I hope that you and your family had a wonderful long weekend celebrating Independence Day. In late June, just before the holiday, the Legislature wrapped up the budget process for our next fiscal year, which begins in October. This is exciting for our community and West Michigan as my colleagues and I have brought home historic investments for our region while prioritizing many incredible initiatives across the state. Please read on to hear about some of the historic projects that you will see happen locally with investment from the State!
I invite you to join me at my upcoming coffee hour on Wednesday, July 12, from 4-5 p.m. at the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan (1204 Cesar E. Chavez Ave. SW in Grand Rapids). I hope to see you there! If you haven’t already, follow my Facebook page to stay up-to-date on local issues, events, and my work as your representative. Additionally, you can find me on Twitter @JohnforMI.
My team and I are here to help! If you are in need of support or need access to local or state resources, have any questions regarding legislation or state government in general, please reach out to me at my office at JohnFitzgerald@house.mi.gov or by calling (517) 373-0835.
In this issue:
- Meet with John
- John’s Journal
- Legislative Updates
Meet with John:
Each month, I hold regular coffee hours to engage in conversation and exchange ideas with you. This month, my coffee hour will be held on Wednesday, July 12 from 4-5 p.m. at the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, 1204 Cesar E. Chavez Ave. SW in Grand Rapids. I always appreciate and look forward to hearing from constituents, and I hope to see you there to talk about the things most important to you and our community.
I will also continue holding regular office hours at Wyoming City Hall from 10:30 a.m.-noon on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. Stop by to say hi, talk with me about an issue or concern you have for our district, and get updates for our community from the Capitol. I look forward to seeing you!
Of course, if you are unable to attend, do not hesitate to email or call my office.
I want to take a moment to highlight the many amazing projects and programs the new state budget will support in the 83rd district. Last week, we passed a historic budget that funds schools at their highest level in state history, invests in our children and young people, prioritizes the improvement of our infrastructure, and supports hundreds of community-oriented projects around the state including several in our community.
Here at home in Wyoming, Grand Rapids and Byron Township, we have many transformational projects we can look forward to:
- $20 million for the City Center project in Wyoming. This project is going to continue to make Wyoming the preeminent suburb in metro Grand Rapids. You can read more about it here.
- $35 million for the Grand Rapids Fire Department, which will speed up the construction of two new fire stations and a training facility. This will be huge for improving response times both in the city and surrounding communities.
- $5 million for the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (WMHCC). This funding will help the WMHCC transform its new headquarters into a community gathering space for the residents of our Roosevelt Park neighborhood and help to revitalize the Godfrey Avenue corridor.
- $5 million for Special Olympics Michigan’s (SOMI) headquarters in Cutlerville. This investment will help SOMI finish its renovations of the old South Christian High School and continue to provide its athletes and families with facilities to break down health disparities for those with cognitive disabilities.
- $4 million for Godfrey-Lee Public Schools to cover residual costs in repairing the Middle/High School roof that had collapsed.
Some other transformational funding that will positively impact our whole state:
- Funding to provide free school breakfast and lunch to all public school students.
- Historic investments in our public safety officers, health care workers and teachers.
- Expanding the MI Reconnect program for technical and vocational education programs.
- Increased funding for cleaning up contaminated sites and protecting our communities from PFAs and other environmental contaminants.
- Historic investments in both our transportation and water infrastructure, fixing potholes, supporting local road repairs, replacing old sewer systems and dams, and replacing lead water lines in communities across the state.
For more information on our budget, check out some of the articles below!
On June 28, my first bill passed the House. House Bill 4621 is part of a five-bill package that my colleagues and I introduced to codify the critical requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into state law. My bill ensures that children and dependents up through age 25 will continue to receive insurance coverage here in Michigan. Why is this important? Now, no matter what happens at the federal level with the ACA, Michiganders can count on having health insurance that meets their and their families’ needs. I am proud of the broad bipartisan support my bill received and look forward to continuing getting work done for our district and all Michiganders.