STATE SENATOR CURTIS HERTEL, JR. February 2020 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

As your state senator for the last five years, it’s been my mission to work as hard as you do. Every day, it is my duty to represent you and ensure Michigan is a great place to live, work and raise a family — and a place where you can retire and enjoy your later years with dignity and financial security.

To help you, I regularly host coffee, lunch and happy hours, with flexible times to match every constituent’s schedule. If we want a government that works for you, we need to make everyone’s voice heard. That’s why I’m also available through email or letters, and am just a phone call away.

Your feedback allows me to better serve the people of the 23rd Senate District and, at the end of the day, we all want to do what’s best for the communities that we live in.

If there’s anything I can do to help you, please let me know! You can reach me through email at SenCHertel@senate.michigan.gov or by phone at (517) 373-1734. I would love to hear from you!


Curtis Hertel, Jr.
State Senator

Phone: (517) 373-1734
Website: SenatorHertel.com
Email: SenCHertel@senate.michigan.gov


Join Me for Coffee

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with constituents in cities and townships throughout Ingham County to discuss the challenges and the incredible opportunities we face as a state. Thank you to those of you who have stopped by my coffee hours and other constituent events.

If you haven’t had a chance to attend, I hope you will in 2020. It’s important to me to hear opinions from people across communities.

For the latest events in and around the district, visit my Facebook page or my website at SenatorHertel.com. You may also call my office at (517) 373-1734.

Phone Scams on the Rise

Attorney General Dana Nessel and her team are working diligently to put an end to phone scams, but this change won’t happen overnight. In the meantime, it’s important to stay diligent when answering the phone.

Here are some tips to be sure you don’t get scammed: BEFORE you answer the phone, ask:
• Do I recognize the caller or the number? Don’t know it? Don’t answer it.
• Am I on the do-not-call list? If so and this is not a personal, charity or political
call, then the caller is breaking the law.
• Do I want more unsolicited calls? Answering unsolicited calls verifies you are
a working number and can result in more calls.
If you answer the call:
• It is okay to hang up if you’re uncomfortable.
• If you think the call is legitimate, call it back to verify.

NEVER give out personal information including name, address, birthdate, social security and/or account numbers. Remember, the IRS does NOT make phone calls demanding payment.
Report scamming to the Attorney General’s office at (877) 765-8388.

The Cost of Prescription Drugs

For many people who need prescription drugs, the costs can be extreme and often patients must make unimaginable decisions due to the cost of their medication. No one should have to ration insulin or choose which medications to get each week. While many of the most impactful legislative changes regarding controlling the cost of prescription drugs must be addressed at the federal level, as a state we must be creative in our solutions.

Most recently, I have worked with my colleagues on a package of bills that would allow Michigan to import prescription drugs from Canadian wholesalers at significantly lower prices than the U.S. I am committed to, and will continue to look for, creative solutions for prescription drug costs so that Michiganders have access to their medications without cost-prohibitive barriers.

Know your rights: Michigan law requires pharmacies to share drug prices with consumers.

Compare prices: The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services maintains MichiganDrugPrices.com, which allows you to compare and save money without ever stepping foot in a pharmacy.

Prescription discount cards: The MiRx (My Prescription) Card is a prescription drug discount program for Michigan residents who do not have prescription drug coverage. The MiRx Card program is free; there is no cost for the card or to enroll in the program. MiRx card holders can take their prescription and their MiRx card to their local participating pharmacy, where the pharmacist will fill the prescription and charge the MiRx discounted price. The discount covers any medicine the pharmacist stocks and your doctor prescribes, with the exception of over-the-counter drugs.

For more information, please visit MIHealth.org/MiRx.

Pharmacies also often offer free discount cards to consumers who do not have insurance or who have very high co-pays. Though discount cards can provide significant savings, it is important to be aware that companies will sometimes use these cards as a scam to require you to pay more in the long run.


Every 10 years, the U.S. government is constitutionally required to count the people living in our country. It doesn’t matter if you’re a natural-born citizen, a Green Card holder or an immigrant — every person living in our country matters.

The 2020 Census questionnaire will contain a short set of questions asking about the people living in your household. It’s critical that you fill out these forms and return them.

Be Counted: U.S. CENSUS 2020

You should make sure you respond to the 2020 Census questionnaire because the results of it:
• Determine how much money our state and our community receive from the federal government;
• Determine the number of congressional seats Michigan receives;
• Supply local government officials with data to ensure public safety, plan schools and build hospitals; and,
• Provide data so businesses can find communities where they can create jobs.

BY APRIL 1, 2020, every home in Michigan should receive a census questionnaire. Thanks to upgrades in technology, you will be able to return your answers via MAIL, PHONE or ONLINE.

Earn extra income while helping your community

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. These temporary positions include Census takers, Census field supervisors, recruiting assistants, clerks and office operations supervisors.
Interested? Learn more and apply online at 2020Census.gov/Jobs or call (855) JOB-2020 (562-2020).

How to avoid scams

Between March 12 and 20, most households will receive a postcard invitation to respond online to the 2020 census. Those who don’t answer will then receive the traditional paper form in the mail. If you don’t respond, the bureau will send a census taker to knock on your door to collect your household’s data.

Real census employees won’t ask for your full Social Security number, for money or donations, or for bank or credit card numbers.

Check to make sure that the person has a valid identification badge with his or her photograph, a Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date. If you still suspect fraud, call the Census Bureau at (800) 923-8282 to speak to a representative.


Preventing Elder Abuse

More than 73,000 older adults in Michigan are victims of elder abuse — both physical and mental — as well as neglect and exploitation. The symptoms and treatment of elder abuse are complex and demand a concerted effort to tackle this often unrecognized, and unreported, social problem.

As an elected official, this also includes enacting legislation to stop elder abuse. A bipartisan bill package was recently introduced that would protect elderly and vulnerable adults from physical and financial abuse. These bills would increase penalties for assaulting elderly people; make it a crime to use or obtain an elderly person’s money or property through fraud or coercion; and make it a felony to restrain an elderly person through violence, fraud or deceit.

Reporting Elder Abuse

If you suspect elder or vulnerable adult abuse, please report it. The attorney general’s office has created a hotline and a website for Michigan residents to send in anonymous tips to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Adult Protective Services Division.

SEE IT……….DOCUMENT IT……….. REPORT IT


Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Adult Protective Services Division
(800) 24-ABUSE (800-242-2873) | Michigan.gov/ElderAbuse


Meals on Wheels

Senior citizens are a vital part of our community. After a lifetime of hard
work, many continue to give back to our communities, and serve as the backbone of our neighborhoods, while others need our help. Seniors live on fixed incomes and struggle to pay for nutritious food due to expensive prescription drug costs, rising utility rates, increased rent, and more.

Meals on Wheels can help.

This program helps senior citizens eat nutritious meals by providing five per week to homebound, older adults. They also offer liquid nutrition for those who are unable to eat solid food and who have a prescription from their physician.

To qualify for Meals on Wheels, an adult must be:
• 60 years or older;
• Homebound (e.g. unable to leave home without assistance and unable to drive);
• Unable to cook for him/ herself;
• Have no one willing to prepare meals on a regular basis; and,
• Able to feed him/herself.

For more information about Meals on Wheels call or visit:

Greater Lansing Area Meals on Wheels
Lansing, East Lansing, Haslett and Okemos

Tri-County Office on Aging
5303 S. Cedar St., Bldg. 1,
Lansing, MI 48911-3800
(517) 887-1460

Rural Ingham Meals on Wheels
Holt, Mason, Williamston, Webberville, Stockbridge, Leslie, Dansville and Onondaga
415 E. Maple St.,
Mason, MI 48854
(517) 676-2775


Are you ready for REAL ID?

On Oct. 1, 2020, the federally mandated REAL ID law will take effect and, if you travel by air, this law will impact you.

REAL ID is the post-9/11 federal requirement setting higher security standards for identification. Once implemented, standard state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards will not be enough when boarding flights within the U.S. or entering certain federal facilities, such as military bases or nuclear power plants.

Some people already have a REAL ID document, such as a valid U.S. passport, a DHS Trusted Traveler Card or an enhanced driver’s license. A full list of acceptable REAL ID documents is available online at TSA.gov.

To get a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or state ID card, visit a Secretary of State Office and bring the following documents with you:

• Your driver’s license or state ID card;
• Your certified birth certificate, with a raised seal or stamp issued by a governmental agency; or,
• Your valid, unexpired U.S. passport OR an approved citizenship or legal presence document (faxes and photocopies won’t be accepted); and,
• If your name differs from what is on your birth certificate, bring certified documents for every time your name has changed, such as marriage licenses or court orders.

There’s no additional fee to turn a license or state ID card into a standard REAL ID if it’s done during your normal renewal time. Otherwise, a duplicate card fee will be charged.

RENEW EARLY

You can renew plates for individually owned or leased
cars, pickup trucks, vans and motorcycles up to six months before they expire. Renew early online at ExpressSOS.com or at a Secretary of State office, even if you have not yet received your renewal information in the mail. License plate tabs will arrive by mail within two weeks.
Driver’s licenses (for drivers age 21 and older) and state ID cards may be renewed up to a year early. Motorists have the option of obtaining a REAL ID-compliant license or state ID card at no extra cost when renewing. Certain paperwork and a visit to a branch is required, so drivers are encouraged to check Michigan.gov/REALID or call the Department of State Information Center at (888) SOS-MICH (767-6424) for more details.
Visiting a branch office? Consider scheduling an appointment. Appointments are reserved online at Michigan.gov/SOSAppointments and help ensure that visits are 30 minutes or less.

DON’T DELAY.
REAL ID goes into effect Oct. 1, 2020
For more information, visit Michigan.gov/RealID.


More news:

Stay Home, Stay Safe Order School Lunch and Food Sites in the 23rd District: Hertel on Whitmer plan to fix roads

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