Priorities

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COVID-19 recovery

Structuring a safe economic recovery from COVID-19 will require experienced leadership. I will continue to work closely with the Governor and health experts to ensure that we can begin to reopen safely. Key to this is to ensure the widespread availability of testing and contact tracing. Workers, families and small businesses have also weathered economic setbacks and I am already working with fellow legislators to ensure that they can return to financial stability and security as quickly as possible. Learn more about resources available to you right now.

Here are examples of legislation I have already sponsored/co-sponsored relating to COVID-19:

  • Increase sentencing terms and fines for workplace safety violations, especially if they occur during a declaration of emergency.
  • Require employers to provide a county-wide list of COVID-19 testing sites.
  • Prohibit employer retaliation if employees criticize their response to COVID-19.
  • Raise the minimum wage for essential employees to $15.00 per hour.

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Education

A good K-12 education is key to developing the core skills our kids need to become productive members of society. As a former public school teacher, public education is one of my top priorities. To help our kids succeed in the 21st century economy, every student should have a caring, qualified and committed teacher. We also need to prioritize education funding that allows educators more time to connect one-on-one with students to encourage critical thinking and creativity. 

During my first term in office, I sponsored/co-sponsored bills to:

  • Repeal the third-grade reading retention law.
  • Create a school supplies tax holiday one weekend a year.
  • Modify teacher performance evaluations.
  • Provide increased funding for K-12 public education.

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Healthcare

Michiganders should never have to choose between putting food on the table or going to the doctor when they are sick. We need to protect and expand the ability to receive affordable health care services.  This begins with making sure that those currently eligible for insurance are not turned away because of pre-existing conditions, and ensuring that coverage plans feature affordable premiums and copays. 

During my first term in office, I sponsored/co-sponsored bills to:

  • Prohibit denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  • Protect healthcare access for our most vulnerable Michiganders.
  • Increase protections for home health care workers.
  • Create the Disabled Veterans property tax exemption.
  • Limit co-pays on insulin.
  • Prohibit employer retaliation during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

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Infrastructure

Michigan families need good roads and bridges to take our kids to school and get to work safely without blowing a tire or busting an axle. We also need to ensure that our drinking water supplies are protected, and that waste treatment facilities stay up to date. Rebuilding our infrastructure will jumpstart our economy and create thousands of good paying jobs for working people right here in Michigan. I believe it will take a bi-partisan effort to develop solid and affordable plans, and my experience working across party lines will help us achieve this goal.​

During my first term in office, I sponsored/co-sponsored bills to:

  • Modify the Michigan state transportation fund formula to ensure a more balanced spread of moneys spent to maintain and repair roads.
  • Support expansion of broadband into more parts of the state.
  • Increase the number of electric charging stations across the state.

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Environment

Michiganders share a special responsibility to protect the Great Lakes, because our economy and our families’ health rely on clean water. We need the right balance between good jobs and a healthy environment, with strong protections for clean air and water.​ Polluters have used their money and influence in Lansing to manipulate the rules in their favor by weakening protections for the Great Lakes. We need to restore those protections and require polluters to pay for the disasters they create.  

During my first term in office, I sponsored/co-sponsored bills to:

  • Require corporations – not individual taxpayers – to pay if they pollute.
  • Increase penalties for oil spills in the Great Lakes.
  • Increase fines for corporations that pollute our air.

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Affordable college and job training

Every student should have the freedom to pursue their dreams and get the skills they need to compete for good paying jobs right here in Michigan. To build a highly skilled workforce and help our young people move quickly into high quality jobs, we must work together to increase support for our skilled trades training and apprenticeship programs. We also need to make college and university tuition more affordable for students, while offering relief to families that are struggling to pay off their student debt.

During my first term in office, I sponsored/co-sponsored bills to:

  • Provide a tax credit for those working and providing Apprenticeships.
  • Provide increased funding for job training and community college investment.
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Strong families and good jobs

In Michigan, families should always come first. That means protecting our freedom to negotiate together for the things our families need, like good jobs, strong paychecks, paid family leave, and great public schools for all of our kids. We must do everything we can to protect the things our families need, like Social Security and Medicare, paid family leave, affordable child care, and great public schools for our kids.

During my first term in office, I sponsored/co-sponsored bills to:

  • Help keep children in safe houses by streamlining approval of kinship caregivers.
  • Create claw-backs on employers who ship their jobs overseas.
  • Reinstate the Earned Income Tax Credit for low income workers.
  • Remove non-compete clauses for hourly jobs.

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