Hello from Lansing!

The Legislature is back from the winter in-district period, and my team and I have been hard at work on your behalf. Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivered her yearly State of the State address, in which she laid out an exciting vision for 2024 and celebrated all that we did in 2023. In addition, many bills were voted out of the Higher Education Committee and Behavioral Health Subcommittee.

If you’d like to learn more about this legislation, I will be hosting a happy hour at HOMES Campus in Scio Township on Friday, Feb. 23; details are below.

As always, my team can be reached at CarrieRheingans@house.mi.gov or (517) 373-8835.

In Service,

Carrie Rheingans

State Representative

District 47

State of the State

Last Wednesday, before a joint session of the state House and state Senate, I had the pleasure of hearing the governor speak about Michigan’s future and all that we’ve accomplished.

Some of the ideas that she highlighted for 2024 included universal, tuition-free pre-K and community college, a caregiver tax credit and the largest investment to build housing in Michigan history.

I was honored to bring Jackson Mayor Daniel Mahoney and community organizer Andrea Pierce as my guests to the State of the State.


Jackson Mayor Daniel J. Mahoney is a passionate leader on housing and fighting homelessness through his experience as a former county commissioner and now mayor. I’m proud to help build connections between Jackson and Washtenaw counties to address our common housing issues.


Andrea Pierce is a long-time environmental justice advocate who has spent years focused on protecting the land, air and water of the place that we all call home, including her tribe, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. It has been a joy to work with Andrea in designating manoomin (wild rice) as Michigan’s official native grain.

Opioid Bills Voted Out of Committee

Before I was a state representative, I worked in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services overseeing a project to address substance use disorders in the state. This issue is incredibly important to me, which is why I’m so proud to work on legislation addressing the opioid crisis.

On Thursday, two of my opioid-related bills were voted out of the House Health Policy Behavioral Health Subcommittee.

The first bill, HB 5078, is part of a bipartisan two-bill package that would increase access to naloxone, a medication that can help to revive people who have recently overdosed on narcotics. The bill will allow governmental agencies to more easily distribute naloxone to communities, organizations and individuals across the state. By doing so, we will be ensuring that naloxone will be put in more hands, which in turn will prevent more overdoses and deaths.

The other bill, HB 5179, would remove testing products such as fentanyl test strips from the state’s definition of drug paraphernalia. This would enable people who use drugs to test their drugs to ensure that they are not contaminated with fentanyl, thereby reducing the chance of an accidental overdose and death.

All in all, we as a state Legislature must do everything we can to save the lives of every Michigander and help those struggling with addiction.

Testifying On Legislation Expanding Definition of Mental Health Professional

On Thursday, I testified in the House Health Policy Behavioral Health Subcommittee on a bill that would help to address the mental health crisis and provider shortage issues by amending the Mental Health Code to add physician associates, nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists to the definition of a mental health professional.

This will allow PAs, NPs and CNSs to use the education and training that they have already received to help meet Michiganders’ growing needs. Right now, many of these providers are unable to act to help the patients that they are already seeing, even though they have the necessary training in order to do so. My bill would change that.

I was fortunate to have so many wonderful providers come to testify in support of my bill including my constituent, Alison Badger, a psychiatric PA at Michigan Medicine.

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Psychiatrist Laura Hirshbein, left; Michigan Medicine psychiatric PA Alison Badger, right.

Testifying committee Rhengains

Wayne State University NP professor and psychiatric NP Umeika Griffith-Stephens, DNP.

Testifying on Higher Education Bill 

On Wednesday, I testified in the House Higher Education Committee. I was happy to help our state with a technical fix to keep a crucial higher education program running beyond 2029. This program allows universities, colleges, community colleges, tribal colleges and independent colleges to more easily run distance learning courses and programs across state lines.

Michigan is the only state with this program that requires the Legislature to approve its extension every six years. My bill, HB 5174, would get rid of the red tape and allow this successful program to exist in perpetuity.

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Michigan Association of State Universities CEO Dan Hurley.

Committee Chair Rep. Carol Glanville called for a vote on the bill, and it passed unanimously out of committee.

First Constituent Engagement Happy Hour of 2024

On Friday, Feb. 23, from 4-5:30 p.m., I will be hosting a constituent happy hour at HOMES Campus (112 Jackson Plaza in Ann Arbor).

Happy Hour

If you’d like to learn more about what is happening in the district and in Lansing, please mark your interest on my official Facebook event page.

To stay up to date on my actions in the Michigan House of Representatives, please consider following me on my official social media platforms:



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