I hope this newsletter finds you and your family well. As we reflect back on March, Women’s History Month, let us all remember to continue to honor the women in our lives, as well as the women who have contributed to the shaping of our community and country. Without the support, love, and friendship from the women in my life, I would not be where I am today, advocating for legislation that protects, uplifts, and supports all residents in Michigan.
It has been an extremely productive past few weeks here at the State Capitol and I am eager to continue this good work. In this edition, I wanted to share some pertinent information on recent legislation along with community updates.
As always, if you, or someone you know, wants to provide any feedback about what’s happening in Lansing or needs assistance of any sort, please feel free to reach out to us at any time. You can email us at SenSAnthony@senate.michigan.gov or call (517) 373-6960.
Gun Violence Prevention
Gun violence is a leading cause of early death in this country, killing thousands every year, and is the number one cause of death among youth in America. From tragedies right here in Michigan at Oxford High School and Michigan State University, to the recent incident at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, it’s abundantly clear that action is long overdue.
We’ve heard from our young people across every part of our state, calling on their leaders to do something. To act swiftly before another act of gun violence prevents someone’s child, parent, classmate, or loved one from coming home. The thought is not “if” this will happen again, but rather “when,” “where” and “to whom” it will happen next. This cannot continue any longer.
I am proud that my colleagues and I took a stance on preventing gun violence and saving lives by passing the 11-bill gun violence prevention package to establish universal background checks, Extreme Risk Protection Orders, and child access protection laws. This widely embraced common-sense will save lives from being lost to mass shootings, homicides, suicides, and accidents.
This package was crafted with input from state and national experts, public safety officials, parent advocacy groups and responsible gun owners. Ultimately, these bills will help keep our fellow Michiganders from harming themselves or others, intentionally or accidentally, while also respecting Michigan’s hunting, farming, and sporting traditions. No person should live with the fear of gun violence while at their job, place of worship, grocery store, or classroom.
Uplifting Workers in Michigan
On March 14th, the Michigan Senate passed legislation that will protect and restore worker’s rights in Michigan.
For decades, Michigan laws weakened wage and workplace protections and collective bargaining. By passing this Restoring Workers’ Rights legislation, we’re protecting the freedom to join to negotiate — creating safer, more equitable workplaces, with fair pay that helps Michigan families thrive.
This issue is personal to me. I grew up in a union household right here in Lansing and understand the value of protecting and uplifting the workers who are the backbone of our communities. The Restoring Workers’ Rights legislation, and the repeal of so-called Right to Work, guarantees workers’ rights to join to negotiate for pay raises, lifting worker pay to help deal with rising costs, protect their right to safety, and helping create good-paying jobs that are available to all workers. I was thrilled to see Gov. Whitmer signed these bills into law just weeks later to ensure that our state is somewhere people want to live, work, and earn adequate wages to build a life for themselves and their families.
End Child Marriage in Michigan
On March 16th, I was proudly joined by Senators Santana and Klinefelt and Representatives Hope and Brixie to announce the introduction of our bipartisan, bicameral package of legislation to end child marriage in Michigan. Taken together, Senate Bills 209–217 and Senate Bill 246 amend and update various sections of law to establish 18 years old as the minimum age of consent for marriage.
Currently, Michigan law allows individuals ages 16 and 17 years old to marry with the permission of one parent or guardian. Children can marry at any age with both parental and judicial approval. According to data compiled by the non-profit organization Unchained At Last, between the years 2000 and 2021, more than 5,400 minors were married in the state of Michigan. The vast majority of them, 91 percent, were girls. Research has consistently shown significant negative outcomes for girls who are married before adulthood. Not only do most child marriages end in divorce, but married minors are more likely to live in poverty and be victims of spousal abuse. Legislatures all across the country are starting to wake up and realize current laws make it too easy for bad actors to take advantage of young people. It’s time we finally end this outdated, harmful practice to protect the youth in Michigan and become the 8th state to ban child marriage.
This package of legislation was referred to the Committee on Civil Rights, Public Safety, and Judiciary for further legislative review. I look forward to joining with my colleagues to get this bill to Gov. Whitmer’s desk to be signed into law.
IN OUR COMMUNITY
March is Reading Month
I was welcomed by the students and staff at Delta Center Elementary School to celebrate March is Reading month!
Please join me at my upcoming coffee hour! These events are a great way to share your questions and ideas directly with me and get a firsthand update on what my colleagues and I have been working on in Lansing.
WHEN: Monday, April 24, 2023 from 4 – 5 PM
WHERE: Grand Ledge Area District Library, 131 E Jefferson St, Grand Ledge, MI 48837
Learn more by visiting my Facebook page and RSVP by emailing SenSAnthony@senate.michigan.gov.