I’m honored to write to you as your state representative in Lansing. In my 5 years in the State House, I have advocated on behalf of our community and its values. I rely on your input to know how best to represent you. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office to let me know about the issues that are important to you at (517) 373-2577 or at YousefRabhi@house.mi.gov. We can also provide assistance if you need help accessing state services.
Representative, 53rd District (Ann Arbor)
Yousef and You Discussion Schedule:
I host regular Yousef and You forums for constituents to get updates and discuss legislative issues. These will take place on Zoom until further notice. Typically, discussions are at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of the month and 10 a.m. on the fourth Saturday of the month. There are separate links below to register for Monday and Saturday discussions. April’s discussions will be Monday, April 11, at 6 p.m. and Saturday, April 23, at 10 a.m.
Click here to register:
I hope to see many of you there!
I am actively working on legislation to make Michigan a healthier, more prosperous, and more equitable state. Here are some of the bills I have introduced recently:
Water Protection Package
I worked with fellow Democratic representatives to introduce a legislative package comprising three bills and a resolution to protect Michigan’s water. My bill, HB 5953, would affirm that all of Michigan’s water, including groundwater, is held in the public trust. The resolution honors Michigan Water Day and World Water Day, and recognizes that everyone has the right to clean, affordable water. The remaining two bills in the package extend the DNR’s authority to conserve bodies of water and close the loophole that allows bottled water to be exported from the Great Lakes watershed. This legislation would protect and preserve our water for the benefit of all Michiganders, and prevent if from being polluted or sold for private profits.
MiCare– Universal Single-Payer Health Care
I was proud to re-introduce MiCare on March 23, with the support of many dedicated health care professionals and universal health care advocates. HB 5966, creates a single-payer, universal health care system called MiCare for all Michiganders. Everyone should be able to get the healthcare they need without the constant threat of medical bankruptcy. We can’t afford to keep paying far more than any other nation for health care, while often getting worse health outcomes.
MiCare would be a publicly funded, publicly administered system with no co-pays, deductibles or other out of pocket costs. The current system is weighed down by costly insurance bureaucracy designed to deny care, as patients and healthcare professionals spend even more time and money battling that red tape. MiCare would get insurance companies out from in between you and your doctor. It would provide comprehensive coverage, including dental, vision, mental health and prescription drugs. By negotiating prices and cutting administrative costs, we can cover everyone for less than we are all paying today.
You can find more information about MiCare here.
Protection for Michigan Drivers and Crash Survivors
The disastrous changes made to Michigan’s auto no-fault insurance law in 2019 dismantled the most comprehensive personal injury auto insurance system in the country, reducing coverage and rescinding life-sustaining care for crash survivors. The system we had needed improvement, but the new system is a cruel failure. More than 1500 survivors have lost their care, more than 3000 care workers have been laid off, and more than 100 providers have closed or have been forced to stop serving auto insurance clients. What did consumers get in return? Reduced coverage, continued discriminatory practices, and a projected double-digit rise in insurance prices in the coming year.
That’s why I have introduced HB 5931, which would repeal the harmful “reforms” and, as much as possible, restore the system we had before. In particular, it would repeal the draconian 45% reimbursement cut that is bankrupting providers and creating life-threatening situations for crash survivors. We must act now to stabilize the care system.
Any changes to the auto insurance system should be in order to protect Michigan consumers, not to increase insurance company profits. To that end, I recently worked together with several colleagues to design a package of bills (HBs 5996-6005) to control rates and prevent insurance companies from cheating consumers. I sponsored HB 5997 and HB 5998 in that package. House Bill 5997 would allow judges to order 300% damages when insurance companies deny claims in bad faith. Denying claims in bad faith directly harms survivors. It also allows insurance companies to drive providers out of business or force them to drop expensive clients. Insurers are rarely penalized for this unfair business practice. House Bill 5998 would close the interpretive loophole that exempts regulated businesses like insurance companies and banks from Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act. It shouldn’t be legal for insurance companies to get away with cheating people; they should be held to the same standards that apply to other businesses. This bill package has the support of more than two dozen sponsors and co-sponsors from both parties, and I hope we will see true insurance reform enacted this session.
Federal Funds to be Invested in Communities
On March 24, the Legislature passed a bipartisan supplemental appropriations bill investing much-needed funding in infrastructure and struggling communities. Most of the $4.7 billion came from federal programs designed to respond to the health and economic effects of the pandemic. This is a substantial down payment on repairing and expanding infrastructure that has gone neglected for decades. Among its many provisions, the bill includes $1.7 billion for water infrastructure, $604 million for housing assistance, $450 million for parks and trails, $317 million for road and bridge repairs, and $250 million to expand broadband access.
I voted for this supplemental appropriations bill because of the critical investments it makes in the future of our state. The 2022-23 budget is still in the works, and I will continue to advocate for our community’s priorities as that process unfolds.
Ann Arbor’s Recycling Facility Has Re-opened
I am happy to say that Ann Arbor once again has a local recycling facility after 5 years. Having our own facility up and running brings jobs to our community and cuts the energy costs of recycling. The new Materials Recovery Facility is still set up to accept a single stream of recyclables from bins, so there is no need to pre-sort.
However, certain materials can contaminate the recyclables or pose a hazard to workers. “When in Doubt, Leave It Out!” You can find a list of acceptable materials here: https://www.a2gov.org/departments/trash-recycling/Pages/Recycling.aspx. Please do not put PVC, Styrofoam, wire or strings of lights, batteries, electronics, plastic bags, or shredded paper in curbside recycling bins. Most of these materials are accepted in person at the Drop-Off Station or the Home Toxics dropoff.