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Friends and Neighbors,

Serving the people of Livingston and Washtenaw counties is very important to me, and I encourage you to contact me with any state issue you may have. You may email [email protected] or call (517) 373-2420. Also, please check out my Facebook page. Let me know if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Working for you,

Lana Theis
State Senator

In this edition:

• Theis co-sponsors major tax cut plan for Michiganders
• Theis bill bans ‘targeted abortions’
• Theis calls on state’s school board to respect parents, students on Covid-19 vaccines
• Theis calls for audits of state’s nursing homes, long-term care facilities
• Senate adopts Theis resolution condemning Biden COVID-19 vaccine mandate
• Theis statement on Whitmer veto of Let Kids Learn plan

Theis co-sponsors major tax cut plan for Michiganders

Legislation that I recently co-sponsored would give tax breaks to Michigan families, workers and job providers.

At a time when many Michigan residents have had to deal with significant economic hardships, largely caused by the Whitmer administration’s response to the coronavirus, the state has been raking in money hand over fist. While government continues to expand and spend taxpayers’ dollars at an unprecedented rate, small businesses and workers in Michigan are struggling to stretch their budgets as historically high inflation forces everyday families to spend more for necessities.

Senate Bill 768 would lower the state’s personal and corporate income tax rates to 3.9% from 4.25% and 6%, respectively, and provide families with a $500 per child tax credit.

It’s past time we do something to help the forgotten working men and women of our great state who want nothing more than to take care of their families and for the government to leave them alone. This plan will empower the people by letting them keep more of what they earn and easing the financial burden of having a family. Reducing the corporate tax rate to among the lowest in the region will also help spur private sector investment and job creation. These tax reforms are good for everyone and should be passed and signed as soon as possible.

SB 768 was referred to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.

Theis bill bans ‘targeted abortions’

Abortions ending the lives of unborn children because of inherent characteristics, such as a fetal disability or not being parents’ preferred gender, would be banned in Michigan under new legislation I introduced earlier this month.

Too many American children are tragically killed in their mothers’ wombs for predisposed reasons, halting lives and stunting futures without even giving them a chance. These seek-and-destroy abortions are responsible for the deaths of over 65% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome, and most babies diagnosed with spina bifida are aborted despite newer advances in in-utero surgeries that can resolve the problem.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, approved over 30 years ago, gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities like those provided to individuals based on race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was designed to protect people against discrimination based on sex or race.

The ADA and Civil Rights Act protect individuals everywhere in the U.S., except in their mothers’ wombs. Preventing targeted abortions follows in the footsteps of the American tradition that all citizens are created equal and that the least of us still deserve legal protection.

Senate Bill 760 was referred to the Committee on Health Policy and Human Services for consideration.

Theis calls on state’s school boards to respect parents, students on COVID-19 vaccines

Earlier this month I called on Michigan’s school boards to approve resolutions concerning COVID-19 vaccines at schools.

As a parent and as chair of the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee, I strgonly believe no student should ever be denied an education because of some arbitrary government vaccine policy. If a family decides that a student will not be receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, that child should be guaranteed an in-person education regardless, and I call on every school board in the state to affirm they will by adopting such a resolution.

Furthermore, so as not to coerce unsuspecting children into doing something their parents may not want them to do, I also urge school boards to adopt a policy that requires a parent to either be physically present or give express written consent before any vaccines are administered on school property.

Activists who are part of the education system are missing the point. Schools exist to teach students, not indoctrinate young impressionable minds. Parents have had enough, and it’s time school boards stand up for the people they work for.

Theis calls for audits of state’s nursing homes, long-term care facilities

In early November, I submitted a letter to state Auditor General Doug Ringler requesting a series of audits be conducted within the state’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities to comprehensively review facilities’ inspections during and after COVID-19 lockdowns.

The request was prompted by the recent death of a resident of an adult foster care facility in Oceola Township — an 80-year-old female was found deceased fewer than 24 hours after having been reported missing.

This was a tragic loss of life that should not have happened. Sadly, over the past year, we have seen far too many Michigan seniors die at long-term care facilities, and more must be done to ensure proper inspections at these facilities are conducted.

As of August 2021, 60% of the state’s 435 nursing homes had gone without a standard survey inspection for nearly a year and a half. Those that have been surveyed were found to have wide-ranging compliance issues and severe deficiencies. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data indicate the average number of deficiencies in U.S. nursing homes is 8.3, while the reported average number found in Michigan facilities is much higher at 13.8.

The letter specifically requested the Office of the Auditor General investigate:

The types of inspections currently mandated by the federal or state government for nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and adult foster care facilities;
How many facilities had their mandated inspections delayed due to COVID-19 inspection policies issued by the Department of Health and Human Services;
The number of facilities that have still not completed their inspections; and
How many and what deficiencies are being found or reported once inspections are conducted.

On behalf of our seniors living in these facilities, and their families, I am respectfully requesting Auditor General Doug Ringler investigate facilities’ inspection compliance. We deserve to know not only the types of mandated inspections, but also how many facilities have failed to have these inspections done. People’s lives are hanging in the balance.

Senate adopts Theis resolution condemning Biden COVID-19 vaccine mandate

The state Senate on November 10th, adopted a resolution I sponsored condemning President Joe Biden’s directive forcing businesses with more than 100 employees to require employees receive a COVID-19 vaccination or be tested for the virus weekly.

President Biden’s vaccine requirements on businesses is an egregious overreach of power that infringes on Americans’ civil liberties. Health care decisions, including whether to get vaccinated, are deeply personal and should not be subject to intrusive and autocratic edicts from the government.

Biden’s dictate is not grounded in science and serves no public health purpose. Nor does it address COVID-19 protections acquired by natural immunity. It’s only going to make a bad situation worse by punching down on people with low incomes, which will lead to more resistance and further harm a floundering economy on the brink of a Carter-era disaster.”
Biden announced his administration’s plan to impose strict COVID-19 vaccine requirements on private businesses on Sept. 9, followed by a recent announcement the policy will take effect on Jan. 4.

According to the policy, employers with over 100 employees will be required to ensure workers are vaccinated or impose burdensome weekly testing regimens. It also mandates vaccines for health care workers, federal contractors, and most federal workers. However, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy recently admitted the policy could be expanded to include businesses with fewer than 100 employees, saying: “Certainly nothing is off the table.”

This is a terrible policy. Beyond not demonstrating scientific necessity, the administration fails to comprehend the economic implications. Thousands of privately-owned businesses were forced to permanently close because of previous government mandates. Those that remained open are now struggling to survive, in part because people don’t want to work, and this policy is going to make it even harder for businesses to operate. We need to be implementing pro-growth policies that will help the economy recover, not restrictive mandates that lead to more government dependence.

Senate Resolution 83 may be read in its entirety by clicking here.

Whitmer vetos Let Kids Learn plan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed legislation that would have empowered parents with Michigan Opportunity Scholarship Accounts that could be used by families for school-related expenses — both inside and outside the classroom — to help improve student achievement. As a sponsor of the plan and as chair of the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee, I strongly oppose the governor’s veto.

After more than a year of government mandates, closed schools, lost learning, stress and anxiety, parents desire, and deserve, more of a say in their children’s education. The Let Kids Learn plan would have done that, with a creative approach to allow parents more involvement and students better educational outcomes.

Unfortunately, and to the detriment of Michigan students, Gov. Whitmer is afraid of anything that would limit her power and control. Instead of empowering parents to give students — especially students with special needs or from underserved communities — better opportunities to learn and succeed, the governor has again rejected progress for the same old, tired, and failing approach to education, because she is beholden to the teachers’ unions and their generous donations.

But make no mistake: the Let Kids Learn plan is not about politics, unlike the governor’s veto. This plan is all about giving kids a fair and equal opportunity to learn and succeed academically, no matter a student’s background. We should be doing more to support parents who want to have a more active role in their children’s education, not less. Gov. Whitmer closed the door to better learning and brighter futures for our kids, and that is a shame.

Michigan's 22nd Senate District

The 22nd State Senate District includes all of Livingston County and western Washtenaw County, including Ann Arbor (part), Bridgewater Twp., Chelsea, Dexter city, Dexter Twp., Freedom Twp., Lima Twp., Lodi Twp. (part), Lyndon Twp., Manchester Twp., Northfield Twp., Saline Twp. (part), Scio Twp. (part), Sharon Twp., Sylvan Twp., and Webster Twp.

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Senator Lana Theis
Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building, Suite #7400
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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