I hope you had an amazing holiday season and are enjoying the new year! In 2023, the Senate Majority intentionally created successful outcomes for the people of Michigan. As 2024 begins, I am looking forward to another year of legislative progress and impact, especially here in District 5.
As always, 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 SenDPolehanki@senate.michigan.gov or call (517) 373-7350.
In Recent News
Michigan Achievement Scholarship
The Michigan Achievement Scholarship was first included in FY 2022-23 and provides Last-Dollar scholarship awards to Michigan undergraduate students at public and private 2-year and 4-year institutions. The budget included a net increase of $50 million deposit into the Postsecondary Scholarship Fund, which is a 20% increase. This fund is the funding source for Michigan Achievement Scholarships.
The scholarships are awarded to eligible in-state students that graduate high school or achieve an equivalency certificate in 2023 or after and attend an eligible Michigan public university, community college, tribal college or independent nonprofit college or university full-time. Total funding for Michigan Achievement Scholarships for FY 2023-24 will be $300 million. For more information, click here.
To help close the books on the 2023 fiscal year and position Michigan for future success, the Legislature passed a budget supplemental — House Bill 4292 and Senate Bill 174. This fiscally responsible supplemental will help communities across Michigan invest in students — to ensure students have access to clean drinking water at school; put more money into classrooms; and fund critical projects at public universities and community colleges to build a pipeline for more high-skilled talent, among other priorities.
The budget also makes vital investments in clean water, Michigan’s roads and more. To read more about the investments being made throughout the state, click here.
Working to Expand Access to Quality, Affordable Housing
Safe and affordable housing continues to be a critical need for Michiganders. High interest rates and home prices create challenging conditions for both buyers and sellers, and many Michigan renters face challenges finding affordable housing too. Due to the high cost of housing, families often have to forgo food, healthcare or other necessities to avoid eviction.
Since taking office, addressing Michigan’s housing shortage has been a top priority for Senate Democrats. Through investments in housing and community development, passing historic tax relief and incentivizing redevelopment projects, our Majority for the People has been working to tackle this issue head on and make it easier for people to find and keep a place to call home.
To learn more about Senate Democrats’ efforts to expand access to affordable housing, click here.
2024 Laws Going into Effect
After a historic year with the Democrats in the majority, there were major pieces of legislation that passed. These are some of the laws taking effect early in 2024:
Restoring Workers’ Rights. Legislation repealing Michigan’s anti-worker law (House Bills 4004 and 4007 and Senate Bill 34) — which allowed union workers to opt out of paying union dues and fees — is set to go into effect.
Gun Safety. This year, gun safety-related legislation (Senate Bills 79, 80, 81 and 82and House Bills 4138 and 4142) will take effect, including the following: expansion of background checks, safe gun storage requirements and laws permitting courts to temporarily remove guns from those a judge deems pose an imminent threat to themselves or others, as well as temporarily banning those with domestic violence convictions from possessing and purchasing firearms and ammunition in Michigan.
Reproductive Health Act. The Reproductive Health Act (Senate Bills 474, 476 and 477and House Bills 4949, 4951, 4953–4956) will remove restrictive regulations for clinics, repeal a state law requiring the purchase of a special insurance rider for private health plans to cover abortion and remove a law banning higher education institutions’ pregnant and parenting services offices from providing referrals for abortion services.
For The New Year, Get Your Health Plan Coverage Now
Michigan’s Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) urges residents to secure health insurance by purchasing a Health Insurance Marketplace plan now, for coverage starting on February 1, 2024. Even if you’re happy with your current plan, updating the HealthCare.gov application may help increase your savings.
Open enrollment for 2024 health insurance runs through January 15, 2024. Consumers can access free local enrollment help at LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov, shop on the Health Insurance Marketplace or call 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).