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 that 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 AmosONeal@house.mi.gov if we can help.
State Representative, 94th House District
In this issue:
- Community Conversation – Feb. 16
- State of the State Address
- HB 4001 – Repealing the Retirement Tax and Changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit
- Ducks Unlimited Legislator of the Year
Community Conversation – Feb. 16
On Feb. 16 at 6 p.m., we will host another Community Conversation on Facebook Live! I will give a brief legislative update. Then, we will have a conversation with special guest, Amani Sawari from Spread the Vote.
We hope to save some time for Q&A, so come with questions for our guests. You can join us on Facebook Live by clicking here or searching @StateRepAmosONeal.
I hope to see you there!
State of the State Address
This year, the governor’s State of the State address focused on a few key areas. First, she discussed the need to put our workers first to make Michigan competitive. This is something I have been pushing for in our district since my election. We need to restore the prevailing wage law and support our workers by repealing laws that weaken unions. To attract and keep talent in our state, we have to uplift our workers. Repealing the laws that weaken unions and restore prevailing wage is a crucial step to build a brighter future for Michigan.
Another area of focus was the introduction of the MI Kids Back on Track plan to invest $280 million to provide kids personalized instruction and tutoring after the pandemic ran our education system ragged.
Everyone in Michigan deserves equal protection under the law — no matter who you love or what your family looks like. Expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act will ensure sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are protected.
I was so excited to hear all about these priorities and to have our new Saginaw Valley State University President, Dr. George Grant Jr, join me for the evening. If you have any questions on the governor’s address, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office.
Repealing the Retirement Tax and Changes to the Working Families Tax Credit
Last week, the Legislature passed House Bills 4001 and 4002 out of the House. This legislation would create amazing changes for Michiganders that have been a long time coming.
First, we will see increases to the working families tax credit (EITC) from 6% to 30% and is retroactive for 2022. Hardworking families should not have to choose between paying their bills and putting food on the table, and now with the passage of this bill, they shouldn’t have to.
Increasing the working families tax credit puts thousands of dollars in the hands of over 700,000 Michigan families. Nearly half of the children in Michigan — almost 1 million kids — will benefit from this expansion. These are dollars that provide much-needed relief for those struggling to make ends meet. More dollars in the hands of hardworking families puts money back into our economy. Michiganders deserve to raise a family without breaking the bank.
The other aspect of the package would repeal the retirement tax. Costs are rising, and those on a fixed income are hit hardest. I am committed to repealing the retirement tax and making sure our seniors can keep the dollars they worked a lifetime to save. The legislation will eliminate the tax on public pensions and eligible private retirement income. A previous Legislature voted to impose this unfair tax on retirees, and it is especially burdensome because it hits those who are no longer in the workforce and are not earning income to keep pace with the increased cost of living. Saginaw even had Gov. Whitmer come in and speak further on the importance of this legislation and I am so happy to see something we have been fighting for for so long, finally come to fruition.
Ducks Unlimited Legislator of the Year
This year, I was selected, along with another member, as the Legislator of the Year for Ducks Unlimited. I am so humbled by this award and very happy to work with this group on environmental justice legislation and advocacy. As co-chair of the Sportsman Caucus, we work very hard to raise awareness for wetland protection among other environmental issues in our Great Lakes State. With a wetland right in our district, we need to always remember to make efforts to better protect these areas right in our own backyards.