Happy National Reading Month! One of the highlights of spring in House District 52 is reading with students across the district. Reading is fundamental to developing good academic skills and emotional literacy. I want to encourage everyone to take the time this month to sit down with a good book, visit their local library, or even consider writing a book yourself.
As always, you can contact my staff and me at (517) 373-0828, by email at DonnaLasinski@house.mi.gov, or by visiting my website at RepLasinski.com, with any questions, thoughts, or suggestions.
Senate Bill 353
This week on the floor, I spoke out against Senate Bill 353. Senate Bill 353 would preempt local governments from setting pre-employment standards different than state standards. Once again, state government is attempting to pre-empt local governments from finding innovative solutions to stagnating wages.
For example, right now, the state of Michigan has no standard on asking pre-employment questions about salary, which disadvantages applicants who have gained new skills, completed apprenticeships or are moving between communities with different costs of living.
Employers set pay on what the position is worth to their organization and should not base compensation on a worker’s worth in a different job with a different employer. At the current rate, the pay gap will not close in Michigan until 2086. We have the ability to create a healthier economic climate by ensuring equitable pay for all, and instead, SB353 limits the range of options local businesses and communities can support. Senate Bill 353 passed the House 62-46.
Upcoming Time with Donna
Whitmore Lake Coffee Hour
Join me for coffee and conversation about the issues that matter to you!
When: Saturday, March 17, from 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Where: Northfield Township Area Library, 125 Barker Road in Whitmore Lake
Manchester Area Senior Citizens Council Coffee Hour
Following the Manchester Area Senior Citizens Council lunch, I will be hosting a coffee hour that is open to the public. This coffee hour will focus on legislative updates involving broadband.
When: Thursday, March 29 from 12:45-1:45 p.m.
Where: Fellowship Hall, Emanuel United Church of Christ, 324 W. Main Street in Manchester
What to Do in HD 52
Better Off Read Book Club
This general reading book discussion club meets the third Thursday of every month from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Library’s lower-level meeting room. This is a general reading group and it will focus on a selection of books from many different genres.
Registration is required. Contact Lisa Ryan at (734) 426-4477 (ext. 119) for further information.
When: Thursday, March 15, at 1 p.m.
Where: Dexter District Library, 3255 Alpine St. in Dexter
Junior Naturalist: Finding Fossils
Take a glimpse into a world from long ago with this Washtenaw Township event at the Fox Science Preserve. Visit an old gravel pit, where we will be able to find signs of prehistoric plants and animals. Depending on weather leading up to the event, areas may be muddy. Pre-registration is required, as there is a 10 children per-program limit. The program is aimed at children 7-12 years old. To register your child, visit parksonline.ewashtenaw.org (Registration #831004, Section A).
When: Sunday, March 25 at 2 p.m.
Where: Fox Science Preserve, 2280 Peters Road in Ann Arbor
Supported by the United Way, 2-1-1 is a free service linking people with information or agencies for help with energy assistance, high utility bills and other needs. The calls are confidential, and answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Tax Season Assistance
I know that filing your taxes can often be difficult and confusing. This year, taxpayers have until Tuesday, April 17, to file both their federal and state income tax return for tax year 2017. Here are a few resources you might consider using to help you meet this deadline.
For qualifying residents, United Way of Washtenaw County provides a free tax preparation service to work one-on-one with you to provide basic tax return preparation and electronic filing. You can find sign up for assistance online here or by schedule an appointment by calling (734) 677-7235.
There is also an IRS-sponsored program to help any taxpayer with an income of less than $54,000 prepare and file their federal, Michigan and city taxes for free! Any eligible taxpayer can have an IRS-trained and certified tax volunteer prepare and e-file their federal, state and local income tax returns at no cost. There are also several do-it-yourself options that are free for taxpayers to use. More detailed information, including the availability of all the different services offered throughout the state, is available by dialing 2-1-1.
I hope you’ve found this information useful. As I’ve said before, please feel free to reach out to my office with any comments or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you!
State Representative Donna Lasinski
52nd House District