In This E-newsletter:
- Upcoming IN-PERSON Coffee Hour – June 17 (July Coffee Hour also included)
- Resolution Recognizing Women Veterans Recognition Day Passes House
- Bill to Ensure the Practice of Survivor-Centered Coordinated Outreach Reported from Committee
- Fall Prevention Training Legislation Introduced
- Urging Action on Firearm Legislation
- June is Pride Month
Upcoming IN-PERSON Coffee Hour – June 17 (July Coffee Hour also included)
My coffee hour for the month of June will be on Friday, June 17, from 9-10 a.m. This will be an IN-PERSON coffee hour at Davis Street Park, 901 Davis St. in Kalamazoo, under the picnic shelter. Please note that public restrooms are not available at this park.
I will provide a legislative update and offer an opportunity for residents of the 60th House District to share their thoughts and perspectives. While advanced registration is not required for the June coffee hour, individuals who would like to RSVP or submit questions in advance may do so by sending an email to JulieRogers@house.mi.gov.
We will be following all CDC guidelines related to COVID-19. If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that you please stay at home.
**IMPORTANT NOTE – Due to legislative rules for the 2022 calendar year, we are prohibited from sending an e-news during the month of July. As such, please SAVE THE DATE for our July coffee hour on July 15. If you would like to attend the July coffee hour, please email our office at JulieRogers@house.mi.gov.
Women Veterans Recognition Day Resolution Passes House
On June 9, my resolution to declare June 12, 2022, as Women Veterans Recognition Day in the state of Michigan, House Resolution 312, was adopted with bipartisan support by the Michigan House of Representatives.
Women have proudly served our country throughout the history of the United States. There are currently more than 2 million women veterans living in the United States and Puerto Rico. Of this number, nearly 44,000 make Michigan their home.
Women Veterans Recognition Day is the anniversary of the day the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on June 12, 1948. Before to then, only women nurses could serve in the regular and reserve forces during peacetime. Women Veterans Day is not a separate day for women veterans, but instead is a tribute to a groundbreaking day when women were acknowledged as essential to the war efforts and could serve in the regular armed forces.
As the Democratic vice chair of the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee, I encourage everyone to join me in recognizing June 12, 2022 as Women Veterans Recognition Day.
Bill to Ensure the Practice of Survivor-Centered Coordinated Outreach Reported From Committee
I am pleased to report that my bill, House Bill 5560, was reported from the House Judiciary Committee this week. The bill clarifies that law enforcement and prosecutors may engage in survivor-centered coordinated outreach by providing a domestic or sexual violence service provider agency with certain information to facilitate contact with a victim for the purpose of offering supportive services.
While this sort of outreach has proven successful in many Michigan communities across the state, it was brought to my attention that in some circumstances, law enforcement and prosecutors hesitate to provide this sort of outreach because the law does not explicitly state that they can. As such, House Bill 5560 will help ensure that survivors are connected with resources, while still protecting their privacy. It is so important that they are supported as they navigate these incredibly distressing situations.
House Bill 5560 is part of a bipartisan package aimed at protecting victims’ rights. The legislation will now be sent to the full Michigan House of Representatives for consideration.
Fall Prevention Training Legislation Introduced
I recently introduced legislation along with state Rep. Helena Scott to establish a fall prevention training program for unlicensed personnel working in nursing homes and ensure that employees are compensated for their time in training. The bills were introduced with bipartisan support and referred to the House Committee on Health Policy.
As a physical therapist, unfortunately, I have treated my fair share of fall-related accidents and it is truly heartbreaking because many are avoidable. While many of our licensed health care professionals in nursing homes do receive training, we want to ensure that unlicensed caregivers are also trained to keep our loved ones safe and mobile. Caregivers and health care providers should work together to reduce the risk of falling and prevent devastating injuries, especially in nursing homes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 36 million falls are reported among older adults each year — resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. The CDC also states that falls are the leading cause of injury and injury death in the 65-plus age group.
Urging Action on Firearm Legislation
The Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, was the deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade. Unfortunately, as we continue to grieve this tragedy, this month alone there were also deadly attacks at a medical facility in Oklahoma, a supermarket in New York and a Taiwanese church in California. There have been 246 mass shootings in our country, so far, in 2022.
It is absolutely disturbing that, as a nation, we are continuing to let this happen. The freedom to bear arms should not be more important than the freedom to live and learn in peace. As legislators, we have a responsibility to protect our communities and do something when tragedy strikes.
As a member of the Michigan Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention Caucus, I can tell you that plenty of proactive policies have been introduced — but the lack of action on this legislation has failed our families and children.
I invite you to join me in calling for immediate action on legislation that has already been introduced to address gun violence in Michigan. Below are bills that I am supporting and the committees they are currently in. Links to each of the committees are also included below.
- House Bill 5066: would create safe storage requirements for those with minors in the home, establish penalties for intentional unsafe storage, and require firearm sellers to deliver a written statement of the purchaser’s mandate to safely store their firearm.
- House Bill 5069: would exempt gun safety devices like safes, lock boxes, and trigger and barrel locks from sales and use tax for a period, to encourage safe storage.
- House Bills 4869, 4870 and 4871: would require a background check for all firearm purchases in the state of Michigan. (Currently, a background check is only required when purchasing a pistol in Michigan.)
- House Bills 5627 and 5628: would prohibit selling or possessing a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition with some exceptions.
- House Bills 5371 and 5372: would prohibit abusers convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses from possessing guns for 8 years.
- House Bills 4023 and 4024: would expand gun and weapon-free zones to include all buildings owned or leased by this state.
June is Pride Month
Happy Pride Month! This June we celebrate LGBTQ+ individuals and recommit ourselves to working toward building a community that promotes diversity, liberty and justice for all.
Recently, Kalamazoo hosted thousands of individuals from all over the state of Michigan during our annual Pride Fest. Thank you to everyone who attended and joined us in celebrating love. We still have more work to do, and that is why I have introduced legislation like House Bill 4551 to prohibit insurance providers from denying insurance coverage based on gender, gender identity or sexual orientation and why I was part of a four-bill package (House Bills 4706-4709) to strengthen Michigan’s foster care to adoption process while ensuring equity in placement policies for LGBTQ+ families.
Unfortunately, the House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee has not taken action on House Bills 4706-4709 and the House Insurance Committee has not taken action on House Bill 4551. If you would like to join me in calling for immediate action, follow the links to the committee home pages provided above.