Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! It is and continues to be a privilege to represent Livonia, Redford Township and Detroit, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our community in Lansing. I encourage you to stay up to date on what’s going on in Lansing and continue to let me know about the issues that matter to you.
House Vote Post
Follow this link to see what we have been voting on over the past couple of weeks. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office.
Watch Out for Counterfeit Car Seats
As part of Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 17-23, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning are offering guidance to ensure buyers are purchasing car seats that will keep their child safe in the event of a crash, including tips on how to identify counterfeit seats and 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).
For individuals who purchase a car seat that has any of the red flags, there are additional ways to confirm the car seat is legal and safe for use:
- Find the label with the car seat manufacturer’s name, address and phone number and contact them directly about your seat.
- Get the car seat inspected by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician.
- Verify the car seat is on the American Academy of Pediatrics 2023 Car Seat Product List.
For any additional questions, please contact a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in your area.
DNR Piloting Self-Check-In Reservation Process
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is piloting a new self-check-in process at 13 state parks, so you can skip the line and get to your campsite faster.
As found with many hotels and airports, you can virtually check in for your campsite reservation on your time after midnight on the day of arrival. Just log in to your account at MiDNRReservations.com and follow the prompts. 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. Be prepared to show your booking information to park staff upon request. Don’t have a passport? You can purchase one at the entrance booth before setting up camp. If no staff is present, you can use the self-payment envelope and place it in the designated drop slot.
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.
Families Can Benefit During National College Savings Month
In recognition of College Savings Month, the Michigan Education Trust — the state’s 529 prepaid education savings plan administered by the Department of Treasury — will waive the $25 enrollment fee on new contracts opened from Sept. 1-30. See SetwithMET.com for rules and eligibility, and use coupon code CSM23 for the fee waiver.
Signed into law in 1986, MET, the nation’s first 529 prepaid education savings plan, has helped tens of thousands of families pre-purchase tomorrow’s tuition at today’s rates. More than 96% of high school graduates participating in MET have attended a college, university or technical school.
In addition, the Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP), Michigan’s direct sold 529 college savings plan, is offering a special incentive to help families get started on their higher education savings journey with a bonus deposit.
Individuals who open a new MESP account with a minimum initial contribution of $1,000 from Sept. 1-30 will be eligible for a $100 bonus incentive. For complete details, including terms and conditions about the bonus deposit, go to MIsaves.com/bonus.
Funds saved with MESP can be used for qualified higher education expenses at an eligible four-year university, two-year community college, trade school or graduate school. Account owners can use their MESP savings to pay for qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition, certain room and board expenses, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for the enrollment and attendance of a student.
EGLE Offering Free Well Water Testing
The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is excited to announce a special program to help Michigan families know the quality of their well water. EGLE and local health departments (LHDs) are working together to ensure that safe drinking water is a priority for Michigan families.
Last year, the Michigan Legislature appropriated $5 million to provide free well water testing for Michigan residents who rely on a household or private well for their drinking water. Most wells get checked when they are first built; however, EGLE and the LHDs know that water wells should be checked more frequently as water quality may change over time.
Many different substances may be found in well water that could be harmful and may cause illness, including bacteria, nitrates and some metals, such as arsenic. Residents who test through this free program will have the assistance of the LHD to help determine next steps if test results show a problem with their well water quality.
If you have a private well and want to know if your water is safe to drink, here is what you can do:
- Talk to your LHD. They can tell you if there is anything special you need to know about the water in your area.
- Go to EGLE’s webpage on private wells. Here, you can add your information to ask for a water test. You will also learn more about how to collect a water sample to send to the laboratory.
- Don’t worry if you are not sure what the laboratory results mean — your LHD will help you understand the results and will guide you on next steps, if necessary.
This free testing program is your first step in knowing if the water you drink from your private well is safe, and steps to take if an issue is found.
State Police Urge Disaster Preparedness
September is National Emergency Preparedness Month, and the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is using this opportunity to remind Michiganders that emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere and to anyone.
The MSP/EMHSD is uniting with agencies nationwide under the theme “Take Control in 1, 2, 3” to prepare older adults for disasters, specifically older adults from communities that are disproportionately impacted by the all-hazard events that continue to threaten the nation.
Older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the multitude of extreme weather events and emergencies we now face, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability or live in rural areas.
Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony
I was honored to be joined by Capt. Brian Bowser of Detroit’s 8th Precinct at the House of Representatives’ Sept. 11 Remembrance Ceremony as we paid our respects to the first responders we lost on 9/11 and since.
I hope you can join me for one of my upcoming coffee hours! I look forward to having an informal conversation with you about the issues families face in our community. I host two coffee hours a month, one in-person and one virtual.
The location for in-person coffee hours will rotate throughout the year between Livonia, Redford Township and Detroit. My in-person October Coffee Hour will be in Livonia at the Biggby Coffee on Seven Mile and Farmington roads (33443 W. Seven Mile Road, Livonia, MI 48152). You can join the livestream for my virtual coffee hours on my Facebook page.
In-Person: Sunday, Oct. 1 from 2-3 p.m.
Virtual: Monday, Oct. 16 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Never hesitate to reach out to me or my staff if you have any questions or concerns!
Speaker Pro Tempore
17th House District