With the first day of fall behind us, the season is now in full swing. Michigan’s landscape is undergoing a stunning transformation as leaves change colors. I hope you have time to enjoy the autumn season and some of the many apple and pumpkin-spiced treats that fall brings.
In this newsletter, I am excited to share some updates, as well as a few important resources available to you.
Featured in this newsletter:
- Michigan Senate Takes Action to Address Rising Prescription Drug Costs
- National Voter Registration Day
- Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
- Resources for Michiganders Potentially Affected by the UAW Strike
- Reunite With Your Money: Search for Unclaimed Property
- Scholarship Fair in Detroit
- Free or Low-Cost Testing and Treatment for Breast or Cervical Cancer
- Myles Miller Nominated for the 2023 African American Leadership Award
- Safe and Proper Drug Disposal
If you have any questions, want to comment on pending legislation, or resolve any issues in state government, please do not hesitate to contact my office by phone at (517) 373-8360 or by email at SenPWojno@senate.michigan.gov.
Michigan Senate Takes Action to Address Rising Prescription Drug Costs
The Senate Committee on Finance, Insurance, and Consumer Protection recently passed Senate Bills 483–485, which would establish an independent Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) in Michigan. The PDAB aims to address this issue by implementing measures to regulate prescription drug costs, ensuring that essential medications are accessible and affordable for everyone.
In 2020, while the costs of many goods were rising, the prices of 500 prescription drugs in Michigan increased at a rate twice that of inflation. We are committed to alleviating the burden of prescription drug costs on Michigan residents and employers – and they are taking meaningful action to combat this persistent problem. To view the committee hearing on PDAB, click here.
National Voter Registration Day was Sept. 19: Confirm Your Status
Voting is a powerful way Michiganders can preserve and protect our democracy. On September 19, 2023, we recognized National Voter Registration Day to encourage all citizens of voting age to register to vote or update their registration status. Registering or updating your registration status is simple and can be done in less than ten minutes. You can do it online, by mail, or in-person at your local clerk’s office or Secretary of State branch.
I am committed to expanding access to the ballot box and removing barriers that make it harder for Michiganders to cast their vote. Read more here about the work that is being done to build an equitable and accessible electoral process that protects and empowers voters.
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage Month, observed annually from September 15 to October 15, celebrates the rich culture and histories of Latino Americans in the United States. The month-long observance commemorates the independence days of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.
First established as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson, it was later expanded to a full 30 days by the Reagan administration and became law on August 17, 1988. Throughout history, Latinos have continued to progress and greatly contribute to society. To learn more about the positive impact of Latinos in the Michigan Legislature, read the full news story here.
Resources for Michiganders Potentially Affected by the UAW Strike
For those who may be potentially impacted by the UAW strike, it is important to be prepared as the negotiations continue.
In light of the recent events, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has offered their assistance to all affected state business owners and workers — including the following resources:
- The Claimant Roadmap
- First-time filer coaching sessions
- UIA Community Connect
- Assistance with resetting account passwords
- Work Share
- Registration and Seeking Work Waiver
- Employer Filed Claims
Reunite With Your Money: Search for Unclaimed Property
The Michigan Department of Treasury has millions of dollars in lost or forgotten assets that include dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, valuables left in safe deposit boxes, and stock certificates. These properties were all turned over to the state once they were determined to be abandoned as required by law. Treasury is the custodian of these assets and reunites them with their owners — or the owners’ heirs — when they are rightfully claimed.
To find out if you have cash or property, check multiple states at unclaimed.org or go directly to the Michigan Unclaimed Property Website, which provides enhanced search options and the ability to upload verifying documentation easily and securely. Individuals are encouraged to search their name, a maiden name, or the name of a business or nonprofit. The search is free. Claimants may also call 517-636-5320 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Businesses, corporations, nonprofits, public entities, and other organizations holding unclaimed or abandoned property can find instructions on how to prepare and easily submit their report and remittance online on the Michigan Unclaimed Property website as well.
Nearly 33 million people in the U.S. – 1 in every 10 – has what the industry calls unclaimed property: financial accounts or items of value where the owner has not initiated any activity for several years. Common examples include unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts, and unused rebate cards.
Scholarship Fair in Detroit
On Thursday, October 12, 2023, The Infinite Scholars Program and Brenda Jones, Chair of the J.M. Jones Foundation, are hosting a free scholarship fair in Detroit for all high school seniors that would like to attend.
This scholarship fair will have many scholarship opportunities, but also have colleges, universities, and various skilled trades on site. Several trades provide paid apprenticeships for those interested in apprenticeship programs.
Students planning to attend should bring five or more copies of the following:
- Unofficial high school transcripts
- ACT/SAT scores
- A one-page essay about why you want to attend college
- Two letters of recommendation
- A resume
WHEN: Thursday, October 12, 2023, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Eastern Market Shed #3, 2934 Russell St., Detroit, MI 48207
Free or Low-Cost Testing and Treatment for Breast or Cervical Cancer
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offers the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Navigation Program (BC3NP). BC3NP provides low-income women with access to breast and cervical cancer screenings (mammograms and Pap tests), along with follow up care if needed. While this program does not pay for cancer treatment, select women may be eligible for a special Medicaid program that will.
You can check your eligibility and nearest location here to see if you are eligible for cervical cancer (ages 21 through 64) and breast cancer (ages 40 through 64) screening through BC3NP.
BC3NP also offers free or low-cost diagnostics for women over 75 years of age. Some diagnostic services offered are mammograms, ultrasounds, MRIs, breast biopsy, colposcopy services, colposcopy-directed biopsy services, and medical consultations.
Myles Miller Nominated for the 2023 African American Leadership Award
I would like to congratulate Myles Miller, my Constituent Relations Director, for his nomination for the 2023 African American Leadership Awards. He has been nominated for the Black Leader of the Year. This award represents a leader who exemplifies commitment to social justice and equality and effectively uses their influence to affect social and political change. Myles has embodied these qualities in his everyday work and commitment to serving my constituents and our communities. I am grateful to have such an instrumental member on my team.
Safe and Proper Drug Disposal
Proper drug disposal helps to protect human health and our environment, so it is important to dispose of unwanted drugs in a safe and proper manner. It is crucial that drugs are kept secure in your home and do not get flushed down the toilet, so they do not make it into our water sources.
When drugs are no longer needed, they should be taken to a collection site for incineration, which destroys the chemicals within them. To find a household drug take back site, click here.