Senator Brinks Email Banner

Dear Neighbor, 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month – an important opportunity to ensure there is broad awareness of the resources that can assist people in supporting their mental health, but also a chance for us to highlight the ever-present need for more. Our young people, our veterans, and anyone whose life has been impacted by a mental health concern deserve to have leaders who prioritize this critical need. It is my commitment to continue to build our investments in mental and behavioral health; in this newsletter you’ll learn more about what we have done so far.  

As always, it is my honor to work for you, to deliver honest, diligent representation in Lansing on the issues that matter most.  


Senator Brinks Signature

Winnie Brinks 
Senate Majority Leader  
District 29 



Featured in This Newsletter 

  • District Update 
  • Legislative Update 
  • Helpful Information 
  • Helpful Links 



District Update 


Behavioral Health Crisis Center Grand Opening 

Behavioral Health Crisis

At long last, community leaders gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the new Behavioral Health Crisis Center in Grand Rapids. It’s a partnership between Network 180 and Trinity Health Grand Rapids and will be a place for people to go for mental health services no matter when they need them. This collaboration has been a dream for our community for years – what an exciting day to see it come to fruition! 


Welcoming Community Health Workers to Lansing 

Community Health Workers

An energetic group from Strong Beginnings came to Lansing to advocate for their program, which has been such a critical support for so many who are pregnant and who have welcomed new babies in our community. These professionals go right where they’re most needed – to people’s homes – and help bring support for those critical first days. And they’re making a big impact on the disparate health outcomes that we see between racial groups in our community.  


Cinco de Mayo Celebration 

Cinco de Mayo Celebration

It’s always a joy to celebrate excellence in our Latine community; many thanks to the Committee to Honor Cesar E. Chavez for their planning of another excellent Cinco de Mayo celebration. With dancing, fellowship, and wonderful food, we celebrated the strength and resilience that marks Cinco de Mayo – and had a great time doing it.  



Legislative Update 


Senate Democrats Fight to Expand Access to Mental Health Care 

May is Mental Health Awareness month. State leaders are working hard to address the gaps in services for those who need mental and behavioral health supports. In the 2024 State Budget, critical state-wide investments were made in this area, including: 

  • $280 million for certified community behavioral health clinics to expand access to care. 
  • $328 million in the education budget to address the mental health and safety concerns of students and teachers. 
  • $1.2 million for suicide prevention programs to help military veterans and their families. 

As we recognize May as Mental Health Awareness Month and as we continue to craft our budget for 2025, my colleagues and I remain committed to ensuring every person in our state can access essential services and programs to improve their mental health and overall well-being. Together, we can break down barriers to care and create a healthier, more resilient Michigan. 


Senate Democrats Introduce Bills to Codify Capitol Weapons Ban 

Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia) and Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D-Keego Harbor) introduced Senate Bills 857 and 858, respectively, on Thursday, May 2, which would codify a weapons ban enacted by the Michigan State Capitol Commision in 2023 and expand it to include the state Senate and House office buildings. This legislation is vital to protecting all visitors to our State Capitol, especially children and school groups, and making sure people aren’t intimidated out of participating in democracy, attending committee hearings and visiting their lawmakers.

The legislation also would maintain an exemption allowing sitting members of the Legislature to carry concealed firearms. The bills were referred to the Senate Civil Rights, Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.  



Helpful Information 


Working to Keep Michigan Roads Safe: Senate Democrats Recognize Distracted Driving Awareness Month 

Distracted driving accounts for about 25% of all crash fatalities, and in 2021, there were 6,543 motor vehicle crashes here in Michigan involving a distracted driver.  

To help rectify this issue and keep our roads safe for Michiganders driving to work, school or anywhere in between, I joined a bipartisan group of colleagues last year to update our distracted driving laws. Before, texting while driving was a ticketable offense, but things like scrolling social media or taking a video were not. Senate Bills 239241 made a much-needed update to our laws to ensure Michigan is truly a hands-free state and encourage people to focus on the most important task on the road: driving safely. These bills were signed into law and took effect on June 30, 2023.  

As a result, you cannot manually do any of the following on a cell phone or other electronic device while driving: 

  • Make or answer a telephone or video call. 
  • Send or read a text or email message. 
  • Watch, record, or send a video. 
  • Access, read, or post to social media. 
  • Browse or use the Internet. 
  • Enter information into GPS or a navigation system. 

As we recognize April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, take a moment to learn more about these laws and how you can play your part in keeping our roads safe for yourself and your fellow Michiganders. Find more information, visit the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety website at 



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 clickinghere. 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