I hope you are all safely enjoying your summer. Team Santana continues to work on the issues that matter most to you and your families. We will be out and about in the community, and we hope you’ll say hi if you see us!
Featured in this newsletter:
Please do not hesitate to call my office at (517) 373-0990 or reply to this email if you have any questions or need assistance.
Working for you,
STATE BUDGET SIGNED INTO LAW
On Wednesday, July 20, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer officially signed a bipartisan budget agreement for the upcoming fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 into law.
This budget focuses on:
The budget includes multiple health care initiatives I’ve advocated for, including the Sickle Cell Center of Excellence, trauma recovery centers, and the Team Wellness Center.
Our communities are built by our people, so when residents feel supported — whether that’s through providing affordable and effective health care, positive changes to the judicial system, or providing support to struggling families — Michigan will succeed. Programs such as the Raise the Age, the Sickle Cell Center of Excellence, and providing increased wages to direct-care workers set the foundation of a strong budget that reflects the values of all Michiganders.
I think this budget is a great piece of work and I’m proud we will be helping people not only in Southeast Michigan and Detroit, but across our great state. Specific investments earmarked in the budget include:
988 CRISIS LIFELINE NOW AVAILABLE
Michiganders in crisis now have an easy-to-remember, three-digit number to call for help: 988.
Michigan has joined the nation in transitioning to the 988-dialing code, which will operate through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s network of more than 200 locally operated and funded crisis centers across the country.
In 2020, Congress designated the new 988 dialing code to operate through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline This expands the existing Lifeline beyond people who are feeling suicidal to all individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis, including suicidal thoughts or substance abuse issues, as well as:
The 988-dialing code does not replace the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-TALK (8255)) or other locally operated crisis lines. Instead, it serves as a universal entry point to connect individuals in need to trained crisis counselors who can help.
For more information, visit 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and Michigan Crisis & Access Line.
GOVERNOR ESTABLISHES MICHIGAN PARENTS’ COUNCIL
On Friday, July 15, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order that creates the Michigan Parents’ Council to bring parents more formally into the policymaking process.
The council will build on the governor’s work to include the parent perspective into the start of the 2022-2023 school year, the education budget, and streamline how parent recommendations are included in Michigan’s education budget. It will represent parents from across Michigan and host a series of regional parent roundtables to gather input.
Seven parents or family members appointed by the governor will lead the council and convene regional roundtables with families across Michigan to bring in as many voices as possible. Appointees must:
The council will also include the governor’s K-12 policy advisor and a designated representative of the Superintendent of Public Instruction from the Michigan Department of Education.
Michigan parents and family members interested in becoming a part of the council can apply online at Michigan.gov/Whitmer/Appointments. Click “Apply Now” and select “Michigan Parents’ Council” when prompted in the application. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022.
AG NESSEL RELAUNCHES POWER OUTAGE FEEDBACK FORM
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is once again asking consumers to provide feedback to the department after experiencing a power outage in order to help inform her continued advocacy before the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC).
The form, available on the Dep
In addition to providing feedback, the summertime presents the opportunity to review Nessel’s consumer alerts related to flooding and power loss, including researching contractors if home repairs are needed before paying for a project and alerting drivers of water-damaged vehicles being sold on the used car market.
Your connection to consumer protection is just a click or phone call away. Consumer complaints can be filed online at the Attorney General’s website, or if you have questions call 877-765-8388.
DIFS ALERTS CONSUMERS TO RECURRING SCAM AND HOW TO AVOID IT
The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is reminding consumers of best practices to avoid being victimized by a recurring scam in which impostors call consumers and identify themselves as financial institutions and utility companies requesting payments or personal information.
One recent version of this scam involves criminals posing as DTE Energy contacting customers first via text message and then by phone call asking them to make missed payments through a website, often using cash transfer apps such as Zelle. DTE Energy has confirmed that it will never contact customers through text messaging. If you are unsure about a caller claiming to be a DTE employee, the utility recommends that you hang up and call their customer service line at 800-477-4747.
Here are the most important steps that consumers can take to avoid falling prey to these scams:
Individuals who believe they are a victim of fraud should first contact their financial institution or the company that the compromised account is with to attempt to resolve the issue. If you feel the company did not appropriately handle your complaint, contact DIFS by calling 877-999-6442, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by completing an online complaint form.