Hello, and welcome to my e-newsletter. Due to the House’s Guidelines and Policies, we are entering our blackout period until Wednesday, Nov. 7, and as a result, this is the last e-newsletter I will be sending you until then. However, 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:
- Legislature Acts on Ballot Initiatives
- Raise the Age Legislation Receives a Hearing
- Secretary of State Helpful Resources
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.
Legislature Acts on Ballot Initiatives
On Sept. 5, the Legislature voted on the One Fair Wage and MI Time to Care citizen ballot initiatives, which would increase the minimum wage and guarantee paid sick leave for all, respectively. I chose to vote no on each of these initiatives because, while I support them as policies, I do not support robbing Michiganders of the opportunity to make their voices heard on these issues.
Hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents supported these policies and should have had the opportunity to judge each of the proposals on their own merits — not have them gutted months from now with a simple majority instead of a three-fourths majority, which is required if passed by voters. This three-fourths requirement ensures that the majority party is required to compromise with members from the Democratic Caucus. Though I will continue to advocate for strong benefits and paycheck security, I refuse to play games with the livelihoods of my friends and neighbors back home, which is why I could not in good conscience vote in favor of those initiatives.
Raise the Age Legislation Receives a Hearing
In Michigan, a seventeen-year-old can be tried in an adult criminal court, rather than in a juvenile court. Despite these teens being too young to legally vote, buy cigarettes or join the military, if they commit a crime then they could be tried and convicted in an adult court. I was proud to join my colleagues to introduce bills to correct this system and to raise the age for juvenile court jurisdiction to 18, which is the standard applied nationally. Our legislative package would prohibit individuals younger than 18 from being sent to adult jails and prisons, provide funding for 17-year-olds to receive services through the juvenile justice system, and require oversight of young people who were placed in an adult jail or prison system before being 18. Those convicted of the most serious crimes would still be tried as adults.
Over the past two weeks, our legislation received hearings in the House Law and Justice Committee, and I was able to testify on the importance of the legislation. If you’d like to hear my testimony on my bill in this package, click here.
Secretary of State Helpful Resources
Michigan’s Secretary of State website is a treasure trove of helpful resources and useful information. Residents can renew or update their driver’s license and state IDs, find election information including open and closing times at polling places, learn how to become an organ donor, locate a local SOS branch, and more. Make sure to look around the website and feel free to reach out to my office or the Secretary of State if you have any questions.