Hello from Lansing,
My team and I have had a busy two weeks in the Legislature since coming back from our in-district work period. I had a bill pass through a committee, introduced new legislation and took my kid to work on April 27 for Take your Child to Work Day. If you’re interested in meeting me in person, our office will have a volunteer opportunity in May. I hope to see you there!
As always, you can contact my team via email at CarrieRheingans@house.mi.gov or by phone at (517) 373-8835 with any questions, comments or concerns.
House District 47
First Bill Voted Out of Committee
The first bill I introduced as your state representative, House Bill 4125, was unanimously voted out of the House Judiciary Committee on April 19.
As part of a bill package addressing sexual misconduct in educational settings, my bill prevents schools from expelling a student who reports being a victim of sexual assault.
The other bills in this package, HBs 4120–24 and Senate Bills 66–74 and 236, have also unanimously passed the House Judiciary Committee and Senate Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety Committee. The next step is for these bills to receive a vote of their full respective chambers, which we expect to happen in a few weeks.
Statewide Septic Code Introduction
Did you know that Michigan is the only state in our country that does not have a statewide septic code? On Wednesday, April 27, I introduced legislation with my colleagues, state Rep. Phil Skaggs and state Sen. Sam Singh, to change that.
Our bills, HBs 4479–80 and SB 300, would allow septic tank inspections every five years and establish a revolving fund to assist lower-income families with costs if septic tank replacements are required. This legislation is needed to ensure that septic tanks are working properly and not endangering public health or local water quality.
Currently, there are several counties in Michigan — Washtenaw County being one of them — that do have county-level septic tank regulations, but they are not uniform, and many areas of our state that most need minimum tank standards do not yet have them.
These bills have been referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, Environment, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation, where we hope to begin the hearing process soon.
Repealing Criminal Penalties for “Sodomy”
Since 1927, Michigan has had criminal penalties for “sodomy.” On April 19, state Reps. Noah Arbit and Emily Dievendorf and I introduced legislation to repeal these punishments. The sodomy penalties were unenforceable since the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision to strike down such laws in 2003, but this legislation is vital to ensure state-level protections if federal standards ever change.
Korematsu Day Legislation Passed by the House
As you may know, Fred Korematsu, along with countless other Japanese Americans, was ordered into incarceration camps at the onset of the war with Japan. Fred refused and was convicted of defying the government’s order — his conviction was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, where it was upheld in Korematsu v, United States.
Sometime after Fred’s arrest and time in an incarceration camp, he moved to Detroit, where he and his family stayed for a period of time before moving back out to Oakland, California, in 1949. Because of his experiences with racial profiling, Fred was an activist for the rest of his life, becoming one of the foremost civil rights icons in recent U.S. history. In 1998, President Clinton bestowed upon Fred the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest civilian honor — and in 2010, California passed “Korematsu Day” making Jan. 30 of every year a state holiday. This marked the first day in the United States named after an Asian American.
Earlier this year, state Sen. Stephanie Chang introduced SB 18, which would make Jan. 30 “Korematsu Day” in Michigan. The bill passed the Senate on March 9 and passed the House of Representatives on April 27. Due to changes made in the House of Representatives, the bill returns to the Senate, where, if a majority of the Senators concur with the changes made, the bill will be enrolled and presented to the governor to be signed into law.
State Rep. Sharon MacDonell, while speaking in favor of this legislation, told a very powerful story of how her parents-in-law were held in an incarceration camp as children, just as the Korematsu family was, and they have pledged the rest of their lives to ensuring that Americans understand the truth of this heinous chapter in American history.
I was honored to vote for this legislation because my district and neighboring districts have a large proportion of Asian Americans, whom I personally value greatly as wonderful neighbors, community members and leaders.
Ebberwhite Elementary School Literacy Night
On April 18, I was honored to be a “Celebrity Reader” at Ebberwhite Elementary School’s annual literacy night. There are not many jobs that adequately prepare you to be an elected official but being a mother of a 6-year-old daughter has given me the exact experience needed to read to classrooms full of young learners!
I always enjoy the opportunity to interact with the young residents of my district.
Jackson County Farm Bureau ‘Project RED’ Visit
On Tuesday, April 26, I had the privilege of touring the Jack County Farm Bureau’s 25th annual Project RED (Rural Education Day) event at the Jackson County Fairgrounds. I was led by Jackson County legend Hank Choate of Choate’s Belly Acres. Even though this event is geared toward younger learners, as a newcomer to agricultural policy, I learned a lot of useful information at this event as well!
Every year, the Jackson County Farm Bureau invites every third-grade class in the county to the fairground to get up close and personal with farm animals and to learn about Michigan’s agricultural economy.
I learned — from Hank’s daughter — that Michigan’s cows are some of the country’s largest milk producers. An average Michigan cow can produce over 27,000 pounds — over 3,100 gallons — of milk every year. That’s the second highest per-cow average of any state in the U.S.!
If you want to know if the milk you buy at the supermarket comes from a Michigan cow, look for the five-digit code on the label of your milk jug. If the first two digits are 26, that milk came from a Michigan cow!
Take Your Kid to Work Day
April 27 was Take Your Kid to Work Day!
As my 6-year-old is based in Ann Arbor, it is always difficult for me to say goodbye to her in the morning not knowing if I will be back home before she must go to bed. Days like these are important for me personally so my daughter can see the important work I am doing while giving me a chance to bond with her in such a unique setting.
As you can see, she made herself quite comfortable.
Community Walk Opportunity
On Friday, May 12, my team and I will be out in the community during business hours knocking on doors to increase awareness of the issues my team can assist resolve and to gather legislative ideas from the residents of the 47th district.
If you would like to join us, please give our office a call at (517) 373-8835 for more information.
Social Media Accounts
I am active on the following platforms:
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