UPDATES FROM THE LEGISLATURE Supplemental State Budget Bills
Last week, the state Senate and House of Representatives passed two supplemental bills reinstating many previously vetoed budget line items. I was proud to vote yes on these bills to restore critical funding for public health, education — and to important programs like the Michigan Tuition Grant which I know many students from our district rely on as they pursue their college degrees.
In addition to these supplemental bills, we also voted on legislation requiring state budgets to be completed by July 1st instead of October 1st, something I’ve been advocating for throughout this process to ensure our schools are able to adequately plan for the coming school year. I’m hopeful the legislature will continue to work in a much more bipartisan fashion to keep Michigan moving forward on the things that are important to individuals and families throughout the state. If you are interested in learning more about what was included in these two supplemental budget bills, you can click here to find more information.
Senate Bill 543: Legislation to allow liquor purchases to operate similarly to the CLEAR systems within airports. Senate Bill 543, introduced by Senator Curtis VanderWall, permits liquor retailers to opt-in to a system allowing the use of biometrics for age verification for liquor purchases, similar to your ability to unlock your smartphone with your fingerprint if you utilize such a feature. This type of biometric system is safer when handling personal information, with more safeguards against the sale of personal information. The bill’s language is permissive, so no one is required to obtain and use this system.
Senate Bills 493- 494: A package of bills that extends the sunset of the Commercial Rehabilitation Act and Commercial Redevelopment Act, which authorizes cities, townships & villages to create commercial rehabilitation districts. These rehabilitation districts have helped redevelop and grow local economies in a number of communities and these bills will continue allowing local governments across the state the opportunity to continue growing and expanding.
Senate Bills 341-342: Bills to prohibit law enforcement from using real-time facial recognition technology or from obtaining location information or data of an electronic device without a warrant. These bills aim to protect citizen’s privacy, as these electronic devices can reveal personal and sensitive information, like a person’s location.
IN THE DISTRICT December 2:
Joined Governor Whitmer and State Representative Padma Kuppa to celebrate small businesses in the community with the opening of Tribalfare in Clawson.
Met with Superintendents from Clawson and Troy to continue discussing the potential annexation/merger of the school districts.
Joined Representative Wittenberg at Berkley Public Library for a joint community conversation. It was a great opportunity to join my colleague from the House of Representatives to discuss topics like environmental issues, term limits, and auto-no fault insurance. Please look out for my next joint meetup with Representative Webber on February 28th from 9:30-10:30 am at the Rochester Hills Public Library.
We had an exciting day at the Capitol with visitors from the district. I caught up with several community advocates from Students Demand Action and talked to Royal Oak students about the projects they were here to present for the annual technology showcase.
I joined the Area Agency on Aging to celebrate their 45th Anniversary. Organizations like AAA have been a vital asset to our community’s families and seniors, and I feel incredibly proud to represent such an important resource that has helped so many people over the years.
We kicked off the holiday season with a reading of the Polar Express at the Rochester Public Library!
December 9: Meet Up with Mallory
Thank you all came out to our most recent Meet Up with Mallory. I enjoyed our conversation regarding budget updates, road funding, and issues with surprise medical billing. If you were not able to make it to this month’s meetup, no worries! Below in our “Upcoming Events” section of the newsletter, you can information on dates to attend for the upcoming year.
Meet Up with Mallory Meet Up events are informal opportunities to ask questions and discuss topics regarding state issues, as well as receive an update on the Michigan Legislature. It’s also a chance to share your thoughts on district matters so I can better represent you at the Capitol.
January 13th — The Office Coffee Shop, Royal Oak from 8:00-9:00 am
February 10th — The Office Coffee Shop, Royal Oak from 8:00-9:00 am
February 28th (with Representative Webber) — Rochester Hills Public Library from 9:30-10:30 am
OTHER NOTES AND NEWS
Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission
As a reminder, applications for the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission are now open! In 2018, voters overwhelmingly voted for Prop 2 (Voters Not Politicians) to create an Independent Redistricting Commission for residents to redraw Michigan’s legislative districts, not the legislature. If you are interested in applying for a position on the commission or have any questions regarding the process, you can find more information here.
On December 4th, I had the honor of giving the invocation for Senate Session, which serves as a time for reflection on the day ahead. You can watch the invocation I gave here.
Michigan’s 13th District State Senate Office is decorated and ready to wish you a Happy Holidays!