Thank you once again for the opportunity to be our community’s voice in Lansing. In order to understand your priorities and views on the issues we face as a state, I rely on your input. You can get in touch with me by phone at (517) 373-2577, by email at YousefRabhi@house.mi.gov, or by attending one of my Yousef and You constituent discussions (details below). I send these updates and notices about events once or twice a month as a service to constituents. If you would like to unsubscribe, please email me.
I look forward to working together with you to move our state in the right direction.
Join me for a Yousef and You Discussion
I hold regular “Yousef and You” constituent discussions where anyone in our district can come to get an update on legislative issues, ask questions, and participate in open discussion. I hope many of you will be able to join me!
In November and December, I will hold only one discussion each month. These will be on the third Saturday of the month instead of the usual fourth Saturday.
The next Yousef and You constituent discussions will be:
Saturday, Nov. 18
RoosRoast Coffee, 1155 Rosewood St., Ann Arbor
Saturday, Dec. 16
RoosRoast Coffee, 1155 Rosewood St., Ann Arbor
Earlier this month, the House voted against House Bill 5013, which would have radically changed our state’s auto no-fault insurance system. While I believe that our no-fault system is in dire need of reform, HB 5013 simply wasn’t the answer.
HB 5013 did not guarantee permanent rate reductions or remove discriminatory rating factors like ZIP code, education level, or credit score, but the bill did guarantee that benefits would be gutted for many Michigan drivers and their families. I am proud to have joined so many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in voting against this disappointing attempt at reform. Defeating this bill was a victory, but our work is not yet done. Michigan is still in desperate need of a solution that retains real coverage for drivers while reducing costs for those who need it.
The bipartisan Fair and Affordable No-Fault Reform plan may be the solution. This legislative package would maintain benefits for Michiganders while addressing the factors that lead to soaring rates by increasing fairness and transparency in rate setting, cracking down on fraud, lowering health care prices for accident victims, and reducing the frequency of lawsuits. I am hopeful that this package of bills will receive a hearing in committee soon, so that we can provide relief to Michigan drivers without reducing their coverage.
Guns in Schools
Earlier this month, the Senate passed Senate Bills 584-586, which would allow concealed carry permit holders to apply for an exemption enabling them to carry concealed weapons in Michigan’s gun-free zones. This bill package would allow permit holders to bring weapons concealed, but not openly carried, into sports arenas, bars, schools, day cares, and churches. While current law does have a loophole that allows permit holders to carry openly — but not concealed — in these zones, the Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld our Ann Arbor school district’s right to create a safe space in its schools by banning guns. These new bills would strip away local control from school districts like Ann Arbor that want to prohibit staff and members of the public from carrying guns on their property. These new bills would strip away local control from school districts like Ann Arbor that want to prohibit staff and members of the public from carrying guns on school property. Public libraries would also be explicitly prohibited from regulating guns.
These bills will likely come to the House floor for a vote after Thanksgiving. I plan to vote no, because I believe that gun-free zones should be free of guns open or concealed. I have heard from many of you about how damaging these bills would be. I agree that these bills do not represent the right direction for our state and hope the majority of my colleagues will concur.
Health Care Enrollment Deadline is Dec. 15
The Affordable Care Act has been the topic of much debate at the federal level. However, the ACA’s subsidized insurance plans are still available for the coming year, and Medicaid will still cover people making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Open Enrollment in the 2018 Marketplace has begun. The deadline for enrollment is fast approaching because the Open Enrollment period is much shorter this year than in the past. Please take note of these important dates if you still need to enroll in health coverage:
Nov. 1, 2017: Open Enrollment started
This was the first day to enroll, re-enroll, or change a 2018 insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Dec. 15, 2017: Last day to enroll
This is the last possible day to enroll in or change plans for 2018 coverage. After this date, you can enroll or change plans only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment period.
Jan. 1, 2018: 2018 coverage starts
If your premium is paid, your coverage will begin.
Certain life events, like losing employer coverage, could qualify you for a Special Enrollment period outside the Open Enrollment period. Please visit www.healthcare.gov or call (800) 318-2596 for more information. If you would like free help with signing up for Marketplace coverage, Medicaid, Medicare, or the Washtenaw Health Plan, contact the Washtenaw Health Plan at http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/public_health/whp/ or (734) 544-3030.
Composting Fall Leaves
Ann Arbor is known for its beautiful urban forest. But having so many trees means we have a lot of leaves to deal with every fall. It is illegal to burn leaves or to rake them into the street, so please consider using a mulching mower or raking leaves for composting.
City of Ann Arbor curbside compost collection ends for the season on Dec. 8. It will resume in April. During seasonal collection, the compost trucks will pick up an unlimited number of leaf bags in addition to your compost cart.
If you don’t want to wait for your compost pickup, free unlimited leaf drop off is available weekdays until Dec. 8 at the Ann Arbor Compost Center, 4150 Platt Road, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. The free drop-off is for leaves from Ann Arbor only. The Compost Center accepts leaves from city residents, Ann Arbor commercial properties, and their contracted landscapers/haulers. Visitors must show proof of Ann Arbor residency (driver's license or current water bill).