Dear Neighbor, 

This year, May is not only bringing warmer weather and seasonal change, but legislative wins as well! The Michigan Senate and the House have both passed their Fiscal Year 2025 state budget proposals and are now ready to work together with the governor’s office to ensure that we pass a state budget that invests our dollars into our people and the places we call home. 

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.  


Mary Cavanagh
State Senator
District 6

Upcoming Events 

Coffee and Conversation

Senator Cavanagh Coffee & Conversation graphic

Please join me for my upcoming Coffee and Conversation on Friday, June 14 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m., at Apothecary Espresso and Coffee Shop (23366 Farmington Rd., Farmington, MI 48336). 

When: June 14, 2024, from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. 
Where: Apothecary Espresso and Coffee, 23366 Farmington Rd., Farmington, MI 48336 

I hope to see you there! 

Legislative Updates 

I was honored to be joined in Lansing on May 23 by Redford Township Police Department Detective Ed French for the Michigan Senate’s 29th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony!

Detective French joined the U.S. Army Reserves in November of 1998 as a Civil Affairs Specialist. From there, he deployed to Honduras, Bosnia, Iraq, and Qatar from 2000 to 2019. Throughout his decades-long career, Detective French has received notable awards for his service, including the following: Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, and NATO Medal. He retired in September 2023 after 24 years of service as a Sergeant First Class. 

Since 1995, the Michigan Senate has held a special session to commemorate Memorial Day and recognize Michigan veterans, active military servicemembers, and their families, including our state’s Blue Star Mothers. The ceremony also recognizes the Michigan soldiers who lost their lives and their Gold Star Families. The ceremony is a moment to reflect on and recognize the dignity and humanity of our military service members, honoring those whose lives were lost in service to their fellow Americans. I am honored to have been joined by Detective French as my guest this year, and I am deeply grateful for his bravery and commitment to serving our country. 

Working to Deliver Innovative “Building up Michigan” State Budget 

Last year marked a significant milestone for Michigan Democrats as we capitalized on their first trifecta in 40 years to spearhead a transformative budget — directing vital resources into historically neglected sectors like infrastructure, education, and local communities. This comprehensive budget, encompassing various offices, departments, initiatives, projects, and programs, follows an annual funding cycle, necessitating the State Legislature to craft a new budget each year.   

Crafting this state budget is a collaborative effort involving negotiations between both legislative branches and the governor, resulting in a new state budget being signed into law each year to distribute funding to residents, schools, communities, businesses, local governments, and more. 

Currently, we’re in an exciting moment with our budget process, continuing the transformative investments of the previous year and taking an innovative approach to addressing the needs of all Michiganders. Some highlights of our “Building Up Michigan” budget proposal include record school funding, increased access to community college for students, significant funding for local communities, and efforts to lower costs for state residents.    

As we work to deliver a final budget by the end of June, I encourage you to learn more about the process and the investments we’re looking to make to support communities across Michigan — read more here. 

Senate Democrats Introduce Bills to Codify Capitol Weapons Ban 

Earlier this month, Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia) and Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D-Keego Harbor) introduced Senate Bills 857 and 858, respectively, which would codify a weapons ban enacted by the Michigan State Capitol Commission 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 would also 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.    

Senate Democrats Fight to Expand Access to Mental Health Care 

Throughout our state, communities are grappling with the issue of having too little access to mental health support — a crisis particularly affecting young Michiganders and our veterans. That’s why Senate Democrats took action and made critical investments in the 2024 State Budget to address this gap in coverage and ensure all Michigan residents who need assistance can access it. A few highlights of the investments we have made thus far in mental health care include: 

  • $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 Introduces Bipartisan “Safer Michigan Act” to Reduce Future Crime 

Last week, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced a package of bills known as the “Safer Michigan Act (SBs 861864) to establish Productivity Credits, which provide incentives for eligible inmates to participate in and complete programs proven to reduce the likelihood of future crime. Productivity Credits are a proven safety strategy to reduce recidivism and prepare people who are incarcerated to return to their communities. 

The Safer Michigan Act is sponsored by Sen. Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) (SB 861), Sen. Roger Victory (R-Hudsonville) (SB 862), Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) (SB 863), and Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Waucedah Twp) (SB 864) and has the support of thousands of crime victims, as well as law enforcement, business leaders, and faith groups in Michigan. 

Bankruptcy and Garnishment Reform Legislation Receives a Hearing 

Senate Bills 408 and 409, introduced by my colleague Sen. Irwin and myself, received a hearing in the Senate Committee on Finance, Insurance, and Consumer Protection, which I also chair. This legislation helps families keep their housing, transportation, and other basic needs when they are struggling to pay their debts. By modernizing the garnishment and bankruptcy processes and increasing the value of exemptions, we can ensure that Michiganders can settle their debts while protecting essential assets. 

Garnishment and bankruptcy exemption limits provide a floor to prevent creditors from taking everything, leaving people destitute. It is in our best economic interest to assure that individuals facing the incredible challenge that is bankruptcy still have the means to sustain themselves and continue to be gainfully employed.  

District Updates 

We participated in numerous community events in May, including the Redford Fire Department North End Station ribbon-cutting ceremony and the Redford Recreation and Wellness Center Groundbreaking. We also provided legislative updates at community clubs and neighborhood organizations, and more! 

I was happy to attend the North Station ribbon cutting ceremony and open house with the Redford Fire Department. It was amazing to see the support from residents who came out and to explore the station, trucks, as well as speak with the Redford Firefighters. 

We had an amazing turnout at our community coffee and conversation hour on Friday, May 17th. I enjoyed updating our community on my legislative goals and what my office is working on in Lansing. Thank you to Redford Community Center for letting us use your space! 

Other Important Updates 

I was proud to speak at Latino Legislative Advocacy Day with Governor Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist. It was a great opportunity to highlight the voices and concerns of the Latino community. I deeply appreciate everyone who helped form this space to promote justice, equity, and advocacy.  
Other Resources 

Guidance on Creating Tick-Safe Zones Around Residential Properties 

The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) is advising Michigan residents of the dangers of ticks and providing tips for preventing encounters. As warmer weather approaches, so does the increased risk of tick encounters, posing potential health threats to people and pets enjoying outdoor activities. 

There are more than 20 known tick species in Michigan. Most often, they survive by feeding on wildlife. Several species of ticks are known to bite people and pets, and the insects may harbor dangerous bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Not all ticks carry diseases, but tick-related diseases (including Lyme disease) do occur in Michigan and can be serious or fatal if not properly diagnosed and treated. 

Here are some simple techniques to help reduce tick populations around your home: 

  • Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns. 
  • Place a 3-foot-wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns, wooded areas, patios, and play equipment. This will restrict tick migration into recreational areas. 
  • Maintain short grass in lawns and keep leaves raked. 
  • Stack wood neatly in a dry area to discourage rodents that ticks feed on. 
  • Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees. If possible, place these items in a sunny location. 

If you do choose to use pesticides, follow these safety tips: 

  • Always follow label directions and wear the personal protective equipment specified on the label. 
  • Store pesticides in their original containers with proper labels. 
  • Keep pesticides locked up and out of the reach of children and pets. 
  • Use the amount specified on the label. Using additional product will not be more effective and may harm you, your pets, and/or the environment. 
  • Wash clothes that have been in contact with pesticides separately. 
  • Wash hands with soap and water after using a pesticide, including insect repellents. 

Use the Environmental Protection Agency’s search tool to find a repellent product that is right for you. 

If you are interested in hiring a pesticide applicator to manage pests for you, choose a firm licensed by MDARD. Licensed firms meet the necessary education and experience requirements and employ pesticide applicators who have passed MDARD’s proficiency examinations. Their training and experience will help prevent accidental pesticide misuse that could harm people, pets, livestock, and the environment. 

For additional information about ticks, including how to identify and remove a tick, visit the MDHHS website. Learn more about pesticide safety at 

Explore High-Wage, In-Demand Careers During Professional Trades Month 

With more than 520,000 Michigan jobs and approximately 45,500 annual openings in the professional trades projected by the year 2030, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) to proclaim May as Professional Trades Month. The annual observance honors hardworking Michiganders in professional trades while encouraging students and adults to explore education and career opportunities leading to high-wage, in-demand careers. 

Businesses across Michigan need highly skilled workers in sectors such as agriculture, construction, education, energy, healthcare, hospitality, information technology, manufacturing, mobility and outdoor recreation. Many of these high-demand, high-wage careers do not require a four-year degree and have pathways that focus on credentials, certificates, on-the-job training, and Registered Apprenticeships. 

To learn more about high-wage, in-demand career opportunities in the professional trades, Michiganders can explore the following resources: 

Tips to Help You Safely Navigate Road Construction

With the warmer weather finally here, that means our unofficial state flower — the beloved traffic cone — will be popping up across Michigan. Between state, county and local projects, there will be many work zones throughout our community through the fall. During this time, make sure to remain alert and practice caution to keep yourself and road workers free from harm. To help keep the roads as safe as possible, make sure to practice these driving tips:   

  • Plan ahead: Expect delays, plan for them, and leave early to reach your destination on time. When you can, avoid work zones altogether by using alternate routes. 
  • Obey road crews and signs: When approaching a work zone, watch for cones, barrels, signs, large vehicles, or workers in bright-colored vests to warn you and direct you where to go. 
  • Slow down: Look for signs indicating the speed limit through the work zone. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and follow the posted speed limit. 
  • Move over: Most state move-over laws apply when passing work crews and official vehicles parked on the shoulder with flashing warning lights. 
  • Avoid distractions: Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone at all times. 
  • Watch for sudden stoppages: Don’t make sudden lane changes in front of trucks that are trying to slow down.