We are fully immersed in the fall season and things are busy here in Lansing! I am excited to share with you some general updates and resources that you may find helpful.
If you ever have questions about legislation or need assistance navigating state agencies, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via our website or by phone at (517) 373-7670.
Featured in this newsletter:
- Legislative Updates
- In the Community
- Coffee Hours
- Helpful Resources
What a Difference a Week Makes
In a single week, my colleagues and I took steps to address several pressing issues facing Michiganders. Here’s a quick recap:
Signed Into Law
- Senate Bill 88 will require the installation of water filters in childcare centers and schools – helping protect children from lead contamination
- Senate Bills 176, 330 and 364 to help lower costs for disabled veterans and their families by ensuring spouses of disabled veterans can maintain property tax exemptions
- Senate Bill 410 to provide accountability for drug companies, restoring Michiganders’ ability to pursue justice and recoup damages if a faulty drug leads to injury or death
- Senate Bills 474–477 to establish the Reproductive Health Act, building on the repeal of Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban and reducing barriers for those seeking reproductive healthcare.
- Senate Bills 530, 531 and 575 to strengthen Michigan’s 2019 auto no-fault policy reform and improve access to care for Michigan drivers.
- Senate Bill 351 to strengthen the Breastfeeding Anti-Discrimination Act to expand protections for those who use a breast pump or other means to express milk
- Senate Bills 395 and 396 to abandon punitive and problematic requirements to better enable the growth of teachers
Protecting Survivors of Domestic Violence from Further Abuse
Domestic violence is a crisis facing women and families across Michigan and the United States. The issue of domestic violence is also deeply interconnected with gun violence, as more abusers are choosing firearms as their weapon of choice.
Currently, under state law, individuals convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor are not barred from possessing or carrying a firearm for any amount of time. To close this dangerous loophole, Sen. Stephanie Chang and Sen. Sue Shink introduced Senate Bills 471, 472 and 528.
On October 11, the Senate voted in a bipartisan manner to keep weapons out of the hands of convicted abusers, bringing Michigan one step closer to joining the majority of states that have enhanced protections for survivors of domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, visit the Michigan State Police webpage on domestic violence here for more information, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
Senate Democrats Take Steps to Improve Access to Care for Michigan Drivers
With the previous changes to our state’s auto insurance system, we’ve now had several years to reevaluate some of the intended consequences — and address some of the unintended ones.
Last week, the Michigan Senate passed Senate Bills 530, 531 and 575 with bipartisan support. The package of bills will enhance the 2019 auto no-fault reform and improve access to affordable post-acute and home care. Together, these bills will do the following:
- Revisit reimbursement under the Medicare fee schedule
- Establishes consistent rates among providers
- Creates a new non-Medicare fee schedule for fair rates
- Addresses home care limitations
- Amends the Insurance Code to align with the changes proposed in SB 530
With these newly passed bills, those impacted by auto accidents will have access to quality healthcare on a consistent basis. Read more about these bills here.
Key Sponsored Legislation On its Way to House for Consideration
I am proud to announce the Michigan Senate passed two bills I sponsored on October 18 — Senate Bills 388 and 389 — with unanimous support. I have always been a fervent supporter of our military members as well as our credit union members. I firmly believe the Senate’s passage of these bills is a step in the right direction and will help improve the lives of so many Michiganders.
Senate Bill 388 would amend the Credit Union Act to lengthen the time a member of the United States Armed Forces on active-duty military service or the reserve component on active orders may have regarding an inactive account at a domestic credit union. Senate Bill 389 would amend the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act to establish a dormancy period of five years for specified properties for the owner of the account serving on active-duty military or in the reserve component on active orders.
Both these bills now await consideration by the House. I look forward to these bills making it past the finish line!
In the Community
On October 9, I was invited to speak to the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee. It was a great way to start the week and update this committee on what is going on in Lansing and in District 11.
My Chief of Staff was honored to attend the 50th Annual Meeting of the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers and to present them with a special tribute recognizing this exciting milestone.
As a State Senator, I look forward to opportunities where I get to hear directly from the people I serve. Please attend the next upcoming coffee hours so you can stay informed about district updates and current legislative priorities. I hope to see you there!
WHEN: Monday, November 13, 2023, at 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Eastpointe VFW 17645 E. 9 Mile Rd. Eastpointe, MI 48021
Public Comment Needed: Federal Funding Available for High-Speed Internet Access Expansion
The Michigan High-Speed Internet Office (MIHI) is now accepting public comment on Volume 1 of Michigan’s Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Initial Proposal. Michigan has received $1.559 billion in funding from the BEAD Act to expand access to high-speed internet service to more communities.
As of 2023, close to 500,000 Michigan households are unserved or underserved by high-speed internet infrastructure and another 730,000 households face barriers related to a combination of affordability, adoption, device access and digital literacy.
Therefore, public comments will be incredibly useful in helping to draft MIHI’s proposal and determine how the state of Michigan will utilize the historic funding. Public comment on Volume 1 of the BEAD Initial Proposal is open now through 11:59 p.m. on October 31.
To submit a comment via form, click here.
DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Day
Ensuring that prescription drugs are properly disposed of is incredibly important. It keeps our communities safer and protects our environment long-term. On October 28, you can bring your expired unused medicine for safe disposal to two locations.
Special thank you to the DEA, the Clinton Township Police Department, the Macomb County Sheriff Department and the other partners for sponsoring this effort!
WHEN: Saturday, October 28, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Clinton Twp. Police Department, 37985 S Groesbeck Hwy, Clinton Twp, MI 48036
Macomb County Sheriff Department, 43565 Elizabeth Road, Mt. Clemens, MI 48043