Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! Included in this edition are some important legislative and community updates, along with a few resources I hope will prove helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-0144 or email at AlabasFarhat@house.mi.gov or questions about this or any other state-level issue.
Alabas A. Farhat
State Representative, 3rd House District
Our next coffee hour will be held on Friday, Oct. 20, at 11 a.m. at Family Bakery in Detroit. I look forward to seeing you there!
HB 4276 Testimony
To start this week off, I testified in front of my colleagues on the House Health Policy Committee on my bill, HB 4276. This legislation would increase access to vital medications for Michiganders by ensuring that independent pharmacists can operate and be fairly compensated for their services and care.
HB 4740 Testimony and Vote
Last week, I joined Sara Ismail, public policy associate for ACCESS, and Amy Zaagman, executive director for the Michigan Council for Maternal & Child Health, to testify in support of my bill, HB 4740. This legislation would codify the removal of the five-year waiting period for Medicaid and the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for lawfully residing children (up to 21 years old) and/or pregnant people.
This waiting period targets our most vulnerable and can lead to parents delaying care for children or themselves. This means higher costs not only for Michiganders, but for our system. Providing coverage for care earlier on would shift costs away from it being provided on an emergency basis toward primary and preventative care.
I am also excited to share that this legislation was voted out of committee yesterday!
HB 4905 Testimony
On Wednesday, the House Committee on Tax Policy heard testimony on a bill package state Rep. Joey Andrews and I introduced that would continue to drive Michigan’s economy through targeted economic development opportunities for hyperscale enterprise datacenters. This legislation would incentivize data centers to build in Michigan, creating jobs and providing municipalities with an influx of revenue through new property taxes.
HB 4295 Signed into Law
I am pleased to announce that my first bill was signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. House Bill 4295, now Public Act 122 of 2023, would prohibit secret child marriages, which are done when a marriage record is sealed to the public. This bill was part of a larger collaboration with colleagues in the House and Senate to officially end child marriage in Michigan.
HB 5023 and HB 5022 Introductions
I have introduced two more bills. House Bill 5023 amends statute to prohibit the Michigan State Police from privatizing and contracting out the management of towing operations to a third-party vendor. House Bill 5022 makes minor corrections to recently enacted legislation pertaining to Michigan’s flow-through entity laws.
DNR Piloting Self-Check-In Reservation Process
You can now virtually check in for your campsite reservation on your time after midnight on the day of arrival at MiDNRReservations.com at some state recreation areas. You’ll also receive a courtesy reminder email once the self-check-in window is open. If you already have your Recreation Passport, you can skip the line and go straight to your campsite after 3 p.m. If you don’t have a Recreation Passport, you can purchase one at the entrance booth.
The pilot will take place at Baraga, Fort Wilkins, Harrisville, Hoffmaster, Holly, Lakeport, Leelanau, Muskegon, Petoskey, Port Crescent, Warren Dunes, Waterloo and Yankee Springs state parks/recreation areas.
Applications for Going PRO Talent Fund Now Open
Employers can now apply for a share of $50 million in competitive training awards from the Going PRO Talent Fund. Training must fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer and lead to a transferable, industry-recognized credential. Among other responsibilities, employers who apply for Going PRO Talent Funds must participate in the planning and designing of the training project and use Pure Michigan Talent Connect and their local MWAs to recruit for job openings.
Interested parties who would like to know more or apply for funding should contact their local Michigan Works! Service Center. Contact information may be found at Michigan.gov/MichiganWorks. The first award cycle’s application period closes on Friday, Oct. 27 at 5 p.m., and awardees will be announced in December.
Watch Out for Counterfeit Car Seats
As part of Child Passenger Safety Week, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning offered tips on purchasing car seats that will keep children safe and how to verify the purchased seat meets U.S. safety standards.
Parents and caregivers should look for the following red flags when shopping for a car seat:
- Missing mandatory information, including minimum and maximum height and weight in English, model name and number, and date of manufacturing labeled clearly on the seat.
- Missing this statement on at least one label: “This child restraint system conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.”
- Foreign languages on the label that do not include English.
- Did not come with a car seat manual and/or a registration recall card.
- No five-point harness with chest clip (except for booster seats).
There are additional ways to confirm the car seat is legal and safe for use: