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.

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 vanessaguerra@house.mi.gov or through my website, guerra.housedems.com. I look forward to hearing from you, and thank you for your commitment to the community we both call home.

For many, the process by which Michigan state funding is allocated every year can seem drawn out and complicated. Understanding who decides how and where our tax dollars are implemented across the state is a vital part of understanding government itself. Many of the disagreements between parties and levels of government are rooted in differences of opinion about how to best spend this money, and through the entire course of the budgetary process, finding that balance can be difficult. The graphic included provides a list of all the steps our budget must take to translate the tax dollars of today into the state services and support of tomorrow.

While these funding increases are positive steps in the right direction, it is important to remember that the budget process has only begun, and there is no telling whether these recommendations will make their way into the final product. That is why it is so important for me to hear from constituents like you, to know about your budget priorities. As the process plays out over the coming months, I will continue to advocate for a budget that increases opportunity for students in our schools, supports our infrastructure and makes health care more affordable for all Michiganders.

This month, the Legislature approved my bill, House Bill 5284, to help Delta College with their Saginaw Center Downtown Campus project. The bill conveys a strip of land on Baum Street, which has been closed for a number of years, to the city of Saginaw for $1. The city of Saginaw will convey that land to Delta College where it will be used for a green space with a water reclamation area, with shrubs and grasses next to what will be the Saginaw Center facility.

Bill to Create Barriers for Asbestos-Related Claims Passes out of House

This bill will not only make it more difficult for our construction workers, firefighters and veterans to receive the compensation they deserve after being exposed to asbestos through their service, but it would make that final year of life even harder for their loved ones, as well.

Treasury: Taxpayers Can Check State Refund Status Online

As the state enters the second week of individual income tax season, the Michigan Department of Treasury reminds taxpayers who filed a 2017 state return to check the status of their refund online by going to www.michigan.gov/wheresmyrefund.

The most up-to-date information about a taxpayer’s refund is on the “Where’s My Refund?” website. Taxpayers interested in learning the status of their refund are encouraged to use the website.

To ensure taxpayer privacy and security, the following information is required when checking the status of a refund at www.michigan.gov/wheresmyrefund:

  • Tax Year
  • Filing Status
  • Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or Total Household Resources (THR)

Tax-Related Identify Theft Protections

If a state income tax return has been selected for identity confirmation, the taxpayer will receive a letter from Treasury asking them to confirm their identity by completing a short online quiz or submitting paperwork. A phone option is available for those with functional needs or are not computer savvy.

Taxpayers who have been recent victims of identity theft are asked to report their circumstances to the state Treasury Department. Reporting identity theft helps thwart cybercriminals who attempt to file returns and steal state tax refunds.

To learn more about identity theft, go to www.michigan.gov/identitytheft. For more information about Michigan’s individual income tax, go to www.michigan.gov/incometax.