Happy Monday! Springtime has brought with it a lot of rain to Lansing and we are excited for all the greenery that will come from it.
Thank you to those who have continued reaching out to our office to share their thoughts on a variety of issues. Our office has been receiving your calls and emails and my staff are working hard to read and listen to every comment, question, or concern and respond.
If we can assist in any way, please do not hesitate to contact our office! My office is reachable by phone at (517) 373-2575, and by email at RanjeevPuri@house.mi.gov.
State Representative, 21st District
Proudly serving Belleville, Canton, and Van Buren Township
In this Edition:
UPCOMING TIME WITH RANJEEV
Virtual Coffee Hour
Monday, May 10, 12-1 p.m.
Live Streamed via YouTube and social media. You can visit our social media accounts and watch recordings of previous coffee hours. Please submit any questions by contacting our office.
First 100 Days in Office
April 23 marked my 100th day in office! I’m proud to serve and so proud of all the work our office has accomplished in such a short period of time.
I am incredibly thankful to our team and our supporters. It is a deep honor to represent the 21st House District in the Michigan Legislature.
Suits & Sneakers / National Work Zone Awareness Day
Last week, I joined my colleagues in wearing orange and my sneakers for a legislative session on the House floor. I wore an orange tie for the Michigan Department of Transportation for National Work Zone Awareness Week. We wore orange to show support for the roadway safety industry, especially to the families of victims who have lost their lives in work zones.
I was also excited to lace up my LeBron James sneakers for the American Cancer Society’s Suit and Sneakers Day, which promotes awareness of the fight against cancer and efforts to promote physical activity as a way to fight back.
“MI Vacc to Normal” Plan
As of April 29, Michigan has administered 6,657,997 vaccines. Currently, 48.8% of Michiganders ages 16 and older have received at least one dose, with 35.9% percent of Michiganders ages 16 and older being fully vaccinated*, moving the state closer to its goal of equitably vaccinating at least 70% of Michiganders ages 16 and older as soon as possible.
Last week, Gov. Whitmer announced the ‘MI Vacc to Normal’ plan, which will use four vaccination-based milestones — using data for Michiganders 16 years or older who’ve received their first dose — to guide future steps required to get back to normal.
55% of Michiganders (4,453,304 residents), plus two weeks
60% of Michiganders (4,858,150 residents), plus two weeks
65% of Michiganders (5,262,996 residents), plus two weeks
70% of Michiganders (5,667,842 residents), plus two weeks
We all need to do our part to get things back to normal – get vaccinated and encourage your friends and family to do the same! To find a COVID-19 vaccine, click here.
For statewide vaccine distribution information, visit the State of Michigan COVID-19 Vaccine website.
Work search requirements will be returning.
Unemployment insurance claimants are traditionally required to actively seek work and report their activities to the Agency during certification for any week they receive benefits. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this requirement has been waived since March 2020. However, in the coming weeks, the requirement to search for work to be eligible for unemployment benefits will be returning. Our office will be sure to provide an update as more information becomes available.
Clarification on misrepresentation.
Misrepresentation must be investigated when a claimant provides information that conflicts with information the Agency possesses. For example, someone files a claim stating they were laid off but the employer states the claimant had quit, or the employer states the claimant had earnings in a week the claimant requested benefits (but did not report the earnings when certifying).
When misrepresentation is suspected, the claimant and the employer are sent Requests for Information (often referred to as “Fact Finding”) with questions relative to the discrepancy. Both parties have 10 calendar days to return the questionnaire which can be completed and returned via mail, fax or MiWAM.
Potential outcomes after the Agency reviews the responses to the Request for Information include: No misrepresentation is found, unintentional misrepresentation is determined or intentional (fraud) is determined. If unintentional or intentional misrepresentation is determined, the claimant may be required to pay back some or all the benefits that were received. The claimant will receive a written determination from UIA and will have protest rights.
Some examples of intentional misrepresentation (fraud) include:
If you find that you are in need of assistance with your unemployment claim, you can contact my office using this form.
House District 21 Student Advisory Group
Earlier this year, my office formed the first of its kind HD 21 Student Advisory Group (SAG) which is made up of 45 high school aged students from across the district. We meet monthly as an all-member group, and then hold additional workshops the students can attend in between.
Last week, we held our first SAG workshop which focused on Gun Violence. 23 of our students were able to join for a discussion and we were thrilled to have two fantastic guest speakers:
The students had so many great questions for our guest speakers, including how to get involved in advocating for common sense gun reform and what can be done at the local level in their own schools to ensure school is a safe space for every student.
I am so proud to represent such active, engaged young people. This generation is crucial to turning the tide – while they are not yet old enough to vote, the policies and decisions being made in Lansing and in Washington affect them every day. Their voices are loud and powerful, and I feel confident that they will make a major impact in the coming years.
Stay tuned for more updates! This group is going to be doing some great things!
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO
April Coffee Hour
Thanks to everyone who joined us for our monthly coffee hour earlier this week. Virtual meet-ups provide flexibility and the opportunity to reach more people across different platforms, but I miss being able to see you all face-to-face and engage in discussion. As vaccines continue to ramp up, and the weather outside gets nicer, we will be exploring possible opportunities for socially distanced, masked in-person events in the coming months.
Couldn’t make it? You can watch the archive of the coffee hour here.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund
Starting today, May 3, restaurants, bars and other food and drink vendors can apply for the federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
Registration for applications opened Friday, April 30, although not all businesses will have to register. Online applications stay open until all the funds are disbursed. Businesses planning to apply should first register for an account.
Restaurant owners should look over the official guidance online, including frequently asked questions and the application sample, if they haven’t already.
All business owners should submit their applications as soon as possible, with the portal having opened at 11 a.m. Central time May 3. For the first 21 days, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will prioritize applications from businesses owned by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged persons. After the 21 days, it’s first come, first served.
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 RanjeevPuri@house.mi.gov.
Communications from my office will be available via bi-weekly email updates or social media. Otherwise, please feel free to reach out to our office directly and do not hesitate to reach out for assistance.
I hope that this information has been helpful and that we can be together again soon in person.