Welcome to my monthly e-newsletter! As your state representative in the 102nd Michigan Legislature, I am happy to provide these regular updates on my legislative work, upcoming events and other news relevant to the district. In this issue, you will find information on my upcoming in-district coffee hours, recent legislative news on our first 100 days and opportunities to be involved in your state government!
Neighbors and friends in House District 103 are encouraged to also sign up for these updates at my website, Repcoffia.com. My office can be reached by phone at (517) 373-3817 or by email at BetsyCoffia@house.mi.gov. Be sure to check out the latest on my social media platforms as well. As this legislative session continues, I welcome your continued feedback and encourage you to reach out, if my team and I can ever be of assistance to you!
House District 103
Monthly Coffee Hours
Please join me for my in-person office hours where I will be giving legislative updates and taking your questions about the issues facing our state and our community! Every month, I will hold a legislative coffee hour in each of the three counties that cover the 103rd District — Grand Traverse, Benzie and Leelanau. These events are a great way to find out what policies I’m working on and to share your ideas and concerns with me!
State Rep. Betsy Coffia speaks to constituents at her March 13 Coffee Hour.
May meeting information:
When: Monday, May 8 from 9:05-10 a.m.
Where: Grand Traverse Pie Company
(101 N. Park St., Traverse City, MI 49684)
When: Monday, May 8 from 1-2 p.m.
Where: Red Door Cafe
(19631 Maple St., Lake Ann, MI 49650)
When: Monday, May 8 from 3-4 p.m.
Where: Leelanau County Government Center – Room CMR
(8527 E. Government Center Dr., Suttons Bay, MI 49682)
Session opened January 11, and my colleagues and I have been off to a productive start in the first quarter of this fresh new legislative session. We rolled back the retirement tax and quintupled the working families tax credit, cutting taxes by $1 billion for Michigan’s working families and seniors. We have responded to several inquiries regarding the implementation of the long-awaited retirement tax repeal, and House Democrats have put together this FAQ to answer commonly asked questions!
Recently, Gov. Whitmer also signed bipartisan-passed legislation to expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, reaffirming legal protections of LGBTQ+ Michiganders from discrimination in employment, housing and more based on sexual orientation and expanding coverage to include gender identity and expression. The legislature also passed legislation to strengthen workers’ rights and responsible gun violence prevention safeguards, including expanded background checks and safe storage measures for households where minors reside — both of which have widespread bipartisan approval across our state.
Since the beginning of the 102nd Legislature, my staff and I have been hard at work returning numerous constituent inquiries by email, phone, in-person exchanges and more in our first 100 days! So far, we have addressed more than 2,000 email inquiries, answered 760 phone inquiries, and hosted nine in-district coffee hours! My office has also been able to assist a number of constituents with casework inquiries such as recommendation letter requests and assistance with state agencies.
State Rep. Betsy Coffia reads to students during March Is Reading Month 2023.
Additionally, I’ve had the opportunity to make dozens of in-district visits with everyone from local farmers, educators, health-care workers, business leaders, public transit advocates, law enforcement, court officials, environmental advocates, local government leaders, housing advocates, members of our disability community, migrant farmworkers, senior advocates, tribal leaders and more. I’ve especially appreciated the chance to read to children at Lake Ann Elementary in Benzie, Central Grade School in Grand Traverse and Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians’ Benodjenh Center in Leelanau County, during March is Reading Month, and to ride along as a volunteer with Food Rescue to deliver 3,500 pounds of food to local churches and other food pantries so far!
State Rep. Betsy Coffia stands with Taylor Moore, manager of Food Rescue of Northwest Michigan
Please email my office if we can be assistance to you, or use our Unemployment Assistance Form for assistance with unemployment benefits. Please note that each House office only has one staffer to address all scheduling and constituent inquiries, and each case is addressed in the order they are received. Thank you for your patience as we work hard to assist you. Providing complete information on your inquiry and contact information will help to keep the process as efficient as possible for you and others seeking assistance! Getting to support our community is the best part of the job for me and my team — pictured below! I am so grateful and appreciative to have a dynamic legislative team to help us serve the 103rd District and I could not do it without them.
I am thrilled to share that I have introduced my first three bills of the legislative term! As many returning members are re-introducing bills they’ve worked on in previous years, my team and I have been taking the time necessary to carefully craft the language in our bills and work with relevant voices to put these pieces of legislation in the strongest position possible for passage.
These bills are:
- House Bill 4335: I am spearheading a bill to support rural school districts with bus transportation costs and free up more funding to go to the classroom and needed support like additional mental health staff. Current funding models for school transportation do not account for the longer distances that school buses in rural communities must travel in order to pick up and drop off students. Rural school districts often face greater fuel and vehicle depreciation costs than urban school districts, and funding is often pulled from classrooms to meet these needs. This bill represents an opportunity to properly fund rural school transportation on a tiered per-mile basis so that more school funding can go toward putting our students in a better position to succeed. After I introduced my bill, this matter received a hearing in the Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid and Education. I am hopeful we can finally address this long-standing financial challenge for rural school districts in the 103rd and across Michigan.
- House Bill 4296: This bill is part of a bicameral bill package to end child marriage in Michigan, spearheaded by my colleague and returning member, state Rep. Kara Hope. While not widely known, the reality is that between 2000 and 2021, more than 5,400 minors were married in Michigan, and research has shown that child marriage has devastating health effects, social consequences, and economic results for a minor. A survivor of child marriage advocating to end the practice is what inspired this package of legislation. I was honored to be invited to be part of this bill package and am hopeful we can get it across the finish line to end the inappropriate and harmful practice of adults marrying children.
- House Bill 4313: This is part of a bipartisan duo of bills with our neighbor, Rep. John Roth of the 104th House District; I appreciate Rep. Roth inviting me to be part of this package. These bills would authorize summer resorts to convert into non-profit organizations to offer struggling small businesses another option in balancing their finances so they can grow, upgrade and modernize.
In total, I have sponsored and co-sponsored 53 bills and 14 resolutions so far, including legislation that is now enacted to repeal the retirement tax, expand the Working Families Tax Credit, support workers’ rights, prevent housing and employment discrimination, and implement voter-approved healthcare protections. I am pleased to collaborate with new and returning members who are working hard on a number of policy priorities that are important to the 103rd House District.
Apply for State Boards and Commissions
As you may know, Gov. Whitmer makes appointments to nearly 250 statewide boards and commissions. These appointments are opportunities for Michiganders to engage with their state government on the issues they care about and represent their expertise and communities at the state level.
Vacancies for Q1 – Q2 of 2023 can be viewed here. The list is broken down by department. Each board listed includes the number of total members, number of vacant seats and specifications for each vacancy. If you match the descriptions and are interested in applying, please visit Michigan.gov/appointments.
E-News Archives, Publications, & Recognitions
My e-news archive is available on my website here.
State publications on various topics are also available on my website here. Physical copies of any of these publications can also be mailed to you by emailing my office with your request!
Do you know someone in the district who is retiring and would like a legislative tribute to celebrate their years of service? Has a local team or group reached a milestone that they would like to be acknowledged with an official certificate for each member? Our office can provide legislative tributes, letters, and certificates on a wide range of recognitions for constituents and local small businesses. If you would like to request any of these materials for yourself or others, please fill out this form or email my office at BetsyCoffia@house.mi.gov with as much information as possible on the requested recognition, and we will work with you to arrange delivery or presentation of the recognition!