Action alerts

Tell your representative to support early literacy and adult education

The House Appropriations Committee last week approved its version of the 2016 budget for the Department of Education and K-12 education, leaving out much of the governor’s forward-thinking third grade reading initiative, and completely eliminating funding for adult education.

At a time when there is so much emphasis on children being able to read by third grade and having a skilled workforce, these are very shortsighted decisions.

The Senate Appropriations Committee adopted most of the governor’s proposed third grade reading investments and increased funding for adult education—after years of deep cuts. The next step for both budgets is consideration by the full House and Senate, and ultimately the resolution of differences between the bills in a joint House/Senate conference committee.

Contact your representative and urge them to fund these critical programs.

Read more about these programs and why they are needed in the April 24 Budget Basics.


Don’t take from our kids to fix the roads!

The House plan that passed in lame duck session will divert needed dollars from schools and communities rather than find the funding to pay for roads. The Senate plan for a wholesale gas tax is a far better option.

Now that the road funding bills are assigned to a conference committee, where a small group of legislators will work to find a compromise, it is urgent for you to call you state senator and representative.

You can find the estimated impact on your local district here and then call your senator and representative to tell them not to take from kids to fix the roads.

It’s especially urgent if you are a constituent of the conference committee members:

Sen. Arlan Meekhof , R – West Olive, 517.373.6920,
Sen. Mike Kowall, R – White Lake, 517.373.1758,
Sen. Jim Ananich, D – Flint, 517.373.0142, SenJAnanich@senate.michigan.vog
Rep. Jim Stamas, R – Midland, 517.373.1791,
Rep. Rob VerHeulen, R – Walker, 517.373.8900,
Rep. Marilyn Lane, D – Fraser, 517.373.0159,

Bills in conference:
HB 5477: Replaces the flat gas tax with an increased tax based on the
wholesale price of gas.
HB 4539: Eliminates the sales tax on gas.
HB 4630: Increases various vehicle registration and license renewal fees.

The petition has closed and names have been sent to legislative leaders. Thanks to all who signed!

Updated Dec. 12, 2014


Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Many workers in the United States and in Michigan have been unemployed for more than six months and have exhausted their regular Unemployment Insurance benefits. Such workers need long-term unemployment benefits, called Emergency Unemployment Compensation, to continue to meet their families’ needs.

Despite that, Congress did not renew Emergency Unemployment Compensation before it expired on Dec. 28. Between Christmas and New Year’s, 1.3 million people nationwide lost benefits, which average less than $270 per week. Each week nothing is done, an additional 72,000 more of the long-term jobless lose Unemployment Insurance.

In Michigan, 113,500 workers lost their benefits by the end of June.

Michigan’s unemployment remains very high. At 7.5% in May, it was the sixth-highest in the country. Unemployed workers need this safety net as they continue to look for work.

Please tell your U.S. Representatives that you want them to renew unemployment insurance and not leave millions of families out in the cold.  To send a message, click here.

Updated June 18, 2014