Help Reform Michigan’s Broken Cash Bail System Now
For the fourth time in the last 5 years, a set of bills that would make cash bail more fair has been submitted to the House Judiciary Committee. These bills deal with modifications and guidelines to help address some of the root issues triggering unnecessary jail stays, allowances to police officers for more discretion to issue appearance tickets instead of making an arrest, create incentives and more lenient sanctions for people on parole, and reduce arrests to enforce the payment of debts and fees.
For More Information, Sample Scripts, and Action Calls: https://tinyurl.com/Reform-MI-Cash-Bail
11/1/2021 - Catastrophic Accident Victims & Their Care Takers Need Your Help
As a result of the 2019 Auto Insurance Reform bill, accident survivors with debilitating injuries are suddenly ending up in hospitals and nursing homes long term. Some are dying. New bills introduced in the state house will help ensure that auto accident survivors are able to recover with appropriate care and in-home options. HB 5498-HB 5500 and HB 4809 and HB 5307 are in committee and need support as soon as possible. Lives are at stake.
For more information and calling action: https://tinyurl.com/help-accident-victims
Last Chance for Fair Maps!
Date: Monday, October 18th
What do we say? Join the Legislative Action Committee and learn what we need to tell the committee: FAIR MAPS mean Fair Representation
Hosted by: Legislative Action Committee of INDHV
The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) is drawing Michigan's political district lines this fall. As part of their efforts, the Commission is holding the last of public hearings starting the week of October 18th. Gathering input on their draft maps, it is our last chance to provide them with a message: Political fairness will result in Representative Fairness. We, who support Fair Maps, need to attend and speak out to make our voices heard!
Learn More, Helpful Links and Script: https://tinyurl.com/fair-maps-for-michigan
Critical Race Theory Culture War Hits Home
A multi-faceted campaign in the American “culture war” is hitting home in Michigan, courtesy the national, state, and local GOP. The GOP is now using Critical Race Theory (CRT) to divide and manipulate all of us. Currently, there are bills in 28 state legislatures prohibiting the “teaching” of CRT in public K-12 schools using templates supplied by conservative think tanks and “bill mills” like ALEC, Heritage Foundation, Citizens for Renewing America, etc.
And now in Michigan Senate Bill 460 requires the state to “withhold 5% of the total funds due to the school district or public school academy” for violations of the bill. Among the violations cited would be the teaching of materials from the 1619 project or the teaching of CRT materials. HB 5097 has much of the same language contained in the initial sections of SB 46, but is much more vague, overall, in tone. The House Education Committee took up HB 5097 on 9/21/21, but did not vote on it that day.
Learn More and Call These Michigan Representatives:
Tell Michigan State Republican Senators: Vote NO On SB600-SB603
Last Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Senate Education Committee advanced a series of bills that would bar local school districts from requiring masks and other measures to keep students and educators safe, denying schools the basic tools that are needed in order to keep their children in attendance and healthy. Under the new education budget rules, if 75% of students in a district aren't in attendance for 180 days, the schools could lose their state funding. And that’s what makes SB600-SB603 especially grievous.
Learn More and Take Action: https://tinyurl.com/keep-schools-open-kids-healthy
Pass The Word: “Secure MI Vote” Petition Makes Fraudulent Claims: Do Not Sign!
As of today, the language for the “Secure MI Vote” petition is under review by the State Board of Canvassers. Once approved, this group will hit the streets gathering signatures for an initiative based on fraudulent claims that the proposed laws will improve voter access and election security.
Read More and Take Action Here: https://tinyurl.com/2uh5wru9
We Cannot Allow the GOP to Game the Redistricting Process
GOP operatives are working their hardest to counter the will of the voters by flooding the Independent Redistricting Commission meetings with claims that the current heavily gerrymandered maps are just great! And the commissioners are listening. We need to show up at these meetings in huge numbers to counter this attempt to high-jack the process.
Read More and Take Action: https://tinyurl.com/5hxnr4t4
2021-08-08 Support Investigation Of Michigans’ Connections to the January 6th Insurrection
We all watched on January 6th as mobs of angry Trump supporters attempted to violently overthrow the US Government, creating mayhem and chaos in our nation’s Capitol, resulting in the deaths of 5 people, injury to 140 police officers, the subsequent arrest of over 500 people and millions of dollars of damage to the US Capitol building, destroying our tradition of the peaceful transfer of power. Less than a year before, in April 2020, we saw a similar mob of armed demonstrators storm Michigan’s state Capitol.
Senator Jim Ananich, Senate Minority Leader and Representative Donna Lasinski, House Minority Leader, have created a resolution calling for a bipartisan committee to investigate and uncover the full extent of Michigan-based contributions to the January 6th insurrection.
Read More and Take Action Here: https://tinyurl.com/4n5v8hkw
Do you know about ALEC?
ALEC is a 48-year-old nonprofit (501[C] ) organization, the self-described largest “membership association of state legislators,” claiming nearly one-third (or around 2000) of all state legislators as members.
Did you know that much of the anti-environmental, anti-gun control, anti-public education and pro-voter suppression legislation introduced by GOP legislators in Michigan was not actually written by those legislators? It has often been given to them in a cut-and-paste “model bill” format by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)!
Read More: https://tinyurl.com/SayNoToALEC
Unlock Michigan 2.0 - Not content with repealing the 1945 law, the GOP and their friends in Unlock Michigan and StandUp Michigan now want to strip powers from the MDHHS.
A new petition, created by a well-funded, far-right wing, Senate Majority Leader Shirkey- and GOP-affiliated group, seeks to curb the emergency powers of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Read More and Take Action Here:
More on Voter Bills: SB296 and 297: The “Sore Loser” Bills you Don’t Know About that Could Block Elections
Two bills that few have heard of could actually be the most dangerous of all to our democracy. Dubbed the “sore loser’ bills by those who understand their true intent, SB296 and SB297 would restructure county boards of canvassers - increasing their size and requiring more partisan votes to certify the election results.
Read More Here: https://tinyurl.com/4zfh47dm
As Deadline Approaches, Thousands at Risk of Losing Critical Care
Bill HB4486 to protect care for auto accident victims with permanent disabilities has not yet passed the Michigan legislature and the deadline is only 2 ½ weeks away.
We called on this issue last month and we’ve been told that your efforts and those of others have had a positive impact, with some republican legislators now understanding the need to pass legislation that would help assure that care facilities for these accident victims will be able to stay open to care for these vulnerable Michigan citizens. Thank you so much for your previous calls to legislators. But, so far, there are still not enough republican legislators in favor of this for it to pass. Therefore, we are asking you to help get this legislation passed immediately.
Learn More and Take Action Here: https://tinyurl.com/3h7rs8cp
2021-06-06 Michigan Republicans are trying to make it harder to vote
Michigan Republicans have a mission to make it harder to vote because they didn’t like the results of the 2020 election. Similar to what we’re seeing in Georgia and other states, these bills look vaguely innocuous at first glance. But, put together, they represent “death by a thousand cuts” to voters.
Learn More and Take Action here: https://tinyurl.com/35jhj5ds
New Auto Insurance Law Will Deny Essential Care: Support HB 4486
For thousands of auto accident victims and their families, Michigan’s no-fault insurance system was a saving grace, providing essential lifetime care and access to needed therapies and treatments. Sadly, Michigan’s new auto insurance “reform” package, passed in 2019, is about to dismantle this system, leaving limited access to care for accident survivors and others.
Learn More and Take Action here: https://tinyurl.com/ct48pvks
SB273 Thousands of Drop Boxes Across Michigan Are At Risk For Being Removed
Senate Bill 273 adds a requirement to Michigan Election Law that requires all ballot boxes to be approved by the Board of Canvassers in a county. The County Board of Canvassers is composed of 2 representatives from each of our 2 major political parties, so the makeup of a board is 50% Democrat, 50% Republican. This means that, if members of the Board of Canvassers in a county decide to represent themselves on party lines, absentee ballot boxes will be removed because a majority vote from the board of canvassers will not be possible. This bill specifically targets all ballot boxes pre and post January 2021. It specifically calls for the removal of ballot boxes that are not approved.
Learn More & Take Action: https://tinyurl.com/2t85929n
House Budget Omits Direct Care Workers
Direct care workers provide Medicaid-funded in-home, behavioral health and long-term care services to Michigan’s most vulnerable residents. There was already a pay increase in the current budget, that was to expire in February 2021, but was extended through September. Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Senate are in rare agreement that it needs to continue. The present extension is for a $2.25 hourly increase. The Senate proposal for the new budget increases that slightly to $2.35 because these direct care workers continue to need more financial support to be able to still provide care to those who need it. However, the Michigan House budget proposal does not provide ANY increase, not even the $2.25 that is in this year's budget. The Direct Care Workers’ pay would actually decrease by $2.25 per hour if the House does not include a budget proposal to continue the increase.
Learn More and Take Action: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nP5NbTDEhxi2hNGZ_rxWouPZ7TqejeKklYZAP6AFKjg/edit?usp=sharing
SB285 Puts Voters At Risk For Identity Theft
Mailing a photocopy of your ID in this age of stolen identities is reckless at best. In 2017, nearly 16.7 million people had their identities stolen by thieves who unlawfully accessed personal information. Asking voters to send in a photocopy of their state ID is asking voters to risk being a victim of one of the worst crimes of our age.
Learn More and Take Action: https://tinyurl.com/2h3yv848
Reject SB303 which removes the Secure Affidavit option
Our right to cast our votes freely, securely and equally in Michigan is under threat by new laws recently introduced in the state legislature.
Michigan’s current voter identification system is a model for other states that balances security with accessibility and it has worked without incident for decades. Voters without certain government-issued IDs are able to sign an affidavit to prove who they are.
But SB303 would remove the secure affidavit option used by thousands of voters in every election.
Learn More and Take Action:
Michigan Voter Suppression Bills - Spotlight Voter ID
SB285 and SB303 involve new hoops for voters to jump through to prove their identity and increase the possibility of ballots becoming “provisional”. “Provisional” ballots are not counted on election day unless verified at a later date.
Read More and Take Action Here: https://tinyurl.com/nexwnmjk
Reject Voter Suppression Bills in Michigan Senate
On Wednesday, March 24th, the Michigan GOP introduced a package of 39 bills that make it harder to cast a ballot. It's all part of a national effort to suppress the vote and validate "the big lie" that the 2020 Presidential election was "stolen". A full list of the bills are here: Look for Senate Bills 273-311 but here is a partial list:
Restrict drop boxes and require all absentee ballots to be delivered directly to clerks, and make it more difficult for a voter to have someone deliver their ballot for them. (SB 286 McBroom, R-Vulcan)
Prohibit the Secretary of State from mailing absentee ballot applications or offering pre-paid postage for their return. (SB 310, Johnson ) .....
Read More and Take Action
Let Them Eat Cake!
Michigan GOP Gets COVID Money While Voting To Hold Up Federal Money
According to our research, Republican legislators have borrowed, collectively, $11,085,321 from the Small Business Administration’s “Paycheck Protection Program” under the 2020 CARES Act. These loans have an interest rate of 1% and up to 40% of the loan is forgivable. Research here is by no means complete, but we have found that some of the PPP relief loans and grants were requested by legislators for their own businesses, while some of the funds were borrowed by family members, or by organizations (i.e. churches and parochial schools) to which the legislator belongs.
Read More and Take Action
Support for Solar Power in Michigan – Support House Bill 4236
Michigan is one of few states that enforce the archaic practice of limiting the distributed generation of solar power to less than 1% of the total. Michigan House Bill 4236 will remove this limit and allow Michigan residents to gather more energy through clean solar power.
This bill is in committee and needs to be supported and moved to the House floor.
Read more and take action:
Legislators Play Ping Pong While Children Go Hungry
While it was disappointing that the House allotted only $500 million of the $2 billion available for food assistance, it is astonishing to see that the Senate bill reduced it to ZERO! Any Michigander paying only casual attention to the news would know that food insecurity is off the charts. Before March 2020, about 1.3 million Michigan residents faced food insecurity and now (as of January) it's about 1.9 million — up by 600,000 and most are children, according to Feeding America.
Read more and take action:
Michigan Legislature Action Item: The Face of a Heartless GOP
Here’s where we’re at:
It’s been over a MONTH since Governor Whitmer announced her plan to allocate 5.6 billion of ‘use it or lose it’ Federal COVID relief funds.
Thousands of Michigan families are facing homelessness due to pending evictions. Our children, teachers and school staff still need funding to open back up for in-person instruction. And now the COVID vaccine distribution efforts are ramping up and shipments are on the way. Funds are needed to build critical infrastructure. Any further delay in releasing the funds could mean life or death for Michiganders.
And yet, the Michigan Republicans CONTINUE to play politics with our lives, seemingly unconcerned with addressing the economic and social disparities caused by the pandemic. Not only do they inexplicably want to claim only 3 billion of those funds for our state, they want to allocate the money slowly, in dribs and drabs. Why is that?
Read More and Take Action Here: