Dear Neighbor, 

I want to provide you with some information about what has been going on in our state government and update you on what I’ve been working on in the Legislature. 

In this e-news, you can find information about:

  • Upcoming Coffee Hour 
  • District Events 
  • Legislative Update 
  • Resources 

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


Jeff Irwin
State Senator – 15th District 
Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Upcoming Coffee Hour

Please join me on February 17 at the Clinton Public Library for coffee and conversation. These gatherings not only give me an opportunity to provide you with important updates on my work in Lansing — but also offer a chance for you to actively engage by sharing your thoughts, questions and ideas. 

WHEN: Saturday, February 17 at 11 a.m 
WHERE: Clinton Public Library, 100 Brown St., Clinton, MI 49236 

Don’t forget to click on “Going” on the Facebook event page to get a reminder the day before and the day of. 

If you have any questions, please contact my office at (517)-373-2406 or by responding to this email. 


District Events 



Ann Arbor 


Lenawee County 




For a refresher on snow removal policies, click here.



Legislative Update 


Bills that took effect on February 13th of this week:

Elimination of the Asset Test from Food Assistance 

Public Act 53 of 2023, my bill to remove the asset test as a requirement to qualify for food assistance, went into effect on February 13th. While the law is effective the 13th, it will not be reflected within DHHS’ system until March 1st. DHHS will compensate for the two-week implementation lag by having staff review reports for any case that was denied between 2/13 and 2/29 so that appropriate benefits can be added. If you or anyone you know has been recently rejected from SNAP benefits due to assets or asset verification, you can reapply at any time for your benefits to be redetermined. Please remember, you can contact my office to assist you with state departments if you encounter difficulties. You can read more about the legislation here.  

Michigan’s Clean Energy Future Plan 

Last fall, Michigan’s Democratic-led Legislature passed the Clean Energy Future plan to address the escalating impacts of climate change in Michigan. The Clean Energy Future plan takes effect this week, establishing clean energy and renewable energy standards, raising energy efficiency targets, establishing a new Community and Worker Economic Transition Office, and broadening the responsibilities of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). Although the legislation did not contain everything I had hoped for, I am proud we are finally taking real steps towards securing a sustainable future for our state’s residents and natural resources.  

New Gun Safety Laws  

As part of the legislative effort to protect Michigainians from the tragedies of gun violence and unintentional firearm injuries, Public Act 17 of 2023, a law requiring secure storage of firearms, went into effect Tuesday, February 13th of 2024. Under this law, firearms must be locked and unloaded when unattended, particularly if minors are likely to be present. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is working with the Michigan Attorney General’s office to ensure federally licensed firearm dealers communicate these new requirements to their customers, and to provide dealers with safety information on the new storage requirements, including the penalties.  

To offset the cost of purchasing firearm safety devices, these devices are exempt from sales and use taxes through December 24th, 2024. Free gun safety kits can be obtained through the Project ChildSafe law enforcement partners throughout the state. Many unintentional firearm injuries among minors occur due to unlocked and loaded firearms, often stored in accessible areas like nightstands. Additionally, firearms are involved in over half of Michigan’s suicide deaths. You can find more information on new gun safety laws here.  

More Updates…

Improving Literacy in Michigan: Dyslexia Screening Bills 

The Senate Education Committee has held two hearings on my bill, Senate Bill 567, and Sen. Polehanki’s bill, Senate Bill 568, part of a comprehensive package that would help educators identify children early who show signs of dyslexia and connect those students with evidence-based intervention so they can achieve literacy. Teacher preparation programs would also need to meet standards for educating future teachers in science of reading and evidence-based practices.  

You can learn more about these bills from an interview I did with WEMU Morning Edition here. NPR recently covered the need to have teacher training programs based in the science of reading, which Senate Bill 568 would directly address. I original drafted bills to address these issues in the Michigan House in 2016, and I intend to see this legislation enacted this year.  

View the powerful testimony given in the Senate Education Committee on February 6th by individuals and educators who would be directly impacted by these bills here.  

View testimony from the 13th here.  

Budget Update

Governor Whitmer presented her executive budget recommendations last week to kick off the 2024 budget season. You can view her 2024-2025 Fiscal Year priorities here. I look forward to working with her and my colleagues this spring to design a budget that will continue our state’s investments in childcare, healthcare infrastructure and education.  



Voting Information for Michigan’s Presidential Primary  

Michigan’s Presidential Primary on February 27 is fast approaching. Here are a few key dates to be aware of: 

  • Early Voting from February 17-25: Skip the lines on Election Day, and cast your ballot early. Find your nearest early vote location here
  • Absentee Ballot through February 26 at 4PM:Voters can obtain an absent voter ballot at their local clerk’s office. The Secretary of State recommends hand-delivering an absent voter ballot to your clerk’s office or a drop box if it is within 14 days of an election. Click here for absentee information including drop box locations.   
  • Register to Vote through February 27 at 8 p.m.: Voters can register to vote in person at their local clerk’s office. Verify your voter registration status and find your clerk’s office here
  • Voting on Election Day: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on February 27, voters can cast their ballot at their assigned polling location. Make sure to bring a photo identification card to the polls if you have one. Find your polling location here

Filing Individual Income Tax

The Michigan Department of Treasury has announced that Monday, Jan. 29, was the official start date of the 2024 tax season when the agency will begin processing individual income tax returns. 

Individuals can file their state income tax return online, with a tax professional or by mailing in paper forms and documentation. All state of Michigan income tax returns and payment of any taxes owed must be received by April 15, 2024, the same due date as federal income tax returns. To learn more, click here.  

Tips to help you maximize your state and federal tax return this year: 

  • Avoid scams: For federal returns, the IRS will only initiate contact with you through regular mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Make sure you do not share your personal tax information via phone, email or social media. 
  • Utilize free resources: Michigan Free Tax Help connects eligible Michiganders with free, high-quality income tax preparation assistance. Visit to find local help. Slots fill up on a first come, first served basis, so don’t wait to sign up. If you are a senior citizen and would like free tax help from the AARP, call 734-482-4410 at EXT 2411. 
  • Take advantage of available deductions: You can choose the standard deduction or deduct charitable contributions, property taxes, medical expenses and more from your federal 2023 taxes. Visit for a full list. 

Earned Income Tax Credit Checks to be Sent to Michigan Families Starting this Month  

On Tuesday, Feb. 12, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that eligible Michigan families will begin receiving Working Families Tax Credit supplemental checks this week. The new checks are part of a $1 billion tax relief package signed into law last year that will help put an average of $550 back into the pockets of working families. Please note the Department of Treasury will automatically process checks for Michiganians who submitted their 2022 tax return and confirmed eligibility for the additional state credit. Checks will be mailed on a rolling basis as soon as they are printed. It is estimated to take between five to six weeks to print and distribute all payments. 

To qualify, individuals must meet certain requirements and file federal and state income tax returns claiming the EITC, even if no tax is owed or there is no other requirement to file a return. Eligible Michiganians do not need to submit any additional paperwork to receive the tax credit. However, if an individual has moved frequently or recently and has concerns about their address accuracy, Michiganians can manually update it here

Statewide Warming Centers 

Public warming centers are available to provide a place for people to come in from the cold this winter. If possible, call ahead to ensure the warming center has space and capacity.  

Grant Opportunity 

MI Clean Water Grants: EGLE Announces MI Clean Water Plan grants to help Michigan communities upgrade water infrastructure, protect public health and the environment. These grants aim to address challenges like sewage overflows into Lake St. Clair and the replacement of hazardous lead drinking water service lines. Learn more here