This week the Legislature returned to session after a two-week in-district work period. During this time, I’ve been reviewing the budget, responding to constituent issues and celebrating my daughter’s baptism. I’m excited to get back to Lansing and continue getting things done for the 49th District.
We all know how important it is to stay involved and up to date on what’s happening in our government. You can visit the House website by clicking here. You can also use this link to view our weekly session meetings or any committee meetings you might be interested in. For updates, you can also visit my website at Cherry.housedems.com or follow me on Facebook @StateRepCherry.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, I hope you will reach out to me. You can email me at any time at JohnCherry@house.mi.gov or call my office at (517) 373-7515.
On March 5, Gov. Whitmer released her budget proposal. I look forward to working with the governor and my colleagues in the House to create a budget that reinvests in our schools, our infrastructure and the health and safety of our communities.
The Michigan House Appropriations subcommittees have begun hearings on the departmental budgets and are working through the details within those budgets.
You can watch presentations and hearings on the budget here.
Legislative analysis of the budget can be found here.
It’s important to remember that the governor’s budget proposal has yet to be finalized. Receiving feedback from communities across the state will be an important part of the process moving forward. As your state representative, I want to know what priorities you have for our state’s budget. In order to help me fight for a budget that reflects the needs of our community, please take a moment to fill out a brief survey on my website by clicking here.
If you have any specific questions or concerns regarding the budget, you can also reach out to my office at (517) 373-7515 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PFAS in the District & What’s Being Done About It
I’d like to thank everyone who came out to the PFAS town hall last month. Establishing a dialogue and educating ourselves on the problem is an important first step. For those who weren’t able to make it, or would like follow up, the questions asked as well as the slides provided are now available to download or view here.
I value hearing from the community about how this affects you, but I’m not going to stop there. I’m committed to working with anyone I can to ensure PFAS stays out of our water and to restore health and safety to our communities. Since the PFAS town hall, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has begun planning for the installation of monitor wells in and around the Bishop Airport. Drilling is expected to begin April 29. The monitor wells will provide important data that will help give us a picture of PFAS levels in and around the Bishop Airport, as well as the deeper regional drinking water aquifer.
Pictured: A map of the area under investigation by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Fortunately, PFAS has yet to be detected in private wells in the area above. A test carried out by the MDEQ earlier this month on a private well came back negative for any PFAS chemicals. If you are concerned there may be PFAS in your private well you can contact the DEQ Environmental Assistance Center at (800) 662-9278 to inquire about having residential well testing conducted.
Gov. Whitmer has directed the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to develop drinking water standards for per- and polyfluoralkyl substances instead of waiting on federal guidelines.
The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team will form a work group to review proposed and existing maximum contaminant levels throughout the country to develop an appropriate standard for Michigan by July 1. Under an accelerated schedule, stakeholders would be able to comment on the proposed standards by October 1.
As the legislature goes back into session this spring, I will continue fighting for clean water and healthy communities. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions or concerns regarding this issue.
Coffee with Cherry
Join me for coffee and conversation. I’ll give a brief legislative update, then I’ll have time for any questions, comments or concerns you’d like to share. These events are family friendly and coffee will be provided. My staff will be on hand to answer questions at the April 15 event, as I will be unable to attend due to a recently scheduled budget meeting in Lansing.
Monday, April 15, from 2:45 – 3:45 p.m.
Swartz Creek High School
1 Dragon Dr. in Swartz Creek
Thursday, April 18, from 6 – 7 p.m.
Flint Public Library
1026 E. Kearsley St. in Flint
Monday, April 22 from 10 – 11 a.m.
Calvary United Methodist Church
2111 Flushing Road in Flint
Helpful Resources for the Folks in the 49th
The deadline to file your taxes is April 15!
There are a variety of resources to help you file your taxes by the deadline.
Low- to moderate-income families in Genesee County can file their taxes for free with an IRS-certified volunteer through United Way's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA is a volunteer run program in partnership with the IRS to help families access the EITC and other credits that can boost financial stability. See the image below for hours and dates.
Receiving Too Many Robocalls?
I know that many people are fed up and frustrated with the amount of robocalls they’re receiving. I am too. I put together a list of resources for you to try in order to help cut down on the amount you receive.
- Use the Do Not Call list: You can register your numbers on the national Do Not Call list at no cost by calling (888) 382-1222 (voice) or (866) 290-4236 (TTY). You must call from the phone number you wish to register. You can also register and add your personal wireless phone number to the national Do Not Call list by visiting the website: donotcall.gov.
- Don’t answer: It may go against your good manners, but even answering the phone can trigger the computerized system to keep your phone number in the system, meaning there’s no end in sight. If you don’t know the number, don’t answer it. Let them leave a message on your voicemail and then call them back, if it’s somebody you want to talk to.
- Talk to your Provider: AT&T offers a variety of services that can help their customers prevent robocalls. AT&T customers can opt into AT&T Protect. This is a service that flags suspicious phone numbers from telemarketers, spam and more. If you have another provider, give them a call and see what services they offer.
Library books are available for those who are temporarily or permanently homebound
The Talking Book Center provides talking books through the mail, postage-free to those who are unable to read standard print due to visual or physical impairment. The Genesee District Library also offers Homebound Services, where patrons who are temporarily or permanently homebound can receive books from our collection via mail, postage-free. For more information you can call the Talking Book Center at (810) 732-1120 or visit their website at https://www.thegdl.org/services/talking-book-center.
The Genesee County Action Resource Department
The Genesee County Action Resource Department (CARD) is a great resource for folks in the 49th. CARD can help you with everything from finding decent housing that works for your budget to finding gainful employment. They can be a fantastic resource for people trying to get back on track. Whether it’s a place to stay or job training, they can provide the resources you need to reach your goals!
For more information call (810) 232-2185 or visit their website at http://www.gc4me.com/resident/gccard/
Get ready for Easter if you celebrate! There will be free Easter egg hunts across the district!
Flint: The Genesee Valley Landings will be hosting a community Easter egg hunt for a variety of age groups. Children as old as 12 are welcome to join. Make sure to bring your own basket, there will also be prizes and pictures with the Easter Bunny!
Date: April 13
Time: 10 a.m. -12 p.m.
Location: Landings of Genesee Valley G4444 West Court St. in Flint
Swartz Creek: The Clayton Township Police Department, in conjunction with the Swartz Creek Area Fire Department, will present an Easter egg hunt. The event is open to children 4-12 years old.
Date: April 13
Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: Elms Park, 4150 Elms Road in Swartz Creek
Second Saturday Trivia Night
Team up with friends in groups of six or less and compete against other challengers in six common categories including science, history, geography, literature, pop culture and more. Battle it out for bragging rights and small prizes for the top three teams. Recommended for ages 13 and older. Admission includes 7 p.m. laser show.
Date: April 13
Time: 6 – 8 p.m.
Location: Longway Planetarium 1310 E. Kearsley St. in Flint
Celebrate Earth Day at Mott Community College
Local organizations will provide educational information and activities for children and adults. Local vendors will also be selling earth friendly items. Live animals and other presentations will round out activities.
Date: April 13
Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Location: Mott Community College, Regional Technology Center, 1401 E. Court St. in Flint
Spring Dance Concert
Enjoy this faculty choreographed yearly dance concert featuring a variety of dance styles and suitable for all ages. For more information and a schedule of upcoming performances visit umflint.edu.
Date: April 20
Time: 2 – 4 p.m.
Location: University of Michigan-Flint School of Theatre & Dance, University Theatre Room 238, 303 E. Kearsley St. in Flint
Annual Superhero 5K Fun Run/Walk
Enjoy one of the Flint-area’s favorite family events featuring a fun course and great venue. Every finisher will receive a custom finishers medal. The 5K Run/Walk are timed events with age-group awards. The family-friendly 1K Family Fun Run remains a non-competitive event. The Flint Superhero Run promises to provide fun for the entire family. All proceeds will benefit the Voices for Children Advocacy Center, which is dedicated to serving the child victims and families of child abuse in Genesee County and enhancing the lives of all children through treatment, education and by increasing community awareness. Dressing as your favorite superhero is encouraged.
Date: April 27
Time: 5k starts at 9:05 a.m., 1k Family Fun Run starts at 10:05 a.m.
Location: Flint Farmers' Market 300 E. First St. in Flint
Crime Victims' Resource Fair
Crime Stoppers of Flint & Genesee County is hosting an event for victims of crime and their families. Participating agencies include local law enforcement and other businesses offering their resources and support.
Date: April 27
Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Location: 3300 N. Saginaw St. in Flint
Stockton House Museum Historic Tours
Stockton House was constructed in 1872 by Thomas and Maria Stockton. In 1920, the grandson of Thomas and Maria sold the property to the Archdiocese of Detroit for the establishment of a hospital to be operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph. Then, in 2002, the house was purchased by the For-Flint Investments. It was renovated in 2005 and designated as a Michigan Historical Site and State Historical Marker. Visit this hidden gem of Flint and learn about its unique history.
Date: April 20
Time: 1 – 4 p.m.
Location: Stockton House Museum 720 Ann Arbor St. in Flint
I hope this information has been useful to you. As always, reach out if there is anything further I can do for you.