Dear Neighbor,

Welcome to my e-newsletter! I’m honored and humbled to serve as our community’s voice at the Capitol in Lansing. As we continue into the term, rest assured the challenges families in our community and state are facing are at the top of my legislative priorities. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-0837 or email at, if we can be of assistance.


Amos O’Neal

State Representative, 94th House District

In this issue:

  • Legislation
    • Cardiovascular Awareness Day — Feb. 22
    • Career Technical Education Equipment Funding
    • Banning Juvenile Life Without Parole
  • Tittabawassee River Restoration

Cardiovascular Awareness Day Feb. 22

I spoke on the floor for my resolution to declare Feb. 22 as Cardiovascular Awareness Day in Michigan.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and includes numerous diseases and disorders such as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). HCM is a chronic cardiovascular disease involving the thickening of the heart muscle and can potentially lead to debilitating symptoms and serious complications including heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke and, in rare cases, sudden cardiac death.

HCM is the most common inheritable heart disease and can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, with a reported prevalence ranging from 1 in 200 to 1 in 500 in the general population. In Michigan, 348,600 adults reported experiencing a heart attack in their lifetime and 281,200 adults reported experiencing a stroke in their lifetime.

I was honored to acknowledge this resolution and help better protect Michiganders from this disease.

Career Technical Education Equipment Funding

This week, I reintroduced my bill from last session that provides an allocation of investments for all Career Education Planning Districts (CEPD) for the use of equipment and subsequent training.

Under current law, the total of $7.5 million available is disbursed equally among only those eligible applicants who have at least 50% of the area served by a CEPD located in an intermediate district that did not levy a vocational education millage. So, of the 53 CEPDs only 14 are eligible for fiscal year 2022. These dollars are pivotal in updating programs now more than ever as COVID impacts our workforce. Instead of punishing districts who choose to invest through a millage, we are supporting all CEPDs through this legislative change — which still acknowledges that some areas are at a disadvantage because they do not benefit from a CTE millage. Therefore, the new language will provide double the allocation to each CEPD based on their program serial numbers if they did not levy a millage.

Most communities have not had this funding in many years. These changes provide the needed funds for the high cost of industry-standard equipment and ensure that funds are available for programs across the entire state. February was CTE month in Michigan, and I look forward to pushing this change after the bill gets referred to the appropriation committee.

Banning Juvenile Life Without Parole

We kicked off last week’s “Day of Empathy” with our long-awaited legislative efforts to ban juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) in Michigan. Last term, and again this year, I have worked with Sen. Jeff Irwin on a package of bills to finally address JLWOP in our state. My bipartisan bills with Reps. Curtis VanderWall, Stephanie Young, Kara Hope and Jimmie Wilson will ban JLWOP and allow for parole eligibility after 10 years.

Michigan needs to take steps toward supporting rehabilitation, and these bills do so. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court found that sentencing juveniles to mandatory life without parole to be unconstitutional. Since then, 25 states have banned this practice. It is time for Michigan to do the same, and I am excited to see swift movement on this package.

Tittabawassee River Restoration

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service presented a draft restoration plan for the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay this week.

This plan is now available for public review and comment through March 27. The draft restoration plan lists 16 different projects for consideration for Saginaw-area waterways. The projects include fish spawning; fish passage improvements; restoration of thousands of acres of wetlands and other habitats; creation of multiple public nature areas with nature trails, fishing platforms and a bike trail segment; protection of a green corridor along the Tittabawassee River; and expansion of boating access at the mouth of the Saginaw River. The complete plan can be found here.

I urge all my constituents to provide feedback on this restoration plan. This is your time to have your voice heard for the future of Saginaw’s waterways. This plan is crucial for the development and wellness of the Saginaw Bay area. These projects protect our environment and create new recreational areas within our community. Please take the time to evaluate the plan and to submit a comment or concern.