I hope you are staying safe and warm in this cold Michigan weather. Be sure to take extra care when going outside or traveling in these conditions.
Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivered her State of the State address, which celebrated key 2023 legislation and outlined upcoming goals for 2024. Next week, she will present her executive budget. With the legislative year getting underway and Senate floor and committee activity ramping up, there is so much to look forward to this year. I hope this newsletter helps to inform you of all the exciting things happening in the Legislature and throughout District 11.
As always, if you would like to provide any feedback about what’s happening in Lansing, or need assistance of any sort, please feel free to reach out to my office. You can email us at SenVKlinefelt@senate.michigan.gov or call 517-373-7670.
Included in This Newsletter
- In Recent News
- Legislative Updates
- Upcoming Events
- In the Community
In Recent News
Working Families Tax Credit Checks to Be Sent to Michigan Families in February 2024
In December 2023, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that more than 700,000 Michigan households were set to receive working families tax credit checks ahead of schedule, beginning February 13, 2024. The new checks are part of $1 billion in tax cuts signed into law last year to help put an average of $550 back into Michiganders’ pockets.
Please note the Department of Treasury will automatically process checks for Michiganders 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.
Eligible Michiganders 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, Michiganders can manually update it here.
Michigan’s Individual Income Tax Filing Season Officially Begins on January 29
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.
For the convenience of taxpayers, the state’s individual income tax deadline is the same date set by the Internal Revenue Service. To learn more, click here.
Gov. Whitmer to Present Executive Budget Recommendations
Gov. Whitmer is set to unveil her executive budget recommendations next week to jumpstart the highly anticipated budget season. Each year, her recommendations outline her priorities for the state and help shape the fiscal year budget.
My Senate colleagues and I are excited to work with Gov. Whitmer, alongside the Michigan State Budget Office, lawmakers in the House, residents and various other stakeholders and experts to achieve a comprehensive, fiscally responsible budget that speaks to the interests and needs of Michiganders everywhere.
Building a state budget is always a team effort, and I look forward to bringing forth more investment and support for District 11 residents.
To learn more about executive budget recommendations and the state budget process, click here.
Human Trafficking Bills Pass Through Senate
Human trafficking affects many Michiganders and jeopardizes the safety of our communities — especially our vulnerable youth population. Understanding the urgency of this issue, I am proud to share that Senate Democrats passed key legislation — Senate Bills 515–517 — to address human trafficking in our state.
This legislation will protect human trafficking survivors by expanding the statute of limitations to include prostitution and human trafficking, instead of only domestic violence or sexual assault cases. It will also add to the hearsay exception to allow for statements from victims of human trafficking.
The bills now head to the House for consideration.
As a State Senator, I look forward to opportunities where I get to hear directly from you. Please attend one of my coffee hours so you can stay informed about district updates and upcoming legislative priorities. I hope to see you there!
Joint Coffee Hour with Representative Denise Mentzer
WHEN: Friday, February 9, 2024, at 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: The Village of Peace Manor, 17275 15 Mile Rd. Clinton Township, MI 48035
In the Community
Connecting with Constituents at Coffee Hours and Town Halls
Thank you to those who have attended our recent coffee hours and town halls! It is so important to have you at the table to hear your stories and concerns.
Celebrating Alpha-Bee’s Win!
I had a wonderful afternoon on January 16 with the ladies of Alpha-Bee’s! They were the 2023 Senior Spelling Bee Champions, and it was a pleasure to congratulate them in person and honor them with a tribute.
Recognizing Holocaust Remembrance Day
It was a humbling experience to view the new exhibit at the Zekelman Holocaust Center with my colleagues ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Take Care of Yourself, Combat Winter Blues
The winter season can bring joy and happiness but can also have an adverse impact on mental health. It is important to consistently check in with your mental health and ensure you are getting the support you need. If you find yourself emotionally struggling or experiencing a mental health crisis, please be sure to utilize the following resources:
- Call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. It is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and administered by Vibrant Emotional Health (Vibrant). To learn more, click here.
- If you need mental health care, go to the MDHHS website for more information.
Statewide Warming Centers
As the temperatures drop and power outages are apt to occur, Michiganders must know which warming centers are available and accessible in their area. If you or someone you know needs to get warm, here are some warming centers in District 11:
- Detroit Warming Centers
- Macomb County Warming Centers
- Wayne County Warming Shelters
- Warming Centers in Michigan
Be sure to travel only if the conditions permit. If possible, call ahead to ensure the warming center has space and capacity.