I hope everyone had a safe and relaxing holiday season and start of 2022! The House of Representatives returned to session in Lansing last week Wednesday. My colleagues and I are looking forward to continuing to work on our priorities throughout the coming year.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s State of the State address will be held virtually on the evening of Jan. 26. You can tune into the governor’s 2022 SOS address on your local news channel. You can find additional information here.
Encouraging Economic Development
At the end of December, I voted YES on Senate Bills 769 and 771 to create the “Strategic Site Readiness Fund,” which will provide grants and loans to certain companies to create “investment-ready sites” for new job-producing plants and facilities across Michigan. These bills are part of an overall strategy that must be taken to help the state’s economy grow and remain competitive with other states in the race to land large economic development deals. These bills were signed into law with immediate effect by Gov. Whitmer on Dec. 29, and I hope you support me in my decision to vote yes on both bills.
Counteracting Medical Staff Shortages in Michigan
Last session, I voted YES on Senate Bill 759 to establish that a licensed medical treatment professional in another state who would otherwise meet Michigan licensure requirements for rendering medical care is not required to have a Michigan license to provide treatment here due to staffing shortages caused by an ongoing public health emergency. I voted yes because it will be increasingly important to ensure that there is enough staff to provide lifesaving care in our state as Michigan continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope you support me in my decision to vote yes on SB 759.
Information continues to change rapidly, and we are working hard to share updates and information as quickly as possible on social media. Please take a moment to like and follow me on Facebook, as this is where information will first be shared.
Keeping You Informed
As you may know, the Open Meetings Act was amended from March 30, 2021, through Dec. 31, 2021, to allow for members of a public body to participate electronically in a meeting ONLY if that member was (a) absent due to military duty, (b) absent due to a medical condition or (c) a state or local state of emergency was declared. The option for members of a public body to attend meetings virtually, however, officially expired on Dec. 31, 2021. As of Jan. 1, all meetings of a public body must return to an in-person format for all members, except those who are absent due to military duty.
In response to the Open Meetings Act amendment expiring at the start of this year, Senate Bill 705 and House Bill 5608, which seek to extend the original amendment allowing virtual attendance in the case of state or local declarations of emergencies, were introduced by state Sen. Jeff Irwin and state Rep. Brenda Carter. SB 705 was referred to the Senate Committee on Local Government, and HB 5608 was referred to the House Oversight Committee. Both bills are currently awaiting further review.
You may wish to sign up for committee notices in order to receive the most up-to-date information on bills. By doing so, you will receive notifications as soon as the committee chairs post the next meeting’s date and time, making you among the first to know when committees will be meeting and what legislation is placed on the agenda for debate. For your convenience, the link to the sign-up page is here.
Community Partners for Clean Streams
The Community Partners for Clean Streams (CPCS) is a voluntary, cooperative effort between the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office and Washtenaw County businesses, institutional landowners and multi-family residential complexes. The goal of the program is to help identify practical, cost-effective ways to protect Washtenaw County’s various waterways through pollution prevention. CPCS is a cost-free initiative that provides information, technical advice and recognition to participants. The program is available to businesses, institutions, municipalities and multi-family residential complexes in Washtenaw County.
For more information click here.
Upcoming Time with Donna
Join me virtually at my next coffee hour in February. We’ll talk about upcoming legislation and answer any questions you have on the topics most important to you.
When: Thursday, Feb. 10, from 7-8 p.m.
What to Do in HD 52
Dexter Ice Fest!
The Dexter Chamber of Commerce is hosting its Annual Dexter Ice Fest at Monument Park. The event features over 35 ice carvings sponsored by local businesses, live demos and local downtown specials.
When: Saturday, Jan. 22, at 11 a.m.
Where: Monument Park in downtown Dexter
More information: https://www.dexterchamber.org/dexter-ice-fest
Chelsea District Library: After School Science Snacks (Virtual)
The Chelsea District Library is once again holding a Tasty Snacks and Science with Miss Elisabeth! This virtual event is recommended for children ages 6 to 11, so gather your ingredients and Zoom in with Miss Elisabeth to make some at-home snow! You must register online before attending.
When: Monday, Jan. 24, at 4-4:45 p.m.
Where: The meeting will take place over Zoom
Sign-up Sheet: https://chelseadistrictlibrary.libnet.info/event/5583058
Ann Arbor Public Schools Vaccination and Testing Events
AAPS is holding two vaccine clinics for AAPS students, including the booster shot for students 12-15 years old. These clinics will be held at Pioneer High School on Tuesday, Jan. 25, and Tuesday, Feb. 1, from 4-6:30 p.m. Registration is required, as AAPS is allotted a specific number of vaccines by the MDHHS, whose contractor administers the vaccine.
Where to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine in Washtenaw County
The Washtenaw County Health Department hosts a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at their offices in Ypsilanti. All three FDA approved vaccines and boosters are available. Please note that you must now schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine; the clinic is no longer providing walk-ins. If you would like to also receive the flu shot, you can request it at the same time. You can find more information here.
Where: Washtenaw County Health Department, 555 Towner St. in Ypsilanti
When: Please sign up for a timeslot here; if no times are available, please check back as appointment slots are updated regularly.
The Washtenaw County Health Department’s website has a list of locations in Washtenaw County where you can sign up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This list gives the location and any links needed to schedule your vaccine appointment. Find the list here.
Additionally, if you need assistance getting to a COVID-19 vaccination site in Washtenaw County, you can book a FREE door-to-door ride through the AARP Ride@50+ Program. This program can be used by any person of any age in Washtenaw County.
Phone Number: (844) 900-4892 Code: Vaccinate Washtenaw (if this number is busy call (734) 773-0907)
We will continue to provide information for vaccination clinics throughout the district as they get scheduled.
Order Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests
Every home in the U.S. is now eligible to order four free at home COVID-19 tests and are estimated to ship in 7-12 days. Order your tests here and have them when you need them.
You can receive continual updates from the MI Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) by clicking here.
Washtenaw Community Mental Health (CMH)
A 24-hour crisis services and mobile crisis team that can assist navigating mental health care services. You can call or text the CARES team at (734) 544-3050.
I Want to Hear from You
During this challenging time, I want to hear from you. What do you need? How can we help you? Please, reach out to me at DonnaLasinski@house.mi.gov.
State Representative, House District 52