As we approach Memorial Day Weekend, I want to honor and celebrate the courageous military service members who have fought and died to protect our country. Their sacrifice deserves the highest honor.
On May 25, 2023, the Michigan Senate held our annual Memorial Day Service at the Capitol. I was given the task of introducing keynote speaker U.S. Army Major General Paul D. Rogers, who serves as Adjutant General of the Michigan National Guard and Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. From the Kalamazoo Pipe Band to the delicious food, it was an amazing ceremony!
We are grateful each day for our veterans and our servicemembers, and this Monday I hope you’ll spend some time reflecting on your gratitude toward those whose lives were lost.
In this newsletter, you’ll see a few of the things we’ve been accomplishing here in Lansing. As always, it’s my honor to work for you, the people of District 29, to deliver honest, diligent representation in Lansing on the issues that matter most.
Senate Majority Leader
In This Issue
- Legislative and Government Updates
- Red Flag Gun Reform Bills Signed into Law
- Michigan Senate Passes CROWN Act
- Juneteenth State Holiday Bill Passed in Senate
- District Happenings
- Drinks With Brinks Event
- ELCRA Bill Signing Celebration
- Trinity Health in Downtown Grand Rapids Celebrates Breakthrough
- Contact Us
Red Flag Gun Reform Bills Signed into Law
On May 23, 2023, Senate Bill 83 was signed into law by Governor Whitmer. This legislation, sponsored by Senator Mallory McMorrow, will provide families and law enforcement with the tools needed to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms if they pose immediate threat to themselves or others. The Senate also passed House bills related to establishing Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) laws — House Bills 4146, 4147, and 4148.
Research has proven that Red Flag laws can deescalate dangerous situations and reduce gun violence, including suicides and mass shootings, while still upholding due process in the legal system. Nineteen states and Washington, D.C. currently have Red Flag laws in place. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, Connecticut and Indiana experienced a reduction in firearm suicide rates following the enactment of Extreme Risk laws.
Our majority in Lansing, together with longtime advocates, are committed to taking legislative action to address the ongoing and tragic reality of gun violence. Creating more effective gun safety measures and accountability within our communities is so important.
Michigan Senate Passes CROWN Act
On May 23, 2023, the Michigan Senate passed the CROWN Act bill. This legislation would protect Michiganders from discrimination based on their natural hair textures or protective hairstyles, especially in workplaces and professional environments.
Passing the CROWN Act is a first step towards making our state even more inclusive. I have been inspired by Senator Anthony’s commitment to seeing this historic legislation through.
For more information about the CROWN ACT, please click here.
Juneteenth State Holiday Bill Passed in Senate
On May 17, the Michigan Senate passed Senate Bill 50. This legislation, sponsored by Senator Sylvia Santana, would establish Juneteenth as a state-recognized holiday.
Juneteenth is a celebration of when Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended and that those who were enslaved were now free. This was two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official on Jan. 1, 1863.
Establishing Juneteenth as an official state holiday not only celebrates the deep, diverse experiences of Michiganders, but it supports an ongoing effort to expand racial justice and equity in our state.
Drinks with Brinks Event
It was an honor to host the Drinks with Brinks event at 3 Gatos Brewery in Wyoming! I got to hear directly from District 29 constituents about the issues that matter to them, which is one of the best parts of my job. Thank you to Linus and his 3 Gatos team for welcoming my staff and constituents!
Stay updated on future opportunities to connect with me through reading this newsletter or at facebook.com/SenatorBrinks.
ELCRA Bill Signing Celebration
What are we so happy about? We’re celebrating the reality that Michigan finally has laws that protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination!
Advocates have worked tirelessly for years to see those protections added to the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act. The Grand Rapids Pride Center hosted a celebration recently, allowing us all a moment to commemorate this historic, hard-fought victory.
Thank you to Congresswoman Hillary Scholten, Pride Center board member Marshall Kilgore, State Representative Jason Hoskins, and Pride Center Director Jazz McKinney (and to Rep. Carol Glanville, not pictured, whose staff offered a Tribute to mark the occasion). Also, special thanks to our incredible LGBTQ+ community for being vibrant, tenacious, and an irreplaceable piece of what makes Senate District 29 such a wonderful place.
Trinity Health in Downtown Grand Rapids Celebrates Breakthrough
This week, Kent County got to celebrate a major breakthrough! With the breaking of a wall in the downtown campus of Trinity Health in Grand Rapids, we marked the first step in bringing the new Crisis Stabilization Unit our community. Here, people who are experiencing mental health crisis will get streamlined and efficient services, helping to remove some of the burden off our police officers, jail, and emergency rooms and helping get people the right kind of care!
I believe in this project, and I worked hard to help secure $5 million in state funding in the FY2023 budget. This project has the capacity to reimagine the ways in which our Greater Grand Rapids community responds to the growing need for mental and behavioral healthcare. So great to see it start to come to life!
The Office of Senate Majority Leader Brinks values input from all Michiganders but prioritizes District 29 constituent concerns. If you have questions or concerns, but are not a resident of District 29, I encourage you to reach out to your local State Senator. Click here to find who represents you in the Senate.
Comment on Legislation: You can stay updated on legislative advancements through my biweekly e-newsletters or by clicking here. Given the high volume of messages my office receives daily, please note that it may take time for your inquiry to receive a response.
If You Need Help: If you have a problem dealing with any department of state government, such as accessing unemployment benefits, my office is available to help resolve it. While we usually cannot assist with local or federal issues, we will always do our best to help direct you to the appropriate person or organization for help.
You may always feel free to call my office at (517) 373-1801 or email me at SenWBrinks@senate.michigan.gov.