Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We’ve been incredibly busy in Lansing, so I wanted to share a quick recap on some of the bills that I am especially pleased to have seen signed into law.
Retirement Tax Repealed
I have introduced a bill to repeal the retirement tax every term I’ve served. I’m thrilled to say that this bill has finally been signed into law! House Bill 4001 eliminates the retirement tax and puts an average of $1,000 back in the pockets of 500,000 households. It will equalize the exemption on both public and private pensions.
House Bill 4001 does more than repeal the retirement tax, though. It also quintuples the Michigan working families tax credit match of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit to 30%, up from 6%. It will lift about 25,000 working families out of poverty and deliver an average combined tax refund of $3,150 to 700,000 families, directly impacting nearly one million kids — almost half the kids in Michigan.
Investments in the Economy, Health Care and Affordable Housing
House Bill 4016 makes historic investments in hospitals and health-care workers, supports home energy solutions, protects our environment, funds affordable housing, and attracts investments in manufacturing, including a Ford electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Marshall, which is projected to create 2,500 jobs.
We’ve done great work to keep our state economically competitive, and we’re just getting started!
I am most effective at my job when acting on your direct input. I encourage you to reach out to me and my staff with any questions, comments, or concerns you may have regarding our community or state and with any policy ideas.
Please do not hesitate to reach out by phone at (517) 373-0822 or send an email to AngelaWitwer@house.mi.gov.
State Representative, 76th House District
In This Issue:
- Coffee Hours
- In-District Update
- General Update
- Legislative Update
- Friday, April 28 at 10 a.m. at Eaton Rapids City Hall at 200 S. Main St. in Eaton Rapids.
- Friday, May 5 at 10 a.m. at Charlotte Community Library at 226 S. Bostwick St. in Charlotte.
*Please note that we will be postponing coffee hours from May 12 – June 9 to focus on the state’s budget*
Upcoming Town Hall on the Retirement Tax Repeal
Join us Monday, May 8, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Delta Township District Library in the Elmwood Room for a town hall discussion on the repeal of the retirement tax and ways seniors can protect themselves. Special guests include Attorney General Dana Nessel and an AARP representative.
We hope you can join us. RSVPs are not required but do help. Please visit my Facebook page, and RSVP by selecting “Going” on the event page!
Upcoming Healthy Aging Fair Event
I am happy to announce that I will be hosting my third Healthy Aging Fair this year on Saturday, May 20, from 10 a.m. to noon.
We will have a few speakers and numerous organizations from the tri-county area with resource booths and information about different volunteer opportunities, health and fitness resources, senior living, and other ways for seniors to remain active in the community! This event is free of charge, and RSVPs are not required. We hope to see you there!
April Teacher of the Month Winner: Nick Sauve
Congratulations to our April Teacher of the Month, Mr. Nick Sauve! Nick is a kindergarten through fifth-grade technology teacher at Waverly Community Schools.
To quote his nominator, “Nick teaches with great enthusiasm. He coaches robotics as well. He also teaches the youngest students about using technology responsibly and ethically.” Additionally, his nominator wanted us to know that he also helps his fellow teachers learn about and use technology in their classrooms.
On behalf of House District 76, congratulations again on this well-deserved recognition, and thank you for all you do for our community!
Congratulations to our intern Therese Reinhold!
I’m proud to announce that my office’s intern Therese Reinhold is a Rosenthal Legislative Intern Award winner this year. Therese has been instrumental to my office’s success since she first joined my team in April 2021. I’m very excited to see all that she accomplishes in the years to come. Congratulations on this very well-deserved recognition, Therese!
Doug Lloyd — Crime Victim Rights Award
I was honored to present the Champion for Crime Victims Award to Doug Lloyd. The Eaton County prosecutor since 2013, Doug previously served as Eaton County chief assistant prosecuting attorney from 2008 to June 2013.Click to edit this placeholder text.
“When a 2018 change in state law required the parole board to review parole eligibility annually, Doug listened to a survivor in his community,” Randy Gilbert said. That change in the law meant that Randy, who had survived being stabbed by a serial killer in 1978, had to appear before the board annually and relive that attack every year. Randy and Doug worked together, and with a bipartisan effort, in which I spearheaded as a bill sponsor at the Capitol, that law was changed, so that survivors, like Randy Gilbert, can focus on their future and healing, instead of continuously reliving the past.
Congrats to Jeanne Pearl-Wright on her Retirement
Jeanne has served as an Eaton County commissioner for almost 12 years!
Since Jeanne Pearl-Wright began her responsibilities on the Board of Commissioners, the people of Eaton County have appreciated the dedication and belief in this community’s future that have marked all elements of her work. At a time in our history in which local officials face many challenges and changes, Jeanne Pearl-Wright has responded with energy and a heartfelt concern for the citizens, businesses, and institutions of Eaton County.
Legislative Door Knocking – Dimondale
Thank you to the volunteers who came to Dimondale on Friday to participate in my first legislative canvassing event of the year. With the help of the volunteers, we were able to knock on more than 700 doors. We are looking forward to more opportunities to get back out into the district, as the weather begins to warm up to meet with constituents to hear about important issues and learn how we can continue to serve you in Lansing.
Road Work Alert: M-99
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is investing about $3 million to install an indirect left turn lane at Bunker Highway, Columbia Highway and Wilbur Highway, including resurfacing and concrete patching on M-99 from Bunker Highway to Wilbur Highway. Construction began on April 10 and will be completed by Aug. 11. Based on economic modeling, this investment is expected to directly and indirectly support nearly 36 jobs.
This work will require single-lane closures on M-99 from Bunker Highway to Wilbur Highway. One lane of traffic will remain open on M-99 in each direction.
This work will provide increased safety along M-99. Closing lanes and ramps during this type of work is necessary to provide the safest work area possible for crews and motorists.
Funding for Local Roads and Transportation
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has launched a site to provide additional funds to help small communities with local road and transportation infrastructure projects. The Community Infrastructure Grant program allows the state to match 50% of eligible funds for cities and villages with populations of 10,000 people or less to offset the costs of fixing roads and invest in reconstruction, replacement, rehabilitation or preventive maintenance projects in these smaller jurisdictions.
I encourage local government leaders to consider applying!
Speaker at the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators’ Panel
On Friday, I joined a few of my House and Senate colleagues on a speaker’s panel during the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators’ legislative breakfast event. It was a great opportunity to discuss pertinent issues within education with local school board members and administrators from Eaton County and the surrounding counties.
We are currently in the thick of budget season, with an ambitious goal of getting a budget to the governor by the end of May. This will give schools and local governments adequate time to build their budgets. Roughly half of our subcommittees reported budgets last week, with the remaining half reporting this week.
From there, we will quickly turn around and report these budgets out of the full Appropriations Committee. We’d ultimately like initial floor votes on the House budget to happen by mid-May to trigger conference committees as soon as possible.
In the meantime, we will be meeting regularly with the State Budget Office and state Sen. Sarah Anthony, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, to ensure we are all on the same page.
Bills I Introduced
- House Bill 4017 appropriates fiscal year 2022 money to support our public schools and improve education.
- House Bill 4082 would name a portion of I-96 in Ionia County the “Barry Lyn Hause Memorial Highway.”
- House Bill 4197 would help prevent the financial exploitation of seniors and other vulnerable adults by allowing broker-dealers and investment advisors to place temporary holds on disbursements of funds or securities when there is reason to believe that financial exploitation of a customer has occurred.
- House Bill 4319 would help to protect student-athletes attending postsecondary education institutions, name, image or likeness (NIL).
- House Bill 4337 amends the portion of M-50 named after Ensign Francis Flaherty to include in the signage that he was a Medal of Honor recipient.
- House Bill 4392 amends the Whistleblowers’ Protection Act to include the State Employee Ombudsman and tweak minor language.
Information on the above bills and more legislation can be found at the Michigan Legislature website.