Hello friends,

If you weren’t already aware, I write an editorial for the Senior Times of Battle Creek. The editorials are generally aimed at what’s happening in the Michigan House of Representatives and its impacts on seniors.

State Budget Updates

In Lansing, we recently passed the state budget. I have exciting news to share with seniors both in our district and across the state.

Long-term care is important to me and many of our neighbors who live, work or know someone in an assisted living facility. I’m proud to announce that the state budget included a raise for direct care workers. These essential workers provide long-term care services to older persons and those with disabilities. It is estimated that there are more than 165,000 direct care workers in Michigan, and many of them live in poverty despite the vital work they do. As more and more seniors need access to long-term care, the need for more direct care workers will continue to grow. My hope is that increasing wages will help address some of these issues for those taking care of the area’s most vulnerable.

Access to food is a major issue for many of our most vulnerable seniors. I was glad to see that the Food Bank Council of Michigan will have an extra $10 million for food banks and increasing access to food for seniors.

Another aspect of the budget that may be of interest to you is an increase in funding for ambulance services for seniors with Medicaid, also known as MI Choice. Ambulance services are vital for seniors in our community. This budget will help ensure you have access to emergency services. This will protect both our seniors’ health and the jobs of first responders.

Finally, the budget also includes one-time funding to address community violence. I recently attended a meeting with public safety, county officials and nonprofit leaders of Southwest Michigan. They stand to benefit from this funding, and I am hopeful that they bring needed changes to keep our community safe.

Coffee Hours

I want to hear from you. Please, reach out to me at JimHaadsma@house.mi.gov or give my office a call at (517) 373-2616. I also hold coffee hours on the first Saturday of each month from 9-11 a.m. at Mr. Don’s and 1-2:30 p.m. at Stirling Books and Brew. I enjoy meeting and catching up with people and hope to see you at an upcoming event.

Thank you,

State Representative Jim Haadsma

District 44