Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including updates and news from your state government.
Survivors, Advocates Testify in Support of Child Marriage Ban
Last week, bills to ban child marriage in Michigan (HBs 4293–4302) received a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. Advocates from Unchained at Last, the AHA Foundation and Zonta testified on the importance of banning child marriage. Several survivors shared their experience of being married as a minor and the devastating effects it had on their lives and their children’s lives. A committee vote is expected this week.
House Passes Departmental Budgets that Invest in People
Last week, the House passed 17 state departmental budgets on a party-line vote. While negotiations between the House, Senate and governor are still ongoing, I want to share these budget proposals, because they reflect the priorities of the Democratic majority in the House.
Some of the highlights include:
- $400 million for local roads that would be allocated to county road agencies and cities based on population (HB 4309).
- $350 million to increase direct care wages by $2.50/hour (HB 4310).
- $20 million for community-based violence prevention initiatives (HB 4310).
- $19 million to implement Proposal 22-2, including funds for postage, ballot drop boxes, security cameras and early voting (HB 4292).
- Additional revenue sharing for counties, cities, villages and townships and more money for local public safety needs (HB 4292).
- $100 million to expand housing affordability and revitalize downtowns through the Michigan Housing and Community Development Program (HB 4246).
- $300 million for water asset management and drinking water in schools.
- $280 million for local water infrastructure projects.
- $25 million to Habitat for Humanity to fund a statewide home-ownership program (HB 4246).
- $40 million in one-time funding for the Renewable Ready Communities program, which would fund local communities’ wind, solar and energy storage projects (HB 4249).
- $9 million for a 50-person trooper recruit school for the Michigan State Police.
- $8.5 million for law enforcement training.
- $4.8 million for unarmed, trained personnel response teams in selected counties.
- $1.5 million for upgrades to the state police emergency alert system network (HB 4244).
- $300 thousand to replace the boardwalk to improve accessibility at Hawk Island Park in Lansing.
- $488 million for 4% increase in the per-pupil foundation allowance amounting to $9,516 per student.
- $160 million for universal breakfast and lunch.
- $318 million for school safety per-pupil funding.
- $300 million for early literacy instruction training.
- $300 million for mental health per-pupil funding.
- $300 million for MI Healthy Schools grants.
- $300 million for MI Kids Back on Track.
- $273 million for at-risk students.
- $150 million for MI Clean School Bus grants.
- $150 million for district transportation costs.
- $136 million to fully fund special education foundation allowances.
- $50 million for before- and after-school programs.
The budget process seems to be moving right along, so expect a final budget soon. These are just highlights from the House’s budget proposal: the amounts will undoubtedly change to some degree once the House and Senate finish negotiating, and the budget is subject to the governor’s review.
Citizens for Prison Reform Hosts Annual Legislative Day
Last week, I spoke at the Citizens for Prison Reform’s annual legislative day at the Capitol. Citizens for Prison Reform is a family-led nonprofit organization that seeks to educate and empower families impacted by incarceration and encourages them to pursue their constitutional, civil and human rights. As chair of the Criminal Justice Committee, it is important to me to listen to people most affected by incarceration. Special thanks to Lois Pullano for organizing this meaningful event.
AARP Hosts ‘Ask the Doc’ Series
AARP is hosting a series of free online events to help manage your health every Tuesday in June from noon-12:45 p.m. Listen to health-care professionals share practical advice and answer questions about your health concerns. To register, click here or call (877) 926-8300.