Dear Neighbor, 

Before the legislature left Lansing for the holidays, we passed three large spending bills. We also allocated one-half of $300 million sent for testing in schools at the end of 2020. This will help keep schools open and operating safely and it is unconscionable that it took more than a year for those critical resources to reach our schools. Michigan also passed a huge corporate incentive package of over $1 billion. While we invested in these needs, we failed to address some of the most glaring concerns and to provide relief to Michiganians struggling right now. We should invest in improving health care, rebuilding our mental health system, and ensuring that everyone has an affordable
place to live. As a result, I was frustrated with how we ended 2021, but I’m continuing to press for improved human services, a renewed commitment to education, and the infrastructure investments needed to support long-term prosperity.

As we started the new year, my team and I have hit the ground running working on additional fixes to our unemployment system, reforming our criminal justice system and continuing to fight for the passage of Senate Bills 380-383, the dyslexia screening and literacy legislation. We have some hard work ahead of us, but I know that with your voices supporting us, we can accomplish some great things on behalf of you and all of the State of Michigan.

In closing, thank you to the more than 280,000 constituents who reside in the 18th District. I have the best constituents in this great state and your participation is critical to ensuring that I am able to perform at my best. So, if you have any questions, ideas, or thoughts, please reach out to me or my office for assistance. I want to hear from you.



Jeff Irwin
State Senator
28th District 


Phone: (517) 373-2406
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Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) SENATE BILL 790
The EITC has long enjoyed broad support because it lifts families out of poverty by rewarding work. It incentivizes
lower-income working people to maintain their jobs by effectively boosting their wages by providing them with a tax
credit. Unfortunately, a major oversight of the EITC is that 18 to 24-year-olds without a qualifying child are excluded.

In 2019, the Michigan League for Public Policy and Kids Count reported that just under a quarter of that age group
were in poverty. That is 217,457 18 to 24-year-old Michiganders. Expanding our state’s EITC will undoubtedly lift
many of them out of poverty and make our state stronger economically by putting more money into their pockets
for rent, car repairs, and basic necessities. That’s why I introduced Senate Bill 790, to make sure we are not leaving
behind essential workers and ensure they have the money to build a life in our great state.

Expanding Food Assistance by Eliminating Asset Testing SENATE BILL 725
Under current law, many SNAP recipients are forced to jump through several hoops to receive and maintain benefits, including meeting regular work and income verification requirements. In addition to these obligations, beneficiaries
are subject to a $15,000 asset test requiring that they must not have more than that amount in any account to
receive SNAP benefits. This amount is set by the governor and was, until recently, $5,000.

Asset testing can lock people into poverty by forcing them to choose between having food or saving money for better transportation, improving their homes, or paying for medical expenses. Furthermore, people of all economic means are affected by this regulation as Michigan wastes state tax dollars on a bureaucracy that exists solely to deny benefits to low-income people in our state. I introduced Senate Bill 725 so that we stop trapping people in poverty and eliminate wasteful spending in our state.

Lowering Our Energy Bills SENATE BILL 822
Natural gas utility companies, like DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, can charge us for gas they lose and we
never use. This is called “Lost and Unaccounted For” (LAUF) gas. This LAUF gas can be caused by pipeline leaks,
variations in temperature and meter reading timings, third-party damage, meter tampering, and/or when repairs and
replacements are done to natural gas pipelines. Michigan law allows these companies to increase our rates to cover
this LAUF gas.

Since 2016, DTE Energy has charged us $77,483,591 for LAUF gas, and Consumers Energy has charged us
$54,980,959 for LAUF gas. That’s why I introduced Senate Bill 822 to prohibit gas utility companies from charging
us for LAUF gas and to lower our energy bills.

Ending Corporate Welfare SENATE BILL 724
Every year, we subsidize oil and gas corporations to the tune of $4 million. That’s because the Michigan Oil and Gas
Program that is tasked with inspecting oil wells, reviewing permit applications, and monitoring production to ensure
the approximately 60,000 oil and gas wells comply with state regulations used to be self-funded. Over time, however, our legislature started appropriating $4 million of your tax dollars every year to cover the costs of this program. I introduced Senate Bill 724 to increase the “surveillance fee” cap on oil and gas production from 1% to 2%. This increase will save taxpayers that $4 million a year.

Allowing Virtual Meetings for Local Governments SENATE BILL 705
On December 31st, 2021, the ability for local governments to meet virtually ended, and now they must meet
in-person. With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surging, our local governments and citizen volunteers need the ability to keep themselves and our communities safe. Allowing them to resume virtual meetings is critical to their
work and safety. That’s why I introduced Senate Bill 705, which will extend the time to meet virtually.

Your ability to travel physically, or your body’s immune response, should not determine whether you can serve or
participate. We’ve learned some things from this pandemic and one of them is that virtual participation is helpful to
many people who are disabled, who have no access to childcare, and who cannot travel, work long hours, or are



Supplemental Budget Update
Before the holiday break, we used a combination of federal and state funds to pass a $1 billion supplemental budget bill, a $1 billion economic development fund, and invest $3.3 billion in upgrading our water infrastructure. I supported budgets for water infrastructure to prevent flooding and prepare for a changing climate. I did not support budgets for corporate welfare while some of our most pressing human service needs are being ignored in the budget process. There are still significant federal funds available and I am continuing to fight for important budget priorities like: affordable housing, support for essential workers, and improvements to healthcare and mental health programs.


Statewide Investments
With federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and state revenues, we were able to invest in many
critical needs in our education system, our hospitals, and our small businesses. These investments include: 

• $410 million in tax and fee relief for business owners hurt by pandemic restrictions
• $150 million for COVID school testing to keep kids safe and learning in person
• $140 million for rental assistance to help people stay in their homes
• $36.3 million to help communities tackle lead, fund water distribution, inspections, and blood testing
• $14.1 million for Nursing Home Strike Teams to help Michiganians stay safe in nursing homes
• $10 million to support teacher recruitment, training, development, and retention
• $7.5 million for mental health assistance
• $6.9 million for Michigan State Police to help them continue protecting public safety

Water Infrastructure Investments
With federal COVID-19 relief funds, the Senate passed Senate Bill 565, which provides $3.3 billion to rebuild and invest in our water infrastructure. The infrastructure upgrades that will come with this will greatly reduce flooding
and make our state more resilient to a changing climate. Additionally, this bill will put that funding right into our
economy and put thousands of people to work building these long-term improvements. 

• $1 billion for lead pipe replacement
• $650 million for dam removal and repair, prioritizing risk reduction
• $400 million for drinking water systems
• $235 million for clean water infrastructure
• $200 million in wastewater grants to address combined sewer overfl ows and illicit connections
• $100 million to address PFAS remediation at sites without a responsible party
• $85 million to install fi ltered drinking water fountains at schools