It has been a while since I have gotten to connect and provide legislative updates to you all, and we have many updates. We are getting close to the end of the year but still have events and updates to share before 2022 comes to a close.
Our final Coffee with Christine of 2022, and the last of my first term in office, will be on Dec. 2 at 9:30 a.m. at the Portage Community Senior Center (203 E. Centre Ave. in Portage). I have been grateful to host many coffee hours at the Senior Center this year, and we are looking forward to wrapping up the year with them. As always, we will be sharing updates, answering questions and chatting about whatever you all would like. We will update our coffee hour schedule for next year soon!
Once we get the first snowfall that sticks, I feel confident in saying that it is winter in Michigan. That means we need to use more energy as the nights get darker and colder. Winter heating and electricity can be a burden on many, especially in a year that has not been easy on everyone’s pocketbook. Helpfully, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has unveiled a new webpage so that Michigan residents can more easily access assistance for energy and telecommunications costs.
Earlier this month, the MPSC announced a new website. This website “includes information and links to state and utility company programs that offer energy bill assistance to income-qualified households, including State Emergency Relief, access to the Michigan Energy Assistance Program and the annual Home Heating Credit, all of which provide financial assistance for families struggling with home energy costs. It also includes links to contact info for all of the natural gas and electric utilities whose rates are regulated by the MPSC.”
The MPSC also wants to encourage those who may not typically feel comfortable asking for assistance to at least explore the options available. Winter can be a difficult time of year; these services are meant to help Michiganders thrive. If you or your loved ones would like to access this assistance, but aren’t comfortable navigating the website or would just like a bit of guidance, please feel free to contact my office, and my staff would be more than happy to walk through the resources with you.
Most of my legislative updates are looking forward, rather than backward this time. As most of you may know, the Democrats won a majority here in the state Legislature (both in the House and Senate) for the first time in nearly 40 years. This is a huge shift and is due not only to the redistricting committee creating more equitable districts, but also from the hard work of all of our candidates, volunteers and staff over the last year.
This shift means a few things: the Democratic Caucus will now be setting the agenda for the Michigan Legislature, and the boundaries of the district I represent have shifted. Democrats controlling the legislative agenda means that we get to pursue priorities that have been on the back burner for quite some time. While there hasn’t been a public announcement of how we are going to tackle Michigan’s most pressing issues, I am more than ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
As for the new district, we are sadly saying goodbye to our friends in Prairie Ronde and Schoolcraft townships, including the villages of Vicksburg and Schoolcraft. Additionally, a small part of Oshtemo is no longer within our boundaries, but some pieces of the city of Kalamazoo are. If you are unsure if I am still your representative, feel free to send us an email or give us a call, and my office can make sure you have the information you need.
Due to the shift in district numbers, we will also be moving office locations in Lansing! Once we have that updated information, we will share it with you so that we remain reachable.
Below is a map of the new district:
Lastly, I want to say thank you to everyone who has been involved over this last term. Your engagement with my office at coffee hours, through phone calls and emails, on social media, and by reading this newsletter, has been a huge part of why my first term in office has been such a success. I am looking forward to preparing for the new year during what we call “lame duck” (the time when we are in session between an election and the end of the term). This upcoming term, the 102nd Legislature, is sure to be eventful, difficult and rewarding, and I am eagerly awaiting its arrival.
Let’s get to work.
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns, as my staff and I remain available to help, with a few breaks for the holidays, in the coming months. We can be reached at email@example.com and at (517) 373-1774. If any friends or family wish to be added to our mailing list, they can call the office, or sign up here.