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Dear Neighbor, 

In Lansing, we’re hard at work advancing policy legislation and developing the best budget possible for Michigan residents for 2024-25.  

This e-newsletter will inform you of all the exciting things happening in the Legislature and throughout District 19, including my next in-person coffee hour. 

As always, if you or someone you know would like to provide feedback about what’s happening in Lansing or needs assistance, feel free to contact my office. You can email me at sensmccann@senate.michigan.gov or call 517-373-5100.  

Sincerely, 

 

Senator McCann Signature

Sean McCann
State Senator
19th District

 

District 19 Emergency Resources  

To see resources that may be valuable to you following the recent severe weather events in Kalamazoo County and West Michigan, I have linked my recent District 19 Emergency Resources Newsletter here. 

If you have any questions or need additional assistance, please contact my office. We want to do our best to help you during this difficult time. You can email me at sensmccann@senate.michigan.gov or call 517-373-5100.  

May Coffee Hour  

I’m inviting you to meet me at the Comstock Charter Township Hall for an in-person coffee hour on May 17. Come learn about what is going on in Lansing and share your thoughts and opinions with me. 

Clean Energy Future

WHAT: Meet with McCann Coffee Hour  
WHEN: May 17  
TIME: Noon to 1 p.m.
WHERE: Comstock Charter Township Hall, 5858 King Highway, Kalamazoo, MI 49048  

 

Legislative Updates 

Delivering a Fiscally Responsible State Budget 

Crafting next year’s state budget for the Fiscal Year 2024-25 (starting October 1, 2024) is a collaborative effort involving negotiations between both legislative branches and the governor, resulting in a new state budget being signed into law each year to distribute funding to residents, schools, communities, businesses, local governments and more.   

Currently, we’re in the midst of our annual budget process and my colleagues and I are engaging with members of the House and Governor’s office to deliver critical investments in our local communities. As we work to enact a budget on time or early, I encourage you to learn more about the process and the investments we’re looking to make to support communities across Michigan — read more here. 

Protecting Vulnerable Road Users 

On May 2, 2024, I testified on Senate Bill 617, my legislation to expand the statutory provision that provides enhanced penalties for a moving violation that causes injury to a “vulnerable roadway user.” This legislation is part of a bipartisan bill package with Sen. Klinefelt (Macomb), Rep. Rogers (Kalamazoo), and Rep. Schutte (Midland). Senate Bills 617-618 and House Bills 5223-5224 would expand protections afforded to vulnerable roadway users including pedestrians, bicyclists, individuals using a wheelchair, or an individual riding or operating a vulnerable transportation device.  

New Abortion Laws

This legislation outlines safe interactions between motorists and vulnerable roadway users. Michigan law should ensure that road users face consequences for reckless behavior that results in injury or death of another person. Under these bills, law enforcement and prosecutors would be afforded another tool to fill the gap between basic traffic infractions and more serious crimes.  

I want to thank Paul Runnels and Jennifer Johnson, survivors of the 2016 bike tragedy in Kalamazoo, for sharing their personal testimony in support of the legislation.  

New Gun Safety Laws

Preliminary data released by the Governors Highway Safety Association showed that 7,508 pedestrians were killed on U.S. roadways in 2022, the highest number since 1981 with an average of 20 deaths every day. I hope that Vulnerable Road User laws will serve as a deterrent for reckless driving habits that endanger pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable road users in our communities. 

Legislation to Defend Higher Education Institutions from Cyber-Attacks 

On March 1, 2024, I introduced Senate Bill 737, which establishes a 24/7 security operation center (SOC) for Michigan’s higher education institutions. SOCs provide cybersecurity threat detection, prevention and response capabilities for organizations. 

The implementation for the Michigan cybersecurity defense organization and security operations center aims to help public universities address the rapidly evolving threats that can damage and interrupt critical operations in Michigan. Following initial implementation costs, the SOC operational costs are expected to be funded with dues from participating members.

I am grateful to have worked closely with the Michigan Association for State Universities (MASU) on the development of this critical bill. More and more, we are seeing institutions deal with escalating cyber-threats that could cause costly, dangerous and exploitative damage to the critical operations of our higher education institutions and the sensitive information they maintain. This bill will create a constant hub to prevent, defend and respond to cyber-attacks on our public universities. 

Legislation to Allow Participation in Public Bodies by People with Disabilities 

On May 9th, 2024, I introduced Senate Bill 870, legislation that would amend Michigan’s Open Meetings Act to allow for remote participation for persons with disabilities who request accommodation to participate and vote in public bodies.   

This legislation recognizes the physical and communication barriers that currently exist for members of our communities that have disabilities. Too often arranging critical needs like adequate and appropriate transportation can put an unfair burden on a person with a disability and may prevent them from attending and participating in a public body in-person – a fundamental right that our democracy is based on. My bill allows for reasonable accommodation to ensure Michigan residents with disabilities have the same accessible opportunities to participate in public bodies as everyone else. 

Legislation to allow 19-year-olds to work within the Marijuana Industry  

On March 9th, 2024, I introduced Senate Bill 807, to amend sections of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act that provide for the minimum age of an individual who is performing certain actions and tasks involving marijuana. Currently the minimum age is 21 years old. My bill would lower that age threshold to 19 years old if the individual is an agent acting on behalf of a marijuana establishment.   

This bill will help with workforce concerns and allow our younger people to work in a lucrative and growing industry – particularly as several Michigan universities begin offering programs related to marijuana and have noted the benefits that working in the industry could have for students in these programs.   

  

Valuable Information 

EPA’s Solar for All Program 

The future is solar-powered, and all communities deserve to join! The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the State of Michigan $156 million to lower the cost of community and rooftop solar for thousands of low-income and disadvantaged community households across the state, saving eligible households 20% on their utility bills and providing additional meaningful benefits.   

These federal funds along with the monumental state renewable energy policy reform accomplished last year by the Legislature and Governor will be a powerful one-two punch in the fight against climate change. This money will enable us to ensure a cleaner, brighter future for Michigan while addressing the needs of our state and its people right now to support the transition to renewable energy. 

Free Gun Locks Now Available at MDHHS Offices 

Gun violence is the leading cause of death for Michigan children and teens, and in recent years, unintentional shootings by children are rising. To promote responsible gun ownership and help keep families safe from the devastating effects of gun violence, my colleagues and I took bold action last year to deliver a slate of gun violence prevention legislation that Michigan residents have waited years for.  

Among the legislation passed, Public Act 17 of 2023 requires firearms to be locked and unloaded when unattended, particularly if minors are likely to be present. Failure to comply results in penalties, including misdemeanors and felonies, if minors gain access to improperly stored firearms.   

To help minimize the cost of purchasing firearm safety devices, the Michigan State Police (MSP) and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are partnering together to offer free gun locks to the public at MDHHS county offices and some local health departments.   

To request a free gun lock while supplies last, you can visit your local MDHHS office or check with your local health department, some of which will have gun locks available. Free firearm safety devices can also be obtained through Project ChildSafe police partners across the state. These cable-style gun locks are made possible due to funding secured in the 2024 State Police Budget passed by the Legislature last year. 

For more information, click here. 

Tips to Help You Safely Navigate Road Construction 

With the warmer weather finally here, that means our unofficial state flower — the beloved traffic cone — will be popping up across Michigan. Between state, county and local projects, there will be several work zones throughout our community this year. During this time, make sure to remain alert and practice caution to keep yourself and road workers free from harm. To help keep the roads as safe as possible, make sure to practice these driving tips: 

  • Plan ahead: Expect delays, plan for them, and leave early to reach your destination on time. When you can, avoid work zones altogether by using alternate routes.  
  • Obey road crews and signs: When approaching a work zone, watch for cones, barrels, signs, large vehicles, or workers in bright-colored vests to warn you and direct you where to go.  
  • Slow down: Look for signs indicating the speed limit through the work zone. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you and follow the posted speed limit.  
  • Move over: Most state move-over laws apply when passing work crews and official vehicles parked on the shoulder with flashing warning lights.  
  • Avoid distractions: Keep your eyes on the road and off your phone at all times.  
  • Watch for sudden stoppages: Don’t make sudden lane changes in front of trucks that are trying to slow down. 
     

Stay In Touch 
 
Visiting the Michigan Capitol? If you plan to visit Lansing for a conference or to advocate for an issue important to you, please contact my office so we can set up a time to meet you.  
 
Paying tribute? It is my pleasure to produce official legislative tributes honoring Kalamazoo County and Antwerp Township residents for milestone birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, and special accomplishments. If you would like a tribute from state officials, please let me know and we would be glad to assist.  
 
 
Publications 

A resource my office has to offer, but many may not know about, are constituent publications! The Michigan Legislature produces several publications full of useful information for constituents to use, and my office can provide them.  

Some of our most popular publications are our Constituent’s Guide, the US and Michigan Constitutions, Services for Seniors, and Veterans Benefits. Many of these publications include how-to guides for forms and services that can be very helpful.  

Please reach out to my office if you are interested in learning more or would like us to send you any copies.  

 
HELPFUL LINKS   

 

Dangerous Dog Testimony

Senate Bills 683 and 684 target dog behaviors, rather than specific breeds, and provide a framework for determining which dogs are dangerous. The bills specify the required steps for owners to take to protect people and other animals if their dog is determined to be potentially dangerous or dangerous by a district court magistrate, district court or municipal court.  

As an animal lover and former dog owner, I believe these bills are crucial to help implement protective guidelines to keep our community members and other domestic animals safe while making owners of dangerous dogs accountable. We have unfortunately seen far too many instances of loss of life and severe injuries to people. Dogs that have a violent history also present an increased risk of future attacks. These bills will attempt to prevent attacks from happening in the first place.  

 

Michigan Association of State Universities’ (MASU) Cybersecurity Legislation  

On February 29, I introduced legislation that would provide much needed cybersecurity threat detection, prevention, and response capabilities for higher education providers by creating 24/7 Security Operations Centers (SOCs). You can learn more about Senate Bill 737 here.  

Far too few higher education institutions in the State of Michigan have adequate individual resources to assemble a fully featured SOC at scale. After the creation, the SOC operational costs are expected to be funded with dues from participating members. 

 

MDOT Urges Drivers to Utilize Zipper Merging to Reduce Construction Delays 

Every Michigan resident’s favorite season — construction season — is almost upon us, which means it’s time to gear up for the usual lane closures, traffic shuffles and detours ahead. Amidst these changes, it’s important to stay focused on the road and stay tuned in to updates, changes, or any potential delays.  

To help ease the flow of traffic and minimize headaches, MDOT is urging Michigan drivers to embrace the “zipper merge” technique when navigating through construction zones. Like the zipper on your coat, this method encourages utilizing both lanes until the merger point, allowing vehicles to take turns merging politely and orderly. MDOT says that by employing this approach, we can cut down on delays from 2 miles to just 1 mile, making the journey smoother for everyone. See how the zipper merge works here

 

Coffee Hour at Advia Credit Union on March 18 

I’m inviting you to meet me at Advia Credit Union in Oshtemo for an in-person coffee hour on March 18th. Come learn about what is going on in Lansing and share your thoughts and opinions with me. 

Senator McCann Coffee Hour

WHAT: Meet with McCann Coffee Hour  
WHEN: March 18, Noon to 1 p.m. 
WHERE:
Advia Credit Union, 6400 West Main St. Kalamazoo, MI 49009 

 

Stay In Touch 

Visiting the Michigan Capitol?If you plan to visit Lansing for a conference or to advocate for an issue important to you, pleasecontactmy office so we can set up a time to meet you. 

Paying tribute?It is my pleasure to produce official legislative tributes honoring Kalamazoo County and Antwerp Township residents for milestone birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, and special accomplishments. If you would like a tribute from state officials, pleaselet me knowand we would be glad to assist. 

 

Publications 

A resource my office has to offer, but many may not know about, are constituent publications! The Michigan Legislature produces several publications full of useful information for constituents to use, and my office can provide them.  

Some of our most popular publications are our Constituent’s Guide, the US and Michigan Constitutions, Services for Seniors, and Veterans Benefits. Many of these publications include how-to guides for forms and services that can be very helpful.  

Please reach out to my office if you are interested in learning more or would like us to send you any copies.  

 

HELPFUL LINKS