The colder weather is here! 🥶 Now is a great time to change smoke detector batteries, replace furnace filters and have a winter preparedness kit handy. Ideas for winter kits include the following: blankets and warm clothing, non-perishable food and water, flashlights, batteries, first aid kit, portable phone chargers, ice scraper and shovel. Stay warm!
As always, if you need any assistance please contact my office at SenEGeiss@senate.michigan.gov or 517-373-7800.
Erika GeissState SenatorDistrict 1
IN THIS EDITION:
- Legislative Update
- Expanding Opportunities for Clean, Renewable Energy
- Reproductive Health Act Expands Healthcare Access
- Financial Disclosure
- Budget Supplemental Legislation
- November is Native American Heritage Month
- Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Period Opens
- Take Steps to Protect Yourself From COVID-19 & Flu
- Community Update
- Community Conversation & Legislative Update
- Gordie Howe Bridge Update
- Taylor Winterfest
It is evident that communities in Michigan, throughout the country and world are suffering from the effects of climate change. As we continue to see climate change bring an increasing amount of severe weather events and extreme temperatures to Michigan, the State Senate took a significant step toward tackling the issue and creating a healthier, more sustainable environment with the passage of the Clean Energy Future plan — Senate Bills 271, 273, 277, 502 and 519. This legislation will set long-awaited clean energy and renewable energy standards, increase energy efficiency targets and expand the role of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).
My bill, Senate Bill 271, sets ambitious but achievable targets for a clean energy future: Establishing a 100% clean energy standard set to be achieved by 2040 and an 80% clean energy standard by 2035. The legislation also establishes a renewable standard of 50% by 2030 and 60% by 2035.
This legislation makes significant and historic progress toward a sustainable future for Michigan and lays a solid foundation for continued work to improve Michigan’s energy industry and protect our air, land and water. There is no Planet B — and it is incumbent upon us to secure a clean energy future that ensures marginalized communities are not continually, disproportionately affected by environmental hazards — and that they have equal access to clean resources. Read more here.Reproductive Health Act Expands Healthcare AccessNearly 2.5 million Michigan voters showed overwhelming support for Proposal 3 in November 2022 after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
On October 19, the Michigan Senate took the first steps in expanding healthcare access by passing the Reproductive Health Act, Senate Bills 474–477. The following week, the Senate took another step in protecting reproductive freedom in Michigan by passing Senate Bill 593.
This bipartisan legislation will protect and expand access to reproductive healthcare for Michiganders statewide. More importantly, the Reproductive Health Act better aligns Michigan’s laws with the new reproductive health protections in Michigan’s constitution and the repeal of the 1931 abortion ban passed by Senate Democrats earlier this year.
The comprehensive package of bills will repeal medically unnecessary regulations and remove reporting requirements and administrative burdens that are not placed on any other healthcare providers. This legislation was crafted with constituents and advocates in mind — taking into account their diverse lived experiences and perspectives.
Together with the Michigan House bills, the RHA package ensures that all Michiganders have access to reproductive healthcare unencumbered by other people’s deeply held beliefs.Financial DisclosureFor a long time, Michigan was one of only two states where lawmakers did not have to file any type of public report about their personal finances. After extensive input from stakeholders and lawmakers, bipartisan financial disclosure Senate Bills 613–616, sponsored by Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) and Sen. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing), passed the Senate nearly unanimously and are now one step closer to helping improve government transparency and codify Proposal 1 of 2022 — which was supported by 2.8 million Michigan voters just last year.
Per Proposal 1 of 2022, and going beyond it, the legislation passed would ensure that starting next year on April 15, each lawmaker must disclose:
- Every source of income;
- Assets held for investment or production of income;
- Significant liabilities;
- Positions held in organizations;
- Future employment agreements;
- Spouse’s occupation and more.
The Senate bills also extend this disclosure to candidates for office, so voters can vet these potential conflicts as they decide on who they want to represent them.Budget Supplemental Legislation
October 1 marked the beginning of a new fiscal year for the state of Michigan — the day when the historic state budget the Michigan Senate passed on June 28 took effect.HB 4292 and Senate Bill 174 that will center the needs of K-12 students. Overall, the investments made will increase access to clean drinking water in our schools, fund important projects at public universities and community colleges, support learning and will close the books for fiscal year 2023.On November 2, the Michigan Legislature reached an agreement and passed budget supplement legislation, here.November is Native American Heritage Month Totaling $81.7 billion, the FY24 budget is full of transformative, innovative and equitable investments that will improve the lives of Michiganders. Read more about the state budget and its impact
U.S. President George H. W. Bush declared the month of November Native American Heritage Month on August 3, 1990. Since then, Native American Heritage Month has been observed across the country each November to celebrate and commemorate Indigenous people and their rich histories.
Native American cultures, traditions and ways of life truly enrich our communities. It is important the contributions of Native American people and their ancestors are acknowledged and honored, especially within the state of Michigan.
Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Period OpensOpen enrollment for 2024 health insurance runs from November 1, 2023, through January 15, 2024. Consumers must select a plan no later than December 15, 2023, for coverage to start on January 1, 2024.
Shop for a health plan by visiting the Health Insurance Marketplace or calling 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). During open enrollment for 2024 coverage, consumers will be able to choose from 169 health plans on the Marketplace. For the overall individual market, which includes off-Marketplace plans, 228 plans will be available.
For questions about health coverage, visit Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance or call DIFS 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442.Take Steps to Protect Yourself from COVID-19 & FluFall is here which means it’s time to boost your immunity! Be sure to get your COVID-19 booster and flu shot to stay protected. Immunizations and testing continue to be critical tools in managing the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses. To help keep yourself and your community healthy, I encourage you to take advantage of the free vaccines and testing options available to you.Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Protects Against New VariantsThe Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recommends all Michiganders 6 months and older receive the updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine which is designed to provide protection against severe COVID-19 disease from currently circulating variants.
Most Michigan residents can still get a COVID-19 vaccine for free. For people with health insurance, most plans will cover COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to you. Michigan residents who don’t have health insurance or have health plans that do not cover the cost can reach out to a health care provider or local pharmacy participating in the CDC’s Bridge Access Program, their health department or visit Vaccines.gov for additional information on ways to obtain a free vaccine.
For more information, click here.Testing Options: At-Home and In-PersonAs of September 25, 2023, every U.S. household may place an order to receive four FREE COVID-19 rapid tests delivered directly to your home. Order yours in less than 30 seconds here: COVID.gov – Free at-home COVID-19 tests
Before you throw out “expired” tests — check the FDA’s website to see if your COVID-19 tests’ expiration dates have been extended: At-Home OTC COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests | FDA
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) also continues to partner with libraries across the state to provide free at-home COVID-19 tests to Michiganders. Click here for a list of participating libraries.
For Michiganders who are thinking about plans for in-person testing, Michigan.gov/COVIDTest remains in place to assist in locating a testing site.Community Update
Community Conversation & Legislative Update
Chat with me on zoom every second Wednesday of the month for a legislative update. Please note this month’s meeting has a special date: Wednesday, November 15th at 6 p.m.
You can register to attend here: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hpVNTSCVRdKlDoh4tQ4jaAGordie Howe Bridge Update
The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority will hold its Annual Public Meeting (APM) on November 17 at 8:30 a.m. on Facebook Live. Send advance questions by November 10, 2023, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Materials, including responses to questions asked at the meeting, will be posted on the website following the APM in French and English: Gordie Howe International Bridge | Annual Public Meeting – November 17, 2023Taylor Winterfest
- Winterfest Day and Goodfellows 5K on December 2
The 5K will be held inside Heritage Park, kicking off the annual Winterfest. The kid’s run begins at 9:30 a.m. with the adult 5K at 10. Participants get a finisher medal, long-sleeve shirt, snacks, age-group awards and hot cocoa.
The Winterfest Celebration continues later in the day with a parade kicking off from the Taylor Recreation Center at 5 p.m. It will march down Pardee Road to the Sheridan Center Open Air Pavilion. Music, holiday characters, refreshments and food will be available at the pavilion, where everyone gathers around the City’s official 40-foot Christmas tree. Look for Mayor Tim Woolley to introduce Santa and Mrs. Claus and then light the tree. Fireworks will be on display over the park.
- Winterfest Stroll through Heritage Park on December 15-17 and December 22-23
The Taylor Winterfest Holiday Stroll through Heritage Park. Ticket reservation time slots run on the half-hour each evening, beginning at 6 p.m. with the final time slot of 8:30 each night. A stroll will include carolers, characters, the Holiday Barn at the petting farm and a photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Tickets go on sale in November. Resident and non-resident pricing along with discount Taylor Resident Family Packs.
5K Registration here: 2023 Taylor Winterfest (redpodium.com)