Column by Rep. Annette Glenn, R-Midland
When I was elected to the state House of Representatives two years ago, the people of Bay and Midland counties put their trust in me to represent our legislative district’s needs and interests in Lansing. I’ve taken that role seriously and with great respect, from day one. Every day that I’ve been blessed to serve as your state representative, my top priority has been to represent and serve you and your family and all families in our community.
I’m grateful and all the more blessed to have been reelected for a second term as your representative, during which I pledge to continue to work hard every day to fulfil my duty to you and your family.
When I took on this responsibility, I knew there would be serious challenges and, with your prayers and support, was ready to take them on. When coronavirus swept into our country, state, and community, I worked long days of dozens of zoom and conference calls to do whatever it took to help bring relief to families, employees, and small business owners who were and are still suffering through no fault of their own.
Through it all, 2020 has proven once again that we are a strong and resilient community. There’s nothing we can’t handle when we stand and work together.
We’ve supported each other during the coronavirus pandemic with all its stress and hardships, and then through the additional blow our region suffered when heavy rain resulted in the collapse of the Edenville and Sanford dams in May.
Having been personally involved with cleanup efforts, I knew right away that additional funding would be necessary to help flood-damaged communities, businesses, and homeowners recover. That’s why I immediately took action to make sure assistance would be forthcoming. I introduced legislation to allocate $6 million in already-budgeted state disaster relief funding available and worked hard to win other legislators’ support. In mid-September, the governor signed that funding into law after it received overwhelming bipartisan support in both the state House and Senate.
Along with fighting for funds to help our community recover from the dam failures, my colleagues and I have been hard at work addressing the ongoing COVID-19 crisis as well. Just recently, I voted to help provide funding for the distribution of the voluntary COVID-19 vaccine throughout Michigan and to help boost testing, while also helping those whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the virus and economic shutdowns.
My colleagues and I approved a $465 million overall plan that extends unemployment benefits while supporting the restaurant industry and the small businesses and families who depend on them. This measure, Senate Bill 748, will next head to Gov. Whitmer for her consideration.
Some of the other core accomplishments I’ve helped with over the past two years include:
- The arrival of long-awaited car insurance reforms: All Michigan drivers now have more coverage choices with lower premium costs, thanks to the Republican-led Legislature, plus the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association lowered the fees it assesses on each vehicle. As a result, many drivers are seeing lower rates as they renew their policies.
- Protecting funding for schools and public services: It’s no secret the coronavirus shutdowns created extreme economic difficulties, including for our public schools. That’s why I stood up for our schools and other public services, ensuring they would not suffer financially as a result of the crisis. I introduced legislation, now law, ensuring that our local schools continue to receive the same per-pupil funding for students who enroll for online instruction as they do for students in the classroom. Plus, the K-12 school budget for the fiscal year beginning this past Oct. 1st received tremendous support from House Democrats and Republicans alike.
While it has certainly been a busy two years, I’m honored to be your state representative and look forward to doing much more to make life even better for people who live, work, and raise their families in our community. Working together in the new year, we will recover and rebuild – from dam failures, a worldwide pandemic, and whatever other challenges may come – and we’ll come out stronger than we’ve ever been before. God bless you and your family, and Happy New Year!