I hope this newsletter reaches you and your family safe and healthy. Below are legislative updates from Lansing, as well as other pertinent information and resources. As always, it’s an honor serving as your State Senator in Lansing.
If you have questions or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 517-373-0142 or SenJCherry@senate.michigan.gov.
State SenatorDistrict 27
LEGISLATIVE UPDATESSenate Votes To Restore Workers’ Rights, Reinstate Prevailing Wage
The legislation passed by the Senate on March 14 (SB 6, SB 34) will restore the rights of workers and unions in their fight for higher paying jobs, strong benefits and a good quality of life for working families. I proudly voted to repeal the laws that have been holding back our economy and our ability to grow the middle class.
I started this week with two roundtable discussions on Protecting Workers’ Rights. Senator Camilleri and I shared updates on the legislation passed last week to restore workers’ rights and reestablish Michigan’s nearly six-decade-old prevailing wage law. Once signed into law by Governor Whitmer, Michigan will be better positioned to support our workers and their families, strengthen our infrastructure, smartly manage the state’s funds, and ensure our highly skilled tradespeople are paid a livable wage. I appreciate all of the incredible organizations who participated in these discussions, and I look forward to continuing these important conversations about how we can expand protections for Michigan workers.
Sen. Cherry, Sen. McDonald Rivet and Sen. Shink Introduce Hybrid Officer Retirement Program
Legislation seeks to allow new officers into Michigan State Police hybrid retirement system
Recently, I and my colleagues Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City) and Sue Shink (D-Northfield Twp.) introduced legislation that would allow conservation, corrections, and motor carrier officers to become members of the Michigan State Police (MSP) hybrid retirement system. Senate Bills 165, 166, and 167 will place new hires into the MSP retirement system and allow current officers to make a written statement showing that they have elected to move retirement systems.
There is an urgent need for this change to be offered, not only to benefit future officers, but those who have dedicated their lives to service. Resolving this issue will reduce significant problems for the Departments of Natural Resources and Corrections, as well as MSP, in hiring and retaining staff.
Corrections Officers and Forensic Security Assistants working in our state facilities play an important role in assuring the safety and well-being of all Michigan citizens.
Conservation officers share many of the duties and receive much of the same training as the Michigan State Police. They also serve as first responders during natural disasters and other life-threatening situations. Motor carrier officers are armed members of the Michigan State Police responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. They enforce traffic safety laws on commercial vehicles, contribute to homeland security efforts, and respond to emergency situations.
Senate Bills 165, 166, and 167 have been referred to the Senate Labor Committee and are currently awaiting a hearing. Senate Repeals 1931 Abortion Ban
On International Women’s Day, the Michigan Senate Democrats passed much-needed legislation to repeal Michigan’s 1931 statute that criminalizes abortion care and related acts.
The Senate bills passed were:
- Senate Bill 2 (Geiss), which repeals the 1931 ban on contraception and other information about reproductive health (by repealing section 40 of 1931 PA 328);
- Senate Bill 37 (Bayer), which would update the code of criminal procedure;
- Senate Bill 39 (Geiss), which repeals Section 14 of 1931 PA 328 that criminalizes providing an abortion.
- Senate Bill 93 (Anthony), which repeals penalties for the sale of drugs or medicine to procure a miscarriage.
Almost 2.5 million Michiganders—56.7 percent of voters—voted last November to create a constitutional right to reproductive freedom and protect women, their bodies and their rights. The most urgent and pertinent part of fulfilling the public’s will on Proposal 3 is repealing the 1931 ban on abortion, without exceptions for rape and incest, and related statutes. When this archaic and dangerous law was passed, women only had the federal right to vote for a little over a decade. With this legislation, we are telling Michigan women and their nurses and doctors that we trust them to make these deeply personal decisions, and we’re doing that by getting rid of this harmful area of the law that says otherwise.
GOV. WHITMER AWARDS $3 MILLION TO HELP UNDER-REPRESENTED YOUTH BUILD BRIGHTER FUTURES IN MICHIGAN
Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) announced the recipients of Young Professionals grants totaling $3 million to provide under-represented young residents with a meaningful introduction to the world of work, including on-site, hybrid and virtual career exploration and preparation activities, jobs skills and earned income.
Young Professionals supports young residents, ages 14-24, who face barriers on the path to obtaining employment by exposing them to multiple career and educational opportunities, earning a short-term training certificate, and obtaining work experience.
Young Professionals grants have been awarded to the state’s Michigan Works! network, with the 16 agencies receiving awards ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 to support the creation and/or enhancement of a locally developed Young Professionals employment initiative to meet the unique needs of the communities they serve.
Michigan Works! provides career preparation, employment opportunities and supportive services throughout the state. These agencies play a crucial role in the recruitment of employees, with a focus on regionally in-demand industries such as construction, energy, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing and mobility.
The Young Professionals initiative aligns with Michigan’s Sixty by 30 goal to increase the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree to 60% by 2030.
Parents and young Michiganders should contact their local Michigan Works! Agency to find out what programs are available to support their academic and career training goals. To contact the nearest Michigan Works! Service Center, call 800-285-WORKS (9675) or visit MichiganWorks.org.
STATE AWARDS $3.6 MILLION FOR INVASIVE SPECIES PROJECTS
The state of Michigan announced that 35 projects will share $3.6 million in grants through the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program.
The program – cooperatively implemented by the Michigan departments of Agriculture and Rural Development; Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; and Natural Resources – addresses prevention, detection, eradication and control of aquatic (water-based) and terrestrial (land-based) invasive species in Michigan through four key objectives:
- Preventing the introduction of new invasive species.
- Strengthening the statewide invasive species early detection and response network.
- Limiting the spread of recently confirmed invasive species.
- Managing and controlling widespread, established invasive species.
- This year’s grantees have offered $532,300 in matching funds and services to support these projects, leveraging a total investment of $4,132,300.
The full list of grant recipients, project descriptions and award amounts is available on the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program website at Michigan.gov/MISGP.