I hope you had an amazing holiday season and are enjoying the new year! In 2023, the Senate Majority intentionally created successful outcomes for the people of Michigan. As 2024 begins and our state legislature returns to session, I am looking forward to another year of legislative progress and impact, especially within District 13.
I invite you to explore the rest of this newsletter and learn about what’s been going on at home in District 13 and across the state.
Featured in this newsletter:
- Legislative Updates
- Community News and Resources
As always, if you or someone you know would like to provide any feedback about what’s happening in Lansing, or needs assistance of any sort, please feel free to reach out to my office. You can email us at SenRBayer@senate.michigan.gov. or call (517) 373-2417.
Tune into the 2024 State of the State Address
Mark your calendars! Governor Gretchen Whitmer will be delivering the 2024 State of the State Address at 7:00 p.m. on January 24.
In the address, the Governor will lay out plans for the year ahead, covering topics such as education, expanding affordable housing, the state’s economy and protecting Michigan seniors.
You can watch the address:
We have had a productive year of working with the governor to address the needs of our fellow Michiganders, and I look forward to continuing to collaborate in 2024 to build a better state for you and your family.
Working to Expand Access to Quality, Affordable Housing
Safe and affordable housing continues to be a critical need for Michiganders. High interest rates and home prices create challenging conditions for both buyers and sellers, and many Michigan renters face challenges finding affordable housing too. Due to the high cost of housing, families often have to forgo food, healthcare or other necessities to avoid eviction.
Since taking office, addressing Michigan’s housing shortage has been a top priority for Senate Democrats. Through investments in housing and community development, passing historic tax relief and incentivizing redevelopment projects, our Majority for the People has been working to tackle this issue head on and make it easier for people to find and keep a place to call home.
To learn more about Senate Democrats’ efforts to expand access to affordable housing, click here.
2024 Laws Going into Effect
After a historic year with the Democrats in the majority, there were major pieces of legislation that passed. These are some of the laws taking effect early in 2024:
Restoring Workers’ Rights. Legislation repealing Michigan’s anti-worker law (House Bills 4004 and 4007 and Senate Bill 34) — which allowed union workers to opt out of paying union dues and fees — is set to go into effect.
Gun Safety. This year, gun safety-related legislation (Senate Bills 79, 80, 81and 82 and House Bills 4138 and 4142) will take effect, including the following: expansion of background checks, safe gun storage requirements and laws permitting courts to temporarily remove guns from those a judge deems pose an imminent threat to themselves or others, as well as temporarily banning those with domestic violence convictions from possessing and purchasing firearms and ammunition in Michigan.
Reproductive Health Act. The Reproductive Health Act (Senate Bills 474, 476 and 477 and House Bills 4949, 4951, 4953–4956) will remove restrictive regulations for clinics, repeal a state law requiring the purchase of a special insurance rider for private health plans to cover abortion and remove a law banning higher education institutions’ pregnant and parenting services offices from providing referrals for abortion services.
Community News and Resources
Michigan Seeks Input on Advancing Clean Energy Economy
The state of Michigan is inviting input on a historic opportunity to leverage significant federal financing for clean energy generation and infrastructure, economic development, supplier retooling and diversification and other related projects in Michigan.
Billions of dollars in federal loans and loan guarantees are available to invest in climate- and energy-related projects through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Programs Office (LPO). Michigan is committed to fully decarbonize the state’s economy by 2050 and generate 100% of the state’s power from clean sources by 2040.
Responses must be received by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024. Submit written responses via one of the following:
- Online form
- Email to EGLE-OCE@Michigan.gov with subject line “SEFI R”
- Regular U.S. mail to:
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy
Executive Office, Office of Climate and Energy
Box 30473 Lansing, MI 48909-7973
Safety History of Michigan School Buses is Easy to Access
The Michigan State Police (MSP) Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division (CVED) is reminding parents and guardians that checking the safety record of your child’s school bus is as simple as scanning a QR code.
Under the School Bus Inspection Program, all vehicles transporting children to or from school events must undergo annual inspection by MSP CVED members. Once inspected, a bright green sticker showing the MSP shield and school calendar year is placed on the front windshield. Inspection results are available to anyone by scanning the QR code displayed on the bus service door where students enter the bus.
For The New Year, Get Your Health Plan Coverage Now
Michigan’s Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) urges residents to secure health insurance by purchasing a Health Insurance Marketplace plan now, for coverage starting on February 1, 2024. Even if you’re happy with your current plan, updating the HealthCare.gov application may help increase your savings.
Open enrollment for 2024 health insurance runs through January 15, 2024. Consumers can access free local enrollment help at LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov, shop on the Health Insurance Marketplace or call 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).