Welcome to my Capitol & Community Update e-newsletter! As Memorial Day nears, I hope that everyone has a safe and peaceful day of reflection and mourning for our U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the armed forces. I also want to share my immense gratitude for all of our veterans, active duty military members and their families, in House District 41 and beyond. Thank you for your service!
As always, please encourage neighbors and friends in House District 41 — Troy and Clawson — to 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. My office can be reached by phone 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! They are a great way to find out what policies I’m working on and share your ideas and concerns with me. Please refer to the policy of the venue regarding masks and physical distancing. Our June meeting information is as follow:
When: Monday, June 27, from 4:30-6 p.m.
Where: Troy Community Center (3179 Livernois Road in Troy)
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 releases page for additional updates and information.
Recognizing Direct Support Professionals
I recently introduced House Resolution 298 during National Nurses Week, a resolution urging Congress to pass legislation — namely, S.1437 — to recognize the critical role of direct support professionals, such as nurses and other direct care workers. The services that these hard-working individuals provide are essential to the overall health and wellbeing of our seniors, those with disabilities and all other Michigan families. My full statement can be found here.
Justice for Allie
My legislation to prevent vulnerable adults, including seniors and those with disabilities, from being sexually exploited online continues to languish in the House Judiciary Committee. The bills are House Bill 4159 and HB 4160, with the latter being sponsored by Rep. Julie Calley, making this a bipartisan package. This legislation is very close to our community, having been inspired by a Troy family, and supported by people across the state. Thank you to everyone who has continued to advocate for the advancement of this important legislation with the chair and members of the Judiciary Committee. I have not given up, and I’m uplifted to see that you have not either.
Expanding Paid Sick Leave
As COVID-19 cases are on the rise once again, this is a reminder that you can help advocate for my bill, HB 4177, which would restore the right for Michigan workers to earn expanded paid sick leave. You may remember that the MI Time to Care ballot initiative, which had the same goal, gained enough signatures in 2018 to either be adopted by the legislature or go to the November ballot. The legislature, in partnership with the Snyder Administration, opted to adopt and immediately gut the measure, thus undermining the will and input of the voters. This was a disastrous move ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, but HB 4177 would protect our workforce and economy by not forcing workers to choose between their health (and the health of their colleagues) and their next paycheck. The members of the Commerce and Tourism Committee must pass the bill before it can be voted on by the whole House.
After the release of the latest economic numbers, Michigan’s unemployment rate dropped again in April for the 10th month straight to a low of 4.3%. Michigan experienced its best economic recovery in history over the last two years and is rated #1 nationwide based on equally weighted measures of employment, personal income, home prices and stock market performance of publicly-traded companies. The state has also added 21,600 auto jobs and counting since Gov. Whitmer took office and many other high-skill, in-demand jobs.
Additionally, the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) announced earlier this month that over 55,000 claimants will not have to pay back about $431 million in overpayments of federal pandemic unemployment benefits that the agency previously determined to have been improperly awarded. To date, the UIA has waived over $4.3 billion in overpayment debt for more than 400,000 claimants with more to come. Roughly $11 million will be refunded to claimants who had been paying back their federal benefits overpayment, or it will be applied to any outstanding debt a claimant may have.
I am thrilled to see Michigan leading the nation’s economic recovery and that the UIA is taking these steps to remedy overpayment issues. No Michigander who did the right thing when applying for benefits should be required to pay anything back resulting from errors at the federal level. If you are experiencing non-judicial issues with your UIA claim, please contact my office using this form and we will be in contact about how we can assist you. Additional unemployment resources are also below.
- Contact UIA
- Via MIWAM account.
- Chat with an agent Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
- Call the Customer Service at (866) 500-0017, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Schedule an appointment to speak with a Customer Service agent. A closed-captioned virtual meeting option is available for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Handbook for Unemployed Workers
- Unemployment Insurance 101
- Back to Work resources
- How to reset MILogin and MiWAM passwords
- MI Unemployment Benefit Programs (revised Sept. 2021)
- Fact Sheet – Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft
- PUA Overpayment and Restitution
- What is Fraud?
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