Dear Neighbor, 

Spring is officially here, and with it the promise of warmer weather ahead for Michigan! I hope this newsletter informs you of other exciting things happening in the Legislature and throughout District 6. 

As always, if you would like to provide any feedback about what’s happening in Lansing or need assistance of any sort, please feel free to reach out to my office. You can email us at or call 517-373-7748.

 In service,

Mary Cavanagh
State Senator
District 6

Featured in This Newsletter

  • Upcoming Community Event
  • Legislative Update
  • District Updates
  • Other Important Updates


Upcoming Community Event

Coffee and Conversation
Please join me and special guest Detroit City Council President Pro Tem James Tate to discuss legislative updates and resources in the community. 

WHEN: Friday, April 19 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Motor City Java House, 17336 Lahser Rd., Detroit, MI 48219

Legislative Update

MCCA Transparency Package
This month, I introduced Senate Bills 793 and 794 to increase transparency within the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA). Every Michigander with auto insurance pays into the MCCA. However, only individuals covered by unlimited Personal Injury Protection (PIP) can benefit from the MCCA if they are ever injured in a serious accident. These bills would:


  • Make the MCCA subject to the Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act;
  • Require an annual audit of the MCCA’s finances;
  • Allow the Department of Insurance and Financial Services to deny fee increases;
  • Require the MCCA to work with the Department of Treasury to manage their investments;
  • Expand the MCCA board to include public representatives;
  • Require the MCCA to publish their fee-setting method and debt breakdown; and
  • Prohibit the MCCA from assessing a fee on those who do not opt in to unlimited PIP.


Dyslexia Screening
Senate Bills 567 and 568, sponsored by Senators Irwin & Polehanki, passed the Senate this month. These bills require schools to screen students for reading difficulties, like dyslexia, and require the implementation of teacher preparation programs to better inform and prepare teachers to teach students struggling with dyslexia. Early identification of reading difficulties in students and better support for teachers will ensure that our youth are receiving evidence-based interventions and resources to help them succeed in the classroom and beyond. These bills await a hearing in the House Education Committee.

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.

Currently in Michigan, children born through assisted reproduction, such as IVF and surrogacy, have no clear legal link to their parents. Additionally, Michigan is the only state that criminalizes paid surrogacy, which leaves many children in Michigan born through assisted reproduction or surrogacy without clear legal protection and vulnerable uncertainty regarding their legal status. This legislation will address 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. These bills now head to the governor’s desk for signature.

Michigan Senate Democrats Pass Legislation to Tackle Predatory Payday Loan Practices
This month, the Senate Democrats passed a bipartisan bill to cap interest rates on predatory payday loans in Michigan. Currently, there are no restrictions on these interest rates and lenders have been charging residents up to 370% on payday loans. Under the legislation spearheaded by Sen. Sarah Anthony, the cap would be set at 36%.

In Michigan, 7 out of 10 payday borrowers fall into a cycle of debt, immediately taking out new loans after repaying their previous ones. Three-quarters of payday lenders’ profits stem from borrowers caught in a cycle of at least 10 loans per year.

The predatory practices of payday lenders lead borrowers to face a higher risk of bankruptcy than those in similar financial situations who do not borrow from such institutions. Studies also show that payday lending stores are more likely to operate in Black and Latino communities, which can contribute to long-term economic disparities.

The bill now moves to the House for further consideration. If the bill passes in the House and the governor signs the legislation into law, Michigan will join 20 other states and the District of Columbia in implementing similar measures.

Senate Passes Bipartisan Government Transparency Bills Out of Committee
The Michigan Senate is taking significant steps to shine light on state government by advancing two bipartisan bills from the Senate Oversight Committee. Senate Bills 669 and 670 would subject both the Michigan Legislature and the governor’s office to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

These bills represent a departure from past efforts by integrating the Legislature into Michigan’s FOIA, a response to years of Senate inaction, and aim to address the state’s poor government integrity ranking due to the exclusion of state lawmakers and the governor’s office from records requests.

This legislation would set a new precedent in Michigan’s state government, creating greater accountability for our elected officials to the people of Michigan.

Senate Passes Legislation to Protect Voters, Prevent Use of Firearms for Intimidation During Election Process
Michigan Senate Democrats passed House Bills 4127 and 4128, legislation that will ban open carry of firearms within 100 feet of polling places and ballot drop boxes during elections.

These bills aim to prevent forms of voter intimidation against those participating in the democratic process and election officials. This aligns Michigan with several other states with similar laws, such as Florida, Texas and Mississippi. These bills will return to the House for final passage.

District Updates
We participated in numerous community events in March, including reading to the bright students of several schools throughout District 6 for March is Reading Month; attending the Wayne County State of the County event; receiving the International Women’s Day Award from Compassionate Helpers; providing legislative updates at community clubs and neighborhood organizations, and more! 

I was happy to visit several elementary schools in the district as a guest reader for March is Reading Month! Being welcomed into the classroom to read to our students is such a special part of my job as a public servant. Thank you to all the schools who hosted me — I look forward to reading in more districts next March! 

I was excited to host my Detroit Community Health Fair at Greater Grace Church, where we worked with health-based organizations in the community to distribute health resources and information for District 6 constituents. Thank you to Greater Grace for allowing us to use their space and our amazing vendors for joining us! 

I was overjoyed to be able to attend the Redford State of the Township alongside my neighbors, where we heard updates about Redford Township and discussed ways to continue to grow our community with local leaders.

Other Important Updates

Tax Help and Resources

It’s tax season! Remember that the deadline to file state and federal taxes is April 15. If you have questions about filing your taxes or want to check your refund status, view account information and more, click here.

Michigan families began receiving Working Families Tax Credit supplemental checks earlier this month. If you are a qualified recipient and believe there was an issue with getting your check, the Michigan Tax Help Center may be able to provide additional help.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Programs Now Available

As Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on LEO/MEDC, I secured funding in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget to support volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) programs across Michigan. These programs, led by volunteer tax professionals, are available to income-eligible residents free of charge.

To find a VITA site near you, click here.


Measles Update in Wayne County
In response to the growing number of measles cases, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is urging residents to make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on measles vaccinations.

Michigan residents can contact their health care provider or visit their local health department for additional information on ways to obtain the vaccine and schedule an appointment. Children eligible for the Vaccines for Children program may receive the vaccine from a provider enrolled in that program.

Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that is spread by direct person-to-person contact and through the air. The three cases in Michigan are not connected, which illustrates there are multiple places where you could be exposed to measles.

The virus can live for up to two hours in the air where the infected person was present. Symptoms of measles usually begin 7-14 days after exposure, but can appear up to 21 days after exposure and may include:

  • High fever (may spike to over 104˚F).
  • Cough.
  • Runny nose.
  • Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis).
  • Tiny white spots on the inner cheeks, gums and roof of the mouth (Koplik Spots) two to three days after symptoms begin.
  • A rash that is red, raised, blotchy; usually starts on face, spreads to trunk, arms and legs three to five days after symptoms begin.

If symptoms develop, residents are urged to not visit their doctor or emergency room unless they have called ahead so facilities can take precautions to prevent exposure to other individuals.

With the risk for community spread, parents are encouraged to make sure their children are up to date on all their childhood immunizations, including the measles vaccine. Ninety percent of unvaccinated individuals who are exposed to measles will become infected. About one in five people who get measles will be hospitalized. In addition to Michigan’s case, 35 measles cases have been reported in 2024 in 15 other states to date.

The measles vaccine is highly effective and very safe. A single dose of measles vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing measles, while two doses are about 97% effective. It is also effective if used within 72 hours of a measles exposure to prevent illness. However, some individuals with weakened immune systems may not be eligible to receive this vaccine. Getting vaccinated not only protects the individual receiving the vaccine but can also protect vulnerable individuals in our communities from being exposed to this illness.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the Wayne County Public Health Community Response Hotline at: 734-858-1922.