White House Extends Paid Sick Leave

Oct 19, 2016

Earlier this month, the Obama Administration finalized an executive rule which would ensure that all federal contractors allow their employees to earn sick leave. Under the conditions set by the final rule, all federally contracted employees will be granted 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Workers should not have to choose between economic security and their health or the health of their family.  In addition, Rep. Levin is the co-sponsor of legislation [H.R. 932] that would expand paid sick leave to all employees. President Obama recently called on Congress to pass this critical piece of legislation.

Rep. Levin Advocates for Veteran Student Centers
Rep. Levin joined more than 35 other Members of Congress to request support for the Excellence for Veteran Student Success Program as during any final budget negotiations for the rest of the fiscal year. Over one million veterans and active duty service members in the United States attend college every year, and many face unique challenges in transitioning from the battlefield to the classroom. Colleges and universities, including Macomb Community College, have begun creating Veteran Student Centers, which are supported by this program, to provide a one-stop-shop for academic support, networking opportunities, peer mentorship, financial assistance, counseling, and career services. These centers create a valuable network for student veterans that can increase graduation rates and improve job prospects.

Food Policy Action’s 2016 Scorecard
Rep. Levin received a perfect score of 100% on the Food Policy Action’s 2016 Scorecard. This scorecard is released annually and this year, Food Policy Action has scored Members of Congress on key votes concerning domestic and international hunger, food access, animal welfare, nutrition, food labeling, food waste, organic farming, and the effects of food production on the environment. To review Rep. Levin’s results and see what votes were taken into consideration click here.

Medicare Open Enrollment has Started and Runs Until December 7th
Many health and drug plans change every year, and Medicare Open Enrollment allows you to change to a plan that best fits your needs. Changing your plan may lower your costs, cover your drugs, or ensure that you can still see the providers you have been seeing if your current plan changed. If you currently have Medicare, be sure to review your health and drug plans to ensure that they meet your needs. You can find out more here.

Clean Water Act Continues to Protect Our Nation’s Waters
Yesterday marked the 44th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, a bipartisan landmark law that has helped to successfully protect our nation’s waters.  In the years since 1972, the Clean Water Act has set strong water quality standards and provided resources to states and municipalities to construct and upgrade clean water infrastructure.  Rep. Levin has stood in strong support of the Clean Water Act, fighting against efforts to weaken water and environmental protection standards.  He also continues to strongly advocate for funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which is credited with improving water quality and the health of the Great Lakes Region.

For more information on water resources and the Environment Protection Agency’s work on water protection, visit Learn About Water at the EPA.

The USS Detroit has Arrived
Visitors to the Detroit Riverfront this week will be able to see the newest addition to the United States Navy. The USS Detroit is the Navy’s fourth Freedom-class littoral combat ship. Built in Marinette, WI, it was launched in October of 2014 and is set to be commissioned this Saturday, October 22, 2016. The ship is specially designed to accomplish tasks in shallow waters where other ships cannot go. With its modular design, the layout of the ship can change to fit its current mission, making the USS Detroit one of the most versatile members of the U.S. Fleet.

All are welcome to view the USS Detroit from the river walk downtown. Ship tours will begin Wednesday, October 19 at 1pm until 5pm, and are on first come first served. For those interested in touring the ship, more information is available here. No tickets remain for private tours or for the public commissioning.

Rep. Levin was on hand when the ship was launched in 2014.  His sister-in-law, and the wife of former Senator Carl Levin, is the “sponsor” of the ship.  A sponsor, in the U.S. Navy, is the title given to a prominent citizen chosen to christen a naval vessel.  In recent history, all U.S. Navy ship sponsors have been female.  In addition to the ceremonial breaking of a champagne bottle on the bow, the sponsor remains in contact with the ship’s crew and is involved in special events throughout the life of the ship.

TARDEC and GM Showcase Fuel Cell-Powered Vehicle
Warren based U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) teamed up with GM to unveil a prototype fuel cell powered vehicle at the annual Association of United States Army Convention in Washington DC in early October.   Fuel cell powered vehicles have the potential for true silent mobility for future Army ground vehicles under extreme combat conditions.  This collaboration is a great example of public-private partnerships in Michigan’s vibrant defense sector. 

Rep. Levin Discusses Food Insecurity with Local Advocates
On October 14, Rep. Levin met with local food pantry directors and staff from Michigan college campuses to discuss food insecurity. According to Feeding America, which provides food assistance to 46.5 million individuals, and 15.5 million households, 49.3% of their clients in college must choose between education expenses and food annually.  Participants in the meeting discussed the successes and challenges in implementing programs to mitigate food insecurity among Michigan’s college students.  We need to better understand this problem at the federal level and need to take steps to improve student access to existing federal programs. 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Domestic violence affects the lives of too many individuals, regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or income level. Nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will become survivors of domestic violence over their lifetime. These statistics are alarming. We must all continue to speak out against domestic violence and support efforts to assist survivors in our communities.  It you or someone you love is a victim of domestic violence, you can contact HAVEN in Oakland County at 1-877-922-1274 or Turning Point in Macomb County at (586) 463-6990.