It’s been an extremely busy month in Lansing, May is coming to an end and we wrapped it up some historic voting in the Legislature. In partnership with Gov. Whitmer, legislators in the House and Senate successfully negotiated the bipartisan passage of auto insurance reform for our state. The reform passed with a vote of 94-15 in the House.
While I voted yes, I’ve also spoken with numerous constituents who have concerns with the bill. I want you to know that I will continue to work with the Governor and my colleagues in the House and Senate to make our auto insurance system better for all Michiganders. Please read on for more of my thoughts on the bill and its expected savings to Michigan families in the Legislative Update section, below.
As always, our office is always listening and we want you to share your thoughts or concerns on any issues that may impact you or our community. The office can be reached by phone at (517) 373-1783, by email at PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov or by attending one of our in-district events. Upcoming district hours and events are listed below – I would love to see you there!
House District 41
Asian Pacific American Heritage Day
On May 9, we celebrated Asian Pacific American Heritage Day at the state Capitol with the Michigan Asian Pacific American Commission, highlighting the contributions of Asian Americans in Michigan. I was honored to co-host the event along with many of my colleagues in the House and Senate, including Representative Julie Brixie who co-sponsored our annual APA resolution in the House.
On May 22, I was proud to join my fellow Pay Equality and Economic Security Task Force co-chair, Sen. Erika Geiss, and numerous colleagues in the Progressive Women’s Caucus to introduce a 12-bill package designed to promote pay equity and strengthen our economy. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, policy interventions to ensure equal status for women are critical and necessary to eliminate the stark disparity in wages between men and women. Without legislative action, the pay gap in Michigan is not set to end until the year 2059. Women on average still make 78 cents per dollar compared to their male counterparts.
As part of this package, I was proud to sponsor House Bill 4632, which amends the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act to prohibit wage discrimination. The 12-bill package was introduced on the 47th anniversary of Michigan’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Later that evening, Sen. Geiss joined me for a Tele-Townhall to discuss our bill package and the key issues Michigan women and families are facing. In addition to Sen. Geiss and myself, we also had the honor of welcoming Gov. Whitmer to our dialogue with callers from around the state.
Until we end the practice of systematic, gender-based economic inequality, women will continue to fall into the economic chasm caused by the wage gap, impacting all Michigan families and communities.
I’m looking forward to working with my fellow Democratic and Republican House members to help bring this to the governor’s desk.
Auto Insurance Reform
On May 24, following weeks of bipartisan negotiations, the House passed a sweeping overhaul of Michigan’s auto insurance system. The final bill includes several provisions I strongly supported, including the elimination of non-driving rate-setting factors, guaranteed rate reductions and increased consumer protections. The Senate also passed this legislation and it was signed into law yesterday by Gov. Whitmer.
The bill offers many more choices to Michigan families, who are expected to see a 45 percent reduction in costs for the lowest coverage option, a 35 percent reduction for those choosing to have $250,000 in coverage, 20 percent for $500,000 and a 10 percent savings for those wishing to keep their current unlimited plan.
After so long, we now will have an insurance system with more transparency and accountability that can no longer increase rates for drivers based on discriminatory non-driving factors like gender, occupation or ZIP code. I was proud to stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this important work done.
While this plan is not perfect and there still is work to be done to protect the drivers of our state, this is an important first step in the right direction. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and continue to make even more improvements moving forward.
Upcoming Time with Padma
Budget Bootcamp Town Hall
On Monday, June 10, I will be hosting a Budget Bootcamp Town Hall from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Automation Alley, 2675 Bellingham Dr. in Troy. Joining me are a few special guests: Kim Avery, MDOT Metro Region Engineer; Chris Kolb, State Budget Office Director; and Rep. Kristy Pagan, Democratic Vice Chair of the School Aid Fund Appropriations Sub Committee.
In-District Meeting Hours
I hope you can join me for one of my upcoming in-district meeting hours! I look forward to having an informal conversation with you about the issues families face in our community.
When: Friday, June 14, from 3:30-5 p.m.
Where: Blair Memorial Library, 416 N. Main St. in Clawson
When: Monday, June 24, from 4-5:30 p.m.
Where: Troy Public Library, 510 W. Big Beaver Road in Troy
When: Monday, July 22, from 4-5:30 p.m.
Where: Troy Public Library, 510 W. Big Beaver Road in Troy
Congratulations to Troy Athens High School student, Cameon Wade for winning third place in the nation-wide high school student video competition, StudentCam, sponsored by C-SPAN. Cameon’s short documentary film submission, “The Polar Bear Legacy”, was based on the theme of the 2019 competition: “what does it mean to be American?” He will be honored this week during an assembly at Troy Athens, including a visit by C-SPAN representatives. Congrats again, Cameon!
What to Do in 41 (Hello, Summer!)
Summer is right around the corner! Check out some of the following community programs and events that are available to Troy and Clawson community members.
· Blair Memorial Library Summer Hours (Memorial Day–Labor Day)
- Monday | Noon–8 p.m.
- Tuesday | 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
- Wednesday | Noon–8 p.m.
- Thursday | 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
- Friday | 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
- Saturday | Closed
- Sunday | Closed
- Blair Memorial Library’s Annual Bookmark Contest
Below are some resources available to Troy, Clawson and Oakland County residents. Please feel free to share with your fellow community members that may be in need of extra helping hands.
o Mental health services for adults and children with serious mental illness, emotional disturbances and developmental disabilities.
o (248) 858-1210
o Customer Service: (800) 341-2003
o Online resource to connect Veterans, their family members and friends, and other supporters with information, resources, and solutions.
o 24-hour crisis/support line, counseling and support groups
o (248) 334-1274