This e-newsletter aims to keep you updated on the previous month’s activities in the Michigan House of Representatives. It’s an honor to begin serving as your new state representative for the 15th state House District, which encompasses the west end of Dearborn to Dearborn Heights. If you should ever need to contact me, don’t hesitate to call my office at (517) 373-0847 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michigan’s 15th District
Gov. Whitmer’s Budget Recommendations
Feb. 8, 2023
On Wednesday, Feb. 8, Gov. Whitmer introduced her executive budget proposal to lower costs, grow our economy and build a brighter future for every Michigander. The budget proposal includes investments to put money back in people’s pockets, help students thrive in school, put more people on paths to higher education and good-paying jobs, improve public health, keep our communities safe and rebuild our infrastructure — all without raising taxes by a dime.
- $614 million increase in per-pupil funding, for a $458 per-pupil increase (5%), to guarantee at least $9,608 per student. Also includes 5% increases for at-risk students, special education students, English language learners and more.
- $300 million toward mental health services and $318 million for school safety over two years.
- $280 million for water infrastructure projects, including service line replacements, water treatment facility upgrades and stormwater management systems.
- $200 million for regional empowerment grants, with an additional $100 million for downtown development grants.
- $160 million to provide for universal school breakfast and lunch.
- $150 million for insulin affordability and manufacturing attraction.
- $140 million to temporarily expand Michigan Reconnect from age 25 to age 21.
Byrnes Supports Commonsense Gun Reform Bills
March 2, 2023
LANSING, Mich., March 2, 2023 — House Democrats introduced an 11-bill package addressing commonsense gun reforms. The bills will tackle gun violence through three central reforms — universal background checks for all firearms, secure storage laws, and extreme risk protection orders that allow a court to take temporary possession of a firearm if the court finds that an individual is at risk of harming themselves or others.
Democrats have repeatedly introduced gun reform legislation in the previous Republican Majority without success. Now, Rep. Byrnes has worked with her Democratic colleagues as a member of the bicameral Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention Caucus to support the introduction of these bills in the new Democratic Majority. The recent mass shooting at Michigan State University has highlighted the urgent call for bipartisan support to end gun violence and increase public safety. State Rep. Erin Byrnes (D-Dearborn) issued the following statement supporting the legislation:
News and Publications
Tragedy at MSU
An unthinkable act of violence was carried out at Michigan State University last month. Words fail to express how heartbroken and angry we all are. This never should have happened. We should all feel safe to go about our daily lives free from gun violence. The campus community members who survived this attack will never be the same, and the anguish of the families whose loved ones were lost is unfathomable.
We can, we must and we will act. And we have. I have worked diligently with the caucus to quickly move commonsense gun legislation, like the universal background check legislation, secure storage and extreme risk protection order legislation.
Please check in on each other. We have many Spartans in our district, so we want to share the following resources available for MSU students:
Student Health Services General info: (517) 884-6526; Nurse on-call: (517) 353-9165
Employee Assistance Program
EAP is a confidential, free counseling service for employees: (517) 432-0155
Counseling & Psychiatry Services
CAPS is the place for students seeking help for a wide range of health concerns: CAPS website.
DTE and Recent Storm Advisory
Our staff has been in contact with DTE, and their crews are out working through the problem areas as quickly as possible. As we continue to monitor the ice storm situation, we remind constituents to follow these safety precautions.
- Report outages or down wires by calling (800) 477-4747, clicking below, visiting outage.dteenergy.com or using the DTE Energy mobile app. Downed power lines may be hidden by debris, so be careful as you head outside.
- Stay at least a bus length (25 feet) away from downed power lines and don’t touch anything they may be in contact with – always consider them live and dangerous.
- Everyone should also heed the warning of yellow caution tape, which indicates there is a downed power line in the area. DO NOT CROSS YELLOW CAUTION TAPE.
- Never use a portable generator inside a home or business. It emits carbon monoxide, which can be deadly. Keep it outside, away from windows and doors, so the fumes won’t come in.
With frigid temperatures sweeping the state, warming centers are available to provide relief from the cold. Each location is subject to availability and capacity restrictions — please call in advance for current information and only travel if the conditions are safe.
Find a warm place near you or call 2-1-1 for support:
Michigan Achievement Scholarship
The Michigan Achievement Scholarship application has opened for all high school seniors! This scholarship provides:
- Up to $2,750 if you attend a community college, per year.
- Up to $5,500 if you attend a public university, per year.
- Up to $4,000 if you attend a private college or university, per year.
There is no deadline for this scholarship. Students have 15 months from either their high school graduation or high school equivalency completion to enter college and use the funds they are awarded.
High school seniors can get started by following these steps:
- File your FAFSA
- Create a MiSSG Student Portal account three to five business days after filing your FAFSA
Visit michigan.gov/achievement for program information, frequently asked questions and more.
March is National Reading Month
Happy March! Gov. Whitmer issued a proclamation declaring the month of March as Reading Month in Michigan. Our schools and libraries are sanctuaries for students and adults alike to grow their education through reading. Reading books aloud to children ignites creativity and curiosity, and stimulates the imagination of young children as they expand their understanding of the world. I encourage you to share your favorite books through public readings or in the comfort of your own home.
How do you get involved?
Contact your local public library to find scheduled reads or check out a book!
Caroline Kennedy Library
24590 George St. Dearborn Heights,
John F. Kennedy, Jr. Library
24602 Van Born Rd.
Henry Ford Centennial Library
16301 Michigan Ave.
Dearborn, MI 48126
Bryant Branch Library
22100 Michigan Ave.
Dearborn, MI 48124
Esper Branch Library
12929 W. Warren
Dearborn, MI 48126
Want to request a reading with Rep. Erin Byrnes?
Call our office at (517) 373-0847 or email us at email@example.com to schedule a reading at your local school or local library.
Coffee Hours and Town Halls
Coffee hours and town halls are a chance to discuss the issues facing our state with your legislator. Here are Rep. Byrnes’ upcoming constituent events:
Community Conversation with Representative Erin Byrnes
WHEN: Friday, March 24, from 11 a.m. to noon
WHERE: Caroline Kennedy Library of Dearborn Heights, 24590 George Ave. in Dearborn Heights