Dear Neighbor, 

I want to make sure you’re informed about what has been going on in our state government and update you on what I’ve been working on.

In this newsletter, you can find information about legislative updates, resources to help you and your family navigate select state departments and some upcoming events from across the district.

As always, you can reach my office at (517) 373-2406 or by replying to this email. 

Jeff IrwinState Senator – 15th District Twitter | Instagram | Facebook  

Legislative Update

I have been working on a wide range of legislative projects in the State Senate, working to address the issues facing residents here in District 15. Learn more about these bills below or on my website at

Recent Bill Introductions:

SB 362 and 363 | I worked with Sen. Rosemary Bayer to introduce these bills to remove regulatory barriers that are stifling Michigan’s renewable energy industry and to ensure that Michiganians who produce their own renewable energy are compensated fairly for the value of the energy they supply to the grid. The bills would restore net metering and eliminate the arbitrary 1% cap on utility customer participation in distributed generation. SBs 362 and 363 have been referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Environment.

SB 351 | This bill would extend the protections under Michigan’s Public Breastfeeding Nondiscrimination Act to cover expressing milk (pumping). The Breastfeeding Nondiscrimination Act was passed because legislators recognized that babies need to nurse frequently, and that parents and babies have the right to be present in public spaces. But the current law overlooks the fact that many breastfeeding parents also pump milk. When a breastfeeding parent is away from the baby for several hours, pumping is often necessary to prevent health problems and maintain milk supply. My “Freedom of Expression” bill would ensure that people do not face discrimination for pumping milk in a public place. SB 351 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy.

SB 360 and 361 | These bills would provide a refundable tax credit for medical professionals who mentor and educate physicians, physician assistants and advanced practice nurses as part of their education program. It has become more difficult for students and programs to find preceptors to provide this essential service for free, and some programs will have to cut student slots despite a shortage of health care providers. The legislation would provide a $1000 tax credit for every 250 hours of uncompensated supervision a preceptor provides, capped at $5000 each. SB 360 and 361 have been referred to the Senate Committee on Financial Services, Insurance, and Consumer Protection.

SB 408 and 409 | I worked with Sen. Mary Cavanagh to introduce these bills to better protect families’ housing, transportation, and other basic needs when they are struggling to pay their debts. Current garnishment law and bankruptcy exemptions allow debt collectors to drain bank accounts to zero, with no protections in place to prevent seizure of state public benefits or the recently increased state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The exemption amounts are extremely outdated — the homestead seizure exemption is just $3,500, 1.5% of the median home value in Michigan! Senate Bill 408 would provide for clearer notice when a person is sued over a debt and would update consumer debt garnishment exemption categories and amounts. Senate Bill 409 would update Michigan bankruptcy exemption categories and amounts. SB 408 and 409 have been referred to the Senate Committee on Financial Services, Insurance and Consumer Protection. Read more about the bills here.

SB 410 | Michigan has the most restrictive pharmaceutical tort law in the nation, preventing Michiganians from getting justice when they or their loved ones are harmed by an FDA-approved drug. SB 410 would repeal this special immunity for pharmaceutical corporations. SB 410 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Civil Rights, Judiciary and Public Safety.

I am happy to report progress on previously introduced legislation:

SB 35 is now Public Act 53 of 2023, removing the asset test as a requirement to qualify for food assistance. The asset test was not needed on top of the federal income eligibility rules, and it actually cost our state money to impose this bureaucratic burden between people who need help and federal food assistance.

SB 137 and 138, now Public Acts 68 and 69, introduced by Sen. Damoose and me, ensure that children who are placed in guardianships by tribal courts and out-of-state courts are eligible for the same guardianship assistance payments as children placed by Michigan state courts.

SB 236, now Public Act 65, was part of a package of bills to improve laws related to sexual assault. This act fixes a problem in the current law that prohibits sexually assaulting someone who is temporarily mentally incapacitated due to a substance. Prior to PA 65, Michigan law only covered cases where the person was drugged without their consent. However, people are frequently incapacitated beyond the ability to consent to sexual contact due to the effects of alcohol or substances they consumed voluntarily. This act closes that loophole and ensures that the law prohibits sexually assaulting anyone who is mentally incapacitated by alcohol or another substance, regardless of how they came to ingest it.

SB 179 and 180, sponsored by Sen. Hauck and me, would provide a framework for tribes’ regulated cannabis businesses to interface with Michigan’s regulated cannabis system. The state Cannabis Regulatory Agency would be authorized to enter into agreements with tribes so that, for instance, Michigan-licensed growers could sell to tribal-licensed retailers located on reservations or other Indian Lands. These bills passed the Senate this month and were referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform.

SB 185 would repeal a law targeting the labor rights of graduate research assistants so that their rights to organize and bargain like other employees are restored. Thousands of graduate research assistants are integral to the success of Michigan’s research universities, but they have little voice in hierarchical work environments that can sometimes be exploitative. SB 185 passed the Senate and had hearings recently in the House Labor Committee.

SB 205, 206, and 207 are a package of bills sponsored by Sen. Bayer, Sen. Cavanagh, and me that would prohibit landlords from discriminating against renters based on the source of their income (particularly Section 8 housing vouchers). Ending source of income discrimination will increase housing options for low-income families and decrease residential segregation. These bills have passed out of committee and are headed to the Senate floor.

SB 262 would remove the requirement for recreational camping tents sold in Michigan to be treated with toxic flame retardants. These flame retardants are bioaccumulative and harmful to humans and wildlife, while providing no meaningful increase in fire safety for modern camping tents. You should be able to go camping in Pure Michigan without being needlessly exposed to carcinogens. SB 262 passed the Senate unanimously and recently had a hearing in the House Committee on Regulatory Reform.


New Distracted Driving Laws in Michigan Started June 30thAs of June 30th, it is illegal to hold your phone while driving in Michigan, unless you are using it to call emergency services. This means that you can be pulled over and ticketed for having a mobile device in your hand while driving. Learn more about the new laws, the consequences, and exceptions here.

Are you or a family member enrolled in Medicaid, MiChild, or Healthy Michigan?Check your mail for a renewal notice!For the first time since the pandemic began, states are requiring people to show that they are still eligible for Medicaid coverage. At least 8 million Americans are expected to lose Medicaid coverage this year, and about 75% of them will be dropped because of paperwork problems, not because they are no longer eligible.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) started sending out renewal packets in April, and they will continue doing so on a rolling basis until 2024. You can complete the renewal process by mail or online through MI Bridges.

If you do not respond to a renewal or if MDHHS does not have your correct address, your Medicaid (including MiChild and Healthy Michigan plans) will stop. Please use MI Bridges or the county MDHHS office to confirm that they have your correct contact information.

If MDHHS ends your Medicaid coverage, but you believe you are still eligible, you should follow the instructions in the notice you receive without delay to request an appeal hearing. If you file an appeal before the “effective action date” in the notice, your coverage will not be interrupted before the hearing. Even if you miss the effective action date, you can still appeal if you get the hearing request form to MDHHS within 90 days. You may also be able to re-apply before your hearing date. For more detailed information, consult Michigan Legal Help.

If you are unable to resolve an issue with your Medicaid coverage through MDHHS, my office may be able to help. Call us at (517)373-2406 or email

Unemployment Insurance Agency Assistance and Being Aware of ScamsThe State Treasury Department and the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) released a joint statement warning Michiganders of fraudulent letters claiming to be from the state requesting they pay back debt. You can learn more about this scam and what to do if you think you may have been targeted here. If you need assistance in dealing with the UIA, contact my office.

District Events

Ann Arbor Summer Events

Dixboro Farmers MarketWHEN: Friday, July 28 from 3:00-6:00 p.m.WHERE: Dixboro Farmers Market — 5221 Church Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105See more dates at

More events happening in Ann Arbor can be found here.

Ypsilanti Summer EventsAs Ypsilanti celebrates its bicentennial, special events will run throughout the summer. Find additional information here.

More events happening in Ypsilanti can be found here.

Tecumseh Summer Events

Tecumsh’s Summer Beach PartyWHEN: Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29WHERE: Downtown Tecumseh — Tecumseh, MI 49286Read more about the festivities at

Classis Car and Bikes ShowsWHEN: Thursday, August 17 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.WHERE: 205 E. Chicago Blvd, Tecumseh, MI 49286See more dates at

Music in the Park

WHEN: Thursday, August 3 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.WHERE: Adams Park — 309 E Chicago Blvd, Tecumseh, MI 49286See more dates at

More events happening in Tecumseh can be found here.

Manchester Summer Events

Manchester Farmers MarketWHEN: Every Thursday from 3:00-7:00pmWHERE: Chi Bro Park — 209 Ann Arbor St, Manchester, MI, 48158

River RhythmWHEN: Friday, August 4 through Sunday, August 6, gates open at 3:00 p.m.WHERE: Address provide upon purchase of ticketsPurchase your tickets at

78th Manchester Community FairWHEN: Tuesday, August 8 through Saturday, August 12WHERE: Corner of Wolverine St and Vernon St, Manchester, MI 48158

Read more about the festivities at

Saline Summer Events

Salty Summer SoundsWHEN: Every Thusday from 6:00-9:00 p.m.WHERE: N Ann Arbor St, Saline, MI 48176

Read more about the event at

Saline Farmers MarketWHEN: Every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.WHERE: 100 S Ann Arbor St Parking Lot #4, Saline, MI 48176

More events happening in Saline can be found here.

Milan Summer Events

Milan Flyers RC Flight TrainingWHEN: Every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.WHEN: Field Of Dreams — 13633 Sanford Rd, Milan, MI 48160Read more about the event at

More events happening in Milan can be found here.