It is my honor to represent the 38th House District at the Capitol as your state representative.
The first half of 2023 in the Michigan House of Representatives has been historic, to say the least. We’ve made tremendous progress as a state by cutting taxes for working families and seniors, restoring workers’ rights, and protecting LGBTQ+ Michiganders from discrimination.
My staff and I are always here to help you with any questions you may have, and we strive to do our best to answer them or put you in touch with someone who can. If you have any other questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to call my office at (517) 373-0827 or email me at JoeyAndrews@house.mi.gov
Michigan’s 38th House District
In this issue:
- Office Hours
- District Events
- Capitol Update
- Community Update
Friday, June 23, from 3-4 p.m. — Bridgman Public Library, 4460 Lake St., Bridgman, MI 49106
Friday, July 7, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. — South Haven Memorial Library, 314 Broadway St., South Haven, MI 49090
Saturday and Sunday, June 3-4
Pride Fest 2023 in Saugatuck
Festival starts at noon following the 10:30 a.m. Care-A-Van Car Parade
For more information go to https://saugatuck.com/events-1/pride-festival/
Friday and Saturday, June 16-17
Harborfest 2023 in South Haven
For more information go to http://www.southhavenharborfest.com/
Saturday, June 17
Juneteenth Parade in Benton Harbor
Parade starts at 1 p.m.
The Michigan House of Representatives passed our proposed budget, House Bill 4437, for fiscal year 2023-24. This proposal is one of the most comprehensive budgets in Michigan’s history. Below, you will find a brief summary of appropriations designated to reinvest in our communities.
Department of State
- $4.7 million for the implementation of voter-approved Ballot Proposal 1 of 2022 (mi.gov), which increases financial disclosure requirements for elected officials and Ballot Proposal 2 of 2022 – Promote The Vote Petition (mi.gov), which expands access to absentee and early voting. The House added $15 million in one-time funding for implementing additional costs.
- $20 million in one-time funding to support election expenses associated with the upcoming 2024 presidential primary, including funding for anticipated expenses related to the passage of Proposal 2.
Department of Treasury
- $13.9 million (or 5%) increase to county, village and township (CVT) revenue sharing and $5 million (or 2%) for local public safety initiatives.
- $28.1 million in one-time funding for CVT revenue sharing. Of this amount, $14 million is for local general operations and $14 million for local public safety initiatives.
- $17 million (or 7%) increase over the current year’s ongoing funding for county revenue sharing. Of this amount, $12.1 million is for local general operations and $4.9 million is for local public safety initiatives.
Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy
- $280.5 million (including $30.5 million in one-time funding) for loans, grants, and direct funding to local communities to improve water infrastructure.
Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity
- $200 million in one-time funding to create a competitive grant program for multi-jurisdictional partnerships that provide regional or local economic development. Eligible entities include local units of government, as well as at least one of the following: multi-jurisdictional quasi-governmental agency, nonprofit organizations, tribal government, regional planning organizations or economic development organizations.
- $100.0 million in one-time funding for the Michigan Strategic Fund to create a competitive grant program to promote placemaking, climate resilient infrastructure and housing in densely populated and walkable areas. Eligible recipients include cities, villages, townships, downtown development authorities, principal shopping districts, and community and economic development collaboratives.
Department of Transportation
- $400 million increase in funding to local roads utilizing a funding structure that prioritizes population density for county and local governments.
Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
- $36.2 million in total, with $11.7 million ongoing and $24.5 million in one-time funding, for grants to businesses, nonprofit organizations and local governments for planning, developing, designing, acquiring or constructing renewable energy and electrification infrastructure projects.
House Bill 4238
The House of Representatives recently passed a bill I sponsored, House Bill 4238. This bill contains investments in Michigan’s Natural Resources Trust Fund capital outlay projects. There are 15 land acquisition projects funded at $15 million and 30 land development projects totaling $8.3 million, including $300,000 the creation of the Blue Star Trail in Saugatuck.
The Blue Star Trail will be a 20-mile paved, non-motorized recreational trail that connects the people and communities from Saugatuck to South Haven. This is an amazing investment for the people of my district, allowing them to enjoy our beautiful outdoors along the lakeshore. It will allow people to bike, hike and, in winter, ski along this trail. I’m proud to have sponsored and voted yes on this bill, and I can’t wait for this project to be completed.
House Budget Proposes
Record Funding for Education
Over this term, my colleagues and myself have put together an especially strong school aid budget for this year to reinvest in Michigan. We are making the largest investment for our students — our future – in Michigan’s history. The investments made in the School Aid budget will provide a multi-generational impact in each and every one of our legislative districts, but I’d like to highlight the immeasurable impact this budget will have specifically in Benton Harbor.
In the last 10 years, Republican policies have left underfunded, underserved — and mainly schools with higher Black enrollment — behind. Benton Harbor has been subject to cuts over several decades, resulting in millions in debt that has impacted the district’s ability to invest in its teachers and its facilities. This has led to failing test scores and nearly led to a school closure four years ago. This budget includes increased funding for partnership agreement and debt forgiveness for schools like Benton Harbor, along with funding for at-risk populations, which will raise the standards in schools across Michigan. This funding is essential — especially for Benton Harbor.
Andrews Appointed to the House Energy, Reliability, Resilience and Accountability Task Force (ERRA)
Established on May 18, this bipartisan task force aims to address power outages caused by extreme weather events, like those that took place earlier this year, and develop effective solutions for customers. The task force aims to expand state oversight of the power grid, reduce outage reactivation and response times, and invest in updated energy infrastructure.
The ERRA Task Force will hold meetings between May and September 2023, inviting input from interested attendees. We will generate a comprehensive report, outlining the task force’s activities, findings, and recommendations.
State Rep. Helena Scott, chair of the Energy, Communications, and Technology Committee, has introduced the Dependable Energy Listening Tour as part of the task force’s initiatives to develop data-driven legislation that ensures reliable energy solutions benefiting all Michigan residents.
Stay tuned for updates on the Energy Reliability, Resilience, and Accountability Task Force as we work towards a brighter energy future for Michigan.
Democrats Move Legislation to Ban Child Marriage
On May 17, the Michigan House Committee on Judiciary unanimously voted out a package of bills to ban child marriage in Michigan. The bill package, House Bills 4293–4302, is part of an expansive, multi-year effort led by Democratic women to hold abusers accountable and protect survivors.
“Thinking about what survivors of child marriage have gone through is like a punch in the gut,” said state Rep. Joey Andrews (D-Benton Harbor), sponsor of HB 4302. “It is absolutely unconscionable that these laws have stayed on the books as long as they have.”
Infrastructure Funding for District 38 Communities
Earlier this year, the Michigan House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 7, a budget supplemental that allocates $25 million for the Transportation Economic Development Fund, a match grant road funding program for cities and villages with fewer than 10,000 people. The communities of Benton Harbor, Bridgman, Douglas, Grand Beach, Lincoln, Michiana, New Buffalo, Saugatuck, Shoreham, South Haven, St. Joseph and Stevensville are eligible to apply for the funding.
I am grateful for the opportunities this grant will provide for the roads in my district and the very community I live in. I am honored to have voted yes to bring this much-needed funding to District 38. When we talk about fixing the roads, we’re not just talking about major highways. The roads in our communities that we use every day are just as, if not more, important and just as in need of repair. This is a great way to improve safety and quality of life in our Lakeshore towns.
The goal of the grants is intended to offset the costs of fixing roads in communities around the state and invest in reconstruction, replacement, rehabilitation or preventive maintenance projects. The Michigan Department of Transportation launched a site accepting applications for the Community Infrastructure Grant. However, please thoroughly review the information, application, instructions, and FAQ at www.Michigan.gov/TEDF for full understanding of application guidelines and program parameters.