Welcome to our January e-newsletter!
It was so exciting to head back to Lansing this month for my second term as state representative of the 33rd House District. Our new district comprises all of Bridgewater and Lodi townships and Saline city; and parts of the townships of Pittsfield , Scio, and York , and the city of Ann Arbor.
Last term, with a Republican majority, I was grateful to have two of my bills signed into law: the first to remove barriers for organ transplants by allowing HIV-positive Michiganders to donate their organs to transplant recipients who are also HIV-positive, if they choose to do so. The second bill to include Michigan as a participating partner in the Psychological Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) to allow licensed psychologists to practice telepsychology across state lines. With the new Democratic majority in both chambers of the Michigan Legislature, I am eager to get to work and hopeful to have even more of our bills signed into law this year.
Included in this edition of our e-newsletter are some important legislative updates, community events and other resources I hope will prove helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by telephone (517) 373-0820 or email FeliciaBrabec@house.mi.gov for questions about these or any other state-level issues.
Felicia A Brabec
33rd House District
I am thrilled to announce that I have been appointed chair of the General Government Appropriations Subcommittee and chair of the Behavioral Health Subcommittee of the Health Policy Committee. I am honored and excited to chair the Behavioral Health Subcommittee and to draw on my experience as the only practicing clinical psychologist in the Michigan Legislature to guide policy in our state. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to pass meaningful mental health legislation, especially in the areas of access and workforce issues. In addition to chairing two committees, the Speaker also appointed me to serve on the House Appropriations Subcommittees on Military and Veterans Affairs and State Police; Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; and Health and Human Services.
2023 State of the State
Gov. Whitmer delivered her 2023 State of the State address lastWednesday evening, when she discussed issues that are fundamental to so many Michigan residents: lowering costs, supporting workers and keeping our children safe. After years of restriction on our ability to pass meaningful policies put forth by our governor, it was refreshing to hear where the future of Michigan could be headed with a new Democratic majority in the Legislature. I was incredibly honored to be recognized during the State of the State for my work to end gun violence in Michigan through common-sense gun policies that are supported by the majority of Michiganders — requiring universal background checks and the safe and proper storage of firearms. You have my word that I will continue to advocate for these changes and other common-sense policies to turn Michigan into a place where our children and educators will always feel safe.
I was also joined by two wonderful Washtenaw County community members to witness the address! Zahra is a devoted social studies teacher at Forsythe Middle School in Ann Arbor and a proud member of the Michigan Education Association, and Isaac is a Skyline High School senior and one of our most passionate Washtenaw County youth commissioners.
Introduction of Reproductive Freedom Bills
Last week, state Rep. Stephanie A. Young (D-Detroit) and I introduced two bills as part of a comprehensive 1931 abortion ban repeal package. My bill, HB 4031, would remove the felony abortion law from the Michigan Code of Corrections, while HB 4032 (Young) would eliminate the ban from the Michigan Code of Criminal Procedure. Essentially, these bills would help to ensure that Michigan doctors and patients cannot be criminalized for providing or receiving an abortion.
The third bill in this package (HB 4006) was introduced by Speaker Pro Tempore Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) to officially repeal the 1931 abortion ban that remains in Michigan law. All three of these bills are necessary to fully update our state laws after the passage of Proposal 3. Michiganders have made it overwhelmingly clear that they believe our 1931 abortion ban is extreme and that they prioritize their reproductive freedoms and health.
Ann Arbor Restaurant Week
Ann Arbor Restaurant Week is a biannual celebration of local food. This year will feature Family Meals To Go, vegan and vegetarian options, menus for two and much more. Enjoy some of the best cuisine that Ann Arbor has to offer Feb. 5 – Feb 10. For a complete list of participating restaurants and their menus, follow this link: www.AnnArborRestaurantWeek.com.
Annual Ice Carving Festival
Washtenaw County’s Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting its 11th annual Ice Carving Festival on Saturday, Feb. 11, from noon to 4 p.m. at County Farm Park, 2230 Platt Road in Ann Arbor. Enjoy complimentary hot chocolate, while supplies last, as you watch professionals carve incredible works of art. This free family event will also include a scavenger hunt, door prizes, fire pit warming stations, a special photo opportunity with Eddie the Yeti and more! Ice carvings will remain up for the month of February.
For an extra chance to win some fun prizes, post a photo with friends or family and tag the Parks and Recreation Department with #ExploreWashtenaw, or email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saline Blood Drive
St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church, at 910 Austin Road in Saline, is hosting a blood drive on Sunday, Feb. 5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The blood drive was organized by Versiti Blood Centers and will take place in the Parish Hall.
Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome. Schedule an appointment by calling (866) MIBLOOD or visit www.versiti.org/MI. Donors will receive a beanie cap, while supplies last, and all donors are reminded to eat a healthy meal and drink water before donating!