I was honored to attend Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s sixth annual State of the State Address on Wednesday, January 24. Her celebration of key legislation passed by the House and Senate and signed into law in 2023 made me proud of the important work that we’ve done so far. And I’m excited to work together on many of the priorities the governor outlined, like:
- Delivering free pre-K for every single 4-year-old in our state two years ahead of schedule.
- Making the first two years of community college tuition-free for every high school graduate.
- Making the largest investment to build housing in Michigan history with a goal of building rehabilitating 10,000 homes.
- Implementing the Caring for MI Family Tax Credit to save Michigan families up to $5,000 on taxes by allowing them to write off caregiving expenses.
- Lowering the cost of buying a new car with EV rebates.
- And continuing to implement economic development incentives that grow our economy
Concluding her speech, the Governor expressed, “This year, let’s maintain our momentum so that everyone can create their own classic Michigan story.” Michigan Senate Democrats look forward to continuing our collaborative partnership with the Governor’s office and the House of Representatives to further progress and positive change for residents across the state.
You can find more information on her policy proposals, as well as watch a recording of the speech here.
As always, it is my honor to work for you, to deliver honest, diligent representation in Lansing on the issues that matter most. I hope this newsletter informs you of other exciting things happening in the Legislature and throughout District 29.
Senate Majority Leader
Included in This Newsletter
- 2024 State of the State Address
- Quintupling the Earned Income Tax Credit
- District Events
- Helpful Information
- Contact Us
2024 State of the State Address
It was my pleasure to welcome many esteemed guests from my district to the State of the State speech. You may recognize faces like Rep. Hillary Scholten, our U.S. Congresswoman; Rosalynn Bliss, mayor of Grand Rapids; Tasha Blackmon, CEO of Cherry Health; Dr. Leadrianne Roby, superintendent of GRPS; Chief Kimberly Koster, City of Wyoming’s Director of Public Safety; and more. I was honored that they joined me for the pomp and circumstance surrounding that important moment. I’m proud to represent a district with so many powerful and dynamic leaders.
Spreading the Word about the Earned Income Tax Credit
I want to give a special shout out to the amazing volunteers from Heart of West Michigan United Way who braved the weather to knock doors on National EITC Awareness Day in District 29. The Earned Income Tax Credit is an important tool that helps hard working families to make ends meet. We worked so hard last year to pass a bill that quintuples this tax credit in Michigan, putting hard-earned dollars back in working people’s pockets. Be sure to spread the word as tax season approaches so that everyone who is eligible for this credit takes advantage of it! Find out if you qualify for this tax relief at IRS.gov/EITC.
Marting Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Thank you to Meijer for the invitation to join their table at the 2024 Urban League of West Michigan MLK Corporate Breakfast. The breakfast was more than just a commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his enduring legacy; it was also a call to action for ongoing progress and unity. I had a wonderful time celebrating the efforts in our community to fight for equality, making new friends and seeing old ones.
Grand Rapids Chamber Legislative Breakfast
Last week, the Grand Rapids Chamber hosted Lieutenant Governor Gilcrest and West Michigan legislators to discuss the importance of workforce development. We also heard from local leaders including WMCAT’s Jamon Alexander, Rachel Unrah from the National Skills Coalition and Tasha Evans from West Michigan Works!. The conversation brought into focus the impact of our investments in this area and the importance of adapting and innovating our programs so that employers have access to well-trained workers and so that everyone has access to a job that pays a thriving wage.
Take Care of Yourself, Combat Winter Blues
The winter season can bring joy and happiness but can also have an adverse impact on mental health. It is important to consistently check in with your mental health and ensure you are getting the support you need. If you find yourself emotionally struggling or experiencing a mental health crisis, please be sure to utilize the following resources:
- Call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. It is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and administered by Vibrant Emotional Health (Vibrant). To learn more, click here.
- If you need mental health care, go to the MDHHS website for more information.
Statewide Warming Centers
As the temperatures drop and power outages are apt to occur, Michiganders must know which warming centers are available and accessible in their area. If you or someone you know needs to get warm, here are some warming centers in West Michigan, and for loved ones throughout the state:
- Detroit Warming Centers
- Lansing Warming Centers
- Macomb County Warming Centers
- Oakland County Warming Centers
- Washtenaw County Winter Warming Centers
- Wayne County Warming Shelters
- Warming Centers in Michigan
Be sure to travel only if the conditions permit. If possible, call ahead to ensure the warming center has space and capacity.
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, 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.
- State Senator Winnie Brinks
- Senate District 29 Map
- Michigan Senate
- Michigan House of Representatives
- Michigan Legislature
- U.S. Senate
- U.S. House of Representatives
- Kent County
- City of Grand Rapids