Five-point COVID Recovery Jump Start
The COVID pandemic of the last few months has been hard on all of us, and getting families, schools and businesses back on their feet is the major issue facing the 110th District. No one should face financial ruin because of health care costs due to COVID or other medical crises. Our public schools and universities have unprecedented challenges while facing major budget uncertainty. Small businesses and tourism need to make up for lost income, and state and local budgets will feel the impact. I have a 5-point pandemic recovery plan to help to “jump start” the economy of the Western U.P.
- Supporting affordable, accessible regional health care during and beyond the current crisis. Providing health care for all Michiganders would be a priority for me as your representative from the 110th District. Thousands are losing their health coverage and face financial ruin at a time when the pandemic and unemployment has impacted many families in the U.P. I will protect coverage for pre-existing conditions, promote lower prescription-drug prices for seniors, and work to improve rural mental health & dental services. We should protect affordable health insurance and the Healthy Michigan plan that tens of thousands in the Western U.P. rely on, and that keeps our local hospitals in business. As a data-driven engineer, I will work with Michigan's public health professionals to end this pandemic based on solid science, and to get a safe COVID vaccine to everyone that wants it as soon as possible. Janet supports universal health care coverage which will require both the public and private sectors working together. Janet is endorsed by the Michigan Nurses Association.
- Utilizethe national job market by providing facilities for working remotely. The pandemic has permanently changed the way many of us work. We are no longer tied to a specific town or building, which removes the historical barriers our remote location has on finding high paying jobs. The next 2 years will be a critical time to put into place the accessible rural internet, grants for joint workspaces, and the training and job placement services needed to take advantage of it.
- Lowering electricity and heating costs by upgrading infrastructure and improving renewable energy supplies. This will give people jobs today while investing in tomorrow. The western UP still has some of the highest electricity costs in the US, and heating costs for our long winters are brutal. These negatively impact both businesses and homeowners. Governor Whitmer’s UP Energy Taskforce is examining these problems, and I would want to implement suggestions arising from their detailed review in 2021. You can find more detail in the “Energy” tab under issues.
- Seeking federal and state financial relief for schools and upgrading technology for teachers and students. We should not discourage the acceptance of federal relief funds as our current representative has in sponsoring House Bill 267 (http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(0z4nhtllhyhtgsjh3skqlqvm))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=2020-HR-0267&query=on). I will actively pursue any and all funds our schools, teachers, and students need to get a good education in these difficult times.
- Promoting a major state-sponsored outreach campaign for U.P. businesses and tourism. The Western UP is one of the most beautiful parts of the US, and one unexpected result of the pandemic is the increased tourism this past summer. As we emerge from this pandemic, we should let everyone know that the UP is a nearby and economical place to spend their vacation dollars. We also have an educated and talented workforce, and we should advertise that nationally. As discussed in the first point, we should let the whole US know that the UP is open for virtual business. State funding for a national outreach campaign focusing on the UP could be implemented over the next 2 years. The hospitality industry is vital to our economy, and I will support them as strongly as possible.