Weekly Update

Friends, 

There are primaries coming up in Michigan on August 4, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has a website that has all the information you need. There, you can learn about registering to vote, primary candidates, safe voting, election security, and so much more. You can even see a sample ballot by entering your voter information and read about the Detroit Public Schools Community District’s millage, for instance.

Just last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer mandated that everyone MUST wear a mask indoors and in any crowded outdoor settings. Unfortunately, these restrictions can’t be enacted at polling places, which is why it’s highly encouraged that voters vote absentee or wear a mask.

If I can wear a mask when protecting our country, you can wear one when voting.

#MaskUpMichigan

DEFENDING DETROIT

Just this week, President Trump announced he expects to send federal troops to Detroit to quash peaceful protestors. While I respect the president as the Commander-in-Chief, I cannot stay silent about this matter, nor his rhetoric that living in our incredible city is “living in hell,” as he said.

Detroit is, and always will be, my home. It is where I was raised to be the man I am today, and it is where I will proudly raise my children, too. As I told the Detroit News, the president’s comments are a sad commentary on where we are as a nation – and why we need to be better. The military has taught me that what we do should always be about the greater good of the community – whether it’s your comrades in uniform or our next-door neighbors. I’m honored to be your state senator and represent our community — that won’t ever change.

$2.2 BILLION STATE BUDGET AGREEMENT REACHED

On July 22, the Michigan Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reached a bipartisan agreement to plug a $2.2 billion state budget hole that includes a spending cut by about $620 million across many state departments. The deal will use most of the remaining federal assistance — provided through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which included $3.1 billion for Michigan — and provides crucial funding for Michigan families, schools, and communities grappling with costs incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlights of the deal include:

SUPPORTING WORKING FAMILIES

INVESTING IN EDUCATION

HELPING LOCAL COMMUNITIES

BUILDING STRONGER BUSINESSES

Once the supplemental budgets passed are enacted, there will be approximately $94.4 million left in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds available to be used for future issues. Michigan is, like most states across the country, not only being impacted financially in the current fiscal year but the next one, as well. While the fiscal year 2020 budget is now balanced, as required by the Constitution, the fiscal year 2021 budget, by some estimates, is facing a $3 billion deficit, which will also need to be addressed. The Legislature will be working with the Administration over the next 10 weeks to find solutions to the deficit, which could again include use of the Rainy Day Funds, cuts to state departments, and federal aid — if the U.S. Congress approves another emergency relief package that contains funding for state and local governments.

MISSED THE TAX FILING DEADLINE? TREASURY CAN HELP!

Michigan taxpayers who missed the July 15 state individual income tax filing deadline have options for filing a late return, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Treasury recommends past-due tax filers to consider:

Taxpayers who receive a final tax bill and are unable to pay the entire amount owed can consider:

The last three options for final tax bills should be filed separately from the state income tax return.

To learn more about Michigan’s income tax, go to www.michigan.gov/incometax or call Treasury’s Income Tax Information Line at 517-636-4486. Taxpayer inquires can also be made online.

HOUSING HELP: COMMUNICATING WITH LENDERS IS KEY

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is reminding consumers that COVID-19-related assistance programs and forbearance periods are nearing end dates, and those who have taken advantage of these programs should resume making timely payments, if possible, or contact their lenders right away if they still need assistance.

Visit the DIFS website for more information on federally backed mortgagesand the MiMortgage Relief Program. Consumers who need assistance with their financial services company can also contact DIFS Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 877-999-6442, or file a complaint at Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints.

BLIGHT AND OUR CITY

Recently, Detroit City Council approved Proposal N regarding blight removal in Detroit to be on the November general election ballot. You can read more about that proposal here

REMINDER: ANSWER YOUR PHONE TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS SAFE

One of the best tools’ health experts must contain COVID-19 is contact tracing. If you get a call from the health department or MI COVID HELP, keep your family and friends safe by answering the call. To break the chain of infection, your local health department of MI COVID HELP is calling anyone who has been exposed to the coronavirus.

Your identity will be protected, and your name will not be released to anyone called, including your contacts. You will also never be asked for your personal information, like your driver’s license, social security number, or credit card information.

LEARN MORE: MICHIGAN’S NEW AUTO INSURANCE LAW

As of July 1, Michigan’s new auto insurance law now allows you to choose a level of medical coverage when your policy is issued or renewed.

Will my auto insurance bill be lower when the law goes into effect? 

The new auto insurance law allows you to choose a level of PIP medical coverage. Insurance companies are required to reduce the premium for this coverage so that there will be an average reduction per vehicle based on the level of coverage chosen.

You also now have the ability to choose different levels of Bodily Injury and Property Damage (BI/PD) coverage. This choice will also affect your premium.

Your total premium and potential savings will depend on the coverages you select. A licensed insurance agent can help you select the right coverage options for your budget.

How will I know what choices I have and what to choose?

The new law requires that auto insurance agents and auto insurance companies give you forms that describe the benefits and risks of the coverage options. DIFS encourages you to shop around for a policy that fits your needs. You may also want to talk with an auto insurance agent to discuss your personal auto insurance needs.

Questions?

Contact the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services at (877) 999-6442 or visit their website, Michigan.gov/AutoInsurance, for additional information.

#WeCanDoBetter

Every Michigander Counts.

Do you have 10 minutes?
All you need to do is answer 9 questions that deliver 10 years of benefits to your community.

Make sure you complete your Census 2020 form. Learn more at Michigan.gov/Census2020.


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