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Dear Neighbor,   

Summer is officially upon us this week, bringing high temperatures to kick off the season. Stay cool, stay hydrated and, as always, stay safe.   

Also, this week: Juneteenth, a day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, in its first year as an official state holiday. While our country has certainly made significant progress in its pursuit of social justice and freedom for all, there is more work to be done so that all Michiganders regardless of what they look like, who they love, how they pray, or what zip code they call home can thrive.   

To that end, my Senate colleagues and I remain committed to building up Michigan in one of the most impactful ways we can: by soon passing a bold state budget that prioritizes the very people and communities we live, work, and grow in. Stay tuned as we continue to work with the House on the Fiscal Year 2025 state budget before sending it to the governor to sign.  

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 contact me by sending an email to or calling 517-373-7800.   


Senator Geiss Signature

Erika Geiss
State Senator
District 1


In This Edition: 

  • In Recent News 
    • Recognizing Juneteenth
    • Building Safe Communities: Senate Democrats Recognize National Gun Violence Awareness Month
    • Men’s Health Month in Michigan
  • Legislative Updates 
    • Legislation Introduced to Enhance Protections for Vulnerable Adults
    • Michigan Senate Unanimously Passes “Melody’s Law” to Close Glaring Loophole in Michigan’s Criminal Code
    • Michigan Senate Democrats Pass Bill that Enhances Safety for Vulnerable Roadway Users 
    • Senate Democrats Introduce Bills to Establish Tenants Right to Organize and Right to Repair in Michigan
    • Momnibus Bill Package Committee Hearing
  • Resources 
    • Stay Safe During Forecasted Heat Wave, Cooling Centers Information 
    • Get Help Completing Your FAFSA 
  • Community Update 
    • Detroit River Youth Career Expo 
    • Taylor Summer Festival 

In Recent News   

Recognizing Juneteenth 

Senator Geiss Black Maternal Health Graphic

Happy Juneteenth! Observed on June 19 every year, Juneteenth commemorates the day that the last people who were enslaved in the U.S. learned of their freedom — June 19, 1865, over two years after President Abraham Lincoln presented the Emancipation Proclamation.  

The significance of Juneteenth extends beyond its historical roots. It symbolizes triumph over the injustices of slavery and stands as a testament to the progress made and the work still needed to achieve true freedom and equality for all.  

As we celebrate this day, please know that I remain steadfast in the fight for equity and justice so that all Michiganders are not only free but can live their lives in happiness and health. 

There are many Juneteenth celebrations happening throughout the state — I hope you can attend! 
Check out our recent story, Celebrating Juneteenth & Black Excellence in the Michigan Legislature, to learn all the ways the Senate’s three Michigan Legislative Black Caucus members are making waves at the Capitol and for the people of Michigan. 

Building Safe Communities: Senate Democrats Recognize National Gun Violence Awareness Month 

Maternal Health Package Graphic

From big cities to small rural towns, gun violence plagues Michiganders in every corner of our state, leaving an irrevocable mark on too many lives. Even following just this past weekend, Michigan families are hugging their loved ones a little tighter after the three mass shootings that occurred in different locations across Southeast Michigan, including at Brooklands Plaza Splash Pad in Rochester Hills.  

To draw attention to the issue of gun violence and advocate for life-saving policies, the Michigan Senate recently passed a resolution recognizing June as Gun Violence Awareness Month. Gun violence is a public health crisis that plagues communities across our state, leaving an irrevocable mark on mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, friends, and neighbors. Since 2012, we’ve seen the rate of gun deaths in Michigan increase by 25%, and firearms are now the leading cause of death for children and teens. 

For all these reasons, there has never been a more important time for lawmakers to act on commonsense policies that are proven to make our communities safer.   

After assuming the Majority, my colleagues and I delivered a slate of gun violence prevention legislation that Michigan residents have waited years for. This legislation closes dangerous loopholes to strengthen background checks, requires the secure storage of firearms, disarms individuals convicted of domestic violence, and allows for the temporary removal of firearms from people who pose a significant risk to themselves or others.  

On June 20, 2024, Gov. Whitmer announced an Executive Order establishing Michigan’s Gun Violence Safety Task Force housed within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The task force will identify the root causes of gun violence, compile and report relevant data, maximize existing resources, solicit perspectives from diverse stakeholders, and recommend policy to save lives. The group will be comprised of members reflecting a wide range of stakeholders, including state department directors, medical experts, law enforcement professionals, tribal representatives, and more. For additional information, click here to view the official executive order.  

As we work to build safe communities for all Michiganders to enjoy, I remain committed to championing evidence-based, commonsense solutions that are supported by both gun owners and those who do not own firearms to address this public health crisis.   

Men’s Health Month in Michigan 

June is Men’s Health Month in Michigan. It is a good time for men to prioritize their well-being and take charge of their health. On average, men live five years less than women, with Native American and African American men having the lowest life expectancy. Men are also less likely to seek help for depression, stress, and substance use disorder than women, and middle-aged people, especially men, have the highest rate of suicide in the U.S. compared to other groups, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  

Because of these types of statistics, it’s crucial that men are aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, and medical checkups both for their physical and mental well-being. For more information, visit the Men’s Health Month website. 


Legislative Updates 

Legislation Introduced to Enhance Protections for Vulnerable Adults 

Elderly individuals and vulnerable adults are at high risk of being subject to abuse and exploitation at the hands of family members, friends, or other close associates. To keep Michiganders safe from harm, Sens. Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe), Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing), Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores), and Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) introduced Senate Bills 922925 last week to better protect those who are unable to protect themselves because of advanced age or a mental or physical impairment. This comprehensive legislative package would enhance protections for vulnerable adults by strengthening penalties for abuse and financial exploitation offenses and developing programs to bolster prevention efforts. 

This package has been referred to the committee on Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety.  

Michigan Senate Unanimously Passes “Melody’s Law” to Close Glaring Loophole in Michigan’s Criminal Code 

Michigan Senate Democrats recently voted to close a glaring loophole in the state’s criminal code. The Senate acted in unanimous fashion to pass Senate Bills 841843, sponsored by Sen. Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe). Known collectively as “Melody’s Law,” these bills explicitly outlaw necrophilia. The legislation stems from the despicable 2021 murder of Michigan resident Melody Rohrer, who was also the victim of a heinous act of sexual assault after her assailant murdered her. 

The legislation ensures that those convicted of this horrific act are held accountable by amending the Michigan Penal Code, PA 328 of 1931, to make the act of necrophilia punishable by up to 15 years in prison and require perpetrators to register in the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR).

Michigan Senate Democrats Pass Bill that Enhances Safety for Vulnerable Roadway Users  

Led by Sen. Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo), Michigan Senate Democrats passed Senate Bills 617 and 618, which would amend the Michigan Vehicle Code to prescribe a felony penalty for committing a moving violation against a vulnerable roadway user and as a result causes injury or death.   

Senate Bill 618, sponsored by Sen. Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe), defines vulnerable roadway users as a pedestrian, individual using a bicycle, roller skates, inline skates, a nonmotorized scooter or skateboard, a wheelchair, an individual riding equine, and a U.S. Postal Service employee or contractor, among others. 

Senate Democrats Introduce Bills to Establish Tenants Right to Organize and Right to       Repair in Michigan 

A couple of weeks ago, Michigan Senate Democrats led by Sen. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) introduced Senate Bills 900903, known as the Tenant Empowerment Package.   

These bills would protect tenants’ rights and tighten up Michigan law to ensure all renters have the tools they need to fight for those rights. The bills enshrine the right to repair into law to guarantee that landlords provide safe housing and make timely repairs. If landlords fail to initiate repairs promptly, tenants would be allowed to deduct repair costs from their rent. The bills also ensure transparency and fairness in lease agreements by requiring adequate notice for rent increases and preventing landlords from using lease language to eliminate tenants’ rights to repair or their right to organize.    

More than a quarter of Michiganders are renters but lack basic legal protections to ensure safe and affordable living conditions. Sen. Anthony believes that every Michigander deserves the right to a safe and dignified living space they can call home. These bills are the first steps Sen. Anthony, and her Democratic colleagues, are taking to address these issues and enshrine the rights of renters and tenants in Michigan’s state law.  

Senate Bills 900-903 have been referred to the Senate Committee on Housing and Human Services for further consideration.  

Momnibus Bill Package Committee Hearing 

On June, 18, 2024, the Michigan Senate Committee on Housing and Human Services heard testimony on the MI Momnibus bill package, sponsored by Sens. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor), Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford Twp.), Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing), Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit), and Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit). Senate Bills 818827 aim to bring greater equity and accountability to Michigan’s maternal healthcare services, amplifying the voices and experiences of Black birthing people, mothers, families, and stakeholders. 



Stay Safe During Forecasted Heat Wave, Cooling Centers Information 

With the projected high temperatures and humidity projected this week, Gov. Whitmer and several state departments have provided guidance for how you can stay safe.  

This week, temperatures are expected to reach the 90s with heat index values near and above 100 degrees. When it is very hot, there is an increased risk of heat-related illness including heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If not treated, heat exhaustion can worsen and cause heat stroke or death.  

Humidity can make temperatures feel even hotter. High temperatures plus high humidity are more dangerous because these conditions make it harder for the body to sweat and cool itself down. In addition to the daily temperature, residents should pay attention to the daily heat index, which gives a more accurate picture of how hot it feels outside. Additionally, air quality decreases, so it’s important to pay attention to the Air Quality Index (AQI). The EPA has a free app “Air Now” that shows the AQI in real time.  

To stay healthy when it is hot, residents are encouraged to: 

  • Drink more fluids and avoid liquids with large amounts of sugar or alcohol.  
  • Eat cooling fruits and vegetables as part of hydration goals. 
  • Limit outdoor activities to when it is coolest in the morning and evening.  
  • Spend time indoors in air conditioning. 
  • Check to make sure your air conditioner filters are clean and the unit is working properly. 
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.  
  • Wear sunscreen, as sunburn affects a body’s ability to cool down.  
  • Check on neighbors and relatives to determine if they need assistance.  
  • Never leave children or pets unattended in cars, even with the windows cracked. 
  • Pavement can be hotter than the air temperature, so take extra precaution when walking dogs. 

Additionally, our district has multiple cooling center locations. Find the one closest to you by clicking here. 

Get Help Completing Your FAFSA 

Preparing for college can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to sorting out finances. Join MiLEAP at an upcoming “FAFSA Fill-In Day” event to get one-on-one assistance from financial experts. Free computer and Wi-Fi access will be provided at their self-service stations, where they can help you submit the FAFSA form and see how you can access thousands of dollars in grants, scholarships, loans and work-student funds. They can also provide more information on the Michigan Achievement Scholarship for up to $27,500 in free money for college! 

WHEN: Saturday, June 22, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 
WHERE: Perfecting Church, JMAC Building on 17950 Van Dyke, Detroit, MI 48234 

Note: Before you attend, you’ll need to create your FSA IDs as FSA IDs for all contributors (including student and parent) are needed before you can complete the FAFSA. It takes three-five days for FSA IDs to be activated.) 


Community Update  

Detroit River Youth Career Expo 

Calling all youth! Join Career Expo Co-Chairs, Wayne County Commissioner Monique-Baker McCormick and Councilmember Scott Benson on Saturday, June 22 from 9:30-1:30 for a Detroit River Youth Career Expo. They can learn about exciting and well-paid careers in the maritime industry, STEM, environmental science, public health, communications, and culture.  

For more information, or to register, visit the event website here. 

Michigan Voting Rights Act Graphic

Taylor Summer Festival 

Top-flight music, fireworks, and an all-new drone show will be in the spotlight during the 2024 Taylor Summer Festival scheduled for June 27-30 at Heritage Park. 38 Special, a Southern Rock band, will be the featured musical group on Friday, June 28 and will be followed by a free drone show above Heritage Park. The drone show will be displayed at dusk. Saturday, June 29 is Rotary Club of Taylor Fireworks Night at the festival. Canadian rock band April Wine will take the stage. Fireworks will be displayed around dusk at approximately 10 p.m.  

For more information, visit the event website here.