Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! As always, I will be most effective in 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 that you may have regarding our community or the state and with any policy ideas.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out by phone at (517) 373-0853 or send an email to AngelaWitwer@house.gov.
State Representative, 71st House District
In this issue:
Upcoming Coffee Hours
Please join me for my in-person Weekly Wrap-up with Witwer on July 23 at The Brew in Delta Twp. from 11 am to noon. 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 soon.
Supporting and Respecting Teachers
Every day, teachers across our state are doing amazing things and going above and beyond for our kids. They are committed to making sure our students have everything they need, even spending their own money to make sure that happens, but are we doing everything we can to support them? I, along with other members of the House, introduced a comprehensive package of bills to improve teacher benefits, training and more. My bill will provide a tax credit for these teachers paying out-of-pocket expenses so our students can have the books, binders, markers and other supplies they need to succeed. This is one important step toward showing teachers how much we appreciate everything they do.
Combating the Opioid Epidemic
I recently joined colleagues on both sides of the aisle to introduce a bipartisan bill package that aims to combat the opioid epidemic. This epidemic has been devastating to Eaton County and this state for too long, and it’s time we do everything we can to begin healing our communities and undo the damage that has been done. That’s why I introduced House Bill 5163 in this bill package that expands the availability of medications in emergency departments and naloxone to community-based organizations. Medications for opioid use disorder have been proven to save the lives of our friends, our family members, our neighbors and our loved ones. Expanding access to those in need is crucial to ending this crisis.
I was proud to vote for House Bill 4411, which makes investments in our educational system our students desperately need. This bill brings every district up to the same level of per-pupil funding and increases funding for the Great Start Readiness Program, creating more slots so nearly every eligible child can access quality preschool. Although there is more than $650 million left on the balance sheet that could make this budget even better, this proposal makes transformational investments that will help schools and our students succeed this fall and beyond. I look forward to working to put these remaining dollars to use in our neighborhood schools.
I voted no on House Bill 4038, which would remove the requirement that the Michigan Merit Examination (MME) include an assessment that can be used in evaluating the student’s workforce readiness. These “WorkKeys” assessments are a useful tool for businesses making hiring decisions. About 40% of Michigan’s students enter the workplace right after high school. A high score on the WorkKeys assessment represents one of the few credentials those students can use to set themselves apart. Without the requirement to take the assessment, an already aging trades and manufacturing workforce would lose another tool to recruit kids ready to take on work in those areas to good jobs with high wages.
June Teacher of the Month
In June, I recognized Carisa Kramer, a sixth-grade teacher at St. Gerard Catholic School, as our Teacher of the Month. Carisa always goes above and beyond, gives students second chances to learn from their mistakes and is always available to help even after school hours. Congratulations Carisa and much appreciation for all you do!
Frontline Worker of the Month
Congratulations to Tara Smith on being recognized as June Frontline Worker of the Month! Tara is the Dietary Manager at Dimondale Nursing Care Center . As stated by the nominee, “in our industry every position is a customer service position. Tara constantly seeks to learn more about systems and programs so that she can help serve our residents and alleviate issues as they come up. She is very resident driven and will go that extra mile and hour(s) to ensure great customer service has been met.”
Small Business of the Month
It is a great honor to recognize Miller Animal Clinic in Delta Township as June Small Business of the Month. As stated by one of the nominee’s, “their staff is extremely friendly and takes the time to care for your furry family members. They are thoughtful and help to answer any and all questions or concerns that I may have. They have been tremendous in making sure my pets are happy and healthy.”
Honoring Pastor John Klein from St. Gerard Catholic Church
I’ve been a member of St. Gerard Catholic Church since I was a child. I’ve seen many happy milestones here and some very sad moments. Many of these have been with the careful compassion of Pastor John Klein. It was a great honor to sit and talk with him today about many great topics and end by giving him a tribute for his generous gifts to our community. We will miss him as the Pastor, but I know he will return one day to continue his work in our community.
Visiting with Waverly Robotics
It is always a pleasure to visit my alma mater, Waverly Schools, to support these young adults who are learning essential skills in every aspect of the robotics field, from programming to business leadership.
Congratulation to them for all their current success and I look forwarding to see what they will accomplish in the future!
MDHHS Latest Updates
As of June 22, capacity in both indoor and outdoor settings has increased to 100% and the state no longer requires residents to wear a mask. However, local health departments, establishments, sports organizers and school districts may have additional rules that must be followed. The CDC still requires that all persons – regardless of vaccination status – wear masks on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. For more information, visit michigan.gov/coronavirus.
UIA Offices Open for In-Person Appointments
The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is now offering in-person unemployment insurance services by appointment only. Each appointment slot is 15 minutes and may be scheduled up to a week in advance. Appointments are available from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Customers must schedule an appointment online to be seen by a UIA representative. Walk-in appointments will not be accepted. To schedule an in-person appointment, visit Michigan.gov/uia and click on Schedule an Appointment.