Safety Net

As Michigan considers a homeless bill of rights, lawmakers hear about issues facing the community

BY: - September 28, 2023

The rights to access emergency medical care, for youth to be enrolled in school and for people to move around freely in public spaces are included in a proposed “Bill of Rights for the Homeless,” which received testimony Thursday from formerly homeless individuals and advocates. There are homeless individuals all over the state, homelessness advocate […]

Lawmakers propose bipartisan auto insurance reforms to support accident victims

BY: - September 27, 2023

State Sens. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) and Mary Cavanagh (D-Redford Twp.) on Tuesday introduced a set of bills intended to reform Michigan’s auto insurance system and improve access to care for drivers who were severely injured in car accidents.  In 2019, the Legislature amended the first-party personal injury portion of the no-fault auto insurance system, which […]


Column: New policy makes Michigan a more welcoming — and healthy — place for immigrants

BY: - September 26, 2023

Almost 30 years ago, my mom was overjoyed that she was approved to work in the United States. Though it was difficult to move halfway across the world and be apart from her parents, her siblings and her friends, she was grateful for this new chapter. Her story echoes the experiences of many immigrants: she […]

Food benefits for low income families at risk in a government shutdown, White House says

BY: - September 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — As Congress barrels toward a partial government shutdown, the White House Monday warned that a program that helps millions of low income families afford healthy food could see substantial cuts. The White House released a state-by-state breakdown, estimating that nearly 7 million people who rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, […]

The next budget gives kids free school lunches for a year. This bill could make it permanent.

BY: - September 20, 2023

In a move that could save parents hundreds of dollars a year, a Michigan Senate bill currently under consideration has the potential to make free school breakfasts and lunches a permanent investment in public schools. SB 500, sponsored by state Sen. Dana Polehanki (D-Livonia), would make permanent an item of the state’s Fiscal Year 2024 […]

Michigan congresswoman pushes ‘Restaurant Workers Bill of Rights’

BY: - September 19, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat, re-introduced legislation Tuesday aimed at improving the lives of U.S. restaurant workers. The “Restaurant Workers Bill of Rights” would raise wages and improve work conditions for restaurant staff. Tlaib, who also pushed this legislation last year, held a press conference Tuesday alongside U.S. House colleagues and […]

Hospitals plead with Congress to avert $8 billion in cuts in Medicaid funding

BY: - September 17, 2023

WASHINGTON — Health care representatives from across the United States are urging Congress to halt cuts to funding that helps hospitals care for uninsured or low-income patients who rely on Medicaid. More than 250 hospitals and health systems appealed to House and Senate leadership in a letter Thursday asking the lawmakers to avert or delay […]

Some states protect Section 8 renters, but enforcement is elusive

BY: - September 10, 2023

Marcella Roberson is ready to move. She and her 17-year-old son have been looking for a new apartment for four years because, she says, they’ve suffered domestic violence in their current living situation in Camden, New Jersey. She hopes her federal housing voucher can bring them a new home and a chance at safety. But […]

Tlaib on possible federal govt. shutdown: Republicans ‘are not engaging us in these budget conversations’ 

BY: - September 8, 2023

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) said she “fears” that a federal government shutdown could occur at the end of the month. The three-term congresswoman made the comment during a roundtable with early childhood education advocates and providers Thursday in Dearborn Heights. “I think that [House Speaker Kevin] McCarthy (R-Calif.) is struggling within his own caucus […]


Column: After a century, states are loosening child labor laws. Where’s the outrage?

BY: - September 7, 2023

When Jacob Riis came to Emporia in 1902 to give a lecture, audiences knew what they could expect. Twelve years earlier, he had published “How the Other Half Lives,” which exposed through candid photographs the living conditions of the poor in the slums of New York City. The Danish-American muckraker’s subject for his Kansas audience […]

200 residents call for rent control at Michigan Capitol rally

BY: - September 5, 2023

Michigan renters aired their concerns at a “Rent is Too Damn High” rally outside the State Capitol on a sweltering Tuesday afternoon. About 200 attendees came to Lansing to hear stories of climbing rents, unsafe living conditions and organized efforts to tackle the growing cost of living in Michigan. Nationally, experts say wages are remaining […]

Oxfam: Michigan ranks 26th among states for workers’ rights in 2023

BY: - September 4, 2023

Michigan remains in the bottom half for best states to work in at 26th place, according to the annual ranking from Oxfam, a global organization focused on inequality and poverty. The ranking considers policies and programs in place that protect workers’ abilities to organize, maintain wellness and be paid fairly. Since the ranking started coming […]