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:
· Board of State Canvassers Update
· Medicare Scam Alert
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.
BOARD OF STATE CANVASSERS UPDATE
COALITION TO REGULATE MARIJUANA LIKE ALCOHOL
What: Proposed initiated law to authorize the personal possession and use of marijuana by individuals aged 21 years and older and control the commercial production and distribution of marijuana.
Status: On April 26, 2018, the Board of State Canvassers determined that the petition contained a sufficient number of valid signatures as required by Article II Section 9 of the Michigan Constitution, and the Secretary of State transmitted the proposed initiated law to the Legislature for its consideration. Once certified by the Board of State Canvassers, the Legislature had 40-days in which to enact or reject the proposal or propose a different law on the same subject, which elapsed on June 5, 2018.
VOTERS NOT POLITICIANS
What: Proposed constitutional amendment to create the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission and authorize the Commission to adopt reapportionment plans for Congressional, state Senate and state House of Representatives districts. This initiative was created to amend the Michigan Constitution and create an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission with the purpose of creating state and federal district lines that do not give political advantage to any one party or candidate.
Status: On June 20, 2018, the Board of State Canvassers determined that the petition contained a sufficient number of valid signatures as required by Article XII Section 2 of the Michigan Constitution. This was challenged sending the petition into litigation; however, on July 31, the Michigan Supreme Court voted in favor of placing the petition on the ballot.
ONE FAIR WAGE
What: Proposed initiated law to increase the minimum wage to $10 per hour on Jan. 1, 2019; to $10.65 per hour on Jan. 1, 2020; to $11.35 per hour on Jan. 1, 2021; and to $12 per hour on Jan. 1, 2022. Also proposes to gradually increase the minimum wage in steps for employees who receive tips or gratuities until it is the same as the minimum wage for other employees.
Status: On July 27, 2018, the Board of State Canvassers deadlocked on a party-line vote for whether to certify the petition and place it on the ballot in November. The state’s Bureau of Elections sampled signatures for the proposal and determined there were enough valid names for it to be certified for the November ballot. The decision was challenged in the Michigan Court of Appeals, which ruled on Aug. 22, 2018, that the proposal should be put on the ballot. The Board of State Canvassers certified the signatures on Aug. 24, 2018. The Legislature has 40 days — until Oct. 3, 2018 — to address the ballot initiative; otherwise, it will automatically appear on the ballot in November.
MI TIME TO CARE
What: Proposed initiated law to enact the Earned Sick Time Act. This initiated law would provide workers with the right to earn sick time for personal or family health needs, as well as for purposes related to domestic violence and sexual assault and school meetings needed as a result of a child’s disability or health.
Status: On July 27, 2018, the Board of State Canvassers certified signatures for the ballot initiative. The Legislature has 40 days — until Sept. 5, 2018 — to address the ballot initiative; otherwise, it will automatically appear on the ballot in November.
PROMOTE THE VOTE
What: Proposed constitutional amendment to provide citizens qualified to vote in Michigan with the following rights: to vote a secret ballot; for military and overseas voters to be sent a ballot 45 days before an election; to vote straight party on all partisan general election ballots; to be automatically registered to vote when obtaining a driver’s license or personal identification card from the Secretary of State unless the person declines; to register to vote by mail on or before the 15th day before an election; to register to vote in person at any time with proof of residency; to vote an absentee ballot, by mail or in person, without giving a reason; and to have election results audited to ensure the accuracy of elections.
Status: Signatures were submitted to the Board of State Canvassers on July 9, 2018. The Bureau of Elections is reviewing the petitions and signatures before the Board of State Canvassers may vote to certify its signatures and place it on the ballot in November.
MEDICARE SCAM ALERT
Across the state, Medicare recipients are receiving letters that appear to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) stating they will no longer have a Medicare Savings Program. They are then being called and asked for banking information to begin paying their Part B premium.
If you or someone you know receives one of these letters, call the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) or the SSA to verify that the notice is legitimate, but DO NOT USE THE PHONE NUMBER PROVIDED ON THE LETTERS. To contact the SSA, call (800) 772-1213. To find the correct DHHS location to contact, click here.
Important reminder: If a Medicare recipient is paying for their Part B premium, that payment comes out of their social security check, not their checking account, so their bank information should never be needed. In the few cases where someone does pay their Part B directly, SSA will send a bill. If a Medicare recipient has already given this information, they need to contact their bank immediately to safeguard their account.