Between the State of the State address on Feb. 12 and scheduling time to visit schools in Clawson and Troy for March is Reading Month, our time in Lansing has been active and energized! This energy has been translated into new bills, productive committee meetings and many exciting district events.
At the top of my agenda over the last few weeks was kicking off my committee assignments. Presentations from our regulated utilities in the Energy Committee have been both informative and constructive, and I had a chance to sit down for dinner with other legislators who have served in local government to talk about our constituents and the need to support communities at the local level.
I welcome your thoughts and comments on my committees or any other issues that arise. You can always reach us at (517) 373-1783, by email at PadmaKuppa@house.mi.gov or by coming to one of our district events. Upcoming in-district hours, community events and our first town hall are listed below and I would love to see you there!
State of the State
Last month, I was honored to attend the State of the State address as your representative from the 41st House District. I was glad to see Gov. Whitmer address issues that impact Michigan families on a daily basis like education, clean water and crumbling roads. There is no shortage of work to do when it comes to our goal of building opportunity for all Michiganders..
I look forward to working with the governor’s administration and across the aisle to address our critical education and infrastructure crises. I am also hopeful we will find bipartisan, fair and affordable solutions to lower auto insurance rates for all Michiganders while still protecting our world class coverage. We have had enough studies underscoring just how bad our roads really are, how inadequate our education funding is, and how unsafe our drinking water is. We need to take action on these issues immediately. I am also hopeful we will find bi-partisan, fair and affordable solutions to lower auto insurance rates for all Michiganders while still protecting our world class coverage. I look forward to developing policies that hold polluters responsible, and ensure that we fund our priorities – our roads and our schools deserve better! Stay tuned for more information and watch bills roll out on the Legislature Committee Website.
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Policy Committee Happenings:
My committee assignments have been keeping me busy — with recent presentations from DTE, Consumers Energy and ITC Holdings at our last three Energy Committee meetings. This upcoming week we have presentations from the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council and the Michigan Environmental Council. In the Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee, I have had a chance to ask questions about the bills that come in front of us and voted to support HB 4055, which amends sec. 109 of 1967 PA 288 to require tax payment certification prior to approval of land division, and HB 4119, which amends sec. 13a of 1947 PA 359 to provide for the reestablishment of free public libraries in certain circumstances. You can keep up with what is going on live or catch them on the archives.
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Fighting For Education and our Economy
Education is the backbone of our economy: people need the right kind of education to compete in today’s global marketplace, and we must adequately prepare our children. This is why we are hosting our first town hall called “Education and Economics 101: How Strong Public Schools Lead to a Strong Economy” which will feature a Q & A with a panel of four experts:
- Tonya Allen, Skillman Foundation
- Rob Fowler, Small Business Association of Michigan
- Rick Joseph, Michigan Teacher of the Year 2016, a teacher at Birmingham Covington Middle School
- Doug Maibach, Executive Vice President at Barton Malow
We want to provide you with information on why we need to take a more aggressive approach to funding our public schools, the challenges we face now (fundmischools.org has data!), and the opportunities we have in the 100th Legislative session to set us on the right course. Our community is ready to advocate for our schools and this town hall aims to provide you detailed information on what we can do. Come to room 303 in the Troy Community Center, 3179 Livernois Rd. in Troy on Monday, March 11 at 7 pm.
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The state’s Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is responsible for regulating the insurance market, assisting consumers with insurance-related questions, and keeping insurance buyers safe from fraudulent companies.
For me, protecting Michigan buyers from fraud is an essential part of keeping our insurance industry well regulated. We need a fair and affordable no-fault reform package that will lower rates while guarding benefits for all Michigan drivers and families. In the House, we have a Select Committee on Reducing Car Insurance Rates; on the Senate side, they’ve already introduced several bills to address the issue. I will support legislation that brings fairness to insurance rates, increases transparency, cracks down on fraud throughout the system, reduces lawsuits and lowers health care prices for accident victims. Visit fairandaffordable.com to learn more!
In the meantime, if you have questions about DIFS or insurance purchases, you can call their toll-free number to speak with an agent at (877) 999-6442.
Midland Credit Management has recently been awarded a $450,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Business Development Program to aid in the expansion of their current facility in Troy. This is expected to result in the creation of 150 new jobs.
Simons Michelson Zieve, Inc. (SMZ), a third generation advertising agency, is celebrating its 90th anniversary. SMZ will mark this milestone with various events, including one to benefit The Children’s Center of Detroit. Small business is at the root of our economic success!
Clawson Robostangs have once again qualified for the Michigan State Championship on March 2nd at Monroe Community College. This is the fifth consecutive year the team has appeared at the championship. Clawson Middle School students and their coaches have all worked very hard to get here, with the team’s robot currently ranked 9th in the state and 69th in the world! Congratulations to everyone involved and we look forward to this amazing team representing Clawson Public Schools at the state level!
I was honored to be at the Incredible Kid Recognition this month. Each year the Troy Community Coalition recognizes “incredible kids” between the ages of 6-13. Parents, teachers, families and friends were all invited to recognize the youth in their lives who have performed small acts of kindness or concern. The kids got their nomination form read, had their photo taken and got a gold medal from the Chief of Police!
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UPCOMING TIME WITH PADMA
In District Hours
Saturday, March 9 from 10:30 a.m. – noon
Blair Memorial Library
416 N Main St., Clawson
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Senior Coffee Hours
Monday, March 18 from 10 – 11 a.m.
Troy Community Center
3179 Livernois Road, Troy
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Senior Expo at Troy Community Center
March 19, 10 a.m.
3179 Livernois Road, Troy
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Monday, March 25 from 4 – 5:30 p.m.
Troy Public Library
510 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy
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WHAT TO DO IN 41
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Constitution Cafes: Madison’s Lost Idea: The Virginia Plan and the National Veto
March 10, from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Troy Museum and Historic Village, 60 W Wattles Road, Troy
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Celebrate 100 Years of Michigan Parks
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is celebrating the 100 year anniversary of Michigan parks opening. Even in the chilly weather, you can get in on the fun by taking a winter hike around nearby State Parks – find one here! Be sure to take a picture and share it with the DNR Memory Map page!
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New Beginnings with Continuing Education
Troy Continuing Education provides an exciting array of programs and services for anyone interested in furthering their education. I was honored to listen to the students and staff at the “Adult Students Speak” event on Feb. 25. It showcased the successful Troy Continuing Education and Troy MiWorks partnership – their programs aid in GED completion, career certifications and finding jobs. Looking for new opportunities? Call (248) 823-5186 or visit their website for more information.
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Make way for Emergency Vehicles
Under a new Michigan law, drivers are required to change lanes and slow down by 10 mph or more under the speed limit if they encounter an emergency or service vehicle. Failing to do so may cost drivers up to $400 in fines. This is part of a new law that was passed last year and goes into effect this month. It was the hope of lawmakers that this new policy would protect police, sheriffs and service workers from collisions while patrolling.
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Tax season is upon us! The Community Economic Development Association of Michigan and it’s program, the Michigan Economic Impact Coalition has developed a website where individuals can find free tax help resources. Here is the link to their free tax help website: http://michiganfreetaxhelp.org/
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I hope that this information has been helpful. I look forward to seeing you around the district and at future events!
State Rep. Padma Kuppa