I hope that you have been enjoying springtime in beautiful Michigan! Thank you for taking the time to read my Lansing update. Today I will be sharing information on an upcoming virtual event, Governor Whitmer’s “Vacc to Normal” plan and vaccine sign-up information, as well as an update on the budget process and bills that were recently passed through the committees that I serve on.
If you ever have any questions or concerns, please reach out to my office at 517-373-0478 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My staff is currently working remotely until they can get vaccinated, but we will continue to assist you however we can. Hope to see you around the neighborhood!
State Representative, 27th District
I am very excited to be hosting a Disinformation Training, with special guests from NARAL Pro Choice America and State Sen. Jeremy Moss, this Monday, May 3, at 5 p.m.
With the help of their amazing organizing, research and communication teams, NARAL has been able to craft comprehensive training on disinformation surrounding reproductive freedoms. Please join me on Monday to learn about the impact of disinformation, how to identify it, and how to combat disinformation’s spread.
Visit my Facebook page for information on how to register for the event (@StateRepReginaWeiss).
Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is an important step to get our community closer to normal. With the recent news that the governor is going to be linking the reopening of our state to the number of vaccines that have been administered, there has never been a better time to get your shot. If you have not yet received or scheduled your shot, please visit the county website here to get an appointment set up, or contact your health provider.
The appropriations process has continued in the House. I serve as a member of the Appropriations Committee, as well as the EGLE (Environment Great Lakes and Energy), DIFS (Department of Insurance and Financial Services) and LARA (Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) subcommittees. I’m also proud to serve as Democratic Vice Chair of the MDE (Michigan Department of Education) and School Aid subcommittee.
Last week, the 2021-22 budget for each subcommittee was voted on in committee. I voted ‘No’ on all of these budgets because they did not include priorities for our district. Funds recommended by Gov. Whitmer for water infrastructure and affordability investments were removed from these budgets, and they lacked adequate funding and support for our schools. Also, the budgets for EGLE, LARA, DIFS and MDE only appropriated a quarter of the money that the departments require to operate. I know that we can do more, and as the budget process continues I will keep fighting for the priorities of our district.
We then voted out the full supplemental budgets this week to appropriate the remaining funds from the federal December stimulus package, as well as the new federal funds received under the American Rescue Plan Act. While there were some improvements on these new supplemental budgets from previous versions, they did not go nearly far enough toward providing the necessary relief that Michiganders need right now. I did offer amendments to these supplementals, including removing a weekly 20 hour in-person requirement that could potentially impact funding for several districts in our state, including millions of dollars for Berkley and Ferndale Schools. My amendment would give districts flexibility and would not punish them by holding back federal COVID relief dollars if they were to have to suspend in-person learning due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Unfortunately, my amendment failed.
I offered further amendments for additional supplemental bills to invest five million dollars into the Attorney General’s office for the Sentinel Project to investigate elder abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities, and another amendment to ensure the Legislature remains in session past June 30th if the budget is not complete and until the job is done. Both amendments failed on party line votes. Therefore, I voted ‘No’ on these supplemental bills, as they failed to adequately meet the needs of our district, and working people and families across Michigan.
As we move forward with the budget process and begin negotiations with our Senate counterparts, I will continue to fight for our district’s priorities to ensure that we have the best possible budget for Michiganders everywhere.