I hope you are enjoying the start of the fall season.
As Senate Democrats continue to make strides on our ambitious agenda — achieving tangible outcomes for Michiganders — I am excited to share updates on key legislation and details about an upcoming coffee hour for our district.
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.
Sen. Sarah Anthony
Featured in this Newsletter:
- Legislative Update
- Community Updates and Resources
Protecting Reproductive Health in Michigan
After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, millions of Michigan voters showed overwhelming support for Proposal 3 in November 2022 — making it abundantly clear how Michiganders felt about reproductive freedom. The Reproductive Health Act better aligns Michigan’s laws with the new reproductive health protections in Michigan’s constitution and the repeal of the 1931 abortion ban passed by Senate Democrats earlier this year.
In passing the Reproductive Health Act, our Caucus has affirmed and uplifted many Michigan residents, especially those in marginalized and underserved communities. The Reproductive Health Act includes repealing medically unnecessary regulations and removing reporting requirements and administrative burdens that are not placed on any other providers in the healthcare field. These restrictions, which were intentionally woven throughout Michigan’s laws in the past — and have nothing to do with actual patient care — have made the process of affirming everyone’s right to reproductive freedom challenging. I am proud to have sponsored legislation that reflects the true needs and interests of advocates and constituents.
Senate Democrats Take Steps to Improve Access to Care for Michigan Drivers
Over the past month, I’ve partnered with Senators Mary Cavanagh and Jeremy Moss on a package of bills to improve access to care for auto accident survivors.
We all want to do what we can to help Michiganders save money and lower costs for people, including the cost of auto insurance. But that shouldn’t be done at the expense of people who have been severely injured and permanently disabled by an auto accident.
As a result of the 2019 auto no-fault reform, crash survivors, their families and specialized care providers and facilities have suffered the consequences. The changes have led to thousands of patients being forced out of their full-time care, the loss of health care jobs, and care facilities closing their doors – resulting in the care crisis so many are currently facing. We have heard firsthand from folks impacted by an auto accident who have been consistently advocating for change. We know these provisions are long overdue.
SBs 530, 531 and 575 were made up of a culmination of feedback from conversations with constituents, community organizations and other stakeholders to ensure the legislation best addresses residents’ concerns. I am proud that this package passed the full Senate and has awaits further action in the House.
Read more about these bills here.
Ensuring Equitable and Accessible Mental Health CoverageLast week, Senate Bill 27 was before the full Senate. I am happy to report that the bill passed with bipartisan support. The bill requires health insurance policies in the state to align with federal regulations to cover mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment.
By ensuring this coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services, this bill addresses the disparities in healthcare and promotes equal access to treatment for those in need. It recognizes the significance of mental health in overall well-being and emphasizes the importance of providing comprehensive care to individuals suffering from these conditions. The bill now awaits further legislative review in the House Committee on Insurance and Financial Services.
Community Updates and Resources
Justice Bolden, Senator Anthony, and Representative Tate Commemorate Michigan’s First Black Legislator
Justice Kyra H. Bolden — the first Black woman justice on the Michigan Supreme Court — joined me and Speaker Joe Tate in a moment of diversity and equality. We posed for a photograph next to the portrait of William Webb Ferguson, Michigan’s first Black state legislator.
Ferguson’s historic appeal, Ferguson v. Gies, led to the Supreme Court ruling that racial segregation in public places was illegal, marking a milestone in Michigan’s civil rights movement. This picture symbolizes the progress towards inclusivity and serves as a reminder of Ferguson’s courageous fight for equality.
State Launches New Website to Help Federal Student Loan Borrowers Plan for Resumption of Monthly Payments The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) has launched a new website, Michigan.gov/StudentLoanRestart, to assist federal student loan borrowers as monthly payments resume in October.
With hundreds of thousands of Michiganders, including seniors, affected by federal student loans, DIFS aims to provide resources and support during this transition. The website offers tips and information on repayment plan options to help borrowers manage their monthly payments. It also advises borrowers to update their contact information with loan servicers and stay vigilant against scams.
For further assistance, borrowers can visit Michigan.gov/StudentLoanRestart or access resources from StudentAid.gov or the Federal Student Aid Information Center. DIFS focuses on ensuring access to secure insurance and financial services while promoting economic growth and consumer protection in Michigan.