It is an honor to continue to serve as your representative during such a pivotal moment in history. I am eager to continue to work to enact policies that will help us defeat COVID-19, rebuild our economy, and deliver the necessary support for our public schools to provide a world-class education to every child.
You can visit my website at stone.housedems.com for many more resources – including access to numerous state publications and information about my recent efforts in Lansing. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1772 or email at LoriStone@house.mi.gov for questions about this or any other state-level issue.
State Representative, 28th House District
In this issue:
- Michigan Budget 101: Town Hall
- Upcoming Community Conversations
- Literacy Ambassador
- National Drug Take Back Day
- Resources to Help Certify Unemployment Claims
- Curb the Cost of Prescription Drugs
- April Safe Digging Month in Michigan
- COVID Testing Locations
- COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA)
Michigan Budget 101: Town Hall – Thursday, April 22 at 7 p.m.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced her funding priorities back in February as the state readies for more than $18 billion in federal funding available through the American Rescue Plan Act. The state government is expected to receive $5.7 billion in additional federal funding, in addition to $4.4 billion directed to local governments and $3.9 billion to K-12 schools. Several key priority areas for investment that have sustainable and long-term benefits include job creation, infrastructure, access to health care, and children and their education.
To learn more, I hope you will join me on today, Thursday, April 22 at 7 p.m. to talk about the state budget and how this can affect our constituents in the 28th District. You can join on Zoom or my Facebook Page.
As your state legislator, I cherish your input and ideas on how to make our community and our state better. That’s why I am looking forward to my community conversations coming up. Feel free to share these links with anyone in the 28th District that may be interested in attending.
- Saturday, April 24 at 11 a.m. You can join Zoom by clicking here
- Saturday, May 22 at 11 a.m. You can join Zoom by clicking here
You can also find more information and a link to join on my Facebook Page
Fitzgerald Public Schools nominated me as a #MacombReads Literacy Ambassador! It is an honor to join the Macomb County Literacy Ambassador Team! The ideal Literacy Ambassador is:
- Passionate: Literacy Ambassadors believe in the importance of reading and share their excitement with the school community.
- Leads by Example: Literacy Ambassadors actively engage in reading for pleasure and serve as role models for our youth.
- Determined: Literacy Ambassadors work to ensure that Macomb County youth have the tools needed to acquire literacy skills to reach their full potential.
DEA National Drug Take Back Day
Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is DEA National Drug Take Back Day. The Warren Center Line Prevention Coalition typically supports the Center Line Public Safety Location and Warren Police Department. I will be volunteering for this event and hope to see you there. This is a great opportunity for community members to turn in their old or unfinished prescriptions to either the Warren Police Department or Center Line Public Safety. This is the time to go through your cabinet and get rid of unused medication or expired prescription drugs!
- Center Line Public Safety – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Warren Police Department – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Resources to Help Certify Unemployment Claims
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has developed new resources to help Michigan workers certify their unemployment claims. I have included the resources to assist you in certification if needed.
- Steps to Reopening Your Claim
- Online video tutorial on certifying claims
- Infographic on the certifying process
Curb the Cost of Prescription Drugs
I voted in favor of legislation that would curb the costs of prescription drugs for everyday Michiganders. The fourteen-bill package includes legislation to create transparency in the price-setting process for prescription medication, eliminate conflicts of interest in the pharmaceutical industry and cap the copay for insulin.
Last year, Gov. Whitmer created the Prescription Drug Task Force. They recently released their findings in a comprehensive report with recommendations to lower prescription drug costs and create more transparency in the health care industry. Many of the bills in the package passed were based on the recommendations in that report.
April is Safe Digging Month in Michigan
After more than a year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, many Michiganders are more than ready to undertake outdoor digging projects like landscaping and other home improvements. Dig Safely Month is designed to remind residents and excavators that safe digging measures must be taken with every project, large or small. The law requires contacting MISS DIG by calling 8-1-1 or visiting www.missdig.org/ at least three working days in advance of using power digging equipment as well as shovels, picks or other hand tools.
In Macomb, 248 damages in 2020 occurred vs. 230 in 2019. There are four key safe digging tips:
- Contact MISS DIG 8-1-1 at least three business days before digging to have underground utilities marked.
- Wait to dig until you are sure all lines are marked with flags or paint and cleared by the utility. Confirm this by calling MISS DIG at 8-1-1 or visiting response.missdig811.org/
- Respect the marks and dig with care. If the project is within four feet of the marks, dig carefully with hand tools or modify your plans to be further from the marks. If using power equipment within four feet of the marks, always use a wooden-handled tool to carefully expose the lines and confirm their exact location before excavating.
- Be sure to contact MISS DIG at 8-1-1 before digging if using a contractor or be sure that person makes contact.
COVID Testing Locations
There are pop-up testing sites across the state available to those who traveled away from home during Spring Break, whether it was across the state, out of state or out of the country. The tests are free and the results are quick. A complete database of test locations that include airports, welcome centers, schools, and churches is available.
COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA)
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has launched an online tool to help streamline the application process for renters and landlords seeking COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA). MSHDA currently has about $282 million in federal funds available to help tenants avoid eviction and landlords recoup owed rent. Another $340 million is available to be appropriated by the state legislature. Renters making 80% of the area median income or less are eligible. For other eligibility criteria and a link to the secure online application site, visit Michigan.gov/CERA. Landlords or tenants can fill out the CERA application and upload required documents.