From expanding access to health insurance and lowering the cost of prescription drugs to taking steps to protect our environment — we have had several busy weeks in Lansing, working to deliver real solutions to the problems facing Michiganders here in District 12 and across the state.While my last newsletter focused on the many things happening in our lakeshore district, I wanted to take a moment to also share some policy wins we’ve accomplished recently. Below, you’ll see updates on some of my favorite pieces of legislation that we’re working to get across the finish line. SenKHertel@senate.michigan.gov. I also invite you to join me at an upcoming coffee hour or district event — more details can be found here. As always, I’d love to hear from you about the topics you’re interested in. Please feel free to reach out to my office to share your perspective or seek assistance with any challenges you may be facing with state departments — we are here to serve you. You can reach my office by calling (517) 373-7315 or emailing Thank you again for taking the time to read this newsletter — I hope to hear from you soon.
Kevin HertelState Senator District 12
Codifying the Affordable Care ActAs Chair of the Senate Health Policy Committee, I am committed to ensuring Michigan residents can confidently access affordable healthcare without worry. One of the most impactful pieces of legislation that has helped Americans obtain healthcare coverage is the Affordable Care Act.
To enshrine ACA protections in Michigan law, I introduced Senate Bills 356–358 last spring. Today, I joined Governor Whitmer, fellow lawmakers and advocates as this legislation was signed into law, helping more Michiganders find affordable insurance plans that meet their needs.
Taking Action to Address Rising Prescription Drug Costs
In 2020, while the costs of many goods were rising, the prices of 500 prescription drugs in Michigan increased at a rate twice that of inflation. To combat these skyrocketing costs, the Senate recently passed Senate Bills 483–485, which would establish an independent Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) in Michigan. The PDAB aims to address the issue by implementing measures to regulate prescription drug costs, ensuring that essential medications are accessible and affordable for everyone.This legislation awaits further action in the Michigan House. To learn more about these bills, click here.
Holding Drug Companies AccountableIn recent years, Michigan consumers were set to receive hundreds of millions of dollars from pharmaceutical companies whose products caused chronic kidney injuries or contributed to the opioid epidemic. However, Michiganders were unable to participate in settlements because of a decades-old state law that grants pharmaceutical companies near absolute immunity from lawsuits.
This week, the Senate voted to change this reality and repeal a provision of the 1995 Product Liability Act — the nation’s strictest project liability law. Senate Bill 410 would restore consumers’ access to the courts and allow them to be held responsible when their products harm them. I was proud to provide a “yes” vote and help give Michigan consumers their voice back.
Creating New Pathways for Paramedics to Enter the ProfessionCurrently, Michigan has approximately 1,000 unfilled paramedic roles — threatening the health and safety of Michiganders throughout the state. That’s why I worked alongside local firefighters in crafting legislation to stem the tide of the current paramedic shortage facing Michigan. Senate Bill 249 establishes the Michigan Only License for paramedics which would return the training of paramedics back to local fire departments and private ambulance agencies, helping to lower the cost burden training agencies face when operating their licensure through the National Registry. I look forward to getting this legislation across the finish line and to the governor’s desk in the coming weeks.
Expanding Opportunities for Clean, Renewable Energy The use of solar energy as a power source, particularly on farmlands, is becoming increasingly popular across the United States. Through legislative efforts, Michigan is shaping up to be a leader in promoting cost-effective clean energy practices. Recently, the Michigan Senate passed Senate Bill 277, which allows farmers to rent land for solar operations while maintaining the preservation of farmland enrolled in the PA 116 program. Garnering widespread, bipartisan support from various agricultural, economic and environmental organizations — this pro-farmer, pro-property rights and pro-environment legislation will help farmers to diversify revenue sources, while moving our state towards a clean energy future. The bill awaits further action in the Michigan House. Read more here.
Upcoming Events It is one of my top goals as your State Senator to have myself and my office be as accessible to you as possible. To share your thoughts on legislation or seek assistance with an issue, please join me at one of our upcoming district events:
Coffee and Conversation
WHEN: Friday, October 20 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.WHERE: District Office, 28800 Harper, Saint Clair Shores, MI 48081
Small Business Town Hall
WHEN: Monday, October 30, 2023, from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Doors open at 10:00 a.m.): New Baltimore Civic Club, 36551 Main St, New Baltimore, MI 48047WHERE
Join us in New Baltimore for a Small Business Town Hall to learn about opportunities for small business owners and budding entrepreneurs in our area. Guest speakers include representatives from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, U.S. Small Business Administration and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.
District Office Hours with Staff: Every Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and by appointmentWHERE: District Office, 28800 Harper, Saint Clair Shores, MI 48081WHEN