PEG 6th Congressional District Newsletter 313
Great News! Red Flag Legislation Approved by Michigan Senate
(4/19/2023) four important anti-gun violence bills passed the Michigan Senate and will now be sent to Gov Whitmer for her signature. Send a thank you note to the sponsors of the bills below:
- Senate Bill 83, sponsored by state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak), would enact the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act — otherwise known as a “red flag” law.
- House Bill 4146, sponsored by state Rep. Kelly Breen (D-Novi – firstname.lastname@example.org), would prohibit someone from purchasing new firearms while under an extreme risk protection order.
- House Bill 4147, sponsored by state Rep. Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Twp- JulieBrixie@house.mi.gov.), would provide for service of process for extreme risk protection order actions and waive court fees.
- House Bill 4148, sponsored by state Rep. Stephanie Young (D-Detroit – email@example.com), would enact sentencing guidelines for making a false statement in support of an extreme risk protection order.
- These are “Red Flag Laws,” otherwise known as Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) laws. They can be used to temporarily prohibit people from accessing firearms if they present a danger to themselves or others. This is done upon request of a court order from family members, law enforcement and other individuals. Courts must issue an order if it “determines by the preponderance of the evidence” that an individual “can reasonably be expected within the near future to intentionally or unintentionally seriously physically injure” themselves by continuing to possess a firearm “and has engaged in an act or acts or made significant threats that are substantially supportive of the expectation.” (- FREEP)
According to Lonnie Scott, executive director of the Lansing-based Progress Michigan, “many instances of interpersonal violence, and many suicides, are preceded by warning signs, but the loved ones and community members who observed those signs have been powerless to change that. Extreme risk protection orders will change that, and in other states, this process has been proven to save lives and reduce gun violence.” (- Michigan Advance)
Governor Whitmer is of course expected to sign these bills into law, and Attorney General Dana Nessel also vowed to “vigorously enforce” the laws and defend them in court if they are challenged.
Early Voting is Coming to Michigan!
Resident input requested
With statewide voter approval of Prop 2 in November 2022, Michigan will be introducing nine days of early voting as a new option for voters to cast ballots in statewide federal elections. The City of Ann Arbor is making plans to implement this early voting option for the 2024 election cycle. The A2 City Clerk, Jackie Beaudry, is now asking city residents to take a six-question anonymous survey to help inform the city how local voters prefer to cast ballots (e.g., absentee, in person, early voting). Please take the short survey (6-questions) on A2 Open City Hall to help better inform the clerk’s office you prefer to cast ballots. For more information on elections and voting in Ann Arbor, visit www.a2gov.org/elections.The survey is open until May 22.
Thank you Michigan Democrats for the 2023 Income Tax Reduction
Michigan’s low unemployment, strong business growth, and an overall strong economy has enabled Treasurer Rachael Eubanks to decrease state income tax from 4.25% to 4.05% for 2023. This is the lowest rate in 15 years and will equate to a savings of approximately $50 for the average Michigan taxpayer.
Governor Whitmer has decreased the $14 billion debt and increased “the rainy-day fund” to nearly $2 billion without raising taxes. She signed legislation cutting taxes for small business owners, permanently rolling back the retirement tax on seniors, permanently quintupling the Working Families Tax Credit, and established bipartisan economic development tools to help the state receive over $16 billion of projects creating 16,000 domestic manufacturing jobs.
MCL 206.51 has been amended so that the Michigan income tax rate may be lowered each tax year if certain economic conditions are met in the last fiscal year (October 1st – September 31st).
Monday, April 24. Learning about Black Maternal Health
Join Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan and the League of Women Voters Washtenaw for an educational webinar about Black maternal health. Joining us to present on the topic is Shanayl Bennett from Mothering Justice. Shanayl is a Detroit-based doula and Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice Organizer. Black Maternal Health Week is recognized each year in the US from April 11-17. Click here to register for this Zoom webinar! 6-7 pm
Tuesday, April 25. Civic Duty Education Night Series, Part III
Powered by Survivors Speak and Funded by Black Voters Matter, this family-friendly series is designed to empower, educate, and have fun while learning about our civic duty and power for ALL residents of Washtenaw County. Covid-19 Vaccines available for all persons six months and older, from 5–6:30 pm. Priority seating for residents of 48197 and 48198 zip codes. Parkridge Community Center, 591 Armstrong, Ypsilanti, 48197. RSVP Here. 5–8 pm
Tuesday, April 25. School Funding Advocacy Day in Lansing
Join the Michigan Education Justice Coalition to get commitments from legislators for more funding. RSVP here. Central United Methodist Church, 215 N. Capitol Ave, Lansing, 48933. 9 am – 4 pm
Tuesday, April 25. Legislation Action Teams Part I (VIRTUAL)
The Story of Self, Us, and Now is the first training for LAT members, which will help prepare you to talk to legislators. Please register to attend! Even if you have experience working with legislators, this will be a great refresher, and it will be a great introduction to the Legislative Action Teams in your area. Click here to register. 6–7 pm
Thursday, April 27. Campaign Finance Reform Lobby Day
PEG is a proud partner to this initiative put together by Reclaim Our American American Democracy (ROAD). A total of $16 Billion was spent in the 2020 presidential election cycle, up from $5.4 Billion spent in the previous 2016 presidential election! Constituents from all across the state will lobby their state legislators to make campaign finance reform a key priority this year. We will urge legislators to prioritize passing legislation to get secret money out of politics, end money laundering in our elections, and ensure that legislators are able to place reasonable limits on campaign spending. Join us in person to Lansing to lobby their legislators together on this day. For further information contact ROAD via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, May 7. A2 Climate Teach-In
Protectors of Equality in Government are proud to be Media Sponsors for this event!!
Things to do, read, watch, and listen to
Bad News for MAGA
Fox News settled a $787.5 million defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems, marking a significant development in the fight against right-wing propaganda. Though a trial would have been beneficial in exposing the network’s misinformation, the settlement still signals consequences for Fox News and other MAGA media outlets. The Dominion suit is just the start of the network’s legal troubles, with Fox facing a $2.7 billion lawsuit from Smartmatic and shareholder lawsuits related to its election lies. These lawsuits, combined with the decline of cable subscriptions, put substantial pressure on the network.
The settlement is bad news for Trump, who relied on Fox News to spread his lies to his base. Although the network will continue to propagandize and sow racial division, it may be less likely to promote Trump’s unfounded claims in the future. The settlement also highlights the high cost of lying, as other defamation cases involving Fox and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones demonstrate. The financial consequences of spreading harmful lies may force MAGA media outlets to reconsider their strategies. The Dominion settlement marks the beginning of the battle against the big lie, with potential implications for Fox News, Trump, and right-wing media. – Dan Pfeiffer
Good, but not great, youth voter turnout in Michigan
According to a report by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, Michigan had the highest youth voter turnout rate in the country during the 2022 election. 37% of voters aged 18-29 turned out to vote in Michigan, which was higher than any other state analyzed and far higher than the national average youth turnout rate of 23%. Michigan was also one of only four states where youth turnout was higher in 2022 than in 2018.
A special thanks to our newsletter contributors: Lisa Kamil, Richard Gaeth, Bette Cotzin, Bernie Banet, Linda Bennett, Kayla Conrad, Ellen Halter, Leslie McGraw, Leslie Kamil, and Chuck Newman for their contributions and help preparing our newsletters.
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