It’s almost the end of September and we have been busy as usual! We finalized details for our final town hall of the year – on Energy & Environment – see details below. The new Lansing Legislative team – Maddy Abernathy on Constituent Services, Ashley Cecil on Policy – are all settled in – and we even have two new college interns who are also HD 41 constituents: Tyler Pischel and Mitch Wochowski! I am honored to have these young people in the office so that they can take what they are learning in the classroom about public policy at MSU’s James Madison College and correlate it to what we are doing in the Legislature. But the most important thing that happened this week is that we voted on the budget in the House and Senate! See the Legislative section for how I voted and why.
As always, we are here to serve you, so please do not hesitate to share your thoughts and comments on any issues that impact you or our community. Your opinion and voices matter. We welcome honest and respectful discourse. The office is reachable 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 – we would love to see you there!
41st House District
Gov. Whitmer released her budget recommendations in March of this year to fix the roads and fund our schools, and we voted on what came out of the Legislature’s Appropriations Conference Committees over the past week. I voted ‘yes’ on some and ‘no’ on others, because I believe that our budgets are a statement of our priorities. The first budget I voted on was the School Aid fund, that unfortunately continues down the path of underfunding our schools.
I also voted ‘no’ on several others, such as General Government, because I believe that government should be efficient and responsive to its citizens and stakeholders. The Gen. Gov. budget’s revenue sharing level for local governments barely keeps up with inflation, and hurts our local communities. It also compromises the Proposal 2 Redistricting Commission, the valuable Business Attraction and Community Revitalization program, the necessary modernization of legacy IT systems and our cyber security – all due to underfunding and cuts. I don’t believe this budget was fiscally responsible, nor acceptable for the hardworking people of our state.
Another budget I voted ‘no’ on was for the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS). Earlier this year, the Legislature passed a significant overhaul of Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system that included many positive provisions, but there was also a notable failure of the legislation to devote the resources necessary to empower DIFS to protect Michigan consumers when the law goes fully into effect next year. The DIFS budget that passed didn’t correct this failure, which is why I could not support it in good conscience.
I am happy to say that my ‘yes’ votes covered the budgets for the Judiciary, the Department of Energy, Great Lakes and Environment (EGLE) and Military & Veterans Affairs. Through these bills, we protect and support our Great Lakes and those who have served.
Here’s the complete list of budget bills as passed:
- Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD): HB 4229
- Department of Corrections (MDOC): HB 4231
- Department of Education (MDE): HB 4232
- Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE): SB 137
- Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS): SB 141
- Judiciary: HB 4238
- Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA): HB 4239
- Military & Veterans Affairs (DMVA): SB 144
- Natural Resources (DNR): HB 4241
- State Police (MSP): SB 147
- Transportation (MDOT): SB 149
- General Government: SB 138
- Health and Human Services (DHHS): SB 139
- Community Colleges: SB 134
- Higher Education: HB 4236
- School Aid: HB 4242
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!
Pints with Padma
When: Monday, Oct. 14, from 5:30-7 p.m.
Where: The Renshaw Lounge, 210 E. 14 Mile Road in Clawson
In District Hours
When: Monday, Oct. 28, from 4-5:30 p.m.
Where: Troy Public Library, 510 W. Big Beaver Road in Troy
Energy and Environment Town Hall
When: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Barry Center Auditorium, Walsh College Troy Campus
3838 Livernois Road in Troy
As an engineer, I always love to find innovative ways that can help me be more energy efficient: it saves money and helps protect the environment at the same time. After all, there is no Planet B! Did you know that the average U.S. household spends almost $1,500 a year on electricity alone, and inflation grows that number by 2.3 percent each year? Factor in gas and water, and that number climbs even higher. For many people, utilities are the second-most significant monthly expense after their mortgage payment.
That’s why we are holding our Energy and Environment Town Hall at Walsh College. Walsh’s attractive building on Livernois became LEED Gold Certified in 2010, and incorporated recycled and environmentally sensitive materials during its construction. The building also has the ability to capture rainwater, uses solar power for climate control and electric car charging stations. There’s real money to be saved when you take the time to do all the little things to be more energy efficient. Come learn how – we will have resources at the event as well as a fireside chat with the following special guest speakers and panelists:
- Daniel C. Scripps, Commissioner, Michigan Public Service Commission
- Marsha Kelliher, President, Walsh College
- Brandon J. Hofmeister, Senior Vice President of Governmental, Regulatory and Public Affairs, CMS Energy
- Bali Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Lean & Green Michigan
Marsha Kelliher, President and Chief Executive Officer at Walsh College shared her thoughts on the upcoming event:
“Walsh’s LEED-certified facilities reflect our commitment to the environment and the future. We are pleased to serve as the location for Representative Kuppa’s town hall to discuss the importance of energy innovation and efficiency in our community.”
My team and I are also looking forward to the event in November at the Troy Campus of Walsh College! We look forward to seeing you there.
Did you know that you can download any mailer that our office has sent since the beginning of the year? And that there’s a link to the Budget Town Hall presentation on the website? Check them out in the links below!