Dear Neighbor, 

As always, it is my honor to work for you, to deliver honest, diligent representation in Lansing on the issues that matter most. The last several weeks have been busy, and I hope you appreciate these updates. I hope this newsletter informs you of other exciting things happening in the Legislature and throughout District 29.  


Winnie Brinks
Senate Majority Leader
29th District


Included in This Newsletter 

  • Legislative Updates
  • District Events 
  • Helpful Information  
  • Contact Us

Legislative Updates 

Federal Limits on PFAS Levels 
PFAS affects communities all over Michigan, and I am proud of my advocacy of fighting against this harmful pollutant through my legislative career. I applaud the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for recently finalizing the nation’s first-ever federal standards limiting the levels of PFAS in our drinking water. 

I have witnessed the pain and stress that PFAS exposure has brought to families in our community. The EPA’s strengthened PFAS standards – together with strides we’ve already made here in Michigan – will transform our ability to protect the health of communities impacted by PFAS, including our own. Thank you to the EPA for the invitation to join them to share this landmark news.  

Hotel-Motel Tax Signed 

I am so grateful I had the opportunity to join Governor Gretchen Whitmer and other local and state leaders to celebrate the passage of State Representative John Fitzgerald’s bill, HB 5048. This legislation is an innovative way to spur economic growth right in Kent County. It will increase the amount of tax revenue raised by hotels and motels, and it will give voters in Grand Rapids the power to decide the next steps on investing in our future.   

Senate Democrats Pass the Fertility Health Care Act  

Just weeks after the shocking Alabama court ruling that declared that frozen embryos have equal legal rights as children — jeopardizing fertility treatments such as IVF — Michigan Senate Democrats voted on the final passage of House Bills 52075215, which eliminate barriers to parentage in fertility health care and allows Michiganders more ways to grow their families. Gov. Whitmer signed those bills into law on April 1.  

I have been championing change to our surrogacy laws since meeting Tammy and Justin Myers, who live in Grand Rapids. They made national news when they had to fight for custody of their biological children who were born with the help of a surrogate after Tammy’s fight with cancer. Michigan was the only state that criminalized paid surrogacy, leaving children in Michigan born through assisted reproduction or surrogacy without clear legal protection and vulnerable uncertainty regarding their legal status. This legislation addresses these concerns to help keep families together, including same sex couples and those who choose IVF or surrogacy.   

While reproductive rights face threats across the country, Michigan Senate Democrats are committed to dismantling barriers to ensure that those who want to start a family can. 


District Events

In case you have not had the chance to read my comments on the tragic killing of Ruby Garcia, I wanted to share my statement with you below:  

West Michigan has long been a place of welcome for immigrants. The killing of Ruby Garcia is a tragic instance of domestic violence, and it is made even more tragic when it is co-opted by those wishing to score political points by stoking fear, xenophobia, and division. 

We know that immigrants (of all statuses) are a net-positive to our economy, public safety, culture, and community.  

We know that immigrants (of all statuses) have contributed in ways too numerous to count as parents, business owners, neighbors, employees, church members, community leaders, and friends.  

We know that immigrants (of all statuses) deserve to be treated with dignity — as all people do. Shame on anyone whose rhetoric, actions, policies, or leadership does the opposite.”

Michigan Works Career Quest

Thank you to West Michigan Works! for putting on the Michigan Career Quest. My team was happy to join 8,000 middle and high school students as they learned about opportunities for future careers, ranging from the health sciences to agribusiness construction, advanced manufacturing and information technology, and everything in between.  

March is Reading Month 

Throughout the month of March, my fellow Democratic Senators and I went to schools in our districts to read to students and talk about why reading is important. From Princeton Elementary and Huron Academy in Macomb County to Godfrey Elementary in Grand Rapids and Handley Elementary in Saginaw, our Democratic senators visited classrooms within their districts and shared some of their favorite books with the young readers.  

I was elated to visit my old stomping grounds at Godfrey-Lee Public Schools, where I was invited to read to third graders to celebrate March is reading month! It was so wonderful getting to read to the students and hearing from them about what their favorite stories are.  

We also introduced Senate Bills 567 and 568. Sponsored by Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) and Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia), this comprehensive legislation aims to address the challenges associated with dyslexia by identifying affected children early and providing evidence-based interventions to support their literacy development.

Even though reading month is over, I will continue to uplift and support the importance of reading and education for not only Michigan’s young minds but for every Michigander, recognizing the enduring impact of fostering literacy and learning in our communities. 

Helpful Information 

Get Ready for Fishing Season! 

With spring upon us in the Great Lakes State, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding anglers to purchase a new license for the 2024 fishing season. 

The new fishing license and regulation season kicked off on Monday, April 1. The new 2024 fishing licenses will be valid through March 31, 2025. Licenses can be purchased at or on the Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app, which you can download on your smartphone. 

Here’s a rundown of key dates to remember this fishing season: 

  • Saturday, April 27 – Statewide trout and Lower Peninsula inland walleye and northern pike seasons open. 
  • Monday, May 15 – Upper Peninsula walleye and northern pike seasons open. 
  • Saturday, May 25 – Season opens for largemouth and smallmouth bass possession, except for Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair and Detroit rivers, which open Saturday, June 15. (Note: Catch-and-immediate-release for bass is open all year on most waters. Check the 2024 Michigan Fishing Regulations for specifics.) 
  • Saturday, June 1 – Season opens for muskellunge possession on all Great Lakes, inland waters, the St. Mary’s River, Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair and Detroit rivers. (Note: Catch-and-release fishing for muskellunge is open all year.) 

For additional information about 2024 fishing license, contact DNR eLicense at or call 517-284-6057. 

The DNR is also providing helpful tips for Michigan anglers to help combat the spread of invasive species. 

  1. Start with a clean boat and clean gear. 
  2. End by draining live wells and bilges. 
  3. End by cleaning debris and plant material from boats. 
  4. Decontaminate waders and gear with safe chemical disinfectants after each use. 
  5. Dispose of leftover bait in the trash to prevent the spread of fish diseases. 

Virtual Resource Fair for Families of Children with Special Health Care Needs 

The Family Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs, Michigan Family to Family, and Michigan Family Voices are teaming up for a Virtual Resource Fair on May 7, 2024, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Microsoft Teams.  

This event is meant to inform individuals with disabilities and their families, caregivers, youth, providers, and community support about the variety of services and resources available in Michigan for children and youth with disabilities and special health care needs, and their families. 

Register here. 

 New Website Available to Help Track Your Status of Benefits   

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has launched a brand new website MI Bridges to help Michiganders applying for assistance monitor their benefits status. The tool tracks five benefits programs: health care coverage, the food assistance program, cash assistance, child development and care, and state emergency relief. 

Applicants can receive assistance through the MI Bridges virtual assistant chat or by calling the MI Bridges help desk at 844-799-9876. Visit for more information. 


Contact Us 

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 

Helpful Links