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 the 95th House District and to act as your voice in the Capitol. This issue of my e-newsletter will provide you an update on what’s going on at the Capitol this month, including:
- Upcoming Coffee Hour
- Introduction of Bipartisan Government Transparency Bills
- Committee Assignments Announced
- Home Heating Help
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 email@example.com 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.
Upcoming Coffee Hour
My coffee hours are a chance to sit down in an informal setting and discuss issues facing our state. My next coffee hour will be held on:
- Monday, Jan. 28, from 9-11 a.m. at the Buena Vista McDonald’s, located at 3200 Holland Road in Saginaw
If you can’t make it to the coffee hour, please feel free to contact me by email or phone. I hope to see you then!
Introduction of Bipartisan Government Transparency Bills
As the 100th Legislature kicks off this month, I was honored to join my colleague Rep. Daire Rendon (R-Lake City) in spearheading the effort to reintroduce our legislation to increase transparency in state government. Specifically, the bills would subject the state Legislature to a new Legislative Open Records Act and the governor and lieutenant governor to provisions in the Freedom of Information Act. For too long, Michigan has ranked dead last in the nation for transparency and accountability, and we are determined to change that. This package will send a clear message to the people of Michigan that the era of complacency in government is over. Democracy should belong to the people, and this legislation is another opportunity for us to prove that.
Committee Assignments Announced
This week, the Speaker of the House announced committee assignments for the 2019-2020 legislative session. I am honored to be named the Democratic vice chair of the House Elections and Ethics Committee and to be appointed to serve on the House Judiciary Committee. Both of these committees consider policy issues critical to the smooth functioning of our democracy and I am excited to use my position on them to make our state a more just and equitable place for us all.
Home Heating Help
Are you age 65 or older? If so, inform your utility company. There are programs to protect and assist you if you are having difficulty paying your gas, electric or telephone bill.
Winter Protections from Shutoff: The Michigan Public Service Commission and state law require all regulated gas and electric companies and municipal electric utilities to provide shutoff protection for seniors age 65 and older during the heating season (Nov. 1 through March 31). If your gas or electric service is shut off before Nov. 1, your utility provider is required to restore your service during the heating season without paying the past due amount, a deposit, reconnect fee or other charges. There are no requirements for specific payment amounts during this time. When the heating season is over, your account will be placed on a payment plan and payment must begin immediately.
Partial Payment Option: Income-eligible customers of DTE Energy or Consumers Energy who receive a shutoff notice and are unable to pay the full amount of a bill may make partial payments. There is also the option to designate either gas or electric service for termination. Contact your utility provider for details.
Third-party Notification: You can designate someone else, including a family member or friend, to receive bills, shutoff notices or other mailings from your utility provider on your behalf. This allows a third party to help you keep track of your utility bills.
Medical Emergency and Critical Care Customers: An energy bill that is subject to shutoff may qualify for shut-off protections under a Medical Emergency or Critical Care shutoff protection program. To see if you may qualify for either of the programs, contact your utility provider.
Learn more about your home heating energy options at michigan.gov/energy.