Happy Autumn to all! This fall has been particularly gorgeous in House District 48 — as is every season — but driving around Washtenaw, Livingston and Jackson counties, the leaves with hues of fluorescent red and orange have been taking my breath away with their beauty. Between eating cinnamon doughnuts at the Dexter Cider Mill, roasting root vegetables from the farmers markets, and taking in the elaborate decorations and costumes at Spooktacular in Pinckney last Saturday night, I certainly feel I have experienced the ultimate autumn. And, of course, I have been busy working for all of you in Lansing.
Last week, I introduced a bipartisan package of legislation around veterans’ mental health. As chair of our House Committee on Military, Veterans and Homeland Security, I was excited to be able to address such a crucial issue for those who have served our country. It is paramount that we do everything in our capacity to make improvements to the ways we treat veteran mental health. I’d like to thank my fellow bill sponsors, state Reps. William Bruck (pictured), Christine Morse, Felicia Brabec and Bob Bezotte!
In October, I also attended the eighth annual Construction Association of Michigan’s legislative breakfast, where I had the opportunity to sit on a panel with state Rep. Mark Tisdel (pictured) and state Sens. Darrin Camilleri and Michael Webber to discuss issues such as prompt pay and workforce development. I was happy to discuss House Bill 4837, which I sponsored. The bill would require the prompt payment for labor, materials and services provided for the improvement of real property in the private contractual construction industry. This legislation would ensure that contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers in our state, who are often not paid for months and sometimes years after completing work that was approved by owners, receive their payments within 30 days for accepted work.
The practice of delaying payments stunts growth for small businesses and union shops looking to expand and invest in their companies. This Legislature has made the skilled trades a priority in recent years, and this bill furthers those efforts. Our small businesses, tradesmen and tradeswomen deserve to be paid in a timely manner, just like every other segment of our workforce. This bill is truly about helping small businesses and the skilled trades.
HB 4837 has been referred to the House Economic Development and Small Business Committee, where it is awaiting a hearing.
Last month, I also attended a learning session, where I discussed the issues surrounding PFAS in our state and the legislation that two of my colleagues and I are working on to help combat the issues PFAS has unearthed across our state. Many of my colleagues in the House attended, and we had a very insightful and productive conversation. A week later, I was proud to stand behind state Sen. Jeff Irwin and state Rep. Jason Morgan when they announced their “Polluter Pay” bill package to hold companies accountable for the mess they create when their toxins contaminate our environment.
Finally, it was a pleasure to attend the groundbreaking of a new residential development on Central Campus at the University of Michigan on Oct. 13. As an alumna of U-M, I know how much housing is needed for students who want to live on campus, particularly given how expensive it is to rent in Ann Arbor. It is also always fun to get a photo with President Santa Ono, whose enthusiasm for all things Maize and Blue is infectious. It gave me a chance to congratulate him in person for a job well done in getting this construction project underway.
At an earlier event in the district, many constituents expressed that they would like to be updated on the many bills being introduced and passed out of committees on the House and Senate floors. To be alerted on the progress of specific bills, start by creating a free account on the Michigan Legislature website and then select which bills you would like to be notified about when changes or activity occur on those pieces of legislation. A notification will then be sent to you via email when there is activity on the items you choose to follow. Here is a link to create an account: Michigan Legislature – User Registration
Additionally, to track meeting notices for committees, you can sign up to receive the most up-to-date information on bills that have been added to the committee’s agenda. By doing so, you will receive notifications as soon as the committee chairs post the next meeting’s date and time, making you among the first to know when committees will be meeting and what legislation is placed on the agenda for debate. For your convenience, here is a link to the sign-up page.
As I write this, I look forward to the next couple of weeks in Lansing, working hard before our annual hunting break, on the myriad bills coming to the House floor.
Enjoy these last days of colorful leaves!
Upcoming District Events:
On Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 10 a.m., I will be a special guest at Rep. Carrie Rheingans’ Coffee Hour. Please contact my office for more details.
House District 48