Dear Neighbor,

HAPPY READING MONTH! March is Reading Month celebrates the joy of reading while bringing new worlds—real and imagined—to life and allows us to highlight our educators and all those who have gone above and beyond in such unprecedented times. My staff and I are working around the clock to address constituent needs, introduce legislation and meet with stakeholders to create solutions and solve problems.

For those who joined my Facebook Live Community Conversation in February, you may recall our discussion on the budget timeline and what the next steps will look like. As of now, Michigan’s budget process is underway in both the House and the Senate Appropriations committees where my Democratic Colleagues and I are fighting hard for relief money for our schools, businesses and communities without leaving any federal dollars behind. Don’t miss my next update and be sure to check out my other events in the upcoming week. See below for details!

As your representative, I am most effective when acting on your input. I encourage you to reach out to me and my staff with any concerns, questions or comments you may have for in-district or legislative topics that will impact our community and state. You can contact me at (517) 373-0857, by email at or visiting my website.

In Service,

Mary Cavanagh

State Representative

House District 10 (Redford Twp & NW Detroit)

In this Edition: 

  • Upcoming Events (Virtual)
  • Legislative Update
  • Vaccine Update
  • Unemployment Update
  • Food Distribution Resources
  • Teacher Recognition

Upcoming Events

UIA Town Hall


Filing unemployment claims during these unprecedented times can be frustrating and time consuming, as many Michiganders are still trying to access the relief they need. That is why I am hosting a Virtual Unemployment Town Hall, with special guests including my fellow Detroit-area legislators and a representative from the Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity to discuss the current situation and resources for those struggling. Bring your questions and we look forward to connecting!

When:  Friday, March 26, from 3-4:30 p.m.

How: Pre-registration is required, please sign-up by clicking here.

Community Conversation 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Please join me at my next Community Conversation event for an opportunity to have a chat, ask me questions, and share how I can best represent you in Lansing.

When:   Friday, March 19, from 6-7 p.m.

How: Join via Zoom or Facebook Live. You can register here.

Every month I host these Community Conversations, so please save-the-date for the 3rd Friday of the month to check-in with me about what is going on in Lansing. You can also ‘like’ my Facebook page (@RepMaryCavanagh) to stay updated.

Legislative Update

COVID-19 Supplemental Bills

Last week, the House voted to pass COVID-19 supplemental appropriations that will provide funding for our schools, vaccinations, testing, food assistance, emergency rental assistance and other needs. While these bills appropriate more money than the previous versions passed by the Senate, I voted ‘No’ on both HB 4048 and 4049, but voted ‘Yes’ on HB 4047. I voted no because this legislation failed to appropriate every dollar that has already been made available to us by the Federal government. Why would we leave over $2 billion on the table when we could vote to use it all?

Additionally, some of the funding in these bills were made contingent on limiting the authority of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to respond appropriately to future public health crises. Money we have at our fingertips for our families, children and small businesses shouldn’t have strings attached. There is absolutely no reason to be leaving a single dollar on the table when our communities desperately need these funds.

One point is absolutely clear—we should never play politics with our children’s future and wellbeing. I will always fight for our community and will work hard to bring every dollar home.

These bills are far from perfect, but in the end I know that our residents, businesses and schools need relief now. I am eager to make progress on helping the state move forward past this pandemic. So while I am glad the Legislature has made some progress with the passing of these bills to get money in the hands of Michiganders, my NO vote on these bills will serve as a reminder of every dollar that is being left on the table. I will not stop working to ensure all our tax dollars make it home to our communities who need it.

The Hardworking Michiganders Recovery Plan

On February 25, I introduced House Bill 4339 as part of House Democrats’ Hardworking Michiganders Recovery Plan, which will provide immediate relief for Michigan residents and help ensure no worker is left behind during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, my bill would reinstate eligibility for seasonal employees to collect unemployment benefits during the off-season. Other specifics of the bill package include:

  • Increasing the weekly maximum for unemployment benefits from $362 to $593, and one year later, implement a trigger to index this figure to 58% of the state’s average weekly wage annually.
  • Restoring the number of benefit weeks from 20 weeks to 26 weeks, reversing the reduction to 20 weeks passed by legislative Republicans in 2012.
  • Increasing what unemployed workers who don’t qualify for the weekly maximum unemployment benefit receive, from 4.1% to 6.1% of their highest quarter earnings.

I look forward to working with my colleagues in the legislature to bring this package up for a vote and provide much-needed relief to workers during the ongoing pandemic.

House Bipartisan Health Care Plan

Last month, a bipartisan group of representatives unveiled a plan designed to improve the quality of health care in Michigan, while making it more accessible and affordable. The proposed legislation would:

  • Cap insulin co-pays at $50 for a 30-day supply. The cost of insulin, the drug needed by millions of diabetic patients, is a matter of national debate. It can cost hundreds of dollars a month for those who need it, even with insurance.
  • Enhance pharmacy transparency: Pharmacists would be allowed more latitude to discuss medication options and pricing with patients. The laws would bar any contracts that prohibit pharmacists from disclosing the prices of generic drugs comparable to those prescribed.
  • Reel in prescription drug “middlemen”: In December, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that states can regulate the power of pharmacy benefit managers. The bills would require the industry submit quarterly “transparency reports,” and bans spread pricing, a tactic that allows managers to recoup additional fees intended for pharmacies.
  • Ensure the “right to shop” for medications: The proposal seeks to remove penalties for patients buying prescriptions from out-of-network providers, if it would cost less than medication purchased in-network. The bill would allow patients to count money used out-of-network toward yearly out of pocket costs for in-network purchases.
  • Expand telehealth access: Proposals would allow out-of-state medical providers to offer telehealth services in Michigan. It would also allow people who have contact lens prescriptions to renew those prescriptions online.
  • Limit gifts to doctors: As it stands, pharmaceutical representatives can give large gifts to doctors in Michigan. This package would cap the value of these gifts, in an effort to dissuade companies from trying to influence doctors and which medications they decide to prescribe.
  • Strengthening access to oral chemotherapy: This plan would prevent providers from charging higher co-pay or deductibles for these treatments. Currently, 43 other states have already enacted this change.

These needed reforms are long past due, and I am happy to see the bipartisan effort to advance them.

COVID-19 Update

It has been a BIG week for the vaccination process! Governor Whitmer recently announced that those aged 50 and older with medical conditions or disabilities and caregiver family members and guardians who care for children with special health care needs can now receive the vaccine. Starting March 22, all residents aged 50 and older will be eligible.

At this time, the best place to find information on the COVID-19 vaccine is still with our local health department. The Wayne County Health Department COVID-19 webpage provides comprehensive details regarding vaccine information, registration and immunization sites.

We know that the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine has seen its challenges, but our state is making progress in getting shots in arms. The state’s COVID-19 dashboard shows that 45% of people aged 65-74 have at least one dose, with 49% of those 75 or older having at least one dose. For those aged 50 to 64, 13% have received at least one dose.

As many of you have likely heard, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was approved, and just days ago, President Biden announced they will have enough vaccines for every American by the end of May—up from the original timeline of the end of July. As weekly supplies to our state increase and we vaccinate more Michiganders, eligibility will also expand. Please be patient, it will take time to get vaccines to everyone, but will be worth it to build a healthier, safer future for our state.

This past week, Michigan administered approximately 500,000 vaccinations; roughly 410,000 of Pfizer and Moderna, and roughly 85,000 Johnson & Johnson. Our state is continuing to make tremendous strides in receiving and administering vaccinations. We are in continual conversations advocating for more doses to Western Wayne County, as well.

Please continue to exercise all social distancing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) until guidance is updated. Please be patient; it will take time to get shots to all. While you wait, keep our community safe and healthy by:

  • Wearing a face mask (or double mask) when necessary
  • Practicing safe distancing
  • Avoiding large crowds

For statewide vaccine distribution information, visit the State of Michigan COVID-19 Vaccine website.

City of Detroit Vaccine Information

Detroit is kicking off its new Good Neighbor Program which allows any area resident age 55 or older to be vaccinated at the TCF Center or any Senior Saturday location if they schedule an appointment with a Detroiter age 60+ and drive them to their appointment.

In addition, manufacturing workers that live or work in Detroit have recently been added to the list for eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine at the TCF center.

COVID-19 vaccines are available BY APPOINTMENT ONLY for Detroiters 60+ at more locations in the Detroit community. Call (313) 230-0505 Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. to schedule. The locations listed below are participating in Senior Saturdays:

March 6, 13, 20 & 27, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

  • Greater Emmanuel Institutional COGIC, 19190 Schaefer Hwy., 48235
  • New Providence Baptist Church, 18211 Plymouth Road, 48228

March 6, 13 & 20, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

  • Grace Community Church, 21001 Moross Road, 48236
  • Kemeny Recreation Center, 2260 S Fort St., 48217

Redford Vaccine Information

Redford Township is committed to getting information regarding COVID vaccinations to residents as it becomes available. At this time, the Township will be compiling a list of seniors ages 65 and older that will be contacted as more information on COVID sites and vaccinations becomes available for our community. If you are interested in being placed on the call list, please contact the Leisure Services Department at (313) 387-2650 with your name and phone number. All names will be placed on the list in the order they are received.

MDHHS Epidemic Orders

On March 2, Director Hertel of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services signed two epidemic orders updating the current restrictions on gathering limits and nursing home visitations. These orders went into effect on March 5, and run until April 19. Details for each order can be found below.

Gatherings and Face Mask Order

  • Increases indoor residential gatherings to 15 persons, 3 households while outdoor residential gatherings can include up to 50 people.
  • Restaurants and bars are allowed to be at 50% capacity up to 100 people. Tables must be six feet apart with no more than six people per table. There is now an 11 p.m. curfew.
  • Indoor non-residential gatherings where people interact across households are permitted up to 25 people, allowing public meetings and other small indoor gatherings to resume.
  • Outdoor, non-residential gatherings where people interact across households are permitted up to 300, allowing larger outdoor events to resume.
  • Indoor entertainment venues are allowed to be at 50% capacity, up to 300 people.
  • Exercise facilities are allowed to be at 30% capacity with restrictions on distancing and mask requirements.
  • Retail is allowed to be at 50% capacity.

For more information on this epidemic order, click here for a full list of social gathering guidance updates.

Nursing Home Visitation

  • Allows for visitation at facilities regardless of county risk level.
  • Visitation may continue as long as the facility has not had a COVID case in the last 14 days (please note that this is a CMS requirement and a facility could be cited for non-compliance).
  • Limited to two visitors per resident.
  • Rapid tests will be required for visitors 13 & over, remaining subject to masking and social distancing.
  • Opening up communal dining and group activities with appropriate precautions in place.

If you would like additional information, MDHHS has also provided Visitation Order Special Guidance and a Visitation Order Fact Sheet.

We are making progress against COVID-19 because of the work each and every one of you continue to do, by social distancing and masking up—thank you for doing your part. Let’s continue to follow these safety precautions so our state can move forward!

Unemployment Update

A new program through UIA has begun, allowing eligible Michiganders who earned a combination of traditional and self-employment income to begin applying for the new Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program.

MEUC provides an additional $100 per week in supplemental benefits (in addition to the $300 PUC payments) to individuals receiving unemployment insurance benefits who received at least $5,000 of self-employment income in the most recent taxable year prior to the UI application. Individuals who receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance are ineligible for MEUC benefits.

If you find that you are in need of assistance with your unemployment claim, you can contact my office by using this form.

Local Food Distributions

If you are in need or know someone else who might be, the following places have reoccurring food distribution events:

  • Eagles Helping Hands  
    • Every Friday at Thurston High School, located at 26255 Schoolcraft Ave. in Redford
    • Drive-thru style, no ID or registration required
    • Check their Facebook page – Friends of Eagles Helping Hands – to see their weekly schedule for food pick up.
  • Commonwealth Church 
    • The Last Saturday of the month, located at 27171 West Chicago in Redford.
    • Drive-thru style, no ID or registration required.
  • Arab American and Chaldean Council Weekly Drive-Thru Food Distribution  
    • Every Thursday, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the ACC Fresh Market parking lot, located at 110 W. Seven Mile Road in Detroit.
    • Contact them for more information regarding program rules, including:
      • Mask & social distancing required
      • ID required
      • One person per family to attend
  • Hartford Memorial Baptist Church Food Pantry
    • Every Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 18700 James Couzens Fwy. in Detroit.
    • Pull up and receive boxes of food. Contact them for more information.

Teacher Recognition


Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting a tribute to honor Janet Rencsok, an early childhood special education teacher at McGowan Elementary. Congrats on being HD 10’s first March Reading Month educator highlight! From making sure families have enough food and working with student schedules to using recycled materials for science projects, Janet has gone above and beyond for her students and all of Redford Union. It was a pleasure to meet Janet and her pre-school crew on such a beautiful day. Keep up the smiles and amazing work, you are creating leaders and saving our children’s lives every day!


Throughout the duration of March Reading Month, I am looking for your help to recognize our local teachers that have faced the challenges of the pandemic head-on while adapting to keep our students on track. Please nominate a local teacher and our office will provide a special tribute to the person selected. Click here to complete the nomination form.

I Want to Hear From You!

During this challenging time, it is more important than ever to stay in touch. I want to hear from you. What do you need? How can we help you? My office is here to assist you or answer any questions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at

You can also stay up to date about what’s going on in Lansing and find community events by following me on social media; ‘like’ my Facebook page here.

I hope you found this information useful. Please feel free to contact my office if we can ever be of any assistance.