Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including updates and news from your state government.
Rep. Hope and AG Nessel Host Senior Scam Event on Thursday
Special guest Attorney General Dana Nessel and I will host a senior scam event on Thursday, Nov. 16, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at Sam Corey Senior Center, 2108 Cedar Street, in Holt. The Michigan Department of Attorney General will provide helpful information to protect seniors who are often targeted by scam artists. I hope to see you there!
Election Worker Protections Pass Legislature
I am proud to report that legislation to protect election officials from intimidation passed the legislature last week and is now awaiting the governor’s signature. House Bill 4129 and Senate Bill 505 would make a first and second offense of intimidating election workers a misdemeanor. Subsequent offenses could be prosecuted as a felony.
Elections can’t take place without poll workers, who do this poorly paid temporary work out of a sense of civic duty. Threats of violence against election workers have increased and have caused many to leave the work altogether. As legislators, we must provide a sense of security and protect the people who make elections run smoothly. These bills ensure that election workers can effectively carry out their duties while protecting voters’ constitutional rights.
Uniform Power of Attorney Act Signed by Governor
Last week, Gov. Whitmer signed legislation I sponsored (HBs 4644 – 4646) to enact the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA) here in Michigan and repeal sections of the Estates and Protected Individuals Code that currently provide for a durable power of attorney. A power of attorney is a document that permits one person to appoint another person to act as his or her agent. Although these are common, the laws governing them vary widely from state to state. This causes problems for principals and agents, as well as anyone who is asked to accept a power of attorney and must determine its validity.
The Uniform Power of Attorney Act is a model statute developed by the Uniform Law Commission in 2006. Uniform state laws standardize procedures across states. The UPOAA is intended to provide cross-jurisdictional consistency regarding power of attorney agreements. It provides uniformity and enhances the usefulness of durable powers while protecting the principal, the agent and third parties. Prior to this legislation passing, Michigan had no general codification of the law of agency concerning powers of attorney — only a set of skeleton provisions regarding “durable” powers. By enacting the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, our state will expand these provisions from five sections in the Estates and Protected Individuals Code to 48 sections. More than 30 states have already passed the Uniform Power of Attorney Act. Michigan’s UPOAA will go into effect on July 1.
Rep. Hope Introduces Seizure Safe Schools Act
Last week, I introduced the Seizure Safe Schools Act (HB 5329). This legislation ensures that schools are well-equipped with the tools necessary to provide a safe and enriching environment for students living with epilepsy and seizure disorders.
Specifically, this legislation requires:
- School personnel complete seizure recognition and response training once every two years;
- School nurses or personnel designated to administer medication complete training on seizure medication administration; and
- School districts have a Seizure Action Plan for every student with a seizure disorder.
I have been working on this bill with the Michigan Epilepsy Foundation. This issue was initially brought to me by a constituent—the mother of a student with a seizure disorder.
Legislature Concludes Historic Year
This has been the most productive legislative term in years, if not in decades. We have had a historically successful 2023 already — we listened to what people need and delivered on our promises. In fact, we passed more than double the number of bills into law during the first 45 days of session than the previous Republican-led legislature did during the first 45 days of its term!
As of Nov. 7, the House and Senate have passed 198 public acts, including legislation to:
- Expand free pre-K to 5,600 more kids this year.
- Lower the age of Michigan Reconnect from 25 to 21, expanding eligibility for up to 350,000 Michiganders.
- Expand access to food assistance programs, feeding more than 710,500 Michiganders and 531,000 children.
- Allocate $600 million in infrastructure across the state to improve water delivery systems, remediate lead in homes, and to fix the roads.
- Allocate $160 million to feed over 1.4 million children for breakfast and lunch at public schools throughout the state.
- Increase the wages of direct-care workers in Michigan, investing $140 million.
- Allocate $50 million for the Housing and Community Development Program to alleviate affordable housing needs across the state and revitalize downtown areas in Michigan.
But the work does not stop here. It is my great honor to put the people of Michigan first by delivering on what matters most to constituents, and I am ready to keep the momentum moving forward next year!
CVI Town Hall Elicits Community Concerns, Ideas
On Monday, about 50 community members gathered to learn about the community violence intervention initiatives already at work in the capital area. Dr. Paul Elam with the Michigan Public Health Institute and Advance Peace; Mike McKissic with the Mikey23 Foundation; Lansing Superintendent Ben Shuldiner; Lansing School’s Executive Director of Student Culture and Climate Cordelia Black; emergency room physician Dr. Ben Mosher; and Firearm Safety and Gun Violence Prevention Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Christine Morse shared their experiences working with those at risk of committing gun violence. We are fortunate to have dedicated, compassionate people working to disrupt gun violence.
Thank you to Rep. Christine Morse, who is holding these town halls across the state. And thank you to the panelists, Greater Lansing Moms Demand Action, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing for making this event a success.
Office Closed for Thanksgiving
My office will be closed Nov. 20 -through Nov. 24 for Thanksgiving. If you are in need of emergency food, housing or utility assistance during this period, please call 211. They may be able to help.
I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving filled with good food, friends and family.