Senator McMorrow’s May Newsletter to Constituents


Senator McMorrow’s June Coffee Hour

Please join Senator McMorrow on Friday, June 9 at Detroit Sip for a Coffee Hour. The senator will provide an update on work in Lansing, and be available for questions. Hope to see you there! 

WHEN: Friday, June 9, 2023, from 11 am – 12 pm 
WHERE: Detroit Sip, 7420 W McNichols Rd, Detroit, MI 48826 


Michigan joins 21 other states and D.C. in passing Red Flag Laws 

On Monday, May 22, Governor Whitmer signed Senator McMorrow’s bill on Extreme Risk Protection Orders into law.  

“These red flags laws create a preventative tool, a stopgap for loved ones, judges, and law enforcement,” Senator McMorrow says, “And while it is difficult to measure “events that did not happen,” evidence shows that these extreme risk protection orders can and do reduce suicide deaths….These laws, more than anything else, will buy time. Time to prevent the worst case scenario. Time to save lives.” 

The live stream of the bill signing can be viewed here.  

Senator McMorrow introduced a resolution to recognize June as Gun Violence Awareness month in the state of Michigan, and invites everyone to #WearOrange with her on June 3rd, 2023, to recognize Gun Violence Awareness Day this year. You can view the Senator’s moving remarks on this resolution here


Adding Anti-Discrimination Protections for Natural Hair, Hairstyles to Elliot Larson 

The Michigan Senate overwhelmingly voted to amend Elliott Larsen to add protections for race-based hairstyles, joining 20 other states. The acronym CROWN stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair.” “Protective hairstyles” include braids, locks and twists, according to the language of the bill.  

“Black individuals who choose to embrace their natural hair face social, economical and professional consequences. Their hair has been deemed unprofessional, unkept or even unhygienic, creating significant barriers to employment, education and social mobility…We must recognize that embracing natural hair is not a political statement or a trend but an essential part to affirming the humanity and dignity of all individuals.” — Sen. Santana  


Distracted Driving Passes MI Legislature 

Distracted Driving legislation has passed both chambers and is headed to Governor Whitmer’s desk to sign. Former State Rep. Mari Manoogian began work on this package years ago, and Rep. Matt Koleszar helped get it over the finish line. This bill package goes into effect June 30, 2023. Here’s what drivers need to know: 

  • You cannot have your phone in your hand while driving. If a car is not equipped with a built-in hands-free program like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, mounts should be used if drivers need their phone for directions. 
  • There are carve outs for drivers to make calls to 911 in case of an emergency, and for public safety officials to use devices while they’re doing their jobs. 
  • According to Governor Whitmer’s office, between 2016 and 2020, fatal distracted driving crashes when the other driver was using a cellphone increased 88%.  

Gov. Whitmer Proclaims May as Military Appreciation Month 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed May as Military Appreciation Month in Michigan, honoring military members and their families throughout the state by recognizing their sacrifices and celebrating their successes. 

Michigan is committed to making the state the premier choice for military service members, veterans and their families to live, work, serve and play. In support of this effort, the MVAA helps connect veterans with federal, state and local benefits and resources they earned for their service. To learn more about employment, healthcare, education and quality-of-life benefits, veterans can contact the Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center at 1-800-MICH-VET or visit   

For more information on upcoming ceremonies and activities to honor veterans and military families, please visit the MVAA events calendar at
Helping Medicaid members keep their coverage 

Take action to avoid a gap in coverage 

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE), allowing Medicaid members to keep their health care coverage. Per recent federal legislation, eligibility renewals will start again in June. Monthly renewal notifications will be sent by mail beginning in May. 

Following these steps will help determine if you still qualify: 

  • Make sure your contact information is up to date. 
  • Check mail or text messages for a letter. 
  • Complete your renewal form (if you get one). 

If you’re a Medicaid member, learn more about how these changes may affect your health care coverage at


End of Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Brings Changes to Insurance Coverage for Michiganders 

End of Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Brings Changes to Insurance Coverage for Michiganders 

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is alerting consumers that there may be changes to their health insurance coverage for COVID-related testing and treatments now that the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) has ended. 

Federal law required that many health services related to COVID-19, including testing and vaccinations, had to be covered at no cost for the duration of the PHE. Many Michiganders may now have to pay out-of- pocket for some COVID-related care. For more specific information about different types of medical care that have been affected by the ending of the PHE, see below: 

At-Home and Laboratory COVID Tests: 

  • Private Insurers: The federal mandate requiring health insurers to provide no-cost coverage for COVID-19 testing, including at-home tests, has ended. Most people with health insurance will continue to have coverage for laboratory COVID-19 tests, subject to the plan’s cost sharing. At-home testing for COVID-19 is an eligible medical expense for flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs). Michiganders should check with their plan for more details. 
  • Medicare: Medicare is no longer required to provide coverage for at-home COVID-19 testing. Medicare Part B participants can still obtain laboratory COVID-19 testing, with authorization by a medical provider, without out-of-pocket cost. Medicare Advantage participants may have additional flexibility regarding COVID-19 testing. Michiganders should check with their plan for more details. 
  • Medicaid: Under federal law, Medicaid and MIChild participants can obtain at-home and laboratory COVID-19 tests through September 30, 2024. 

COVID-19 Treatments: 

  • Private insurers: Treatment for COVID-19 will continue to be covered but insurers are now able to apply cost sharing, such as deductibles and coinsurance, and require prior approval for these treatments. Michiganders should confirm coverage with their insurer or plan before seeking treatment. 
  • Medicare: Medicare beneficiaries may have to pay for a portion of their COVID-19 care as required by their plan. 
  • Medicaid: Medicaid and MIChild are required to cover all drugs for the treatment or prevention of COVID–19 with no cost sharing for enrollees through September 30, 2024. 

COVID-19 Vaccinations: 

DIFS can help consumers with health insurance questions and complaints. Contact DIFS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442 or For more information about the state’s Medicaid and MIChild programs, visit the MIBridges website. 


Applications Now Being Accepted for the Fostering Futures Scholarship 

Young adults who have experienced foster care on or after their 13th birthday are eligible to apply for a scholarship from the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.  

The priority deadline for the Fostering Futures Scholarship application for academic year 2023-24 is August 1, 2023. Eligible students enrolled at a Michigan degree-granting college or university may now apply to receive scholarship funds for tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies. 

Fostering Future Scholarship Applicants with questions should contact the state Treasury Department’s Student Scholarships, Grants and Outreach area at or call toll-free at 1-888-447-2687. 


Clawson School District Partners with Mindfulness Therapy Dogs

Due to a generous grant from Oakland County and the support of the Clawson Board of Education, The Clawson School District will be welcoming four therapy dogs to campus in September! Through a partnership with Mindfulness Therapy Dogs, four dogs were chosen during spring break based on their initial testing and demeanor. Two Bernedoodles siblings and two Australian Labradoodle siblings.(Two are pictured) Each building in the district will have a therapy dog in the building every day. The addition of these puppies will add to students’ social emotional development and overall mental health.  

With dogs come costs for food and general veterinary care. Clawson School District is looking for local businesses to sponsor each dog. If you are a business or know of a business interested, please reach out to the Clawson School Board office. In return for sponsoring one of the dogs, they will offer a business the opportunity to name it, have their business name on the dog’s daily vest, tag the business in the therapy dog social media posts, and put up a banner in the gymnasium or athletic fields.


Michigan Teacher of the Year    

Congrats to Candice Jackson for being named Michigan’s Teacher of the Year! This award, which has been around since 1952, is about celebrating someone who advocates for educators at the state level. Over 150 teachers were nominated. Candice has been a teacher for over 21 years, and currently teaches 3rd grade. Congrats Candice. Thank you so much for all you do for your students and colleagues! 

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