Friends and Neighbors,
My colleagues and I have core beliefs around the American promise. From civil rights, to safety, to opportunities, we believe they should be available to all. Many of us got blisters going door to door advocating for just that. We got criticized by some for those positions and still face attacks. But, easy or hard, we’re doing exactly what we told everyone we would.
In this and every newsletter, we hope you’ll appreciate that spirit of transparency and holding to one’s word.
Kristen McDonald Rivet
State Senator, District 35
PO Box 30036
Lansing, MI. 48909
IN THIS EDITION
- Legislative Update
- In The Community
- Coffee Hour
- Helpful Resources and Links
- Contact Us
Governor Signs Landmark Tax Relief Legislation
Sen. McDonald Rivet introduced a new bill to make tax credit relief available in 2022.
Local Impact: According to data compiled by the Michigan League for Public Policy, 22,207 households in our Senate District 35 received the EITC in 2019. When the Working Families Tax Credit increase takes effect, local recipients will receive around $600 more, benefiting almost 30,000 kids and raising 718 families here out of poverty.
New Effort for Relief Now: While the Working Families Tax Credit increase to 30% was finalized, the portion that allowed immediate relief from this legislation was blocked. Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City) introduced Senate Bill 144 to counter that. This bill would give Republicans another opportunity to make these crucial tax credit dollars available now— instead of 2024— for working families having the most difficulty affording necessities.
Investing In Community: Beyond delivering a $1 Billion annual tax break to workers and retirees, this legislation invests $50 million of surplus tax revenue in a fund prioritizing affordable housing and $50 million for Revitalization and Placemaking (RAP) grants.
Repealing 1931 Abortion Laws
The Michigan Senate approved a bill package removing the 1931 abortion ban language and penalties from statute. While the passage of Proposal 3, the November 2022 ballot initiative, restored reproductive rights in Michigan, the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade showed us how critical it is to codify rights and protections into state law.
Senate Votes To Restore Workers’ Rights, Reinstate Prevailing Wage
The legislation passed by the Senate on March 14 (SB 6, SB 34) will restore the rights of workers and unions in their fight for higher paying jobs, strong benefits and a good quality of life for working families. Sen. McDonald Rivet proudly voted to repeal the laws that have been holding back our economy and our ability to grow the middle class.
Senate Passes Gun Safety Bills
After two public hearings with testimony from law enforcement, prosecutors, doctors, students, educators, gun owners and gun violence survivors, the Senate passed an 11-bill gun safety package. Each bill is hyperlinked for reference in our prior enewsletter.
“Democrats, Republicans, and gun owners overwhelmingly support what we’re doing. These bills respect responsible gun ownership and will work alongside personal responsibility, enforcement, and mental health initiatives.”
—State Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet
Food Assistance Asset Test Eliminated
The Michigan Senate recently eliminated the $5,000 asset test for food assistance. This bipartisan supported legislation removes requirements imposed in the Snyder administration which made this frontline assistance program burdensome for eligible individuals to access.
Fred Korematsu Day
A bill designating January 30th as “Fred Korematsu Day” in Michigan — paying tribute to the civil rights activist who resisted the placement of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans into wartime internment camps during the 1940s — was unanimously approved in the state Senate on March 9.
Governor Signs Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act Expansion
On March 16, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bill 4 adding sexual orientation and gender identity to our state’s civil rights act’s protected statuses. Sen. McDonald Rivet proudly co-sponsored this legislation to include anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ individuals in Michigan law.
IN THE COMMUNITY
Together in Pride
Sen. McDonald Rivet delivered keynote remarks at Great Lakes Bay Pride’s annual dinner. There was much to celebrate as this event came on the heels of the Michigan legislature successfully expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include LGBTQ+ individuals that same week.
Midland Flooding Reduction Plan Tour
On a recent tour, Midland Business Alliance Vice President Diane Middleton and Sen. McDonald Rivet discussed recommendations from the MBA’s Advisory Committee on Infrastructure and their work in conjunction with the Corps of Engineers on area flood mitigation.
Dialogue With Union Workers
Mid-MI Area Labor Council/ AFL-CIO sponsored a Saginaw event for active and retired union members and their families to dialogue directly with their elected officials. Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet joined Rep. Amos O’Neal, Mayor Brenda Moore and Saginaw Commissioner Chair Christopher Boyd on the discussion panel.
Survivor Empowerment Event
It is not easy to move from experiencing trauma to sharing one’s survivor story with others. Jackie Jones recently organized a beautiful event at Saginaw’s Castle Museum giving survivors of gun violence a supportive, empowering environment to share personal stories of loss, pain, perseverance and triumph with community members and leaders including Sen. McDonald Rivet and Rep. Amos O’Neal.
Great Lakes Bay Fire Chiefs Fire Service Legislator Roundtable
Fire Chiefs and 9-1-1 Directors from Bay, Midland and Saginaw Counties met with local legislative representatives including Sen. McDonald Rivet.
MI Connected Future listening tour comes to Saginaw
Michigan High-Speed Internet Office visits Saginaw on Tuesday, March 21, 5:30 – 7:30pm at the Intermediate School District, 3860 Fashion Square Blvd. The public and local leaders ae invited to share thoughts on funding priorities for the $1.6 Billion coming to Michigan through the Broadband Equity Access & Deployment Program. Click here to register.
Restoration plan targeting area watersheds
The draft supplemental restoration plan for the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River, and Saginaw Bay remains available for public review and comment through March 27, 2023. Email comments to T.River.NRDA@FWS.gov, or mail to Lisa Williams or Clark D. McCreedy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 2651 Coolidge Road, Suite 101, East Lansing, Michigan 48823.
Other Community Events
Legislative Director Stephen Prince attended the Bay Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and the Farm Bureau’s Legislative Advocacy Day. Director of District and Constituent Services Kevin Hayes attended the Saginaw County Superintendent’s Meeting and the Mid-Michigan Area Labor Council’s monthly meeting. Sen. McDonald Rivet attended Saginaw Future Inc.’s 31st Awards Lunch and was a guest of Pastor Chris Pryor at worship with Victorious Believers Ministries, Saginaw.
Not everyone can make it to in-person events so when I can speak on issues through local media, I’ll link to those interviews here:
MICHIGAN RADIO: “New Effort to Expand MI Low Income Tax Credit”
MIDLAND DAILY NEWS: “Elliott-Larsen Act A High Note”
WNEM TV5: “Michigan Capitol Sees Rallies Over Gun Legislation”
MIDLAND DAILY NEWS: “Gabby Giffords Shows Support for Michigan Gun Legislation”
COFFEE & CONVERSATION
Hear legislative updates with Sen. McDonald Rivet and share your thoughts and ideas about the issues that matter most to you:
WHEN: Monday, March 27, 2023, from 1 – 2 pm
WHERE: Populace Coffee, 810 Saginaw St., Bay City, MI 48708
HELPFUL RESOURCES AND LINKS
- Energy Assistance Programs
- Power Outages | Ready.gov
- Michigan Achievement Scholarships
- Interactive District Map
- Find Your Senator
- Senate TV website
- Michigan Senate website
- Website Contact Form: This is the best, fastest way to reach us.
- Website News Page: This page archives our official press releases and statements.
- Social Media: Social media sites are neither official government websites nor are they well suited for constituent correspondence. However, since we post frequently, social media can be a very timely way to access news and information. Our “Office of Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet” Facebook page is linked here: