Educating our Children:
As a former school employee, active PTA member and proud parent of three daughters, I’ve seen the struggles educators and students face as districts try to do more with less. In the past three years, the Legislature has taken $3 billion out of school funding, resulting in school closings, the layoffs of thousands of teachers and a lack of classroom basics such as textbooks. None of these things are good for our kids. Our children need the best education we can give them, so that they can dream big and pursue the best jobs of the future. Money won’t solve every problem facing our schools, but I will always put our kids first and fight to restore the funding that was taken away from them.
Creating New Jobs:
Grand Rapidians have a reputation for being some of the hardest working people around, but no matter how hard they work, our families are still struggling. Not enough good-paying jobs have come back to Michigan after the recession, and many people are still looking for a job that will help them support their families. As your legislator, I will work with small businesses and fight for policies that will help them grow and create jobs. Our small businesses are the engine that drive job creation in our local community, and they deserve as much support large corporations have received. I will also fight make our state a leader in new technologies that will create the jobs of the future, so that our kids can start a good career here in Michigan.
Tax Relief for Our Families
Three years ago, the Legislature made drastic changes to our tax code. They reduced the Homestead Property Tax Credit, disqualifying 400,000 families who previously claimed it. They made steep cuts to the Earned Income Tax Credit that many working families depended on. They got rid of the $600 per-child tax deduction and punished seniors with a new tax on retirement income. These changes were made to fund a nearly $2 billion for large corporations with the promise that it would create jobs. Those jobs haven’t come, but you’re still paying the price. I know that you work hard for your money, and you deserve to keep it. I introduced a proposal to bring back the child deduction, and I have co-sponsored bills to restore the Homestead Property Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit and to get rid of the retirement tax.
Protecting Our Veterans
Our veterans put their lives on the line for us, and we made a solemn promise to care for them in return. Unfortunately, while Michigan is home to 700,000 veterans, our state ranks behind all other states, Puerto Rico, Guam and Washington, D.C., in terms of per-capita spending on vets. Grand Rapids is fortunate to be the location of one of two of Michigan’s veteran’s homes. However, because of funding cuts, many of the veterans’ direct care takers were laid off and replaced with contract workers who are paid as little as possible. After that change, I started hearing from veterans who said the quality of their care had decreased. I made several visits to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, and I am fighting to make sure our brave men and women who served our country get the quality care they deserve.
Helping Women Access Health Care
The ability of women to access health care is essential to the economic security of families. When women can address their health care needs, they can keep good-paying jobs and help their kids succeed. Unfortunately, some Lansing legislators have pushed for laws that restrict women’s ability to get the quality care they deserve. I’ve fought for women’s ability to get proper health care for themselves and their families, and I’m proud to have introduced House Bill 4260, which would require doctors to notify women if their mammograms detected breast dense tissue – a condition that both makes cancerous tumors more likely to develop, while also making it harder to detect on a mammogram. Women need complete information to make the best health care decisions possible, and I’m working hard to make sure they get it.