Dear Friend,

Seniors have spent their careers building up our communities and preparing the way the next generation. Their work and wisdom continue to contribute to our social fabric, but it’s important to remember that sometimes seniors need help, too. Many seniors live on a fixed income and struggle to buy nutritious food, pay for prescriptions, and keep up with rising utility costs.

In this newsletter, you’ll find tips and resources for seniors in our community to help them tackle these challenges and build a happy, healthy, and secure future for themselves. If you need additional assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Saving Seniors Money

The Democratic-led Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer provided $1 billion in tax relief for senior workers and retirees. By repealing taxes on retirement income, we have saved around half-a-million senior households an average of $1,000 a year. With many seniors living on fixed incomes, this extra money will provide real breathing room. Retirement savings are a lifeline for many seniors. It was wrong for a previous legislature to place this burden on seniors over a decade ago. I am happy to report that I voted to repeal their tax on pensions, IRAs and annuities. Seniors will now be able to enjoy their retirement with more money and dignity.

For more information on state taxes:

Making Health Care More Accessible

I joined with other House Democrats to pass bills to codify the protections of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) into Michigan law. These reforms require private health plans to cover many critical preventive and wellness services without you having to pay more out of your pocket. The new laws prevent insurance providers from placing caps on annual or lifetime insurance benefits. We believe you deserve to access the healthcare you need without artificial barriers. Governor Whitmer has signed the bills into law.

Prescription Drug Affordability Board Legislation

I am committed to lowering prices for our seniors. This is why my Democratic colleagues and I are working to lower the costs of prescription drugs by creating a Prescription Drug Affordability Board. I support legislation to authorize the creation of an independent board to evaluate prescription drug costs and establish price caps on prescription drugs sold in Michigan. No one should have to choose between getting their prescription drugs and putting food on the table. I have a preexisting medical condition and am on medications vital to my own quality of life. That’s one reason why I will always put people first and ensure that everyone is able to afford their lifesaving and essential medicines.

Accountability for Pharmaceutical Companies

We are keeping drug companies accountable to you. We repealed Michigan’s law that granted a blanket legal immunity to drug manufacturers and sellers when their products hurt people. The old law was the only one of its kind in the nation. Most prescription drugs are safe when used as directed, but when medication causes undue harm, you deserve the same justice that residents of every other state can access. I am happy to report that I voted for the new law that closes this unfair loophole, holds companies accountable, and allows for justice.

Protecting You: Guardianship Reform

Protecting and caring for seniors and disabled citizens is vital. Guardians and conservators play a crucial role in safeguarding these individuals’ rights and well-being. This responsibility goes beyond mere legal oversight. It represents a commitment to ensuring the dignity, autonomy and security for many senior citizens and people with disabilities.

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the need for transparency and accountability in the guardianship and conservatorship system. High-profile cases have brought to light instances of abuse and exploitation. These incidents underscore the urgency of implementing additional safeguards to protect the rights of vulnerable individuals and prevent abuses of power. Such incidents served as a call to action for reform and improved oversight. We listened and we acted.

Most guardians and conservators take their duties seriously and act honestly. However, bad actors can take advantage of both the system and those seniors supposedly in their care. The State House recently passed a series of bills that were developed based on the recommendations of the Attorney General’s Elder Abuse Task Force. This legislation will support guardians and conservators, protect their wards, and provide extra resources for those who take on this important responsibility. I voted yes, and look forward to the bills passing the Senate and earning signatures from Governor Whitmer.

Five Tips to Protect Yourself from Scammers

  1. Prevent telemarketing calls by placing yourself on the National Do Not Call Registry. You can do so at This will give you the choice about whether you want to receive telemarketing calls and how you want to report unwanted calls.
  2. Take your time. Scammers will often use the tactic to rush or put a time limit on something to lure victims into their scam. It is best to resist the pressure to act immediately. Remember, you can always call a family member, or even the police, if you feel you are in danger.
  3. Don’t answer personal questions. Never share personally identifiable information such as bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, security questions or passwords with anyone except your care manager or power of attorney.
  4. Be smart with technology. Keep anti-virus software up to date and make sure passwords are secure.
  5. Monitor your money. Keep a close eye on all of your bank accounts for any suspicious activity. You will also want to monitor your credit report for any new credit cards and loans you didn’t authorize.

Please go to: for more information from the FBI.


Adult Protective Services .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . (855) 444-3911

Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division .  .  .  .  .  .   (877) 765-8388

Department of Civil Rights .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . (800) 482-3604

Department of Education .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  (833) 633-5788

Department of Health and Human Services .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  (517) 241-3740

Department of Insurance and Financial Services .  .  .  .  .  .  . (877) 999-6442

Elder and Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   (855) 444-3911

Elder Law of Michigan .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  (866) 400-9164

Medicare Assistance .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . (800) 803-7174

Social Security Administration .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  (800) 772-1213

Area Agency on Aging  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  (616) 456-5664



State Representative Phil Skaggs