Hello from Ann Arbor,

I hope you and your families enjoyed Thanksgiving and the beginning of winter weather. Earlier this month, my colleagues and I officially wrapped up the legislative year after passing landmark legislation. This e-news will catch you up on what happened during the whirlwind of October and November and preview our year-in-review e-news, which will be published in December.

As always, please reach out to my team if we can ever be of assistance to you! We can be reached at (517) 373-8835 or CarrieRheingans@house.mi.gov.

Carrie Rheingans

State Representative

District 47

Next Constituent Coffee Hour

Coffee hour

Please join me for my next constituent coffee (or hot chocolate!) hour on Thursday, Dec. 14, from 8:30-10 a.m. at Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea, 123 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. I’ll share updates from 2023, discuss legislation I have been working on, and what’s on the agenda for 2024!

End of the 2023 Legislative Term 

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, the Michigan Legislature officially passed an adjournment resolution to end the first session of the 2023-24 term. Sine die (see-neh dee-uh), Latin for “without day,” is a parliamentary action required by our state’s constitution for us to adjourn without a specified date of return in the district. Sine die is always the final adjournment date each year of a regular session. Adjournment must be at noon on a day set by concurrent resolution. We will return to the Capitol as constitutionally required on Wednesday, Jan. 10 at noon.

In the lead up to adjournment for the year, we passed 137 bills during the first two weeks of November, with some of the most important being:

Allowing for commercial hunting guides and providing requirements thereof, state protection for milkweed, allowing for electronic transfer of title or interest in vehicle, requiring condemnation notifications to tenants, allowing for pre-registration to vote at age 16 and improved automatic voter registration, requiring insurance coverage for health care services provided through telemedicine, Teddy’s Law, foster care education reform, outlawing fertility fraud, 100% renewable energy standard by 2040, Michigan Public Service Commission oversight of renewable energy siting of projects over 100MW, requiring state agencies to accommodate residents with limited English proficiency, allowing farmers to rent land to renewable energy projects while enrolled in a farmland preservation program, $600 million School Aid supplemental, extended statute of limitations for criminal sexual conduct, created a public safety and violence prevention fund, requiring an official disclosure on political advertising created in part or whole by artificial intelligence (AI), criminalization of intimidation of election officials, prohibiting weapons in polling places, and many more.

More information on the important legislation that has been signed into law this year will be forthcoming in our December news.

Passage of ‘Proposal 1’ Financial Disclosure Legislation

On Nov. 8, the House of Representatives passed Senate Bills 374613614615 and 616 as a part of the Legislature’s requirement under Proposal 1 of 2022. As these bills were being debated ahead of votes earlier this month, I worked with multiple bipartisan colleagues to add amendments to these bills. I was pleased to see that SB 374 was amended to prohibit a candidate from taking office if they do not make these financial disclosures, and therefore voted yes on that bill.

Amendments to SBs 613-16 included changes to require disclosure of the assets spouses of elected officials possess, income and business ownership for office holders and candidates for those offices, require disclosure of gifts or travel paid for by non-lobbyist entities (lobbyist gifts and travel are already required to be disclosed), and to add more statewide offices to these disclosure requirements. Unfortunately, these amendments were not adopted to SBs 613-16, so many reporting loopholes remain. Therefore, I voted no on these bills. I continue to work with a bipartisan group of lawmakers ahead of 2024 in hopes that we can close these loopholes soon.

Tribal Summit with Governor Whitmer and Manoomin Designation Signed into Law!

On Oct. 26, I joined Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a state-tribal summit in Lansing, after which we celebrated manoomin (Anishinaabe word for wild rice). I was honored to introduce House Bill 4852, which designates manoomin as Michigan’s state native grain.

Gov. Whitmer and I served wild rice soup and porridge and then spoke about the importance of protecting manoomin, and we watched a manoomin harvesting demonstration by Dwayne Jarman and Kara Wilson.

HB 4852 passed the Michigan House of Representatives on Sept. 28 with a vote of 104-4 and passed the Michigan Senate 28-10 on Nov. 1. This bill was signed into law on Nov. 29!

Testimony on Opioid Overdose Prevention Bill Package

On Thursday, Oct. 26, I was joined by opioid reform advocates to testify in support of my House Bills 5178 and 5179, which would help local units of government prevent opioid overdoses and the spread of bloodborne illness in their communities and would remove fentanyl test strips from Michigan’s definition of drug paraphernalia.

Rhenigans Dec. 4 1

(Rep. Rheingans with supporters of the bills)

Last year, over 100,000 people died of opioid-related overdoses in the United States, which includes 2,993 Michiganders. Both bills would help mitigate this tragic loss of life.

Syringe service programs (SSPs) offer many services, including coaching and connection to substance use disorder treatment, disease testing, overdose prevention training and helping participants in accessing medical care. In fact, my career in public health began while I was working in an SSP about 20 years ago, and my experience in this program showed me that the way to combat the opioid epidemic is to meet people where they are — sometimes physically where they are, and always where they are in their health journey. These programs save lives.

SSPs have long been shown to reduce the number of deaths related to opioid use and reduce incidence of infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis C, which are transmitted through sharing needles. In fact, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, SSPs have been shown to reduce HIV and hepatitis C prevalence by as much as 50%, and SSP participants are five times more likely to access substance use disorder and recovery services than people using opioids who are not enrolled in a program. HB 5178 would empower people in communities hardest hit by the opioid epidemic to help meet the needs of their friends and neighbors.

HB 5179 would remove fentanyl test strips from the state’s definition of drug paraphernalia. This would ensure widespread testing to ensure fentanyl is not contaminating communities across the state, thereby reducing the chance of an accidental overdose and death. Similar legislation has recently passed in South Dakota and Pennsylvania with bipartisan support.

Joining a Meridian Township Meeting

On Wednesday, Oct.  25, I joined state Reps. Penelope Tsernoglou and Julie Brixie at a community meeting in Okemos to discuss the status of my House Bills 4516 and 4440, which would have Michigan join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Act.

Dec 4. 2

These bills have passed the House of Representatives Elections Committee, and we are hopeful  for a vote of the full chamber when we return. It was great to speak to energized, engaged citizens that support the National Popular Vote!

Meeting with the U-M Ford School 

On Wednesday, Nov. 1, my colleagues state Reps. Jason Morgan, Felicia Brabec and I met with three University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy students with to speak about potential legislation to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) and surveillance technology in the workplace.

Dec 4.

I have been consistently impressed at the caliber of students at the University of Michigan! Our future is in great hands.

Delivering Invocation 

On Tuesday, Oct. 17, I was honored to give the official invocation before the legislative session.

Dec . 4 5

At the beginning of every legislative session, one of my 109 colleagues joins Speaker Tate on the House rostrum and delivers a short invocation.

Dec. 5

My invocation in full reads as the following:

“As we enter this chamber today to work on behalf of ten million Michiganders, I invoke for guidance three of the eight principles upon which we Unitarian Universalists rely.

“Our fifth principle calls us to use democratic processes in our congregations and society at large. May this principle guide us today to work together to debate and improve our ideas, and to value the representation that we each bring to this room from every corner of our great state.

“Our sixth principle sets out the goal for a world community with peace, liberty and justice for all. May we strive for peace, liberty and justice for all Michiganders, and all people in the world community, as we conduct our important work here today.

“Lastly, I invoke our seventh principle, my favorite: ‘We respect the interdependent web of all existence.’ Not only do we respect each other here, where we work together, but we are dependent on each other and all living beings, as they are all dependent on us. As humans, the pan-African principle of ubuntu describes inter-human relationships by explaining that we cannot be who we are without the other people with whom we are in relation; ‘I am because you are.’

“As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, ‘All people are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’ The work we conduct in this chamber affects directly and indirectly not only ten million Michiganders, but all of humanity.

“May we go forth today following our democratic processes; striving for a world community with peace, liberty and justice for all; and embodying ubuntu.”

Social Media Accounts

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



Tik Tok