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, the 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.
I will continue to speak out against the tragic decision to put COVID-19 diagnosed senior citizens back into a healthy nursing home environment. This is reckless and has put many of our elderly family members at risk to the virus when there are better solutions. Likewise, I receive a constant stream of calls into our office about unemployment claims that are not being processed due to poor management by our Governor’s appointees. My staff and I will continue to help you work through the details to obtain the critical benefits you’re entitled to as we continue to try to work with the Governor’s office in proposing changes to improve the system.
This is a crisis that demands the best of our leaders. A healthy population and a healthy economy cannot be achieved exclusively of one another. If we continue to be mindful of others and make good decisions, we can open Michigan safely. This is not a time for politics or partisan games. It’s a time for facts and responsible action.
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!
FIGHTING AGAINST THE "DEFUND THE POLICE" AGENDA
Public safety is a core purpose of government. Times are difficult, and we are all far from perfect, but during these times of unrest – many on the left are proposing that we defund or cut back on the resources provided to the people we call to protect us.
I will stand against any attempt to defund our police departments. Our law enforcement professionals deserve better than that.
FUNDING OUR SCHOOLS AND REPAIRING OUR ROADS
Two other fundamental responsibilities of state government are education and infrastructure. I am proud to say that we have prioritized 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 over $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.
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.
Recipient of the 2020
Small Business Association of Michigan "Legislator of the Year" Award
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.
Due to COVID-19 there are tremendous pressures on the state budget. While others will look for ways to increase taxes, I will look for ways to move forward without adding to the financial hardships that so many of our families are already facing.
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.