Senator Geiss Email Banner

Dear Neighbor, 

April offers a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with friends and family. Whether it’s a walk in the park, going fishing, a hike through the trails, or a barbecue in your backyard, I hope you are taking time to soak up the sunshine and make the most of this spring season.  

As always, I hope this newsletter informs you of all the exciting things happening in the Legislature and District 1. 

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 or call 517-373-7800.   


Senator Geiss Signature

Erika Geiss
State Senator
District 1


In This Edition

  • In Recent News 
    • Detroit to Shine on National Stage as NFL Draft Begins, Economic Impact Estimated in Hundreds of Millions 
    • Working to Keep Michigan Roads Safe: Senate Democrats Recognize Distracted Driving Awareness Month 
    • Senate Democrats Recognize Workers’ Memorial Day 
  • Legislative Updates 
    • Working to Deliver a Fiscally Responsible State Budget 
    • Senate Democrats Introduce Momnibus Bills to Uplift Black Maternal Health in Michigan 
    • Recapping Senate Democrats’ Work to Safeguard Michiganders’ Wellness During Public Health Week 
  • Resources 
    • Free Gun Locks Now Available at MDHHS Offices 
    • Tips to Help You Safely Navigate Road Construction 
  • Community Update 
    • College Savings Presentation at Melvindale Public Library 

In Recent News

Detroit to Shine on National Stage as NFL Draft Begins, Economic Impact Estimated in Hundreds of Millions 

The NFL Draft has arrived in Detroit, shining a spotlight on the Motor City as it aims to “reintroduce” itself on the national stage. More than 300,000 visitors are expected to flock to the city this week culminating Thursday with the start of Round 1 of the draft to see which collegiate stars will be selected.  

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued proclamations declaring the week of April 22-28 as NFL Draft Week in Michigan, and April 25 as Honolulu Blue Day. The draft is one of the most anticipated events in sports, and this year, all eyes are on Detroit. Set against the backdrop of Detroit’s dynamic cityscape, this year’s draft promises to be a showcase of both emerging stars and the city itself.  

With the influx of visitors, the economic impact is anticipated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars in business.  

 If you’re looking to head downtown and participate in the festivities, find everything you need to know about the event including registration, parking and more here. 


Working to Keep Michigan Roads Safe: Senate Democrats Recognize Distracted Driving Awareness Month 

Distracted driving accounts for about 25% of all crash fatalities, and in 2021, there were 6,543 motor vehicle crashes here in Michigan involving a distracted driver.  

 To help rectify this issue and keep our roads safe for Michiganders driving to work, school or anywhere in between, I joined a bipartisan group of colleagues last year to update our distracted driving laws. Before, texting while driving was a ticketable offense, but things like scrolling social media or taking a video were not. Senate Bills 239241 made a much-needed update to our laws to ensure Michigan is truly a hands-free state and encourage people to focus on the most important task on the road: driving safely. These bills were signed into law and took effect on June 30, 2023.  

 As a result, you cannot manually do any of the following on a cell phone or other electronic device while driving: 

  • Make or answer a telephone or video call. 
  • Send or read a text or email message. 
  • Watch, record, or send a video. 
  • Access, read, or post to social media. 
  • Browse or use the Internet. 
  • Enter information into GPS or a navigation system. 

As April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, take a moment to learn more about these laws and how you can play your part in keeping our roads safe for yourself and your fellow Michiganders. Find more information, visit the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety website at Senate Democrats Recognize Workers’ Memorial Day

Senator Geiss Black Maternal Health Graphic

Michigan Senate Democrats passed Senate Resolution 111, recognizing April 28, 2024, as Workers’ Memorial Day. On this day every year, communities and worksites around the world and across the state honor friends, family members, and colleagues who have been killed or injured on the job.  

Workers’ Memorial Day honors the integrity of Michigan’s workforce and honors the memory of the courageous and dedicated members of Michigan’s labor force who have been injured or disabled or have died as a result of workplace accidents. 

In 2022, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that in Michigan, 139 workers were lost through fatal workplace accidents and 5,486 workers were killed by traumatic injuries on the job across the nation — on average, a worker died every 96 minutes from a work-related injury. 

Senate Democrats remain dedicated in our effort to seek stronger workplace safety and health protections, better standards, and enforcement, and fair and just compensation — continuing to fight to improve both safety and health in every workplace. 

Legislative Updates 

Working to Deliver a Fiscally Responsible 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 the thick of our annual budget process with subcommittees reporting out proposals for the full Appropriations Committee’s consideration. As we work to deliver a 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 Momnibus Bills to Uplift Black Maternal Health in Michigan 

Maternal Health Package Graphic

Senate Democrats have introduced the “Momnibus” — a robust legislative package (Senate Bills 818827) aimed to bolster equity and accountability in maternal healthcare services statewide. With a multi-faceted approach, these bills aim to strengthen community-driven programs, enhance prenatal care and maternal healthcare, and amplify the voices of Black birthing individuals, mothers, women, families, and stakeholders. 

It is critical for our state to pass such legislation as we see Black mothers in the United States face disproportionately higher risks during pregnancy and childbirth. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Black women’s mortality rate from pregnancy-related causes is three times higher than that of white women, with structural racism underlying these disparities.  

Black women face unfair healthcare challenges compared to white women, leading to higher risks and even life-threatening complications. As mortality rates climb and reproductive freedoms come under fire, it’s crucial to back local initiatives that enhance prenatal and maternal care, support breastfeeding and nutrition and safeguard abortion access. 

The “Momnibus” will now advance to the Senate Housing & Human Services Committee for further consideration. 

Recapping Senate Democrats’ Work to Safeguard Michiganders’ Wellness During Public Health Week 

With the new opportunity to better address these needs, our Majority for the People has worked to pass comprehensive, evidence-based policies to expand access to healthcare and improve the health of Michigan residents. As we observe Michigan Public Health Week, Senate Democrats recognize the invaluable contributions of those who safeguard the health of our communities and recommit to supporting their efforts as we work collectively to promote the well-being of our state. 

 During our first year-plus in office, we have wasted no time in enacting meaningful policies and securing investments to achieve a brighter, healthier Michigan for future generations. 

 Some legislative highlights include: 

  • Expanding access to care by codifying the Affordable Care Act into state law and passing legislation that would establish Prescription Drug Affordability Board to rein in the skyrocketing cost of medications. 
  • Combatting our gun violence epidemic by closing dangerous loopholes to strengthen background checks, requiring the secure storage of firearms, disarming individuals convicted of domestic violence, and allowing for the temporary removal of firearms from people who pose a significant risk to themselves or others. 
  • Protecting Michiganders’ reproductive freedom by repealing our state’s archaic 1931 abortion ban, passing the Reproductive Health Act, to repeal medically unnecessary regulations regarding health clinics that perform abortions, and championing the Family Protection Act to eliminate barriers to parentage in fertility healthcare to allow Michiganders more ways to grow their families. 
  • Keeping Michigan’s air and water clean by passing the Clean Energy Future package which sets long-awaited clean energy and renewable energy standards and increases energy efficiency targets, in addition to passing Filter First legislation that will require Michigan schools and childcare centers to implement a drinking water management plan and install filtered faucets and bottle-filling stations, ensuring every student and educator can fill their water bottle or go to the water fountain knowing it is safe. 

In addition to passing a slate of legislation to safeguard Michiganders’ wellbeing, Senate Democrats also made transformational investments in public health in our 2024 state budget. Some highlights include: 

  • $280 million to address our mental health crisis through funding for community behavioral health services to expand access to care.  
  • $76 million for local health departments to provide economic stability and ensure they have the necessary resources to supply residents with essential health services. 
  • $63 million increase in funding for Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies, an initiative providing postpartum Medicaid coverage to mothers in an effort to reduce postpartum deaths.  
  • $800,000 to create the Office of Community Violence Services and $6 million for the office to provide grants to community-based violence intervention programs that are working to reduce firearm-related injuries and fatalities. 

By expanding access to healthcare, investing in public health initiatives, and leading on clean energy, Senate Democrats have laid a foundation for a healthier and more equitable future and will continue working towards further progress. To read more about the work our Majority for the People is doing to promote better health outcomes, click here. 

Free Gun Locks Now Available at MDHHS Offices 

Gun violence is the leading cause of death for Michigan children and teens, and in recent years, unintentional shootings by children have been rising. To promote responsible gun ownership and help keep families safe from the devastating effects of gun violence, my colleagues and I took bold action last year to deliver a slate of gun violence prevention legislation that Michigan residents have waited years for.  

Among the legislation passed, Public Act 17 of 2023 requires firearms to be locked and unloaded when unattended, particularly if minors are likely to be present. Failure to comply results in penalties, including misdemeanors and felonies, if minors gain access to improperly stored firearms. 

To help minimize the cost of purchasing firearm safety devices, the Michigan State Police (MSP) and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are partnering together to offer free gun locks to the public at MDHHS county offices and some local health departments. 

To request a free gun lock while supplies last, you can visit your local MDHHS office or check with your local health department, some of which will have gun locks available. Free firearm safety devices can also be obtained through Project ChildSafe police partners across the state. These cable-style gun locks are made possible due to funding secured in the 2024 State Police Budget passed by the Legislature last year. 

For more information, click here. 

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 several work zones throughout our community this year. 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. 

Community Update 

College Savings Presentation at Melvindale Public Library 

Michigan Voting Rights Act Graphic

Join Melvindale Public Library for a College Savings Presentation with representatives from the Michigan Education Trust (MET) and Michigan Education Savings Plan (MESP). 

WHEN: Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at 6:00 p.m. 
WHERE: Melvindale Public Library, 18650 Allen Rd, Melvindale, MI 48122