Fall is settling in and we are as busy as ever at the Capitol now that the new fiscal year has begun. The bottom line: budgets need to reflect our priorities. And although we have multiple priorities competing for the same dollars, robbing Peter to pay Paul is not the answer. I’ll be sure to keep you updated as the process continues.
It’s been great having so many engaging discussions at in-district events and at your doors. Many of you asked me to support House Bill 4325, which I was pleased to do (see below for further details). I’ve also enjoyed explaining the complexity of our budgets, the governor’s line item vetoes and more. But most importantly, I’ve been listening to your concerns. Whether it’s a local issue or something at the federal level, I always make it my mission to share your questions and concerns with those best able to address them. In addition, my focus is on the important and creative problem solving I can facilitate on our community’s behalf at the state level, helping you connect with those who can address each issue and making sure I am your voice in Lansing!
State Representative, 41st House District
State Budget Vetoes
Earlier this month, the complete budget was finally shared with Gov. Whitmer with less than three days before the Oct. 1 deadline and a state government shutdown. But before signing the 16 budget bills, Gov. Whitmer exercised her line-item veto power to fix the many aspects not up to par for the hardworking people of our state, totaling nearly $1 billion of the $59.9 billion budget.
Many of the departmental budgets the Legislature sent to the governor failed to allocate the necessary funds to support the future of our state. Michigan families, including those right here in Troy and Clawson, should not be forced to choose between funding quality schools, improving our infrastructure, protecting our natural resources or opening career pathways. I strongly believe that all of these priorities deserve adequate funding and consideration in our state’s budget. That being said, the fight doesn’t end now that the new fiscal year has begun, and I will always honor the commitment I made to be your voice at the Capitol.
State Administrative Board
Along with the power to veto line items in each budget presented, Gov. Whitmer also called a special meeting of the State Administrative Board on Oct. 1. While the governor doesn’t have the ability to move money from one department to another without the approval of the Legislature, Gov. Whitmer is able to shift funds within departments.
The State Administrative Board has general supervisory control over the administrative activities of all state departments and agencies, including:
- The approval of contracts and leases
- Oversight of the state capital outlay process
- The settlement of claims against the State under $1,000
Board members include the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer, superintendent of public instruction and the director of the Dept. of Transportation. Additionally, the Dept. of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) designates a secretary to the board and provides staff support.
During the Oct. 1 meeting, the board approved a total shift of $625 million worth of funding within 13 state departments listed below. These departmental shifts were in addition to the 147 line-item vetoes Gov. Whitmer issued.
- Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD)
- Attorney General
- Civil Rights (MDCR)
- Education (MDE)
- Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE)
- Health and Human Services (DHHS)
- Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO)
- Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)
- Natural Resources (DNR)
- State Police (MSP)
- Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB)
- Transportation (MDOT)
House Bill 4325
Earlier this year, House Bill 4325 was introduced by my colleague, state Rep. Aaron Miller, to resolve ambiguity over which mental health professionals are allowed to make diagnoses, without limitations that could adversely affect licensed professional counselors (LPCs) and their patients. Last week, this legislation reached the House floor and was unanimously passed.
All too often, mental health is placed on the backburner of our state’s budget and policy priorities, leaving many without the care, treatment, resources or support they need to secure the happy, healthy life they deserve. HB 4325 will serve as an important first step toward finally recognizing the importance of mental health and wellness in our state, and I am proud to have voted in support. It has now been sent to our colleagues in the Senate for their consideration, and I’m optimistic they will share our support in allowing our licensed mental health professionals to continue providing the high-quality, vital care to Michiganders across our state.
Upcoming Time with Padma
Please join me for upcoming events I’m hosting in our community. These events provide an opportunity for us to chat in an informal setting so that I can hear about the issues impacting you and your family. I hope to see you soon!
Senior Lunch & Learn
When: Friday, Oct. 25, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Clawson Senior Center
509 Fisher Court in Clawson
When: Monday, Oct. 28, 4-5:30 p.m.
Where: Troy Public Library
510 W. Big Beaver Road in Troy
Pints with Padma!
When: Monday, Nov. 4, 5:30-7 p.m.
Where: The Renshaw Lounge
210 E. 14 Mile Road in Clawson
Energy and the Environment Fireside Chat
When: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 6:30-8 p.m.
Where: Walsh College, Troy Campus
3838 Livernois Road in Troy
With fall in full swing, Halloween is right around the corner! In celebration, there are many events for all ages happening in our community later this month to get in the spooky spirit. These events will offer an opportunity to show off your costume while enjoying free and safe trick or treating fun!
Trick or Treasure will turn downtown Clawson into a safe zone for all kids to travel between businesses collecting treasures and allergy-free treats! Hosted by the Clawson Downtown Development Authority, the event will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, from noon to 3 p.m.
Then, on Sunday, Oct. 27, there will be a Trick or Treat Trail through Clawson City Park from 6-7:30 p.m. Make sure to bring a flashlight—and a bag for all the candy you’re sure to collect along the trail! There will also be cider and donuts offered, courtesy of the great folks from the Clawson Parks and Recreation Department.
On Tuesday, Oct. 29, the Troy Police Department, Fire Department and Department of Public Works will be hosting a Trunk-or-Treat event at the Troy Police Department from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and is free and open to all. Trick or treaters will be able to collect treats from emergency vehicles, while meeting the local first responders who make our communities safe and a great place to call home! There will also be live music and prize giveaways.
Tips for a Safe Halloween
While celebrating Halloween, it’s important to stay safe while trick-or-treating. Below are a few important safety trips for trick-or-treaters and homeowners to ensure a safe and fun-filled Halloween for all!
Tips for trick-or-treaters
- Consider adding reflective tape to a child’s costume to allow for greater visibility.
- Test makeup on a small section of the skin before applying to the face to avoid large allergic reactions.
- Consider sizing your child’s costume to leave enough room to fit over winter clothes, to be prepared for whatever Michigan weather might happen on Oct. 31!
- Take a flashlight to better see obstacles.
- Walk on sidewalks when possible, to avoid tripping on lawn decorations, stumps or other obstacles.
- Don’t trick-or-treat alone! Always bring someone along or take a group.
- Don’t allow trick-or-treaters to enter the home of a stranger. Tell the children they can and should wait outside.
- Examine all treats before consumption for allergy needs and candy that has been tampered with.
- Remove all makeup before bed to avoid mess and irritation.
Tips for homeowners
- Consider removing lawn decorations that could be hazardous to excited trick-or-treaters.
- Make sure all animals are safely secured to avoid scaring the animals and children. This can also help prevent sneaky pets from bolting out the front door!
- Keep Jack-O-Lanterns away from doorsteps, walkways, landings and curtains to avoid tripping and fire hazards.