Happy Thanksgiving! I know the holiday is still a week away, but as this is my last newsletter before Thanksgiving, I want to take the opportunity to wish you a very happy holiday. I hope you are able to take some time to enjoy spending time with your family over some good food and conversation.
This month, the Michigan Senate had a busy legislative schedule as we worked diligently to address the issues facing Michiganders across the state and our lakeshore district. To help keep you up to date with all that has been happening, I wanted to take a moment and share some of the legislative accomplishments I’m most proud of. Also included below are a few resources for the upcoming holiday season I hope you find helpful.
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 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.
Thank you again for taking the time to read this newsletter — I hope to hear from you soon.
Included in This Newsletter
- Legislative Update
- Thanksgiving Resources
- Upcoming Events
- Contact Us
Protecting Michiganders’ Reproductive Healthcare
After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, nearly 2.5 million Michigan voters showed overwhelming support for Proposal 3 in November 2022. Supporting our shared belief in the freedom of choice — my colleagues and I took another step in expanding healthcare access by passing the Reproductive Health Act, comprised of Senate Bills 474, 476 and 477 and House Bills 4949, 4951 and 4953–4956.
Crafted with constituents and advocates in mind — this bipartisan legislation will protect and expand access to reproductive healthcare for Michiganders statewide by repealing medically unnecessary regulations and removing administrative burdens that are not placed on any other healthcare providers. The Reproductive Health Act also helps bring Michigan’s laws into better alignment with the new reproductive protections enshrined in our constitution.
These bills now head to the Governor’s desk for signature. Read more about the Reproductive Health Act here.
Protecting Living Organ Donors from Discrimination
Living organ donation is the ultimate act of compassion and generosity. When a Michigander takes the extraordinary, selfless step to donate a part of themselves to save the life of another, the least we can do is ensure they do not face discrimination from insurers. My bill — Senate Bill 384 — provides necessary and well-deserved protections to living organ donors, so they can access life, disability and long-term care insurance free from burden or discrimination.
After passing the Senate in June and the House in October with overwhelming bipartisan support, this legislation was signed into law by Governor Whitmer on November 7.
Introducing the Death with Dignity Act
We have all witnessed and supported a loved one facing a terminal illness. To expand end-of-life care options for these Michiganders, I joined my colleagues Senators Mary Cavanagh, Sam Singh and Veronica Klinefelt to introduce the Death with Dignity Act (Senate Bills 678–681). This legislation would allow terminally ill patients the option to request and use prescribed medication to end their lives peacefully on their own timeline.
From ensuring the patient’s decision is voluntary to requiring a 15-day waiting period and more — we have taken great steps to include numerous regulations, safeguards and considerations that ensure the safe practice of the policy.
Providing Pathways to Adoption for Our Furry Friends
Animals provide so much love and comfort to us in our daily lives that they deserve to have a long, happy life. After I met Teddy — a beagle who was rescued from euthanasia at a Michigan laboratory in 2018 — I introduced a bill known as Teddy’s Law. Senate Bill 149 would require that cats and dogs used in animal testing are offered for adoption rather than being euthanized following their time in the lab. This legislation would help create a pathway for thousands of dogs and cats in Michigan to find loving forever homes.
After years of working to get Teddy’s Law across the finish line, I’m excited to report that the bill has successfully passed the Michigan House and Senate and is heading to the Governor’s desk for signature. Read more about this legislation in the Macomb Daily here.
Shedding Light on the State Legislature
In 2022, Proposal 1 — requiring State Legislators to publish annual financial disclosure reports — was supported by over 2.8 million Michigan voters. To codify this measure into state law and improve government transparency, the Senate passed Senate Bills 613–616 nearly unanimously — sending them off to the Governor’s desk for signature.
Under this legislation, elected officials and candidates for public office are required to publicly disclose assets and income above certain thresholds. The bills also will require candidates and officeholders to disclose their spouse’s employment, including their status as a registered lobbyist.
I was proud to sponsor this legislative package as I firmly believe that Michiganders deserve to know their elected officials are fighting for their interests and not anything that provides personal gain.
Finally, this legislation will help bring Michigan in line with the other 48 states that implement this type of disclosure — ushering in a new era of transparency and accountability to our state government. Read more here.
For community members struggling to make ends meet, the holiday season can be especially tough. Thankfully, there are numerous organizations throughout District 12 that are available to provide resources to individuals and families in need during the upcoming holiday season.
Annual Thanksgiving Lunch — Mount Clemens Salvation Army
The Mount Clemens Salvation Army will be providing a community Thanksgiving meal on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. All are welcome. For more information, please contact Korienna Cox at (586) 469-6712.
Various community organizations, churches and businesses are coming together to provide Thanksgiving baskets to families who need additional support during the holiday. For more information, visit detroitthanksgiving.com.
WHEN: Saturday, November 18 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Total Sports, 40501 Production Drive, Harrison Township, MI 48045
Throughout the month of November, Woodside Bible Church is partnering with the Dream Centers of Michigan to provide local families with Thanksgiving dinner — to be enjoyed in their own homes with family and friends. Boxes include groceries for 6-8 people and a Meijer gift card to purchase a turkey. One box per family. Registration required. Sign up for a time slot here.
WHEN: Sunday, November 19 from 12:30 – 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: Woodside Bible Church — Chesterfield Campus, 26950 23 Mile Road, Chesterfield, MI 48051
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: Monday, November 20 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Harper Woods Public Library, 19601 Harper Ave, Harper Woods, MI 48225
Senior Issues Town Hall with Attorney General Dana Nessel
WHEN: Thursday, December 7 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Mount Clemens Public Library, 150 Cass Ave, Mt Clemens, MI 48043
Join us for a Senior Issues Town Hall hosted by Attorney General Dana Nessel and State Senator Kevin Hertel! The event will include a presentation on scams that target seniors. Learn how to spot the telltale signs of scams through phone calls, mail, email and texts and how to minimize your risk of being scammed.
District Office Hours with Staff
WHEN: Every Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and by appointment
WHERE: District Office, 28800 Harper, Saint Clair Shores, MI 48081
* Please note that our previously scheduled November 17 coffee hour has been cancelled due to scheduling conflicts. I look forward to scheduling more of these events in the new year!
If You Need Help: If you have a problem dealing with any department of state government, such as accessing unemployment benefits, my office is available to help resolve it. While we usually cannot assist with local or federal issues, we will always do our best to help direct you to the appropriate person or organization for help.
You may always feel free to call my office at (517) 373-7315 or email me at SenKHertel@senate.michigan.gov.
Keep Up to Date: Our bi-weekly newsletters are full of updates on what Team Hertel has been working on both in Lansing and District 12 to deliver results for Michiganders. To keep up to date with what we’ve been up to — sign up here to receive my bi-weekly newsletter, or access previous editions online here.