From the First Tuesday newsletter
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While many of us are stepping off the scale and considering a new weight loss plan to kick off the new year, we’re concerned about a different kind of “weight” at the League: the weight of waiting.
With your help, we spent much of last fall fighting battles at the federal level. Those months of teaming up with you to defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) against attacks were invigorating and reinforced the importance of our work. But on Dec. 20, we were forced to take a break.
After Congress voted to push through their abysmal tax bill, which has been denounced by economists and experts on both sides of the aisle, they opted to take a break when millions of families weren’t sure whether their kids would have health insurance in the new year. We really weren’t ready to stop fighting. We really weren’t in the mood to start waiting.
That’s where we’ve found ourselves, though. This tax plan, with its wide scope and quick passage, contains so much language that needs to be unpacked. To understand its full impact is going to take some time—for us, for state lawmakers, and especially for the members of Congress who voted for it without understanding it. So we’ve been placed in a holding pattern.
If you know me, you know I’m not much of a waiter. So how do we move forward when leaders in Washington have stalled? Well, we’ve made a resolution to focus on the things that cannot wait.
We’ve developed our new list of priorities for the 2019 state budget, making sure to advocate for policies that will help all Michiganders thrive and find economic opportunity. We’ve begun collecting personal stories from people who’ve been impacted by policies like CHIP and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. We’ve continued to push leaders to raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction from 17 to 18. We’ve compiled information on the impact of young immigrants in Michigan. We’ve reported on the continued decline of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance. We’ve weighed in on Governor Rick Snyder’s decision to restore the state personal tax exemption, a big fix needed to address a problem caused by the federal tax plan. We’ve spent time analyzing the implications of the tax bill with our national partners. We’ve continued to fight to extend CHIP. And we’ve eaten several trays of baklava.
So maybe we don’t do “waiting” well, but because of your help, we’re going to be ready for what’s next. Thank you for helping us carry the weight of our work, and thank you for helping us build a stronger Michigan.
— Gilda Z. Jacobs