Dear Neighbor,

Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including updates and news from your state government.

Rep. Hope to Host Reproductive Justice Town Hall on Wednesday

I hope you can join me for my upcoming Reproductive Justice Town Hall. The event will take place Wednesday, May 15, from 6-7 p.m. We will have a panel discussion on reproductive health care in Michigan, provide resources for those seeking reproductive health care in Ingham County and have an opportunity for questions. Please RSVP for the event here. Location will be provided in response to RSVP.

Budget Moves as Negotiations Continue 

Last week, the House passed an $80.9 billion proposal for next year’s state budget. The House’s budget passed along party lines and focuses on funding for housing, public safety improvements and upgrades to our state’s water infrastructure. Additionally, the House’s budget includes money for the following:

  • Increased funding for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship program, providing students with more tuition, food, housing and transportation assistance.
  • $290.8 million to lower the cap schools must pay for the Michigan Public Schools Employees’ Retirement System, allowing those resources to go into the classroom. 
  • $31.2 million for the state’s Office of Auditor General. 
  • Funding to expand the income threshold for the Great Start Readiness Program, granting more kids access to free preschool. 

This is just one step in budget negotiations between lawmakers and the governor. State law requires the budget to be finalized by July 1.

Lansing YMCA Celebrates New Child Care Room

Last week, I attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Oak Park YMCA’s new child care room. It was wonderful to hear about the amazing work being done to improve our local YMCA. In addition to the new child care room, the facility will have a new roof, making the facility safer and opening areas for new programming, as well as a repaved parking lot to make it easier for families to drop off and pick up seniors who regularly attend YMCA’s programs.

On a related note, the proposed House budget includes $10 million for YMCAs throughout the state to continue providing community wellness and recreation programs. From after-school programs to fitness classes, these funds will make a difference in the lives of Michiganders of all ages. 

Save Money on Groceries with Double Up Food Bucks

I know groceries are expensive right now, especially for our neighbors struggling to put food on the table. Double Up Food Bucks is here to help. Those who shop for groceries with a SNAP/Michigan Bridge Card can double their benefits to purchase fresh, Michigan-grown fruits and veggies using Double Up Food Bucks. The program is available at 230+ participating farmers markets, farm stands and grocery stores across Michigan. With farmers market season around the corner, it’s a great time to use the program! Learn how it works and find a participating location near you at




Kara Hope

State Representative 

House District 74


In Case You Missed It…

Find Opioid Resources at Attorney General’s New Website

The Michigan Department of Attorney General recently unveiled their new opioid resource website. If you or someone you know is interested in getting help, the MDAG website has information on treatment options, how to request Naloxone (a drug used to reverse opioid overdoses) and more.

How to Properly Dispose of Expired Medication with

When was the last time you cleaned out your medicine cabinet? Proper disposal of unwanted or expired medicine is an important factor in keeping communities safe and healthy. Not only is it unsafe to consume expired medicine, but leaving it around the house could be harmful for those who accidentally come in contact with it. If you have unused or expired medicine it is important to dispose of it the right way. makes disposal of unused or expired medication easy:

Step 1: Find a disposal site near you by using the locator tool on Visit and enter your zip code into the site’s locator tool to find the disposal option closest to you. 

Step 2: Remove any personal information from the medication’s labels and packaging. 

Step 3: Dispose of your unwanted medicine by dropping it off in a kiosk or use the mail back option.

How to #StayCovered if You No Longer Qualify for Medicaid 

Nationwide, Medicaid beneficiaries have had to renew their coverage to comply with federal legislation. If you receive notice that you or a family member are no longer eligible for Medicaid or MIChild benefits you have other options, including options for low or no-cost coverage:

Purchasing a plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Thanks to savings recently put in place by the federal government, many Michiganders are eligible to buy a Marketplace plan for less than $10 per month. Free local enrollment help is available in-person, over the phone or by email to help you choose the plan that meets your needs and budget. 

Enrolling in employer-sponsored health coverage. Many employers offer health insurance to their employees, and those plans often offer a special enrollment period, for employees who experience a qualifying life event, such as losing Medicaid coverage.

Enrolling in Medicare. Eligible seniors who missed their initial enrollment window and lost their Medicaid coverage can enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, Part C and/or Medicare Supplement plan. Free help is available to seniors who need assistance enrolling. 

Having health insurance is important, not just for when you are sick or hurt but also to help you stay healthy and avoid big medical bills. It is important to take action as soon as possible to reduce the risks that come from a lapse in coverage.

To learn more about how to get the health insurance you need, call the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services at (877) 999-6442.