Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including some updates and news from your state government.
Legislature Passes Nearly $1 Billion in COVID-19 Relief
The House passed an $842 million spending bill primarily aimed at addressing COVID-related hardships. Most of this money comes from federal coronavirus relief funds, with another $71 million from the state’s General Fund. House Bill 4398 provides the following:
I was proud to vote yes on HB 4398. These funds are headed to communities all over our state, and I am encouraged that the legislature could come together and pass this legislation before the end of the year.
Legislature Sets Aside $1.5 Billion for Economic Development
On Tuesday, the Michigan House of Representatives passed $1.5 billion in economic development appropriations (Senate Bill 85). One billion dollars will go to the newly created Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund within the Michigan Strategic Fund. These funds will be used to attract businesses to invest in new projects in our state. The bill also includes a $409 million appropriation for businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bills Introduced to Allow Pharmacists to Prescribe Birth Control
This week, my colleague state Rep. Abraham Aiyash and I introduced a two-bill package (House Bills 5654 and 5655) that would allow pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraceptives. This includes the pill, ring, patch and injection.
Like many other states, Michigan is experiencing a shortage of physicians, including OB-GYNs. In fact, according to Planned Parenthood of Michigan, one-third of Michigan’s 83 counties have no OB-GYNs. This is not just a rural issue: Detroit is near the bottom nationally when it comes to OB-GYN availability. With the shortage of doctors comes more difficulty accessing contraception. Allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control will help people make their own reproductive decisions, regardless of where they live in Michigan.
Gun Magazine Capacity Legislation Introduced
Last week, the Firearm Safety and Gun Violence Prevention Caucus introduced bills that would ban the sale and possession of magazines able to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. High-capacity weapons have been used in multiple mass shootings, including the recent tragedy in Oxford. I co-sponsored both House Bills 5627 and 5628. Similar bills were introduced in the Senate. You can show your support and ask leadership to hold a committee hearing for these bills at safemichigan.com.
Wreaths Across America Ceremony Takes Place at the Capitol
I took part in the annual Wreaths Across America Ceremony presented by the Civil Air Patrol on Monday. These ceremonies take place across the country every December. It was an honor to recognize the service and sacrifices of fallen Michigan service members and veterans.
Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter Celebrates 50-Year Anniversary
On Monday, I presented a tribute to the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter to recognize its 50th anniversary. This organization has played an important role in protecting the public, helping countless animals, and improving the quality of life for humans and animals. Congratulations to Director Heidi Williams, animal control officers, shelter staff and the many volunteers who have worked in the shelter over the last 50 years.
From left to right: Ingham County Commissioner Chris Trubac, Bangles the dog, Director Heidi Williams, State Rep. Kara Hope, Ingham County Commissioner Robert Peña, and Deputy Director Dan Verhougstraete
Enjoy the Holidays!
I want to wish you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy holiday season. I look forward to continuing to work with you to make our communities and state the best they can be in 2022.
My office will be closed from Monday, Dec. 20, to Friday, Dec. 31, in observance of the holidays. If you need assistance over this break, please contact us at (517) 373-0587 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you as soon as we are back in the office.