 6443) in the package would require hospitals to provide parents of newborns with information on the health insurance enrollment process. Other bills would create a Breastfeeding Privacy Act, require mental health screenings for new mothers and require those screenings to be covered by private insurance and Medicaid.

Legislature Spends $1 Billion

Last week, the Legislature passed $1 billion in supplemental spending. Senate Bill 844 directs nearly $850 million to the state’s Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve fund to incentivize business investment and create new jobs in the state. Senate Bill 842 allocates $12.2 million to the School Aid Fund for a literacy tutoring program, robotics programs and scholarships for lower- and middle-income students to attend college or pursue vocational training. Other highlights include:

  • $15 million for grants to nonprofits that house foster youth.
  • $25 million for institutions caring for children with mental health, behavioral and developmental challenges.
  • $7.5 million for first responder and public safety staff mental health programs.

Michigan still has a roughly $6 billion budget surplus.

Gov. Whitmer Calls for Lower Insulin Costs

Gov. Whitmer signed an executive directive that tasks certain state of Michigan departments with evaluating proposals to lower the cost of insulin. Proposals include developing a low-cost insulin product for distribution in Michigan, establishing a Michigan-based insulin manufacturing facility, and producing, purchasing and distributing low-cost insulin products.

Gov. Whitmer’s office is also asking residents what lowering the cost of insulin would mean for them. If you would like to share your story, you can do so here.

Road to Restoration Driver’s License Clinic to Be Held in Lansing

The Road to Restoration Driver’s License Clinic provides residents with an opportunity to learn how to restore their driver’s license privileges. The Lansing Clinic will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Union Missionary Baptist Church (500 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in Lansing). This clinic is free and not limited to Lansing area residents. Pre-registration is recommended so that eligibility can be determined before the clinic date. More information is available here.

Driver's License Clinic

Reminder: Oct. 17 is the Individual Income Tax Extension Deadline

Taxpayers who requested an extension to file their individual income tax returns must submit them by Oct. 17. Returns can be sent through the U.S. Postal Service or e-filed. You can find more information about state income taxes here. Select “Access eServices” to ask questions about your state income taxes.


Kara Hope

State Representative