This week, Gov. Whitmer and legislative leaders reached a bipartisan agreement to make adjustments to the current fiscal year budget in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor also announced a back to school plan for Michigan, outlining important safety measures and requirements put in place for the fall.
Below, you’ll find more information on both of these announcements, upcoming events and more. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1783 or email at PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov; we’re here and ready to help.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!
State Representative, 41st House District
Paid Sick Leave Virtual Town Hall
Next Tuesday, July 7, from 5:15-6:45 p.m., I’ll be hosting a virtual town hall to discuss the gaps in our state’s paid sick leave policies. I introduced legislation to restore paid sick time back in March. To join, view the live-stream on my Facebook page (@mireppadmakuppa).
When: Tuesday, July 7, from 5:15-6:45 p.m.
How: Visit my Facebook Page to view the livestream (@mireppadmakuppa)
State Budget Agreement Reached for Remainder of Fiscal Year
While the new budget framework agreement announced on June 29 includes modest reductions to current year funding, it provides CARES Act funding to support Michigan schools and educators, universities and community colleges, and local governments to address the significant costs they face due to this unprecedented crisis.
Even with these steps, it’s crucial for Congress to pass additional financial support for states like ours so we can maintain the essential programs and services Michigan residents and neighborhood businesses rely on each day.
Maintaining Support for Michigan Schools and Local Governments
- $512 million in CARES Act funding to reimburse school districts for COVID-19 related expenses incurred so far this year and in preparation for safely returning students to the classroom in the fall.
- $53 million to provide $500 in Hazard Pay for every Michigan teacher.
- $200 million for universities and community colleges.
- $150 million for local governments for public health and first responders (in addition to the $300 million included in SB 690).
Solving the State Budget Shortfall
To fill the $2.2 billion revenue shortfall in Michigan’s FY19-20 budget, the bipartisan agreement shifts state and federal funds from the following sources and savings.
- $350 million used from the State Rainy Day Fund.
- $490 million in savings through state hiring and discretionary spending freezes, layoffs and other identified savings.
- $475 million in federal coronavirus relief funds for public safety.
- $256 million in state spending reductions for schools (offset by federal funds).
- $200 million in state spending reductions for universities and community colleges (offset by federal funds).
- $97 million in state spending reductions for local governments (offset by federal funds)
- $340 million in savings from continued enhanced federal Medicaid matching funds, state reductions replaced by federal COVID-19 funds and other savings.
For more information on the bipartisan budget agreement, click here.
MI Safe Schools Return to Learning Roadmap
On Tuesday, Gov. Whitmer released the MI Safe Schools Return to Learning Roadmap, a comprehensive document to help school districts across our state create local plans for in-person learning this fall. The Roadmap outlines a number of safety protocols for schools to implement in each phase of the MI Safe Start Plan, including guidance on the use of PPE, good hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting, spacing in classrooms, screening for symptoms, athletics and more. Gov. Whitmer’s plan also recognizes the vast impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ and educators’ mental health, while also offering guidance on how schools can address this issue. To view this comprehensive plan, click here.
Reforming Sentencing Guidelines
Truly living up to our creed of “liberty and justice for all” requires us to take a long, deep look at our state’s criminal justice system. That’s why I’m proud to have joined with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle last week to introduce a comprehensive 15-bill package to reform sentencing guidelines in Michigan.
The bills in this package would make much-needed reforms to ensure mitigating factors — including evidence of treatment, restitution, cooperation with law enforcement, acceptance of responsibility, and a minor role in the offense — are considered and can be applied during sentencing. In our goal to reform sentencing guidelines across the board, I look forward to continuing to advance this important bipartisan legislation that addresses such an important issue for the people of our state.
Census 2020: Be Counted
There’s still time to fill out your 2020 census! An accurate count of the population is crucial to determine how billions of state and federal dollars are distributed, the number of representatives in each state, and important economic data that shapes where businesses ship products, build and locate. Everyone living at the address matters and everyone needs to be counted, including children. If you haven’t already, please take 10 minutes to complete the 2020 census at my2020census.gov.
Auto-No Fault Changes Take Effect
As of July 1, 2020, Michigan’s new auto-no fault law that was passed last year went into effect. The law will now allow policy holders to choose from coverage levels that best fit their needs, bringing the possibility of cost savings for some drivers. You can find more information about how this may impact you and your family by clicking here.