Dear Neighbor,

Welcome to my e-newsletter! I’m honored and humbled to serve as our community’s voice at the Capitol in Lansing. As we continue into the term, rest assured that the challenges families in our community and state are facing are at the top of my legislative priorities. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-0837 or email at if we can help. 


Amos O’Neal

State Representative, 94th House District


In this issue:

  • Legislation
  • House Bill 5175: Financial aid for prisoners 
  • House Bill 5188: Drain Code Package

HB 5175: Financial aid for prisoners

As the chair of the Appropriation Subcommittee on Corrections, I work very hard to use funding in a way that will best support not only for our correction officers and institutions, but also for our prisoners and their families. Through this work, I was pleased to introduce House Bill 5175, which is part of a three-bill legislative package including HBs 5176 and 5177 to amend different acts that govern college tuition assistance programs to allow individuals who have been convicted of felonies or are incarcerated to be eligible for college financial aid. This package received a hearing recently and I look forward to seeing it move. 

Michigan needs to do more to support our prisoners as they prepare for re-entry into society. This will help recidivism rates and result in a much better outcome for everyone. 


HB 5188: Drain Code Package

This week in Lansing, my bill, HB 5188, received a hearing in the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee. This is a three-bill package including House Bills 5189 and 5190 with state Reps. Jenn Hill (D-Marquette) and Robert Bezotte (R-Howell). 

Together, these bills will amend the Michigan Drain Code to raise the current maintenance dollar limitation from $5,000 per mile per year to $10,000 per mile per year. The current maintenance limit of $5,000 places stringent constraints on what a drain commissioner can do to perform maintenance on existing drainage systems each year. Under current law, commissioners are limited in the amount of maintenance work they can perform on a single drain in a year. Whether the existing drainage system is an open channel ditch/watercourse or an enclosed underground system, much of the necessary maintenance of current drainage infrastructure across the state cannot be efficiently performed under the current maintenance limit. 

I was joined for testimony by Stacy Hissong, legal counsel for the Michigan Association of County Drain Commissioners, and Brian Wendling, our Saginaw County Public Works commissioner. This package will help our local government in Saginaw and is one I was honored to support.