Residents urged to visit http://www.MITaxEquality.com to see what plan means for them
LANSING — State Reps. Robert Wittenberg (D-Oak Park), Tom Cochran (D-Mason) and Jim Ellison (D-Royal Oak) and state Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) introduced legislation today to create tax equality by cutting taxes for 94 percent of Michigan families, those making $200,000 a year or less.
The Democrats’ plan comes after the House Republicans’ failed attempt to eliminate or reduce the state income tax in the wee hours of the morning on Feb. 23.
“We can provide tax relief to families who need it without bankrupting the state,” said Wittenberg. “Our plan will make a real difference for working families and help fix our crumbling roads and invest in our children’s future.” Continue reading
“Making Michigan’s government more open and transparent has been a cornerstone of my work in the Legislature. Our state moved closer to that goal today when the House unanimously passed a package of bills that I sponsored and co-sponsored that would expand our state’s Freedom of Information Act and create the Legislative Open Records Act. These bills will shine light onto the workings of Michigan’s Legislature and the governor’s office, and make it easier for the people of our state to hold their government accountable. I encourage all Michigan residents watching our actions in the Michigan House today to make this their priority too. With citizen advocacy, this will become law this session.”
House, Senate Dems mark Sunshine Week with proposal to bring Michigan from dead last to a national leader in transparency
LANSING –– House and Senate Democrats announced their plan during Sunshine Week that will make Michigan a national model for transparency and accountability. Under the Democratic package, state elected officials will be required to disclose their personal finances. And presidential candidates must release their most recent tax returns in order to appear on the Michigan ballot.
“The people of Michigan deserve elected officials who will represent them — not take votes to personally benefit themselves or powerful special interests that run the show in Lansing. The Democratic plan will crack down on these conflicts of interests by requiring that people running for office disclose their personal finances and those running for president release their tax returns. This plan will finally make government more accountable to the people it is supposed to serve,” said House Democratic Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing). Continue reading
Plan to revitalize EITC would bolster income of Michigan families
LANSING — State Reps. Tom Cochran (D-Mason) and Kristy Pagan (D-Canton) introduced legislation today to financially strengthen working families in Michigan by revitalizing the Earned Income Tax Credit. The EITC is a refundable tax credit available to low- and middle-income individuals to offset taxes that are paid on wages. Cochran’s bill would restore the state ETIC to 20 percent of the federal level, and Pagan’s bill would raise it to 25 percent. State Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) joins Cochran and Pagan in calling for tax credits for hardworking Michigan residents who struggle to make ends meet and is the lead co-sponsor of both bills.
“Michigan families work tirelessly for their paychecks, and they need relief when tax season comes,” Cochran said. “The Earned Income Tax Credit lets families keep more of their hard-earned dollars, so that they can buy things like clothes, groceries and appliances from local shops. Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit is good for working people and good for Michigan’s economy.” Continue reading
Legislation declares Mich. students have fundamental right to literacy
LANSING — State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) introduced an amendment to the Michigan Constitution on Thursday morning that would ensure students’ fundamental right to read in the state of Michigan. Camilleri made the announcement at a press conference kicking off March is Reading Month.
“The ability to read is a critical skill that forms the foundation of nearly every aspect of our lives,” Camilleri, a former high school social studies teacher, said during the press conference announcing House Joint Resolution H. “Literacy is fundamental in pursuing an education, finding a job, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and engaging in civic dialogue. This amendment puts into law what families and teachers already believe students deserve: the right to read.” Continue reading
Lawmaker responds to delay of report on fight against Asian carp
LANSING — State Rep. Terry J. Sabo (D-Muskegon) introduced a substitute today to House Resolution 21 to include the U.S. president in the list of those called upon to act immediately to prevent the spread of invasive species in the Great Lakes region. The House adopted the substituted resolution.
“Michigan reaps billions in benefits annually from economic tourism, and much of that hinges on our ability to provide hunters and fishermen and women access to our natural resources,” said Rep. Sabo. “When an invasive species like the Asian carp moves in, those resources are destroyed. It is not simply our environment, but the livelihood of thousands of Michiganders, that is threatened if we do not take action.” Continue reading
Legislation will protect families, public, help working women
LANSING — Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) and state Reps. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit), and Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) announced at a press conference today that they are introducing legislation in the House and Senate that would allow workers to take earned paid time off to recover from an illness or care for a sick family member. The legislators were joined at the press conference by Detroit resident Christina Hayes who spoke of her experience. The bills, sponsored by Sen. Ananich and Rep. Chang, would require employers to allow workers to accrue one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours they work.
“For the many Michigan residents who cannot afford to lose a day’s wages, earned sick leave provides the opportunity to get better without jeopardizing their jobs.” Sen. Ananich said. “We know that happy and healthy employees are more productive in the workplace — when workers can stay home to get better, everyone wins.” Continue reading
Legislator responds to president’s executive order
LANSING — State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) has introduced a resolution asking Congress and the Michigan Legislature to adopt compassionate, responsible immigration practices instead of those that lead to discrimination and exclusion. The resolution is in response recent executive orders that infringe on the constitutional rights of Michigan residents, and threaten local governments that don’t comply with federal immigration authorities.
“Policies like these go against the principles of inclusion and diversity that America claims to stand for,” said Hammoud, whose parents emigrated from Lebanon separately and met in the U.S. “Dearborn, in particular, thrives on its cultural vibrancy and diversity in very large part due to its immigration population.”
Legislator believes seniors deserve economic security, not poverty
LANSING — State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) introduced legislation today that would repeal the tax on seniors’ retirement that went into effect in 2012. House Bill 4132 will help seniors living on a fixed income afford a secure retirement, instead of having to choose between buying groceries and paying for medication. The bill was sent to the House Tax Policy Committee.
“Michiganders who played by the rules and planned for their retirement had the rug pulled out from under them in 2012,” Camilleri said. “We shouldn’t balance the budget on the backs of those living on a fixed income who can afford it the least.”