Dear Friends,

<span “>Hello, and welcome to my e-newsletter. I would like to take this moment to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve you in House District 95 and to act as your voice in the Capitol.

<span “>As your representative, I am most effective at my job when acting on your input, and I encourage you to reach out to me and my staff with any questions, comments or concerns you may have about issues in the district, or legislation that will impact our state. You can contact me toll-free at (855) 347-8095, by email at or through my website, I look forward to hearing from you, and thank you for your commitment to the community we both call home.

<span “>In this issue, I will provide you with updates on:

<span “>· Senate Bill 574

  • Unemployment Insurance Agency Legislation

<span “,sans-serif; “>Domestic Violence Bill Package

<span “,sans-serif;background: “>Earlier this month, I was proud to be part of the introduction of<span “> a package of bills meant to address some gaps in state law to better support survivors of gender and domestic violence in the state of Michigan. In Michigan, 1 in 3 women have been impacted by domestic violence.

<span “>Over the last month, the Gender Violence Task Force within the Progressive Women’s Caucus has worked on various legislative initiatives to recognize those who are survivors of domestic violence, as well as to better equip state law to help those who are trying to escape domestic violence situations. Our package would do the following:

  • Require an employer who offers sick leave as a fringe benefit to allow the sick leave to be used for the purpose of providing or receiving assistance because of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
  • Ensure an individual is not disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits for conduct that was a consequence of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
  • Prevent landlords/realtors from discriminating against individuals on the basis of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.
  • Provide eviction protection for survivors of domestic violence.
  • Require a person accused of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking who is legally served a personal protection order to relinquish all firearms.
  • Urge Congress to ensure appropriate funding for the Victims of Crime Act, Violence Against Women Act and similar programs.

<span “>Those who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking are often in dire need of increased support and protection. The very least we can do to help them get their lives back is to fill some of these gaping holes in our state laws that fail to provide them with the services they need to get out and get help. We have no excuse — Michigan must do better.

<span “,sans-serif; “>Senate Bill 574

<span “>Recently, the House Education Reform Committee passed Senate Bill 574, a bill I stand in strong opposition to. This legislation would allow for-profit charter and cyber schools to take a portion of local millages supported by voters meant to help our traditional public schools.

<span “>Our public school budgets are already stretched thin. Less money for our schools leads to teacher shortages, larger classroom sizes and the privatization of services. Traditional schools also have operating expenses that charters schools do not — most notably earned retirement benefits and busing services. Lastly, the biggest reason I am opposed to this legislation is that it would allow for taxation without representation. Charter school boards are not elected, and the general public would have no direct input to how their own millage money will be spent. This is fundamentally in opposition to the values our nation was founded on.

<span “>Adequately funding our public schools must be a priority. All children, regardless of the school they attend, deserve a world-class education. I will continue fighting against this bill, and update you should it move forward.

<span “>Unemployment Insurance Agency Legislation

<span “>Earlier this year, it was revealed that nearly 44,000 unemployment fraud cases brought against nearly 50,000 people from October 2013 to August 2015 were incorrect, due to the UIA’s faulty MiDAS computer program. By August of this year, more than 85 percent of those cases were overturned.

<span “>As a result, a bipartisan House Unemployment Insurance Agency workgroup introduced a package of bills aimed at reforming the system to prevent these types of errors from happening again. I am pleased to say this package recently passed the House.

<span “>In addition to supporting that package, I also am in support of other UIA legislation — introduced by House Democrats — that would work to address specific parts of the system. We need to do better for the victims and their families who were harmed at the hands of the state, and I will continue working to see this wrong righted.

<span “>Sincerely,

<span “>State Representative Vanessa Guerra
95th House District

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