Dear Friends and Neighbors,
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:
- Weekly Wrap-ups
- In-District Update
- General Update
- Legislative Update
Weekly Wrap-ups with Witwer
Please join me for one of my Weekly Wrap-ups with Witwer. You can find the event on my Facebook page. Please also like and follow my page to stay connected with updates from the Capitol. I look forward to seeing you at a Wrap-up soon!
Upcoming Weekly Wrap-ups:
- Friday, Aug. 11, at 10 a.m. under Pavilion #2 at Howe Memorial Park, 100 Howe Drive, Eaton Rapids, MI 48827
Delta Senior Center
Over the next year, we will be making very exciting announcements about improvements in our district through the work of the Legislature. I have been fighting to get a senior center in Delta Township since I started running in 2018. Today was a first step. Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist joined me, Superintendent Kelly Blake, Evan Nuffer from Waverly Community Schools, and Delta Township’s Ken Fletcher and Brian Reed to tour what will be our new senior center. I’ll give updates over the next few months, but I was thrilled to bring this home. More great projects to announce soon.
Going PRO Talent Fund
Thanks to the most recent round of Going PRO Talent Fund grants, two businesses in the district will receive funding to help 113 local workers receive the training they need to gain and retain high-skill, high-wage careers.
In Eaton County, the Talent Fund helps local businesses secure the in-demand, high-skill talent they need to grow while giving local workers a clear path to high-wage careers that offer a better quality of life for themselves and their families.
Michigan Reaches Historic Employment Rate
Michigan’s unemployment rate reached its lowest point in 23 years in June with a rate of 3.6 percent. Michigan has seen an unemployment rate below 4 percent only three times — from 1998 to 2000, 2019 to March 2020, and April 2023 to the present — since the mid-1970s.
Additionally, the state’s labor force participation rate increased to 60.7 percent this month. The first six months of 2023 report the highest growth for the first half of a year since data collection began in the mid-1970s.
Child Care Coalition Seeks Parent Input on Lowering Child Care Costs
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently announced grants for regional projects to help lower child care costs and expand access to child care in our state. The Capital Area Child Care Coalition, joined by Lansing Economic Area Partnership, Capital Area Michigan Works! and United Way of South Central Michigan, is looking for parent input on the planning process. If you or someone you know is interested in providing input, there will be a virtual discussion group on Aug. 9 from noon to 1 p.m. You can find more information here.
Gov. Whitmer Signs ‘Make it in Michigan’ Budget
I had the honor of joining Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in signing a balanced, bipartisan general government state budget for fiscal 2023-24 to grow the economy, lower costs, deliver on kitchen-table issues and help anyone “Make it in Michigan.”
The fiscal 2024 budget, combined with the education budget previously signed by the governor, lowers the costs of health care, preschool, meals for kids, higher education, housing and workforce training. Additionally, the FY24 budget will help fix bridges, replace lead pipes and protect public safety.
The FY24 budget totals $81.7 billion, including a General Fund total of $15.2 billion.
Fiscally Responsible, Balanced Budget
The budget deposits $200 million into the Budget Stabilization Fund, or ‘rainy day fund,’ bringing the balance to nearly $2 billion by the end of FY24, an all-time high.
Public Health — Strengthening Families
The budget makes critical investments to ensure Michigan families can access the care they need:
- $56.4 million to fund Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies, a bipartisan initiative that supports pregnant women, new mothers and infants.
- $25 million increase in support to local health departments to provide essential services.
- $4.9 million over 2 years for Double Up Food Bucks, boosting access to fresh fruits and vegetables for Michiganders on food assistance.
Public Safety — Keeping Communities Safe
To keep families and communities safe and ensure police officers and first responders have the funding and resources they need, the budget invests:
- $171.5 million in public safety grants, benefiting communities across the state.
- $18.2 million to provide in-service training to licensed law enforcement officers.
- $14.4 million to improve safety and accountability in correctional facilities, including $7 million to outfit corrections officers with body cameras.
- $10 million toward leveraging the State Police Training Academy to serve as a criminal justice training hub to support realistic, multi-disciplinary training opportunities for law enforcement agencies across the state.
- $10.5 million in new statutory revenue sharing (2% one-time) dedicated specifically for public safety, including employee recruitment, retention, training and equipment for first responders.
- $9 million to run a Michigan State Police Trooper Recruit School, graduating an anticipated 50 new recruits.
- $2.9 million to implement gun violence prevention policies.
- $2 million for veteran homelessness grants, helping veterans access affordable housing and avoid homelessness.
- $1.2 million for veteran suicide prevention efforts, improving the health and well-being of Michigan’s more than 550,000 military veterans and their families.
From 2019 through the end of this construction season, nearly 20,000 lane miles of road and 1,400 bridges will be fixed. This budget continues to fix roads, replace lead pipes, build housing and more:
Roads, Bridges, Transit, Electrification
- $416 million to fix roads and build up public infrastructure, improving quality of life.
- $80 million investment supporting Michigan’s Bridge Bundling program to replace or rehabilitate more than 20 structurally deficient bridges across the state.
- $21.3 million for clean energy and electric vehicle infrastructure investments.
- $1 million to begin the transition of the State of Michigan’s fleet to electric vehicles.
- $212 million for residential energy efficiency improvements through federal funds, lowering costs for Michiganders via point-of-sale rebates for home appliances, water heaters and more.
- $50 million for the Housing and Community Development Program to alleviate affordable housing needs across the state and revitalize downtown areas in Michigan.
Water, Parks, Agriculture, Environment
- Nearly $600 million for Michigan’s water infrastructure, protecting access to drinking water, replacing lead service lines, rebuilding sewers, and more.
- $13 million for agricultural climate resiliency and soil health to research new regenerative agriculture practices and help farmers reduce run off and increase crop diversity.
- $10.1 million for the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program, using federal funds to boost resiliency in Michigan’s food systems.
- $7.7 million in state parks operations funding to provide additional park rangers and essential resources to state parks.
To create good-paying jobs and bring manufacturing and supply chains home, the budget powers economic development efforts, including:
- $500 million annual deposit in the Make it in Michigan Fund, also known as the bipartisan Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) Fund.
- $350 million for the Make it in Michigan Competitiveness Fund to win federal resources from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.
- Michigan is set to receive over $1.5 billion (fourth highest in the nation) through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program to expand high-speed internet access to over 200,000 Michiganders in unserved and underserved areas across the state.
- $50 million for the Revitalization and Placemaking Program to fund community development projects.
Additionally, $26.7 million is included to provide a 5% increase (4% ongoing and another 1% ongoing to communities that obligate all available ARP dollars) in statutory revenue sharing to help counties, cities, villages, and townships; and new dedicated statutory revenue sharing funds, 2% one-time, for public safety initiatives; plus, an additional $64 million over current year funding in constitutional revenue sharing payments.
Gov. Whitmer Signs Monumental Education Budget
Recently, Gov. Whitmer signed the 2023-24 education budget (Senate Bill 173). The historic budget makes the largest per-pupil investment in Michigan history, expands free preschool programs, and provides free breakfast and lunch for all public school students. SB 173 also includes funding for before- and after-school programs, mental health resources, and literacy support. I was proud to vote “yes” on a budget that prioritizes student success. Click here to view the full contents of the budget.
New Distracted Driving Law in Effect
As a reminder, the state’s new distracted driving law, which prohibits all handheld cell phone use while driving, went into effect June 30. These bills aim to reduce distracted driving and save lives by ensuring that drivers are focused on the road. Drivers may continue to use hands-free technology.