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. In this issue you will find information on the following:
· House Votes to Repeal Prevailing Wage
· New Budgets Don’t Do Much for Working Families
· Fostering Futures Scholarship Available
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
House Votes to Repeal Prevailing Wage
In a move that will harm thousands of Michigan families, the Michigan House repealed Michigan’s prevailing wage law last week by a vote of 56-53. This law was put in place to ensure that workers on state projects were paid a fair wage. Michigan’s hardworking men and women deserve to earn a decent living and support their family, and repealing this law will only serve to reduce wages. Cutting the pay of skilled trades workers across the state is no way to move Michigan forward. Study after study has shown that lowering wages for construction projects does not lead to meaningful cost savings. Instead, it puts the future of Michigan’s hardworking families at risk. To see my speech on the floor fighting against this bill, click here.
New Budgets Don’t Do Much for Working Families
On Tuesday, the Legislature passed the General Omnibus and School Omnibus budgets for Fiscal Years 2018-19. While these budgets offered some highlights — such as increased classroom funding and more resources for local police and fire departments — in the end, there were too many problems with these budgets for me to give them my support.
The General Omnibus budget still fails to move the needle on what matters most to working families, such as finally finding a solution to fixing our dilapidated roads and crumbling bridges. It also didn’t make whole the families who were wrongly accused of unemployment fraud, some of whom lost their homes and vehicles and even went bankrupt. The budget also left behind people in Flint, who are still living under a water advisory after a state-appointed official’s decision resulted in lead leaching into their water system more than four years ago. The state has stopped delivering safe drinking water to these residents, yet the budget hasn’t set aside funding to ensure they will have access to clean water.
The School Omnibus budget is also deeply flawed. It contains a measure that threatens to shutter schools in partnership programs with the state or force the firing of a quarter of their teachers if they don’t meet stringent goals within 18 months. These schools are ones that are already struggling to improve their academic results. Closing the buildings or firing teachers won’t do anything to help the kids in these schools achieve more. Rather than threatening teachers with losing their jobs, we need to be supporting our teachers with extra training and encouraging more talented young people to get into the profession to solve the teacher shortage we have. Threats like this will only scare off young people from becoming teachers, or convince them to start their careers in another state.
I had looked forward to supporting a budget that advanced the priorities of hardworking Michigan residents and helped build an economy that works for all of us. Unfortunately, this budget wasn’t it, and I couldn’t give it my support.
Fostering Futures Scholarship Available
As a reminder, there are financial resources available to help students who have experienced foster care pay for college, particularly the Fostering Futures Scholarship. The Fostering Futures Scholarship provides up to $3,000 for eligible college expenses to young adults who have been in foster care. Awards are given based on need and paid to the students’ college or university to assist with tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies.
To be considered for a 2018-19 scholarship, applications must be received by June 30. To learn more about the Fostering Futures Scholarship or to apply, go to www.fosteringfutures-mi.com or contact MI Student Aid at email@example.com or at (888) 447-2687.