Women’s History Month is dedicated to celebrating and recognizing women who have contributed so much to our society and well-being. Women have and continue to make it happen! Women are leading in business, education, politics, and sciences. Women are parents, caregivers, serving in religious leadership, and volunteering. Each is equally important and part of what makes our community, state, and country strong, vibrant, and resilient!
Please take time this month to reflect on those women who have shaped your life. Whether in your home, in school, in business or in our legislature. We owe them the gratitude they have rightfully earned.
Throughout Women’s History Month, we should honor Michigan women who continue to break barriers, shatter ceilings, build ladders, connect bridges, and make history every single day. Senator Winnie Brinks is a woman who in 2023 can add her name to the list of Michigan firsts. Senator Brinks is the first woman to hold the position of Majority Leader of the Senate of Michigan. A graduate of Calvin College and a mother of three, Senator Brinks has a broad range of work experience including nonprofits, education, and corrections.
As we move forward, please know that I am listening to you. I represent you and I am always available to hear your concerns and ideas. The best methods of connecting with my office can be found below. For more frequent updates on what I am working on and where I am in the district, please follow my official Facebook page.
Email: email@example.comPhone: (517) 373-2426 U.S. Mail: P.O. Box 30036 Lansing, MI 48909
Sincerely,Sue Shink State Senator District 14
Governor Whitmer Signs Lowering MI Costs Plan into Law, Cutting Taxes By $1 Billion for Working Families and Seniors
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the Lowering MI Costs plan, one of the biggest tax relief initiatives Michigan has seen in decades. The plan will overhaul the unfair and unpopular retirement tax, expand the Working Families Tax Credit, and make significant investments in housing and community development.
By expanding the Working Families Tax Credit to 30 percent of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, 700,000 Michiganders—those who have the hardest time affording the basics—will see an average of $3,150 dollars back in their pockets. Phasing out the unfair and unpopular retirement tax over four years will ultimately put an average of $1,000 back in the pockets of 500,000 households and keep $9.7 million in District 14. The Lowering MI Costs plan also invests $50 million of surplus tax revenue in the state’s Housing and Community Development Fund, which prioritizes projects offering veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, and working families safe, affordable places to call home. This is significant, sustainable, and ongoing dedicated funding to affordable housing.Reintroduction of Business Improvement Zones (BIZ) legislation
Earlier this month, I introduced Senate Bill 164 to increase the tools that business owners have to improve our communities and continue building on the state’s economic progress. Our local downtown businesses are central to the economic health and appeal of our communities. I know that working with small businesses reaches deep into our communities and improves the quality of life for us all.
A Business Improvement Zone allows a group of property owners to establish an area that can collect funds from its members and use those funds to invest in the zone through aesthetic improvements. These zones have been utilized in areas of the state such as Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids but can be used throughout the entire state. This legislation merely modifies the law for Business Improvement Zones (BIZ) to allow for some zones to be created using weighted voting by assessed or taxable value.Gun Violence Prevention Package Passes out of the Senate
As a lawyer and a legislator, I understand the power of our laws to make a difference and save lives, and these bills are a prime example. It has been so heartbreaking to hear firsthand testimony from the kids and parents who have experienced and lost loved ones to gun violence and their frustration at the lack of previous action from their elected officials. Our Committee and Caucus are listening, and we have heeded Michiganders’ calls for action on these commonsense protections that can help reduce gun violence.
You can watch testimony given before the Senate Committee on Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety here.
What does the proposed legislation do?
- Require universal background checks to purchase all firearms (Senate Bills 76-78);
- Require safe storage to keep legal firearms securely stored and out of the hands of children and teens (Senate Bills 79-82); and
- Allow a court to issue an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO) to take temporary possession of a firearm if the court finds that an individual is at risk of harming themselves or others (Senate Bills 83-86).
IN THE COMMUNITY
Coffee and Conversation
On February 25th, I hosted my first coffee hour in Jackson. We had a great group of people from different backgrounds who contributed to lively and productive conversations. There were great questions, ideas, suggestions, and local insight on the needs of the 14th Senate District. Thank you to those that came out and to the Jackson District Library for allowing us to meet in your historic building.
Two weeks ago, I attended a Community Listening Session at the Ann Arbor District Library where I was joined by some of my colleagues to listen to members of our community speak about how gun violence has touched their lives and how important it is that we pass this legislation. The 11-bill gun violence prevention package recently passed the Senate.
Jackson’s Annual Susan B. Anthony Celebration and Student Awards
Last Sunday, I attended the Jackson Women’s History Council’s 47th Annual Susan B. Anthony Celebration and Student Awards. The Jackson Women’s History Council established an award in Susan B. Anthony’s name to recognize her legacy and celebrate the contemporary achievements of men and women in the Jackson area. This year, Harriet Tubman’s name was also added to the award. Women were recognized as Susan B. Anthony award recipients at the first celebration in 1977 and since that time, more than 200 deserving women and several deserving men have been selected as Susan B. Anthony award recipients. Congratulations to constituent, Barb Fuller on being recognized as one of the awardees.