In this e-newsletter:
- Upcoming Coffee Hour: March 19
- Effort to Expand Elliott-Larsen Protections Introduced
- Protecting Consumers from Payday Lending Institutions
- 100th Anniversary of the American Physical Therapy Association
- March is Reading Month
- April 8: COVID-19 Town Hall
Upcoming Coffee Hour: March 19
My next coffee hour will be on Friday, March 19, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Please note the afternoon time.
To attend the coffee hour, individuals should register by 5 p.m. on March 18. Individuals who register will receive a link to attend the coffee hour the morning of March 19.
Effort to Expand Elliott-Larsen Protections Introduced
I was proud to be one of 52 bipartisan House members who sponsored House Bill 4297 of 2021. This legislation would expand Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act by adding sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.
The 45-year-old civil rights act offers protections to Michiganders if they face discrimination in employment, housing or public accommodations based on their religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status or marital status. Including sexual orientation and gender identity among those existing protected classes is long overdue and needs to be implemented immediately.
Protecting Consumers from Payday Lending Institutions
I recently co-sponsored legislation to increase consumer protections pertaining to the payday lending industry and help ensure Michiganders are not caught in a never-ending cycle of debt.
While there certainly may be reasons why people use payday lenders, unfortunately, it is way too easy to get stuck in a cycle of having to take out more short-term loans from payday lenders, with excessive fees and charges, to pay off previous short-term loans. Individuals are then trapped in a cycle of debt.
A majority of the payday lending franchise stores in Michigan are owned by out-of-state companies or foreign companies. As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, it is my hope that this legislation will be brought before us for consideration. We need to increase consumer protection and oversight of payday lending institutions and help allow people to exit their debt cycle and return to participation in our local economy.
100th Anniversary of the American Physical Therapy Association
On March 4, the Michigan House of Representatives unanimously adopted House Resolution 50, which I proudly sponsored to honor the 100th anniversary of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
As a practicing physical therapist, I know firsthand how important the profession is to transforming society by optimizing movement. As we continue to navigate the virtual world during the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of movement has become abundantly clear. Throughout the last year, physical therapists have faced the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic head on, treating the most vulnerable. They have played an essential role in treating people who are beginning to recover from the most severe effects of the novel coronavirus, both during their time in the hospital and after they leave.
March is Reading Month
March is Reading Month in the state of Michigan and as we know, reading helps children develop language, emotional well-being and critical thinking skills and sets them on the path for success in school. Even 15 minutes a day of reading can make a huge difference for the kids in your life.
I am extremely grateful that I have had the opportunity to celebrate March is Reading Month by being a guest reader in several Kalamazoo Public School classrooms. Reading has been shown to help people of all ages relax and improve their mental health by setting aside some quiet time each day. No matter how old or young you are, reading is essential for education, professional development and character growth. Several of our local public libraries have re-opened for in-person service – make sure to pay them a visit!
April 8: COVID-19 Town Hall
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact so many aspects of our daily lives, including the health and well-being of our communities, I invite you to join me for a virtual town hall along with special guest experts from the local and state levels. This town hall will include an update on vaccine distribution efforts and provide resources for small businesses and those facing economic hardship. Advanced registration is required. Please contact my office at JulieRogers@house.mi.gov or (517) 373-1785 to register.
When: Thursday, April 8, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
(Sign-in begins at 5:15 p.m.)
How: Please pre-register and join via Zoom.