Senator Santana Email Banner

Dear Neighbor,  

The end of spring is here as we enjoy the final full week of the season before we turn to summer in Michigan. June is a wonderful time in our state to celebrate community events like art fairs, farmers markets, parades, Pride events, Juneteenth, and so much more. Whatever way you prefer to spend your time, whether that be in the garden, downtown or at the beach, I hope you are ready to kick off a great summer surrounded by your family, friends and community.  

The Michigan Senate and the House are continuing to work on the Fiscal Year 2025 state budget that will be presented to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to sign. We are working hard, ensuring state dollars go toward our people and the communities we live, work, and grow in. As always, this newsletter serves as a great update on what we’re accomplishing here in Lansing on your behalf.   

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 contact me by sending an email to or calling 517-373-0990.  


Senator Santana Signature

Sylvia Santana
State Senator
District 2


Upcoming Events 

Join Me at Upcoming Coffee Hours 

I hope you will join me at my upcoming Coffee & Conversation events at St. Suzanne Cody Rouge Resource Center in Detroit and Henry Ford College in Dearborn! These are great opportunities for you to ask questions and discuss district updates and legislative priorities. For more information, click here.    

National County Government Month

WHEN: Friday, June 21, 2024, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.   
WHERE: St. Suzanne Cody Rouge CRC (Lower Level), 19321 W. Chicago Road, Detroit, MI 48828    

WHEN: Friday, June 21, 2024, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.   
WHERE: Henry Ford College in the ASCC Rosenau Room (South Entrance), 5101 Evergreen Road, Dearborn, MI 48128   

Please do not hesitate to call my office at (517) 373-0990 or reply to this email if you have any questions, concerns, or need assistance.  

Creating a Welcoming, Inclusive State for All During Pride Month 

Michigan Senate Democrats are committed to cultivating true inclusion and belonging in Michigan — not only during the month of June, but every day year-round. Since taking office, our Majority for the People has worked to expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA), reaffirming and expanding legal protections for the LGBTQ+ community. This effort has been 50 years in the making and will protect our LGBTQ+ family, friends, coworkers and neighbors against discrimination in employment, public accommodations and public services. It also will provide protection in educational facilities, housing and real estate.   

In addition to passing a resolution recognizing June as Pride Month, the Michigan Senate has passed bills — including Senate Bills 348 and 349— to ban the harmful practice of conversion therapy by mental health professionals seeking to change the gender identity or sexual orientation of minors.   

These legislative efforts are a big step forward for Michigan, but certainly not the last. Our caucus remains committed to putting forth legislation that will further advance our shared mission of equity and inclusion. Learn more about the history of the LGBTQ+ community in Michigan and how protections we have put in place at the Capitol have lent Michigan to being ranked one of the most welcoming states for the LGBTQ+ community in the U.S. 

Building Safe Communities: Senate Democrats Recognize National Gun Violence Awareness Month 

To draw attention to the issue of gun violence and advocate for life-saving policies, the Michigan Senate recently passed a resolution recognizing June as Gun Violence Awareness Month. Gun violence is a public health crisis that plagues communities across our state, leaving an irrevocable mark on mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, friends, and neighbors. Since 2012, we’ve seen the rate of gun deaths in Michigan increase by 25%, and firearms are now the leading cause of death for children and teens. For all these reasons, there has never been a more important time for lawmakers to act on commonsense policies that are proven to make our communities safer.   

After assuming the Majority, my colleagues and I delivered a slate of gun violence prevention legislation that Michigan residents have waited years for. This legislation closes dangerous loopholes to strengthen background checks, requires the secure storage of firearms, disarms individuals convicted of domestic violence, and allows for the temporary removal of firearms from people who pose a significant risk to themselves or others.   

As we work to build safe communities for all Michiganders to enjoy, I remain committed to championing evidence-based solutions to this public health crisis.   

Men’s Health Week in Michigan 

June is Men’s Health Month in Michigan, and this week is Men’s Health Week nationally. It is a good time for men to prioritize their well-being and take charge of their health. On average, men live five years less than women, with Native American and African American men having the lowest life expectancy. Men are also less likely to seek help for depression, stress, and substance abuse than women, and middle-aged people, especially men, have the highest rate of suicide in the U.S. compared to other groups, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  

Because of these types of statistics, it’s crucial that men are aware of the importance of a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, and medical checkups both for their physical and mental well-being. For more information, visit the Men’s Health Month website. 

Calling All Michigan Artists! Secretary Benson Announces New “I Voted” Sticker Contest 

Grab your color pencils, crayons or markers — Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson recently announced the state’s inaugural “I Voted” sticker contest and is now accepting entries from students enrolled in Michigan schools and Michigan residents.   

Michiganders can apply for a chance to see their design on an official “I Voted” sticker that will be handed out to voters when they go to the polls this year. Local election clerks can order the winning sticker designs in time for the November election.   

The contest has separate entry categories for grades K-8, grades 9-12, and general entry which is open to Michigan residents of all ages. Designs must be completed on the official entry form available at, nonpartisan, and must include the phrase “I Voted.”  

Entries are due by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 30. Full contest rules are at The public will have the opportunity to vote for finalists online throughout the month of July. Winners will be announced in August and will receive special recognition from Secretary Benson.  

Legislative Updates

Sen. Santana’s Bill to Create Special License Plate for Michigan’s Women Veterans Passes Senate with Bipartisan Support  

Garnering bipartisan support, my Michigan Senate colleagues voted unanimously this week to pass a bill I introduced to authorize a special registration plate for women veterans in the state of Michigan.  

The bill, Senate Bill 788, is aimed at further recognizing the contributions of Michigan’s women veteran community and bringing equitable awareness to the sacrifices they have made for our state and country.  

When people see the word “veteran” on a license plate, it’s not uncommon to mistakenly assume the title belongs to a man or male passenger in the vehicle, but we know that is increasingly not always the case.   

This legislation, as simple as it may seem, is another way we can all do better at recognizing women veterans in our communities and offering them the proper gratitude and respect they’ve earned and deserve. I am proud to help in this way and am excited to see the new plates on the road.  

With more than 46,000 women veterans, Michigan is home to the 15th-largest women veteran population in the country, according to the U. S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. While women only accounted for 4% of the veteran population nationally in 2000, they are projected to comprise 18% by 2040 — making them the fastest growing segment of the veteran population.  

The state of Michigan previously offered 30 license plates for veterans and their loved ones — recognizing wounded veterans, Gold Star families, reservists and many others. My legislation now allows Michigan to join 17 other states who provide a special registration plate to specifically honor women veterans for their sacrifice. 

Michigan Senate Unanimously Passes “Melody’s Law” to Close Glaring Loophole in Michigan’s Criminal Code 

Last week, Michigan Senate Democrats voted to close a glaring loophole in the state’s criminal code. The Senate acted in unanimous fashion to pass Senate Bills 841843, sponsored by Sen. Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe). Known collectively as “Melody’s Law,” these bills explicitly outlaw necrophilia. The legislation stems from the despicable 2021 murder of Michigan resident Melody Rohrer, who was also the victim of a heinous act of sexual assault after her murder.  

The legislation ensures that those convicted of this horrific act are held accountable by amending the Michigan Penal Code, PA 328 of 1931, to make the act of necrophilia punishable by up to 15 years in prison and require perpetrators to register in the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR). 

Michigan Senate Democrats Pass Bill that Enhances Safety for Vulnerable Roadway Users  

Led by Sen. Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo), Michigan Senate Democrats recently passed Senate Bills 617 and 618, which would amend the Michigan Vehicle Code to prescribe a felony penalty for committing a moving violation against a vulnerable roadway user and as a result causes injury or death.   

Senate Bill 618, sponsored by Sen. Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe), defines vulnerable roadway users as a pedestrian, individual using a bicycle, roller skates, inline skates, a nonmotorized scooter or skateboard, a wheelchair, an individual riding equine, and a U.S. Postal Service employee or contractor, among others. 

Working to Deliver Innovative “Building up Michigan” 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 an exciting moment with our budget process, continuing the transformative investments of the previous year and taking an innovative approach to addressing the needs of all Michiganders. Highlights of our “Building Up Michigan” budget proposal include record school funding, increased access to community college for students, significant funding for local communities and efforts to lower costs for state residents.   

As we work to deliver a final 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.   

Sen. Anthony Introduces Bills to Establish Tenants Right to Organize and Right to Repair in Michigan 

Last week, Michigan Senate Democrats led by Sen. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) introduced Senate Bills 900903, known as the Tenant Empowerment Package.    

These bills would protect tenants’ rights and tighten up Michigan law to ensure all renters have the tools they need to fight for those rights. The bills enshrine the right to repair into law to guarantee that landlords provide safe housing and make timely repairs. If landlords fail to initiate repairs promptly, tenants would be allowed to deduct repair costs from their rent. The bills also ensure transparency and fairness in lease agreements by requiring adequate notice for rent increases and preventing landlords from using lease language to eliminate tenants’ rights to repair or their right to organize.   

More than a quarter of Michiganders are renters but lack basic legal protections to ensure safe and affordable living conditions. Sen. Anthony believes that every Michigander deserves the right to a safe and dignified living space they can call home. These bills are the first steps Sen. Anthony, and her Democratic colleagues, are taking to address these issues and enshrine the rights of renters and tenants in Michigan’s state law.  

Senate Bills 900-903 have been referred to the Senate Committee on Housing and Human Services for further consideration.  



Tips to Keep in Mind to Prevent Medicare Fraud 

The Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) participated in Medicare Fraud Prevention Week last week in support of nationwide efforts to combat Medicare fraud, errors and abuse.   

Fraud impacts Medicare beneficiaries in time, stress and health issues. It also costs families, friends and caregivers in worry and lost work when helping their loved ones recover from Medicare fraud. Everyone, however, can play a part in the fight against fraud. Take these steps to help prevent Medicare fraud:  

  • Medicare beneficiaries can monitor their insurance statements to make sure products and services received match what is on the statements. They can request free My Health Care Trackers from their local Senior Medicaid Patrol (SMP).  
  • Caregivers can help by being on the lookout for items such as durable medical equipment (like boxes of knee braces) lying around the house that may have been shipped to the beneficiary without their or their doctor’s approval. They can remind their client or loved one to never give out their Medicare number or other personal information over the phone to prevent unauthorized purchases.  
  • Families can help by talking to their loved ones about protecting their Medicare number just as they would a credit card number. Help loved ones create a account to access Medicare statements online or remind them to open and review statements when they come in the mail. Beneficiaries can also register their phone number on “do not call” lists and visit to opt out of mailings.  
  • Partners and professionals can help by sharing SMP information on social media, referring clients and consumers to the SMP and inviting the SMP to speak during a shared event.  
  • Health care providers can help by talking to patients about health care scams such as those related to durable medical equipment and genetic testing schemes. Remind patients that products and services should only be ordered by physicians they regularly see. Needed medical items should never be ordered through TV ads or unsolicited calls.  
  • Community members can help by looking out for older neighbors. When in public, be aware of older individuals purchasing gift cards in large amounts. Encourage older adults to talk to a trusted source about Medicare questions and tell neighbors about the most recent Medicare scams. Community members can also volunteer with a local SMP.  

Learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones by joining SMP and their partners. Learn more about Medicare fraud at  

EGLE and Michigan Saves Launch Septic Replacement Loan Program 

The Michigan Dept. of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has partnered with Michigan Saves, the nation’s first nonprofit green bank, to launch the Septic Replacement Loan Program (SRLP). This program — made possible through the $35 million we allocated to EGLE’s Onsite Wastewater Management Unit — provides low-interest financing options for loans up to $50,000 to Michigan homeowners needing to replace failing or near-failing septic systems.  

The SRLP offers two tiers of financing: income-based loans (Tier One) up to $30,000 per project and market-based loans (Tier Two) up to $50,000 per project. Rates, terms, and loan amounts will vary.  

To be eligible for the program, septic systems must be permitted by the local health department according to EGLE’s minimum standards and installed by a Michigan Saves authorized contractor.  

For more information about the SRLP, to find a Michigan Saves authorized contractor, and to begin the financing process for septic system replacement, please visit  

MDARD Encourages Owners to Help Keep Their Animals Safe this Summer 

With the unofficial start of summer behind us, the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) would like to remind owners of some of the best ways to keep their animals healthy and safe. Keep your animals safe this summer by following these seven easy tips:    

  1. Vax & Relax – Keep animals up to date on routine vaccinations. 
  2. Let it Flow: Provide unlimited cool, clean fresh water  
  3. Happy Tummies: Avoid feeding animals people foods  
  4. Know Their Limits: An animal’s ability to tolerate heat varies  
  5. Look Before They Splash: Avoid harmful algal blooms (HABs) in bodies of water  
  6. Animal illness due to HABs is reportable to MDARD. To report cases, submit a Reportable Disease Form or call 800-292-3939. In addition, to report any suspicious looking algae, please email  
  7. Search No More: Make sure animals have proper identification  
  8. Small Circle of Friends: Keep animals away from wildlife, ill animals, and animals of unknown health status