As we anticipate the upcoming holiday season, I wanted to take some time to update you on what has been happening here in Lansing! Also, I hope you will find the resources and information I share to be helpful.
If you ever have questions about legislation or need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office via our website, at (517) 373-7670 or at SenVKlinefelt@senate.michigan.gov.
Featured in this newsletter:
- Legislative Updates
- In the Community
- Community Conversation
- Helpful Resources
Expanding Opportunities for Clean, Renewable Energy
As we continue to see climate change bring an increasing amount of severe weather events and extreme temperatures to Michigan, the State Senate took a significant step toward tackling these issues and creating a healthier, more sustainable environment with the passage of the Clean Energy Future plan — Senate Bills 271, 273 and 502. This legislation will set long-awaited clean energy and renewable energy standards, increase energy efficiency targets and expand the role of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).
These bills make significant and historic progress toward a sustainable future for Michigan and lay a solid foundation for continued work to improve Michigan’s energy industry and protect our air, land and water. Read more here.
Reproductive Health Act Expands Healthcare Access
Nearly 2.5 million Michigan voters showed overwhelming support for Proposal 3 in November 2022 after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
On October 19, the Michigan Senate took the first steps in expanding healthcare access by passing the Reproductive Health Act, Senate Bills 474–477. The following week, the Senate took another step in protecting reproductive freedom in Michigan by passing Senate Bill 593.
This legislation will protect and expand access to reproductive healthcare for Michiganders statewide. More importantly, the Reproductive Health Act better aligns Michigan’s laws with the new reproductive health protections in Michigan’s constitution.
Budget Supplemental Legislation
October 1 marked the beginning of a new fiscal year for the state of Michigan — the day when the historic state budget the Michigan Senate passed on June 28 took effect.
On Thursday, November 2, the Michigan Legislature reached an agreement and passed budget supplement legislation, HB 4292 and Senate Bill 174 that will center the needs of K-12 students. Overall, the investments made will increase access to clean drinking water in our schools, fund important projects at public universities and community colleges, support learning and will close the books for fiscal year 2023.
Totaling $81.7 billion, the FY24 budget is full of transformative, innovative and equitable investments that will improve the lives of Michiganders. Read more about the state budget and its impact here.
In the Community
On October 25, we wished a bittersweet “see you later” to our first intern, Audrey. We thank her for her hard work over the past few months. Audrey will be heading to DC in the spring, and I look forward to seeing all her future accomplishments!
Throughout the year, I have been so honored to welcome such bright young folks to the Capitol for various achievements.
Our team welcomed Miss James for winning the National American Miss Michigan Jr. Pre-Teen Pageant and securing first place in the “Miss Personality” contest, Mr. Ngwa for receiving his Eagle Scout Award, and Miss Ivezaj, a member of the Michigan Sugar Queen’s Court who attended the annual Michigan Sugar Day at the State Capitol.
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 p.m.
WHERE: Eastpointe VFW, 17645 E. 9 Mile Road, Eastpointe, MI 48021
Observed annually on November 11, Veterans Day is a federal holiday that honors military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. The origin of Veterans Day began with Armistice Day, which marked the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. In 1954, Armistice Day was rechristened as Veterans Day. Throughout history, veterans have made tremendous contributions to our country and state.
Our Legislature worked to secure investments for the veteran community — including $1.2 million for suicide prevention programs to help military veterans and their families — in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget which took effect on October 1. Here are some resources that may be helpful to the veteran community:
- The WhyMI app is specially designed for veterans and service members transitioning out of the military to help plan the next phase of life – with updated job boards, healthcare benefit applications and access to educational opportunities. To download the WhyMI app, visit the App Store or Google Play.
- Find VA Michigan Vet Center, Outpatient Clinic and Medical Center locations here.
- For the 24/7 Veterans Crisis Line Confidential, Dial 988 then press 1 or text 838255 or click here.
- For additional resources, click here.
November is American Diabetes Month!
Did you know that nearly 1 in 2 Americans has diabetes or prediabetes? Our country’s diabetes epidemic includes the ever-growing number of people with Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. With the knowledge that this disease is hurting too many people, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is committed to fighting diabetes through a focus on advocacy, education and research. If you are an individual living with diabetes, if you are a parent, caregiver, health care provider or an individual worried about your risk, the ADA has a wealth of resources to support you, available in English and Spanish.
Many people are not aware they have prediabetes or even Type 2 diabetes. Whether for your own information or to share with another, please consider taking our risk test — Take the ADA free 60-second risk test!
You can also call 1-800-DIABETES to speak with someone live and receive general information on diabetes or visit www.diabetes.org. This is a great way to learn or expand your current knowledge base about diabetes – from symptoms and treatment to management and medication. Arm yourself with the knowledge to prevent Type 2 diabetes or live well with diabetes. Our resources can also help you navigate the journey you are on — with the tools, health tips and food ideas you need. Wherever you are with diabetes, you can still live your best life.
Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Period Opens
Open enrollment for 2024 health insurance runs from November 1, 2023, through January 15, 2024. Consumers must select a plan no later than December 15, 2023, for coverage to start on January 1, 2024.
Shop for a health plan by visiting the Health Insurance Marketplace or calling 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). During open enrollment for 2024 coverage, consumers will be able to choose from 169 health plans on the Marketplace. For the overall individual market, which includes off-Marketplace plans, 228 plans will be available.
For questions about health coverage, visit Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance or call DIFS 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442.