This e-newsletter aims to keep you updated on the previous month’s activities in the Michigan House of Representatives. It’s an honor to serve as your new state representative for the 15th State House District, which comprises the west end of Dearborn to Dearborn Heights. If you should ever need to contact me, don’t hesitate to call my office at (517) 373-0847 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michigan’s 15th District
Byrnes on Democratic Legislative Advances
March 10, 2023
The Michigan House passed several major pieces of legislation in March. House Bill 4003 and its companion Senate Bill 4 expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) to include legal protections for sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. HBs 4138, 4142 and 4143 mandate background checks for all firearm sales and close the private sale loophole. HBs 4004–05 restore worker freedoms and expand workers’ rights. HB 4007 ensures the government solely does business with contractors who pay their workers a fair wage.
Our state took massive steps toward becoming a safe and inclusive place to live. We showed the people of Michigan and the country that we will stand up to hate and bigotry and that it has no place in our state. We showed the country we will stand with workers by ensuring their freedoms are restored and that they receive fair pay for their work. We showed that we are not afraid to tackle the issue of gun violence in our state. House Democrats have worked hard to pass these bills, and I am proud to have been able to vote yes on all of them.
Byrnes Introduces Sunshine Week Resolution
March 16, 2023
Last month, I introduced House Resolution 56, which declared the week of March 13-18 as Sunshine Week in Michigan. Sunshine Week is a national initiative by the American Society of News Editors to educate the public about the importance of open government and the dangers of excessive and unnecessary secrecy.
Trust in government has been on the decline for more than 50 years. It’s time we do something about this issue and work to restore the people’s trust. As chair of the Ethics and Oversight Committee, one of my main goals is to pass policies that will increase transparency in our state, and I will work diligently to rebuild Michiganders’ trust in our government.
News and Publications
State Individual Income Tax Returns Due in Less than a Month
The Michigan Department of Treasury is reminding taxpayers that individual income tax returns are due in less than a month. State individual income tax returns must be filed electronically or postmarked through the U.S. Postal Service by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18.
Choosing electronic filing and direct deposit is convenient, safe and secure. Last year, more than 4.8 million Michigan taxpayers e-filed, which is 89% of state income tax filers. For more information about e-filing, go to MIFastFile.org. Printed tax forms are available at public libraries, Department of Health and Human Services county offices and Treasury field offices.
For the benefit and convenience of taxpayers, both federal and state of Michigan individual income tax returns are due April 18. Michigan taxpayers who have questions about their individual income tax returns or refunds can use the Treasury eServices platform to find answers.
Individuals with low income, disabilities or who are 60 years of age or older may qualify for free tax preparation with help from IRS-certified volunteers. For information about free tax help, go to irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep or dial 2-1-1.
To learn more about Michigan’s individual income tax or to download forms, visit Michigan.gov/Taxes. Information about the city of Detroit’s individual income tax can be found at Michigan.gov/Taxes/CityTax.
Wrongful Unemployment Class Action Settlement Deadlines Approach in Early April
Michigan residents who believe they were wrongly accused from 2013-15 of falsely receiving unemployment insurance benefits should be aware of two upcoming deadlines to join a $20 million class action settlement with the State of Michigan.
The important deadlines to submit forms are:
- April 5: The registration form which determines eligibility for an award from the Compensation Fund.
- April 14: Claim forms, opt outs and objections to the settlement.
Links to key case deadlines and additional background information in the Bauserman v. Unemployment Insurance Agency class action lawsuit are posted to the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency’s (UIA) website at Michigan.gov/UIA.
In January, the Michigan Court of Claims approved a $20 million class action settlement and also established dates for participation in the settlement process.
The settlement is the result of a 2015 lawsuit filed on behalf of unemployment benefit claimants who experienced wrongful collection activities by the State of Michigan after being erroneously found to have committed fraud through an auto-adjudication process in connection with receiving unemployment benefits from Oct. 1, 2013 to Aug. 31, 2015.
Gov. Whitmer Signs Proclamation Marking April 2023 as Arab American Heritage Month
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a proclamation marking April 2023 as Arab American Heritage Month to celebrate the culture, heritage and contributions of Arab Americans to the state.
During the month of April, we recognize the achievements of Arab Americans through the celebration of National Arab American Heritage Month. Across the country, cultural institutions, school districts, municipalities, state legislatures, nonprofit organizations and public servants engage in special events that celebrate the Arab American community’s rich heritage and countless contributions to society.
I co-sponsored House Resolution 63 on March 23 with my Democratic colleagues in the House to celebrate!
Coffee Hours and Town Halls
Coffee hours and town halls are a chance to discuss the issues facing our state with your legislator. Here are Rep. Byrnes’ upcoming constituent events:
Community Conversation with Representative Erin Byrnes
WHEN: Friday, April 28 from 11 a.m. to noon
WHERE: Caroline Kennedy Library
34590 George Ave., Dearborn Heights, MI 48127
Follow my Facebook page for updates on upcoming community conversations near you!