Bipartisan Bills to Strengthen Health Services

Bipartisan Bills to Strengthen Health Services

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April 30, 2024

Contact: [email protected]


Gov. Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Bills to Strengthen Health Services and Criminal Justice


LANSING, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation that aims to establish a licensure framework for dietitian nutritionists. The governor also signed legislation that delivers ongoing funding for trial courts across the state, reducing costs for local municipalities.


“Today’s commonsense, bipartisan bills will improve health care licensing for dietitian nutritionists and protect critical funding for trial courts,” said Governor Whitmer. “Together, we will continue delivering on the issues that make a real difference in people’s lives, from health care to public safety. Let’s keep working together to build a brighter, safer future for Michigan.”


House Bill 4608, sponsored by state Representative Laurie Pohutsky, establishes licensing requirements and standards for dietitians and nutritionists. By doing so, the bill seeks to ensure that individuals who provide dietary advice and guidance meet certain qualifications and adhere to professional standards.


“I sponsored House Bill 4608 to protect Michiganders and help make sure crucial healthcare is accessible and affordable,” said Speaker Pro Tem Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia). “Now, when individuals are looking to receive a dietician’s opinion, individuals can easily identify qualified and trustworthy providers — that is very important when it comes to health and wellness. Licensure will also help ensure medical nutrition therapy is covered by insurance, making it much more accessible for countless Michiganders. It is a win to have the governor sign this into law today.”


House Bill 5392, sponsored by state Representative Sarah Lightner, provides essential funding to ensure trial courts have the necessary resources to operate effectively. By supporting our courts, Michigan becomes a safer place for all its residents.


“This bill is a step forward toward our shared goal of courts that are funded fairly all across Michigan while maintaining the independence of the judicial branch,” said State Court Administrator Tom Boyd. “We look forward to providing the Governor and Legislature with the data, information, and recommendations they need to take the next steps in this process as we work together to develop and implement a long-term funding plan that delivers justice for all.”


“We appreciate the legislature acting in a bipartisan fashion to extend the expiring sunset,” said Dan Gilmartin, Executive Director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League. “With Governor Whitmer taking swift action to sign this legislation, we ensure the seamless functioning of the district and municipal courts supported by cities across the state.”




Oxford will have a new Girls Basketball Coach next season

Oxford will have a new Girls Basketball Coach next season

Oxford will have a new Girls Basketball Coach next season.

Written Saturday April 27th at 7:05 PM

The Wildcats will have a new Girls Basketball Coach next winter.

Oxford coach Rachel Bryer stepped down coaching the program after eight years coaching the program.

The move was confirmed by Athletic Director Tony DeMare and Oxford Assistant Athletic Director Brandon.

The Wildcats were 94-68 in her eight years since taking over for Coach Steve Emert in the 2016-2017 season. Oxford went 19-5 in the 2022-2023 season which was Bryer’s best season as coach.

The Wildcats went 11-12 but they played a very tough schedule this season. Oxford fell to Grand Blanc 60-38 in the district finals, it was the third time in the postseason that the Bobcats won over the Wildcats.

According DeMare, he confirmed that there are three candidates for the coaching job which interviews are expected to start next week.

Whoever the new coach will have a proven team with a ton of experience in Allison Hufstedler, Sophia Rabb, Mia Champagne, Emma Buggs, Claire Bruski, Tegan O’Connor, Brynley Cardona, Camryn Quidort, Katelyn Brockway, and Jaylen Jacobsen coming back. They will also be in the Red with West Bloomfield, Ferndale, Stoney Creek, Clarkston, and Lake Orion next season.

Bryer did a ton of good for the program and she’ll be missed.

Program strength will be very interesting for the new coach as well.

Stay tuned to OAA Now for the latest on this developing story.

Oxford will have a new Girls Basketball Coach next season

Groves will have a new Girls Basketball Coach next season

Groves will have a new Girls Basketball Coach next season.

Written Tuesday April 23rd at 1:50 PM

Groves will have a new girls basketball coach next season.

Falcons Coach Alison Hidey has stepped down according to Athletic Director Tom Flynn.

“I would like to thank Alison Hidey for what she did for our program” Flynn wrote on X.

Hidey was 25-44 since taking over for Coach AntJuan Simpkins three years ago. Hidey went 8-14 last season falling to Royal Oak 47-35 in the district semifinals.

Groves will be in the White next season with Rochester, Seaholm, Troy, Royal Oak, and Bloomfield Hills. They will have a proven lineup with Harlem Simpson, Jacey Roy, Anaiyah White, Sophie Schwinik, and Micah White coming back. Program strength will be a concern for the Falcons next season.

It will be very interesting to see where Flynn goes with the coaching search. He will be retiring at the end of the school year.

Stay tuned to OAA Now for the latest on this developing story.


Here is the tweet confirming the news

State wins $1.9 million federal award

State wins $1.9 million federal award

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April 26, 2024
Jeff Johnston, EGLE Public Information Officer, [email protected], 517-231-9304

State wins $1.9 million federal award to support local renewable energy planning and deployment

EGLE to launch the Michigan Renewable Energy Academy to provide community support

Michigan is set to launch the Michigan Renewable Energy Academy (REA) with new resources from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. The State will receive $1.9 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Renewable Energy Siting through Technical Engagement and Planning (R-STEP) program to improve planning, siting, and permitting processes for large-scale renewable energy facilities.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) will lead the REA in partnership with the University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute, Michigan State University Extension, 5 Lakes Energy, and the Michigan Association of Planning.

“This investment from the U.S. Department of Energy is another tool to help Michigan communities continue to build out renewable energy at the scope and scale necessary to meet the goals of the MI Healthy Climate Plan, the state’s climate action roadmap,” said EGLE Director Phil Roos. “EGLE’s Renewable Energy Academy will be a one-stop-shop where communities can receive technical assistance and support as they pursue more sustainable, clean energy resources.”

The academy will be a community-centered resource for expertise in renewable energy siting, providing technical aid at no out-of-pocket cost to Michigan communities. The program will prioritize local participation and capacity building, especially to underserved communities, and help local and tribal governments navigate the complexities and harness the benefits of hosting renewable energy facilities.

“Clean wind and solar energy and storage systems are keys to a climate-healthy future for our state and world,” said Liz Browne, director of EGLE’s Materials Management Division. “EGLE and its partners in the Michigan REA are ready to offer guidance and expertise to communities for renewable energy planning and siting.”

Nationally, seven states will share a total of $10 million through R-STEP to develop and expand statewide initiatives comparable to the REA. These collaboratives will bring together stakeholders from all perspectives in the energy planning process: state and regional agencies, universities, developers, technical experts, public service commissions, farmers, unions, tribes, community organizations, and others. Learn more online about the selected state-based collaboratives, including the full list of partners.

The DOE also announced it will open a second round of the program with up to $12 million available for states.

In Michigan, R-STEP dollars will fund a consolidation of all resources, services, and experts relevant to energy planning and zoning into the one-stop shop with the REA.

These R-STEP dollars complement existing EGLE efforts to support communities in playing a role in the clean energy transition and helping Michigan meet the goals of the MI Healthy Climate Plan, including the Catalyst Communities program and the recently announced Renewable Ready Communities Award funding opportunity.

Through a grant from EGLE, the University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute – one of the state’s partners on the REA – already is promoting a menu of offerings and services for communities that includes an introduction to renewables planning and zoning for elected and appointed officials, a series of mini-workshops on zoning for principal- and accessory-use wind and solar, tours of renewable energy sites, individualized presentations and workshops for township and county officials with no out-of-pocket cost, no-charge reviews of zoning ordinances, and more.

To meet the goals of the MI Healthy Climate Plan and recently enacted laws that require 100% renewable energy by 2040, removing barriers to rapid renewable deployment is critical. Enabling large-scale renewable energy projects can unlock opportunities for community wealth-building, create good-paying jobs and support workforce development, increase grid resilience and energy independence, and support electricity bill savings, especially in rural or underserved communities.

R-STEP is funded by the DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office and Wind Energy Technologies Office. The DOE website also includes more information about large-scale renewable energy siting.

Learn more about renewable energy initiatives in Michigan on EGLE’s Renewable Energy webpage.

Financial Literacy Month Reverse Mortgages

Financial Literacy Month Reverse Mortgages

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April 29, 2024

Media Contact:
Danny Wimmer

AG Nessel Concludes Financial Literacy Month with Re-issue of Reverse Mortgages Consumer Alert

LANSING – After finding themselves in dire financial straits, some homeowners will look to reverse mortgages as a solution to their money woes. As we come to the end of Financial Literacy month, Attorney General Dana Nessel re-issues her Reverse Mortgages alert to inform residents of the pros and cons related to this kind of loan.

A reverse mortgage is a type of home equity loan extended, in most cases, to those who are 62 years of age or older. It can be used to make home repairs, pay for medical expenses, or to supplement retirement income. A lender makes monthly payments to you based on the equity in your home, using your home as collateral. As long as you retain ownership of the home and pay the property taxes, the loan will not become due.

“While reverse mortgages can provide financial relief for some, they also come with significant risks and obligations,” said Nessel. “Financial literacy means recognizing the potential pitfalls and long-term impacts a reverse mortgage can have on your financial future. I urge all homeowners considering this kind of loan to seek professional guidance and carefully weigh their options before signing on the dotted line.”

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), other requirements to qualify for a reverse mortgage, in addition to being 62 years of age or older, include:

  • Home must be your principal residence.
  • Home must be owned outright or have a low mortgage balance that can be paid off when you close on the reverse mortgage.
  • Cannot owe any federal debt, such as federal income taxes or federal student loans. The reverse mortgage can be used to pay off these debts.
  • Part of the reverse mortgage funds must be set aside for expenses like taxes, insurance, maintenance, and repairs.
  • Home must be in good shape. If not, the lender will require repairs before paying the reverse mortgage.
  • Completion of HUD-approved reverse mortgage counseling to discuss eligibility, financial implications, and alternatives, like:
    • Refinancing – a new traditional mortgage could lower monthly mortgage payments;
    • Downsizing – selling your home in favor of a more affordable residence may be your best option for reducing expenses;
    • Lowering expenses – many states and localities have programs offering help with property taxes, utilities, and repairs.
    • Home equity line of credit (HELOC) – this might be a cheaper way to borrow cash against equity, but qualifying for one depends on your income and credit. They also carry risks and usually require monthly payments.
    • Waiting – you can wait until you are older to take out a reverse mortgage when you have less income and higher healthcare costs.

Several types of reverse mortgages are offered, and it is important to understand which one will be most beneficial for you.

  • Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) – This is the most popular type of reverse mortgage. It is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which guarantees that the federally-approved lenders meet their obligations.
  • Single-Purpose Reverse Mortgage – Often only available to low-to-moderate-income homeowners, the payments from his type of reverse mortgage must be used for the specified purpose indicated by the homeowner, such as home improvements, home repairs, or property taxes.
  • Proprietary Reverse Mortgages – These are not FHA-insured and not backed by the companies that provide them. They are a bank’s own loan instruments.

If you decide that taking out a reverse mortgage is the right option for you, the CFPB has a list of scams targeting older homeowners that you should be on the lookout for, such as:

  • A family member or caregiver coercing an elderly homeowner into applying for a reverse mortgage, or impersonates the elderly relative during the loan process.
  • A bad actor uses an elderly homeowner’s identity, Social Security number, or other personally identifiable information without their knowledge to secure the loan.
  • A scammer tells reverse mortgage holders they should use the loan money to invest in a “sure thing” or tries to convince them to take out a reverse mortgage to pay for expensive repairs.
  • A scammer convinces reverse mortgage borrowers to sign over their power of attorney, giving the scammer sole access to the reverse mortgage loan money.

AG Nessel recommends homeowners protect themselves by not only seeking advice from a financial counselor, but also confirming whether the loan is federally insured, whether the reverse mortgage repayment is limited to the value of your home once the loan becomes due, and if the mortgage payments are made directly to you. Remember that most reverse mortgages come with a right of rescission, which means you can cancel them within 3 days of closing without penalty.

Reverse mortgages can be a lifeline if you are an older homeowner whose expenses surpass your income. If you know the potential pitfalls of this type of loan, you can proceed with caution. Understanding the risks associated with these financial instruments is key to protecting your financial future and your home equity.