Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I am most effective at 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 you may have regarding our community or state and with any policy ideas.
Please do not hesitate to reach out by phone at (517) 373-0822 or send an email to AngelaWitwer@house.mi.gov.
State Representative, 76th House District
In This Issue:
- Weekly Wrap-ups
- In-District Update
- General Update
- Legislative Update
Weekly Wrap-Up with Witwer
Please keep an eye on my Facebook page for upcoming Weekly Wrap-Ups and any event changes.
- Friday, Nov. 3, at 10 a.m. in the Village Hall of Dimondale, 136 N. Bridge St., Dimondale, MI 48821. Space is limited at this location.
October Teacher of the Month Nomination Form Our office is taking nominations for District 76’s Teacher of the Month program for the month of October. Follow the link below to nominate a teacher you believe should be recognized in our district! If you know an educator in the district, please nominate them below! We are always looking to recognize great teachers who do phenomenal work in our communities.
Ongoing Road Work Reminder:
Work will begin at the light at the intersection of
“Take Your Legislator to Work Day”
I joined our constituent, Frank Vaca, for “Take Your Legislator to Work Day” last week. Frank is employed at the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition. I was able to job shadow him and learn more about his efforts in our community.
The City of Eaton Rapids Awarded a Grant
Congratulations to Eaton Rapids, which was recently awarded a Clean Water State Revolving Fund grant of more than $2 million and a Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan of more than $2 million in September.
This program offered through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy provides qualified local municipalities like Eaton Rapids with assistance with water infrastructure projects. Eaton Rapids plans to use these funds to improve their lift station and wastewater treatment plant. Congratulations again to Eaton Rapids on this award!
Update on the Delta Township Fire Department Budget Win I helped Delta Township Fire Department secure grants for a new fire truck. This week, Delta Township completed the final inspection of the department’s new SPH 100 Aerial Truck. I am excited for this budget win and making sure our first responders have the tools they need to protect our communities.
Office Staff Changes
This week, my Legislative Director, Sophia Rishar, is leaving our office for another opportunity. The Speaker of the House and I thanked her during session this week for her 4 years of service to Eaton County and the Michigan House of Representatives.
Joci McMichael will be taking on the role of Legislative Director in our office. Our office’s intern, Therese Reinhold, will be joining us full time doing constituent services.
Gov. Whitmer Announces Nearly 240,000 Michigan Households Are Receiving Additional Home Heating Credit Payment
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that nearly 240,000 Michigan households that received Home Heating Credits for the 2022 tax year are receiving an additional one-time payment this month.
The additional payment is the result of $13 million in remaining fiscal 2022-23 federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) block grant dollars allocated to the Home Heating Credit program. The recipients of the additional credit are households that filed a 2022 MI-1040CR-7 Home Heating Credit Claim and qualified for the credit.
Eligible households with seniors, disabled individuals or children under 5 years old, among others, are receiving a $54 payment.
The Michigan Department of Treasury will mail checks to all households that are eligible for the supplemental Home Heating Credit. Recipients are expected to apply the LIHEAP payment to their household heating costs.
Home Heating Credit applications for next year may be filed in early 2024. Additional information can be found on the Home Heating Credit website.
For information regarding heating assistance and other forms of emergency relief, please visit the MDHHS website.
Gov. Whitmer Signs Legislation Protecting Health Care for Millions of Michiganders
Gov. Whitmer signed legislation protecting the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which ensures affordable health care coverage for millions of Michiganders and their families. The package included:
- HB 4619 (Rogers) bans health insurers from denying coverage based on gender identity, sexual orientation or gender expression. This legislation also adds to existing protections from discrimination by insurance companies based on race, color, creed, marital status and sex.
- HB 4620 (Edwards) upholds federal law that prohibits insurers from refusing to provide health coverage based on preexisting physical or mental health conditions.
- HB 4621 (Fitzgerald) which requires insurers to allow dependent health coverage to policyholders, and it would allow the dependent to continue to stay on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26.
- HB 4622 (Miller) eliminates the possibility of insurers putting annual and lifetime limits on benefits.
- HB 4623 (Koleszar) mandates that insurers in Michigan offer coverage that is guaranteed under the ACA. This coverage includes hospitalization, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, prescription drugs, pregnancy, infant care and preventive services like dentistry.
Gov. Whitmer Signs Legislation to Ensure Clean Drinking Water in Schools & Child Care Centers
Gov. Whitmer signed bipartisan bills to protect children in Michigan by requiring the installation of water filters in childcare centers and schools to prevent lead contamination, known as Filter First bills. In addition to the Filter First package, Gov. Whitmer has:
- Enforced the strongest Lead and Copper Rule for drinking water in the country.
- Established health-based standards for PFAS in our drinking water supplies.
- Signed an executive directive to improve Michigan’s drinking water protections.
- Signed a FY 2024 budget investing nearly $600 millions to protect drinking water, helping communities replace lead service lines, rebuild sewers, and more.
- Took action to replace all lead water service lines in the City of Benton Harbor in under 18 months. Signed a package of bills to help communities access funding for water infrastructure.
Gov. Whitmer Signs Bills to Lower Health Care Costs for Cancer Treatment
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation aimed at lowering health care costs for Michiganders by requiring health insurance coverage for orally administered chemotherapy medications to be equal to the coverage of other forms of chemotherapy. The legislation also establishes limits for co-pays.
HB 4844 Passed the House Last week, my bill was up for testimony in the House Committee on Higher Education and this week passed on the House floor.
HB 4844 would make a significant shift in the landscape of college athletics and student-athlete compensation. Allowing student-athletes to profit from their own name, image and likeness rights will provide them with new opportunities and potential revenue streams.
HB 4082 Testimony in Senate Labor Committee
The Senate Committee on Labor heard testimony on my bill, House Bill 4082, the bill to dedicate and memorialize a portion of highway I-96 in Ionia County beginning at mile marker 76and extending East to mile marker 77, as “Barry Lyn Hause Memorial Highway.”
In 2020, Barry was an operating engineer on the job, cutting concrete, when a driver struck him leaving Barry critically injured, which soon after, sadly, led to his passing.
I hope to see the Senate Committee on Labor vote out this bill next week.
Bipartisan juvenile justice package
House Bills 4625-4630 and House Bill 4633 are part of a bipartisan package of bills seeking to help young offenders get their lives back on track.
In addition, House Bills 4636-4637 eliminate non-restitution fees and costs associated with juvenile justice system involvement.