Welcome to my Capitol & Community Update e-newsletter! I want to wish you a happy Women’s History Month and March Is Reading Month. This month, I will be speaking at several events to celebrate the accomplishments of women and virtually visiting classrooms to read to the students of House District 41!
Please encourage neighbors and friends in HD 41 – Troy and Clawson – to also sign up for these updates at kuppa.housedems.com and let us know if you have any thoughts on any state-level issues or requests for scheduling. As always, you can reach my office at (517) 373-1783, or by email at PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov. Be sure to also check out the latest on my social media platforms — @PadmaKuppaMI41 (Twitter) and @MIRepPadmaKuppa (Facebook)!
House District 41
Monthly Community Conversations
Please join me for my in-person office hours where I will be giving legislative updates and taking your questions about the issues facing our state and our community. Please refer to the policy of the venue regarding masks.
These constituent events will be held on the fourth Monday of each month from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Troy Community Center, unless otherwise posted. The information for the next one is as follows:
When: Monday, March 28, from 4:30-6 p.m.
Where: Troy Community Center (3179 Livernois Road in Troy)
APA Caucus Firearm Safety Town Hall
Firearm purchases by the Asian Pacific American (APA) community have increased in response to recent COVID-related hostility toward APA individuals. Many of these individuals have never owned firearms before and may not know current laws related to firearms or proper firearm safety. Please join me and state Sen. Stephanie Chang, co-chairs of the Michigan Legislative APA Caucus, for a Firearm Safety Town Hall. This event is geared toward the APA community, but anyone looking to know more about firearm laws and safety is welcome to join. Our panelists include Cathy Tang (Everytown for Gun Safety), Alex Nguyen (Giffords Law Center) and Paul Creger (Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police).
When: Wednesday, March 9, from 6-7 p.m.
Where: Zoom (Register here)
The following are highlights from recent legislative developments. You can see all of my sponsored legislation and co-sponsored legislation from this term at the provided hyperlinks. Please also see my press release page for additional updates and information.
School FACT Act
My office proudly led the introduction of the School Freedom, Accountability, Choice and Transparency (FACT) Act, a 22-bill, bicameral package to promote transparency and accountability to our taxpayers and give parents the tools they need to make the most well-informed decisions for their children’s education. Our press release can be found here.
Putting Workers First
I recently joined my colleagues in the bipartisan Labor Caucus in introducing the “Putting Workers First” legislative bill package. This package puts Michigan workers first by restoring organizing, collective bargaining and workers’ rights. My bill in the package, House Bill 5825, would prohibit an employer from monitoring employee communications unless the employer establishes a monitoring policy and communicates the policy to their employees. The press release with additional information on these bills can be found here.
Prescription Drug Affordability Board
Last week, I introduced House Bill 5845 as part of a bicameral package that would allow Michigan to join a growing number of states in tackling the rising costs of prescription drugs by creating a Prescription Drug Affordability Board. That press release can be found here. As a member of Gov. Whitmer’s Prescription Drug Task Force, I joined her as she recently signed legislation into law that included many of our recommendations for lowering prescription drug prices. Creating the Prescription Drug Affordability Board is the next step to ensure that Michiganders are always able to access medically-needed prescription drugs.
I-75 Sound Study
Numerous constituents have reached out to my office regarding noise pollution from I-75. This issue stems from construction on the I-75 Modernization Project, which was authorized in 2016 by then-Oakland County Executive L Brooks Patterson.
Since taking office in 2019, I have advocated for increased noise mitigation measures in impacted residential areas. Additional segments were added that year thanks to joint advocacy between my team, local residents, and MDOT. However, federal requirements prevent constructing sound walls in other impacted areas without an additional sound study. After hosting a meeting for residents to communicate with MDOT officials directly in October 2020, I was able to secure $300,000 in our state budget for the new sound study, which represents another chance for impacted areas to be eligible for sound wall implementation.
Per state and federal regulations, all federally funded projects that increase roadway capacity are required to be studied to determine the reasonableness and feasibility of noise protection. Sound walls cannot be implemented without the results of the study, unless the city installs a barrier of their own with independent grants or funding. Once the study is complete, we will have a better understanding of how we can proceed with noise mitigation efforts.
In the meantime, I will continue to advocate for citizen participation and transparency in the sound study process. I’m also working to bring awareness to the issue and advocate for additional funding with colleagues on the Appropriations Committee, the governor’s office, and our federal representatives. You can also advocate for noise mitigation resources by sharing your story here.
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has announced that all claimants can now view or download their 1099-G tax statements through the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM). UIA will also mail paper versions this week to those who requested them.
The 1099-G or “Certain Government Payments” statements are prepared annually by UIA and report the amount received in unemployment benefits and tax withheld. More than 1.2 million 1099-G forms will be generated this year.
Here’s how claimants can access the 1099-G electronically:
If a claimant feels that their 1099-G is incorrect, they can request a revised form by downloading and submitting Form UIA 1920, Request for Form 1099-G.
Michigan Long-Term Care Ombudsman
The Michigan Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program strives to improve the quality of care and quality of life experienced by residents who reside in licensed long term care facilities.
Ombudsmen advocate on behalf of residents and work to improve the long term care system, speaking for passage of laws, regulations and policies benefiting over 100,000 Michigan long-term care residents. The program is funded by the federal and state government. There is no cost to residents or families for ombudsman services.
Their confidential help line is 1 (800) 485-9393 and the number to file a complaint with the state is 1 (800) 882-6006. For more information, visit their website at MLTCOP.org or send them an email at MLTCOP@meji.org.
Community Recognitions and Resources
Small Business of the Month
Each month, I recognize two small businesses in the community, one in Troy and one in Clawson, as our small businesses of the month. To nominate a business for this recognition, please fill out this form on my website.
Tributes, Letters, and Certificates
Do you know someone in the district who is retiring and would like a legislative tribute to celebrate their years of service? Has a local team or group reached a milestone that they would like to be acknowledged with an official certificate for each member? Our office can provide legislative tributes, letters and certificates on a wide range of recognitions for constituents. If you would like to request any of these materials for yourself or others, please email my office at PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov with as much information as possible on the requested recognition and we will work with you to arrange delivery or presentation of the recognition!
E-News Archives and Constituent Downloads