Senator Sylvia Santana is Working for You | 2019 Year Review

Dear Friends,

It has been such a great year to serve as your state senator. One of the biggest legislative achievements was re-introducing legislation to “raise the age” in our criminal justice system in Michigan. The governor then signed that into law, giving youths convicted of nonviolent offenses a more level playing field and a better chance at becoming successful by treating those younger than 18 years of age as the juveniles they are.
In district, we visited more than 4,000 homes and hosted a town hall to discuss the revolutionary changes we made to our auto insurance system. We also brought experts to Detroit to see first-hand how health disparities affect the community and our schools. I hosted 82 constituents from Dearborn, Detroit and Melvindale in Lansing to tour our beautiful Capitol Building, watch a Senate session, eat lunch, and hear from different state department representatives about the work we do every day on behalf of residents in the 3rd Senate District. I really enjoyed getting to spend time with everyone!
This year, I was honored to be appointed to the governor’s Jail and Pre-Trial Incarceration Task Force to continue the necessary work of reforming our criminal justice system beyond “Raise the Age.” We have more work to do in 2020 — I hope you’ll be in touch!

Working for you,

Sylvia Santana
State Senator
3rd District
Toll-free: (855) DIST003 or (855) 347-8003


Community Framework Town Hall
Earlier this year, I brought Barton-McFarland and Aviation Sub Neighborhoods together with students from Lawrence Tech University to build a community framework plan for our future!


Listening is Key
In October, 82 constituents from Dearborn, Detroit and Melvindale joined me in Lansing. They toured the Capitol Building, watched a Senate session, ate lunch and heard from different state department representatives. I really enjoyed getting to spend time with everyone!


Community Generosity
I am simply in awe of the generosity of our community business partners and their continued support of 3rd District nonprofit organizations. Rippling Hope and Motivational Family & Friends Circle provide valuable services to community from those in the community. This year, we gave away backpacks for the start of the school year. I cannot say ‘thank you’ enough to all!

Know Your Government
Find bills, legislation and state publications
Michigan Senate

Legislative Mobile App
The Citizens Guide to the Michigan Legislature
Contact me, resources, and updates on my work in Lansing


4,000 + Homes Visited
17 Coffee Hours Hosted
4 Town Halls
4 Senior Luncheons
2 Community Days at the Capitol


You’ve probably read a lot about “raise the age” in this newsletter, and I’m proud to have played such a vital role in finally getting that legislation signed into law. It’s something I first started when I was in the state House, because I believe all our youth deserve the opportunity to mature, develop, right their wrongs, and have a fair shot at a successful future that’s not marred by juvenile decisions.

Currently, 17-year-olds are not allowed to vote, serve in the military, buy lottery tickets or open a line of credit. So why does Michigan law allow these children to be thrown into prison with hardened criminals? By changing the law, we give our children the opportunity to leave the system with a greater ability to be successful and productive citizens. Ever since the 1990s and era of “tough on crime,” youth of color — especially African American men — have been disproportionately jailed and imprisoned.

Incarcerating young people, especially those with nonviolent offenses, in the same prison as adults is harmful, expensive and ineffective when trying to make our communities safer. It’s about time we made progress on this issue!


Domestic violence is a very serious issue that knows no bounds. It is imperative we work together to create an environment in our state where survivors are given the protections and resources they deserve as they work to rebuild their lives. I’m joining colleagues in the House and Senate to do just that, so Michigan can be a leader in the fight to hold abusers accountable and expand the rights, and protections, of survivors.

Join me for coffee

I always enjoy the opportunity to hear directly from residents, like you, regarding the issues you care about! My favorite way to do that is to host coffee hours throughout the 3rd District.

Check my website for upcoming dates and times, sign up for my e-newsletter at, or call my office at (517) 373-0990 to learn about a future coffee hour near you


Introducing legislation is one of the most important ways
I can be of direct service to our community and its unique circumstances or problems. Below is a brief — but not exhaustive — list of legislation I’ve introduced or been a part of on the issues most relevant to the people of our district.

Senate Bill 41
Require teachers to have mental health training as part of continuing education and professional development.
Referred to the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee

Senate Bill 115
Requires Michigan Corporations to place women on their executive boards.
Referred to the Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee

Senate Bill 235
Allows communities to charge a tax on certain entertainment tickets to help pay for first responder retirements.
Referred to the Senate Finance Committee

Senate Bill 222-226
End state oversight of the city of Detroit via the Financial Review Commission, the position of Chief Financial Officer, pension and health care taxation, and more.
Referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee

Senate Bills 234 & 235
Prevent police departments from poaching officers trained by the Detroit Police Department and to provide additional funding for the DPD’s retirement system through an entertainment tax, respectively.
Referred to the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee

Senate Bills 262 & 265
Reform state law regarding the convictions of people imprisoned over non-violent, marijuana-related offenses.
Referred to the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee

Senate Bill 310
Require all stores to accept cash as a payment option.
Referred to the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee

Senate Bill 333
Ensure worker protections by requiring employers to post a notice of resources, including a website and phone number, to report concerns of possible employment discrimination.
Referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee

Senate Bill 485
Expand the Whistleblowers’ Protections Act.
Referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee

Senate Resolution 88
Urge the Congress of the United States to reauthorize the Violence Against Women.
Referred to the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee

Bills signed

Senate Bill 441 and 445
(Public Act 71 and 75 of 2019): Continues the collection of licensing fees for engineers, real estate brokers and other professions and certain substance use disorder programs for another four years.

Senate Bill 102
(Public Act 97 of 2019)
Created a “Raise the Age” Fund for state funding used to transition into a criminal justice system that prohibits juveniles from being tried as adults for nonviolent crimes.

Senate Resolution 14
Honored the life and service of Congressman John Dingell, Jr.

Senate Resolution 35
Designated April 2019 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Senate Resolution 80
Urged the U.S. Congress to increase funding for sickle cell disease research.

Front entrance and stairs to the Michigan state capitol building in the downtown district of Lansing.

More news:

Senator Santana on Segregated Cafes at U-M Dearborn Wayne County State Senate Delegation Statement on Jail Attack of Deputy Sheriff Bryant Searcy Senator Santana: ‘Education Plan Falls Short of Benchmarks’

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