Hello Neighbors, Domestic violence impacts many Michiganders — especially vulnerable populations such as women and children. In fact, access to a firearm makes it five times more likely an abusive partner will kill their female victim. Moreover, up to one in three Michigan families are impacted by domestic violence. These statistics are alarming — but are reflective of a difficult reality. As legislators, it is important to do our best to address such issues. That is why I am proud of our work in passing Senate Bills 471472 and 528 to strengthen domestic violence protections in Michigan and help prevent firearm injury and death. This is a huge step forward in getting these commonsense bills past the finish line and signed into law to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of abusers. As Senate Democrats continue our work as the Majority for the People, I will continue to share updates and pertinent information with you. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the latest edition of this newsletter! As always, it is my honor to work for you, the people of District 29, to deliver honest, diligent representation in Lansing on the issues that matter most.Sincerely, 

Winnie BrinksSenate Majority Leader29th District

In This IssueLegislative Update


  • Expanding Opportunities for Clean, Renewable Energy
  • Reproductive Health Act Expands Healthcare Access

 District News and Updates 

  • Coffee Hour with Rep. Carol Glanville
  • Educator Roundtable at Grandville Public Schools
  • Celebrating Puerto Rican Culture 

Helpful Information

Contact Us


Legislative Updates

Expanding Opportunities for Clean, Renewable Energy 

As we continue to see climate change bring an increasing amount of severe weather events and extreme temperatures to Michigan, the State Senate took a significant step toward tackling the issue and creating a healthier, more sustainable environment with the passage of the Clean Energy Future plan — Senate Bills 271273 and 502. This legislation will set long-awaited clean energy and renewable energy standards, increase energy efficiency targets and expand the role of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). These bills make substantive and historic progress toward a sustainable future for Michigan and lay a solid foundation for continued work to improve Michigan’s energy industry and protect our air, land and water. Read more hereReproductive Health Act Expands Healthcare Access Nearly 2.5 million Michigan voters showed overwhelming support for Proposal 3 in November 2022 after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. This allowed the legislature to take the historic step of overturning our state’s draconian 1931 abortion ban; but there is still more to do. On October 19, the Michigan Senate took steps to ensure true access to reproductive healthcare by passing the Reproductive Health Act, Senate Bills 474477. The following week, the Senate passed Senate Bill 593The comprehensive package of bills will repeal medically unnecessary regulations and remove reporting requirements and administrative burdens that are not placed on any other healthcare providers. This legislation was crafted with constituents and advocates in mind — taking into account their diverse lived experiences and perspectives. While Senate Bills 475 and 593 await further action in the House Committee on Health Policy, I am happy to report that Senate Bills 474, 476, and 477 are on their way to the Governor’s desk. District News and Updates Coffee Hour with Rep. Carol Glanville         

Thank you to those who came out and attended the joint Coffee Hour with myself and Rep. Carol Glanville! Constituents brought important topics for discussion, such as supporting Michigan nurses, clean energy and driver’s licenses for immigrants.It’s always good to see the Michigan League of Conservation Voters at events like these, whose work to strengthen protections for the environment and move Michigan toward a cleaner energy future is so important for our communities. I am proud to represent amazing constituents and advocates in the state Capitol! Educator Roundtable at Grandville Public Schools 

Rep. Glanville and I were also honored to convene an educator roundtable at Grandville Public Schools! We were pleased to hear directly from West Michigan educators about the critical importance of ongoing recruitment of diverse teachers and addressing the barriers that future teachers face when choosing this important career.We’re proud that this year’s state budget included record investments in teacher recruitment programs, including tuition-free training, support for repaying student loans and stipends for student teachers. I want to thank the educators from Grandville, Wyoming and Kentwood school districts, Kent ISD, Calvin University and Grand Valley State University who shared their feedback. I look forward to bringing these concerns back to the Capitol and continuing to advocate for tomorrow’s teachers.Celebrating Puerto Rican Culture 

I want to extend my thanks to the Puerto Rican Cultural Committee of West Michigan who invited me to attend their the Encuentro de Dos Culturas (Two Cultures Meeting) dinner. It was an excellent way to bring together old friends and make new ones, share delicious food and give us all the opportunity to celebrate the richness of Puerto Rican culture.


Helpful Information Take Steps to Protect Yourself from COVID-19As the fall season begins, immunizations and testing continue to be critical tools in managing the spread of COVID-19. To help keep yourself and your community healthy, I encourage you to take advantage of the free vaccine and testing options available to you. 

Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Protects Against New VariantsThe Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recommends all Michiganders 6 months and older receive the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine which is designed to provide protection against severe COVID-19 disease from currently circulating variants.

Most Michigan residents can still get a COVID-19 vaccine for free. For people with health insurance, most plans will cover COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to you. Michigan residents who don’t have health insurance or have health plans that do not cover the cost can reach out to a health care provider or local pharmacy participating in the CDC’s Bridge Access Program, their health department or visit Vaccines.gov for additional information on ways to obtain a free vaccine. 

For more information, click here. Testing Options: At-Home and In-Person As of September 25, 2023, all U.S. residents are able to go to COVIDTests.gov and sign up to receive up to four free at-home tests per household delivered via the U.S. Postal Service.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) also continues to partner with libraries across the state to provide free at-home COVID-19 tests to Michiganders. Click here for a list of participating libraries.For Michiganders who are thinking about plans for in-person testing, Michigan.gov/COVIDTest remains in place to assist in locating a testing site. Resources for Michiganders Potentially Affected by the UAW Strike

In light of recent events, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has offered their assistance to all affected state business owners and workers — including the following resources: 



To connect with your local Michigan Works! service center for career services, call (800) 285-WORKS (9675) or visit Michigan.gov/MichiganWorks. For additional assistance, workers can schedule appointments at Michigan.gov/UIA or call Customer Service at (866) 500-0017. Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Period Opens Open enrollment for 2024 health insurance runs from November 1, 2023, through January 15, 2024. Consumers must select a plan no later than December 15, 2023, for coverage to start on January 1, 2024. Shop for a health plan by visiting the Health Insurance Marketplace or calling 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). During open enrollment for 2024 coverage, consumers will be able to choose from 169 health plans on the Marketplace. For the overall individual market, which includes off-Marketplace plans, 228 plans will be available.  For questions about health coverage, visit Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance or call DIFS 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442. 

Contact UsThe 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, contact 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.Helpful Links