I hope you had an amazing time celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in your community! Every year, my Senate colleagues and I look forward to acknowledging the life and legacy of Dr. King. His contributions to the world inspire the work we do daily here in Lansing, and I aim to continue to promote his values of equality and inclusion in District 1 and beyond. To read more about the history of MLK Day, click here.
As always, if you or someone you know would like to provide any feedback about what’s happening in Lansing, or needs assistance of any sort, please feel free to reach out to my office. You can email us at SenEGeiss@senate.michigan.gov or call 517-373-7800.
In This Edition
- In Recent News
- Michigan Healthy Climate Corps Application is Now Open!
- Clean-Energy School Buses Coming to Michigan Courtesy of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
- Michigan Seeks Input on Advancing Clean Energy Economy
- Tune into the 2024 State of the State Address
- Legislative Update
- Working to Expand Access to Quality, Affordable Housing
- 2024 Laws Going into Effect
- Take Care of Yourself, Combat Winter Blues
- Winter Weather Safety
- Community Update
- Warming Centers
- Gordie Howe International Bridge New Completion Date
In Recent News
Michigan Serves as a Clean Energy Leader in the Midwest
Michigan leads the nation in federal climate investments, strategic initiatives and groundbreaking legislative victories that put our great state on track to achieve 100% clean energy by 2040 while also creating thousands of jobs. Michigan’s commitment is exemplified by the MI Healthy Climate Plan 2023 Report, an annual report developed by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) Office of Climate and Energy. The report provides a summary of 2023 progress on the implementation of the state’s MI Healthy Climate Plan(MHCP).
Anchored in legislative victories, state investment and action, as well as federal investments, the MHCP positions Michigan as a national leader in clean energy and climate action. My colleagues and I have worked hard to implement policies that: reduce costs; protect land, air, water and public health; foster equity; and create family-sustaining jobs. In doing so, Michigan is creating a blueprint for a more sustainable, just and prosperous future for all.
According to the 2023 Clean Jobs Midwest report, Michigan was No. 1 in the Midwest for clean energy jobs, and the sector is growing twice as fast as the overall economy.
Michigan has an all-of-government approach to climate and has worked to incorporate climate into existing programs and launch new programs including the new MI Healthy Climate Corps and the EGLE climate liaisons. You can learn more about the state’s accomplishments and initiatives to improve clean energy in the MI Healthy Climate Plan 2023 Report.
Michigan Healthy Climate Corps Application is Now Open!
Are you or someone you know interested in supporting climate action and exploring a future in Michigan’s growing climate and clean energy economy? The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) Office of Climate and Energy is excited to announce job openings for the state’s first ever MI Healthy Climate Corps (MHCC) for 2024!
MHCC will field a cohort of 30 federal AmeriCorps members who will provide vital support for climate action across Michigan. Corps members will receive training and career development support to bolster Michigan’s climate leadership pool, as well as a $30,000-35,000 stipend for the program’s initial eight-month term, healthcare benefits, an education award and more.
Individuals must be 18 years old to serve — no degree or formal work experience is required. The service term runs from March 18, 2024, through November 15, 2024.
Clean-Energy School Buses Coming to Michigan Courtesy of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
Michigan’s transition to clean- and electric-energy school bus fleets has shifted into a higher gear with the announcement of millions of dollars coming to the state from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Clean School Bus Program (CSBP) grants.
Detroit, Lansing, and Pontiac public school systems will each receive $5,925,000 in federal funding to buy 15 clean-powered school buses apiece.
Michigan Seeks Input on Advancing Clean Energy Economy
The state of Michigan is inviting input on a historic opportunity to leverage significant federal financing for clean energy generation and infrastructure, economic development, supplier retooling and diversification and other related projects in Michigan.
Billions of dollars in federal loans and loan guarantees are available to invest in climate- and energy-related projects through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office. Michigan is committed to fully decarbonize the state’s economy by 2050 and generate 100% of the state’s power from clean sources by 2040.
Responses must be received by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024. Submit written responses via one of the following:
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy
Executive Office, Office of Climate and Energy
P.O. Box 30473 Lansing, MI 48909-7973
Tune into the 2024 State of the State Address
Mark your calendars! Governor Gretchen Whitmer will be delivering the 2024 State of the State Address at 7:00 p.m. on January 24.
In the address, the Governor will lay out plans for the year ahead, covering topics such as education, expanding affordable housing, the state’s economy and protecting Michigan seniors.
You can watch the address:
We have had a productive year of working with the governor to address the needs of our fellow Michiganders, and I look forward to continuing to collaborate in 2024 to build a better state for you and your family. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter for my reaction and more information on the governor’s speech and our collective priorities for the coming year.
Working to Expand Access to Quality, Affordable Housing
Safe and affordable housing continues to be a critical need for Michiganders. High interest rates and home prices create challenging conditions for both buyers and sellers, and many Michigan renters face challenges finding affordable housing too. Due to the high cost of housing, families often have to forgo food, healthcare or other necessities to avoid eviction.
Since taking office, addressing Michigan’s housing shortage has been a top priority for Senate Democrats. Through investments in housing and community development, passing historic tax relief and incentivizing redevelopment projects, our Majority for the People has been working to tackle this issue head on and make it easier for people to find and keep a place to call home.
To learn more about Senate Democrats’ efforts to expand access to affordable housing, click here.
2024 Laws Going into Effect
After a historic year with the Democrats in the majority, there were major pieces of legislation that passed. These are some of the laws taking effect early in 2024:
Restoring Workers’ Rights. Legislation repealing Michigan’s anti-worker law (House Bills 4004 and 4007 and Senate Bill 34) — which allowed union workers to opt out of paying union dues and fees — is set to go into effect.
Gun Safety. This year, gun safety-related legislation (Senate Bills 79, 80, 81 and 82and House Bills 4138 and 4142) will take effect, including the following: expansion of background checks, safe gun storage requirements and laws permitting courts to temporarily remove guns from those a judge deems pose an imminent threat to themselves or others, as well as temporarily banning those with domestic violence convictions from possessing and purchasing firearms and ammunition in Michigan.
Reproductive Health Act. The Reproductive Health Act (Senate Bills 474, 476and 477 and House Bills 4949, 4951, 4953–4956) will remove restrictive regulations for clinics, repeal a state law requiring the purchase of a special insurance rider for private health plans to cover abortion and remove a law banning higher education institutions’ pregnant and parenting services offices from providing referrals for abortion services.
Take Care of Yourself, Combat Winter Blues
The winter season can bring joy and happiness but can also have an adverse impact on mental health. It is important to consistently check in with your mental health and ensure you are getting the support you need. If you find yourself emotionally struggling or experiencing a mental health crisis, please be sure to utilize the following resources:
- Call or text 988/98 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (or 988 Lifeline). It is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and administered by Vibrant Emotional Health (Vibrant). To learn more, click here.
- If you need mental health care, go to the MDHHS website for more information.
Winter Weather Safety
Winter storms have been making quite the appearance across our beautiful district and state. It is important that we stay safe during this chilly season. With temperatures below freezing, cold wind chills, and icy roads be sure to bundle up when heading out, check the weather forecast often, and take it slow on the roads.
The heavy winds across Michigan have caused powerlines to come down. If you see a downed powerline, keep your distance, and never try moving it yourself. Please review these safety reminders below.
Statewide Warming Centers
As the temperatures drop and power outages are apt to occur, Michiganders must know which warming centers are available and accessible in their area. If you or someone you know needs to get warm, here are some warming centers in District 1:
Be sure to travel only if the conditions permit. If possible, call ahead to ensure the warming center has space and capacity.
Gordie Howe International Bridge New Completion Date
The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority issued a news release announcing that they have amended the contract for the Gordie Howe International Bridge project to include an expanded construction schedule with construction completion now planned for September 2025 and bridge opening occurring that fall. You can read more about the changes here.