Dear Neighbor, 
April offers a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with friends and family. Whether it’s heading down to the NFL Draft weekend in Detroit, a walk in the park, going fishing, a hike through the trails, or a barbecue in your backyard, I hope you are taking time to soak up the sunshine and make the most of the season.   

If you or someone you know would like to provide any feedback about what’s happening in Lansing, or needs assistance of any sort, please feel free to reach out to my office. You can email us at or call (517) 373-2523. 


Featured in This Newsletter 

  • Legislative Updates      
  • News You Can Use 
  • In The Community 
  • Good News from the District 

Legislative Updates 

Working to Deliver a Fiscally Responsible State Budget 

Last year marked a significant milestone for Michigan Democrats as we capitalized on their first trifecta in 40 years to spearhead a transformative budget — directing vital resources into historically neglected sectors like infrastructure, education, and local communities. This comprehensive budget, encompassing various offices, departments, initiatives, projects and programs, follows an annual funding cycle, necessitating the State Legislature to craft a new budget each year.  

Crafting this state budget 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 thick of our annual budget process with subcommittees reporting out proposals for the full Appropriations Committee’s consideration. As we work to deliver a budget by the end of June, 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. 

MI Momnibus 

Senate Democrats have introduced the “Momnibus” — a robust legislative package (Senate Bills 818827) aimed to bolster equity and accountability in maternal healthcare services statewide. With a multi-faceted approach, these bills aim to strengthen community-driven programs, enhance prenatal care and maternal healthcare, and amplify the voices of Black birthing individuals, mothers, women, families, and stakeholders. 

It is critical for our state to pass such legislation as we see Black mothers in the United States face disproportionately higher risks during pregnancy and childbirth. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Black women’s mortality rate from pregnancy-related causes is three times higher than that of white women, with structural racism underlying these disparities. 

Black women face unfair healthcare challenges compared to white women, leading to higher risks and even life-threatening complications. As mortality rates climb and reproductive freedoms come under fire, it’s crucial to back local initiatives that enhance prenatal and maternal care, support breastfeeding and nutrition and safeguard abortion access. 

The “Momnibus” will now advance to the Senate Housing & Human Services Committee for further consideration. 


Senate Democrats Recognize Workers’ Memorial Day

The Michigan Senate passed Senate Resolution 111, recognizing April 28, 2024, as Workers’ Memorial Day. On this day every year, communities and worksites around the world and across the state honor friends, family members, and colleagues who have been killed or injured on the job.  

Workers’ Memorial Day honors the integrity of Michigan’s workforce and honors the memory of the courageous and dedicated members of Michigan’s labor force who have been injured or disabled or have died as a result of workplace accidents. 

In 2022, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that in Michigan, 139 workers were lost through fatal workplace accidents and 5,486 workers were killed by traumatic injuries on the job across the nation — on average, a worker died every 96 minutes from a work-related injury. 


News You Can Use 

Detroit Shines on National Stage as NFL Draft Begins, Economic Impact Estimated in Hundreds of Millions 

The NFL Draft arrived in Detroit, shining a spotlight on the Motor City as it aimed to “reintroduce” itself on the national stage. Detroit showed up in a big way and a day one draft record was set with more than 275,000 attending on Thursday! 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued proclamations declaring the week of April 22-28 as NFL Draft Week in Michigan, and April 25 as Honolulu Blue Day. The draft is one of the most anticipated events in sports, and this year, all eyes are on Detroit. Set against the backdrop of Detroit’s dynamic cityscape, this year’s draft promises to be a showcase of both emerging stars and the city itself.  

With the influx of visitors, the economic impact is anticipated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars in business.  

If you’re looking to head downtown and participate in the festivities, find everything you need to know about the event including registration, parking and more here. 

Senate Democrats remain dedicated in our effort to seek stronger workplace safety and health protections, better standards, and enforcement, and fair and just compensation — continuing to fight to improve both safety and health in every workplace. 

Working to Keep Michigan Roads Safe: Distracted Driving Awareness Month 

Distracted driving accounts for about 25% of all crash fatalities, and in 2021, there were 6,543 motor vehicle crashes here in Michigan involving a distracted driver.  

To help rectify this issue and keep our roads safe for Michiganders driving to work, school or anywhere in between, I joined a bipartisan group of colleagues last year to update our distracted driving laws. Before, texting while driving was a ticket able offense, but things like scrolling social media or taking a video were not. Senate Bills 239241 made a much-needed update to our laws to ensure Michigan is truly a hands-free state and encourage people to focus on the most important task on the road: driving safely. These bills were signed into law and took effect on June 30, 2023.  

As a result, you cannot manually do any of the following on a cell phone or other electronic device while driving: 

  • Make or answer a telephone or video call. 
  • Send or read a text or email message. 
  • Watch, record, or send a video. 
  • Access, read, or post to social media. 
  • Browse or use the Internet. 
  • Enter information into GPS or a navigation system. 

As April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, take a moment to learn more about these laws and how you can play your part in keeping our roads safe for yourself and your fellow Michiganders. Find more information, visit the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety website at 

Michigan Receives $50 Million in Federal Funding to Protect Communities Against Natural Hazards  

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, alongside the U.S Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), announces that the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) has been awarded $900,000 for the “Southeast Michigan Regional Resilience Improvement Plan.” 

This is one of the three Michigan projects that have been selected to receive a combined $50 million in federal funding from the Department’s Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) program 

Altogether, this funding will help communities make surface transportation more resilient to natural hazards, like climate and flooding, ensuring sustainability for generations and safer roads for Michiganders. 

Financial Literacy Month 

Talking about all things money related can be nothing short of stressful, but with the right tools in your toolbox, it doesn’t have to be. And with the Senate passing Senate Resolution 102 recognizing April as Financial Literacy Month, there is no better time for us to share some important tips on things you can do to start building a brighter financial future. 

One piece of advice emphasized by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is just how important it is for Michiganders to establish a relationship with a financial institution. By having an account with a bank or credit union, you can save money by avoiding fees related to check cashing, money orders and more. Thanks to the Michigan Open Account Coalition formed in 2022, low- or no-cost accounts — with no surprise fees — are available at participating banks and credit unions. 

Attorney General Dana Nessel also offers up some additional financial education best practices this month by re-issuing her Overdraft Fee Rules alert. This is a great resource to help consumers become more informed on your bank’s overdraft policy, potentially avoiding the accumulation of large fees in your accounts without understanding how they get there. 

Register here. 

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 have been 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.    

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. 

Get Ready for Fishing Season! 

With spring upon us in the Great Lakes State, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding anglers to purchase a new license for the 2024 fishing season. 

The new fishing license and regulation season kicked off at the beginning of the month and new 2024 fishing licenses will be valid through March 31, 2025. Licenses can be purchased at or on the Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app, which you can download on your smartphone. 

Here’s a rundown of key dates to remember this fishing season: 

Saturday, April 27 – Statewide trout and Lower Peninsula inland walleye and northern pike seasons open. 
Monday, May 15 – Upper Peninsula walleye and northern pike seasons open. 
Saturday, May 25 – Season opens for largemouth and smallmouth bass possession, except for Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair and Detroit rivers, which open Saturday, June 15. (Note: Catch-and-immediate-release for bass is open all year on most waters. Check the 2024 Michigan Fishing Regulations for specifics.) 
Saturday, June 1 – Season opens for muskellunge possession on all Great Lakes, inland waters, the St. Mary’s River, Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair and Detroit rivers. (Note: Catch-and-release fishing for muskellunge is open all year.) 

For additional information about 2024 fishing license, contact DNR eLicense at or call 517-284-6057. 

The DNR is also providing helpful tips for Michigan anglers to help combat the spread of invasive species. 

  1. Start with a clean boat and clean gear. 
  2. End by draining live wells and bilges. 
  3. End by cleaning debris and plant material from boats. 
  4. Decontaminate waders and gear with safe chemical disinfectants after each use. 
  5. Dispose of leftover bait in the trash to prevent the spread of fish diseases.  

In the Community 

YMCA Michigan Youth in Government Breakfast 

Photo Credit: Aether Lottie  

I was happy to meet and talk with so many engaged students in the YMCA Youth in Government breakfast last week! 


In-District Office Hours 

I am excited to be launching more regular office hours around the district. This way constituents can sign up for a time with me 1:1, and I can fit in more meetings with you! We got to discuss Rare Disease awareness, the Prescription Drug Affordability Board, and the continued needed support for domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking survivors. 


Good News from the District 

Congratulations to Greenfield Elementary’s Science Olympiad! 

Congratulations to Greenfield Elementary in Birmingham securing first place at their 25th annual Science Olympiad! All eight Birmingham elementary schools participated, and the competition had students face off in a series of science events designed to challenge and nurture their interests and abilities. Way to go, Gators! 

Ferndale Bring Your Kid to Work Day 

The City of Ferndale hosted their first Bring Your Kid to Work Day in years! They got to check out the police, fire, and public works trucks, go on a tour of City Hall, and do some fun activities in Council Chambers like big Jenga, a scavenger hunt, and even designing new city logos. What a great experience! 

ROHS teacher awarded rare fellowship 

Photo credit: Daily Tribune 

Royal Oak High School social studies teacher John Worell is one of only 35 educators chosen from the United States and Canada to win a Grosvenor teaching fellowship! This summer he will be aboard the National Geographic Explorer ship in the north Atlantic and Artic oceans learning about the intricacies of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. Following the expedition, he will embark on a two-year fellowship with the National Geographic Society. Mr. Worell will still teach at ROHS during the fellowship and the idea is to bring the experiences back to the classroom, with a conservation and global mindset. We wish him all the best in this incredible opportunity!