It’s been a busy start to the 102nd Legislature, and, as we wrap our third month, I wanted to share some of the incredible things we’ve been able to accomplish in Lansing. We’re delivering on promises we’ve kept to directly benefit the people of Wayne, Washtenaw, Monroe and Lenawee counties.
We Voted to Repeal the Retirement Tax and Raise the Working Families Tax Credit
The Lowering MI Costs legislation will provide the largest tax breaks for the working class in decades.
By repealing the retirement tax, we voted to give back hard-earned money back to retirees. This retirement tax repeal is for public and private pensions, IRAs and 401(k)s. The total repeal will be phased in over the next four years, but for first responders, this will take effect immediately.
We raised the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working families from 6% to 30% of the federal credit. As a result, more money will be kept in the pockets of hardworking people who are trying to get ahead. This will help approximately 6,000 families in our district and up to 700,000 families in the state. That’s an average of $691 to a working families’ income, and an estimated $4.1 million back into the local economy. While the EITC bill passed the Senate, it failed to get enough votes to take immediate effect.
As a result, HB 4001 won’t go into effect until 90 days after this legislative term has ended.
We Are Working to Hold DTE Accountable
We know that many of you were affected by the large-scale power outages resulting from the Feb. 22 winter storm. I was in contact with DTE on behalf of House District 31 residents to get them to expedite their restoration process.
DTE is a corporation with no competition that wants to raise rates while neglecting maintenance and not providing people with consistent power. To meet their earning projections, they cut their operations budget, which resulted in fewer workers, limited overtime and postponed maintenance work. This is unacceptable. Earnings should be put into infrastructure upgrades and workers’ salaries and benefits, not into stock buybacks that only benefit investors. I will continue to fight hard to hold them accountable to you.
We Introduced Legislation to Increase Transparency for Waste Transportation
After learning that waste from the East Palestine Trail Derailment Disaster would be shipped into our state with little transparency, I worked with state and local officials to stop these shipments. Once they were stopped, I introduced my first piece of legislation, House Resolution 52, to encourage the federal government to increase transparency and notification standards around the transportation of toxic waste materials across state and community lines.
I stood up in our State Capitol and asked for transparency when toxic waste is brought into our community. I’m happy to say that my resolution passed unanimously with both Democratic and Republican support. That’s a win for all of us!
We Increased and Protected the Rights of Workers
We voted to repeal the anti-worker “right-to-work” laws that were passed in 2012. This law was nothing more than an attempt to undercut the strength of labor organizations and their power to support their membership through collective bargaining.
Repealing “right-to-work” restores workers’ freedoms, expands their rights and will help workers negotiate with their employers without government intrusion. This makes Michigan a more competitive state for employees looking for good-paying jobs with robust benefits. Strong unions help set the standard for ALL workers in Michigan, and higher wages will help lift the middle class. Research has shown:
- Wages of both union and nonunion workers in “right-to-work” states are lower by an average of $1,500 per year, after accounting for the cost of living in each state.
- For both union and nonunion workers, “right-to-work” laws decrease the likelihood that employees get health insurance or pensions through their jobs.
- “Right-to-work” laws show no significant impact on boosting economic growth or attracting employers to a particular state.
We also voted to restore prevailing wage, which helps trade workers receive better pay and better benefits. This will ensure that our state dollars are going to pay living wages for those completing state projects. This, in turn, increases worker safety, bolsters their financial security and benefits the economy of the communities they call home. This is a victory for Michigan’s workers.
We Expedited Train Track Repairs in Belleville
Our office received a noise complaint from a resident in Belleville about train tracks near his home that were bothering him and his neighbors. These tracks had been worked on last year and made loud noises every time a train passed by. Our office put pressure on the track owners to get this fixed immediately, and we’re proud to say this problem has been resolved — no more waking up in the middle of the night from train noises!
Upcoming Events with Rep. Miller
Dundee Coffee Hour – Friday, March 31 at 11 a.m.
- Cool Beanz Coffee – 112 Park Pl., in Dundee
Milan Coffee Hour – Monday, April 10 at 11 a.m.
- The Owl, Morning ’til Night – 9 W. Main St. in Milan
Milan Town Hall with Special guests state Sen. Jeff Irwin and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell – Friday, April 21 at 5 p.m.
- The Owl, Morning ’til Night – 9 W. Main St. in Milan
Rep. Reggie Miller
31st House District
Office Phone: (517) 373-0159