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
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.
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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
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 ) .....
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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