Happy March! While the weather doesn’t always agree with me, it seems like spring may be just around the corner!
This month’s Coffee with Christine will be held at the Oshtemo Township Building, 7275 W. Main St. in Kalamazoo, on March 24 at 9:30 a.m. I always look forward to getting to meet constituents face-to-face, answer questions and hear your concerns directly.
This year, when the legislative session got busy, it did not let up. Now that Democrats are in the majority in Lansing, we are working hard at fulfilling our promises. In just the first two weeks of March we were able to do the following:
- Repealed Michigan’s “right-to-work” laws (HB 4004 and HB 4005).
- Expanded the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections for members of the LGBTQ+ community (HB 4003).
- Repealed Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban, bringing the law in line with our state constitution (HB 4006).
- Introduced nearly 20 bills in the House and Senate aimed at combating gun violence in Michigan.
I was a proud supporter and co-sponsor of these recent actions, and we aren’t stopping here. We will not stop fighting for equality, safety, economic growth and so much more for our constituents.
I have also been pursuing my legislative priorities, with the introduction of two bills: HB 4212, which addresses an individual’s civil liability for improper firearm storage, and HB 4213, which expands the accessibility of telemedicine for individuals using Medicaid and the Healthy Michigan Plan.
The majority of my time in Lansing has been spent fulfilling my role as Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. Health and Human Services makes up about 40% of Michigan’s state budget, and I have been engaging with relevant organizations and stakeholders, as well as the Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) in order to ensure we have an effective budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Currently, my staff and I have been engaged in workgroups with our policy and fiscal team, where we are analyzing each line item of the budget, making decisions about what changes we need for this year.
While appropriations work is not always easy, it can be very rewarding, and I am honored by the opportunity to make such important decisions for the State of Michigan.
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, states, including Michigan, were required to continue Medicaid coverage to anyone who was eligible as of March 2020, or became eligible after that date, through the end of the Public Health Emergency, which had been set for May 11, 2023.
Due to recent federal legislation, in April 2023, MDHHS will return to its usual process of annually reviewing an individual’s Medicaid eligibility.
For the last 3 years, anyone receiving Medicaid has not had their case reevaluated or redetermined. We anticipate that significant numbers of individuals will be found ineligible for Medicaid coverage, meaning they will need to seek coverage on the marketplace.
MDHHS will be sending letters to alert constituents when their redetermination will be coming up. It is important to keep an eye out for this letter so as to not risk a gap in coverage.
The most important thing to do now is ensure MDHHS has accurate and up to date contact information for any individuals receiving Medicaid, so that any information regarding redeterminations is sent to the appropriate addresses and phone numbers.
Below you’ll find a flier from MDHHS outlining more information on the topic.
My office will continue to discuss this upcoming situation and we are happy to assist at any time should you or your neighbors have questions or concerns.
March is Reading Month:
One of my favorite things about this month is that March is Reading Month! In between budget meetings, I have been stealing away time to visit some of our local elementary schools and read books to them! It is so important that we show kids how fun reading can be! I am an avid reader myself, and am always happy when I get the chance to share that love with my constituents, especially the youngest ones.
I had a great time at Portage Public Schools the other week!
Thank you all for being engaged with my office, and keeping up on all of our happenings both in Lansing and in the 40th House District! Even though we are busier than ever, my office is still happy to answer your calls and emails, and help with any questions or concerns you may have. We can be reached by email or phone at ChristineMorse@house.mi.gov, and (517) 373-8670. If you have friends or family who want to receive our email updates, please get them signed up here.