As a State Representative, mother, and former small business owner I am like many of you. I want all of our children to attend safe schools, and I want an economic climate that provides better job opportunities and a better income for our families. I have raised two sons, one serving in our military, the other starting a family of his own in Michigan.
Along with my husband, Jeff, I started a business, growing it to over 20 co-workers while experiencing the ups and downs of small business ownership. I have met tens of thousands of residents in our district while serving as your State Representative.
Jobs, roads, schools, taxes, safety; I listen and am your voice for these issues in our state government. I work hard to understand the issues, listen to the various perspectives and diligently work to come to the best solution possible for many issues facing our community today.
It has been an honor to serve as your State Representative over the past few years, and I am eager to continue working toward a better Michigan.
Before I talk about COVID-19 and the impact it has had on our state, I want to thank the individuals who are out there helping people. Healthcare workers, first responders, national guard, those of you working in grocery stores or restaurants and anyone else out there providing services during the pandemic.
The main function of my office at this time is, and will remain, to assist you and your families during this difficult time. If you are having issues with unemployment, your small business, or if you have general questions about how the state is handling the crisis, please do not hesitate to contact me. There are numerous resources available to you in response to COVID-19.
As of this writing the legislature just approved an extension of the Governor’s emergency powers until the end of April. Between now and then we will use any new information to make the best decision to move Michigan forward. Our main priority is your health and safety, but that can’t be our only priority. I've been having inspiring conversations with so many of you that are eager to get back to work and pull Michigan out from under this virus. If you can work without the risk of spreading the virus, you should have the choice to continue working.
This is a crisis that demands the best of our leaders. It’s not a time for politics or partisan games. It’s a time for facts and responsible action. Stay safe.
During my time in the State of Michigan House of Representatives I have not missed a day on the State House Floor. I am committed to being accountable and making a stand for my constituents!
FUNDING OUR SCHOOLS AND REPAIRING OUR ROADS
The two most important responsibilities of state government are education and infrastructure. I am proud to say that we have added hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to each of these budget items every year I’ve served in the house.
Utica Community Schools has received a foundation allowance increase of over $15 million more per year since 2016. We need to continue increasing that number to make up for losses during the Great Recession, and to address the lack of adequate special education funding. I’ve also worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to increase funding for CTE students. Skilled trades have been overlooked in a push to get every child enrolled in a 4-year university and that one-size-fits-all approach has contributed to the skills gap we’re facing today.
Transportation funding has been increased by $1 billion in the last few years, but it remains a challenge. The house is currently working on a package of bills that would include an additional $800 million more per year to fix our local roads. The plan will not raise taxes and it does not reduce school funding.
PUTTING AN END TO THE PENSION TAX
Michigan’s pension tax has now been in place for 8 years. During that span retirees living on a fixed income have been forced to make difficult decisions. They’ve needed to choose between buying their medication or putting food on their table, which home repairs to put off, and how to afford the basic necessities. Our retirees have gritted through this for 8 long years and we need to take immediate action to provide them relief.
During my first term in the legislature I sponsored a bill that would end the pension tax. When a similar bill came before the House Tax Policy Committee in early 2019, I proudly supported it. Governor Whitmer campaigned on repealing the pension tax and putting thousands of dollars back in the pockets of our Michigan seniors. Sadly, she has not taken any reasonable action to follow through on that promise.
If I am elected to a final term in the Michigan House of Representatives, I will continue working to put an end to the pension tax.
MAKING CAR INSURANCE MORE AFFORDABLE
In 2019, the legislature passed long overdue reforms to Michigan’s car insurance system. Starting in July of 2020 you will now have options for the level of insurance you want to purchase. This will allow you to select a level of coverage that best fits you or your family. The reforms reign in the rampant fraud that clogged up the system and slowed down claims. They also eliminate pricing for non-driving factors.
This plan provides options to save you money. Especially for senior citizens who could save hundreds of dollars per year.
FOSTERING SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH
As a former small business owner, I know how difficult it is to get your business up and running while complying with state taxes and regulations. I have introduced legislation that would lower personal property taxes for small businesses and create a one-stop-shop website where you can get all your questions answered without the need to call multiple departments.
Small businesses are the driving force behind our economy, and I look forward to working on new solutions to drive this industry forward.
PROTECTING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
You have a right to know when your personal information has been stolen. That’s why I introduced a bill that would require businesses to notify you sooner in the event of a data breach.
The expansion of online shopping and credit card use at stores throughout our state has made more of our private information vulnerable to cyber-criminals. Businesses go to great lengths to keep that information safe, but many people don’t know their information has been stolen until months after the fact. You should be informed immediately so you can take the proper steps to safeguard your information.
ENSURING WE HAVE CLEAN WATER
Preserving the natural beauty and fresh water of Michigan is a bipartisan issue. During the last budget negotiation, we worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put forward a plan with $120 million in funding for water and environmental cleanup. I will also be supporting the $20 million proposal in this year’s budget for rapid response cleanup to address issues like the green ooze on I-696.
I introduced legislation earlier this year that creates a process to allow Macomb County to opt-out of future RTA public transportation millages. This plan is aimed at protecting taxpayers from having to pay for services that they will never use or have access to. Macomb County overwhelmingly opposed the 2016 tax increase for public transportation, and my goal is to allow the county to opt-out before we face another millage increase that could succeed on the ballot.