PRIORITIES

FOR A BOLD FUTURE

Good Jobs, Good Economy

While Michigan’s unemployment rate has decreased, large gaps in our workforce remain, particularly in the area of skilled trades and technological areas, such as cybersecurity. Placing emphasis on educational and training/apprenticeship opportunities for young people, as well as those already in the workforce, to fill workforce gaps will help ensure our residents can see their future here in Michigan. Providing these crucial opportunities, such as the Michigan Reconnect Program, will also ensure Michigan has a strong middle class and economy in the future. 

Relevant Bills Sponsored, Co-Sponsored and/or Supported

HB 4456

HB 4299

HB 4425

HB 4634-4640

HB 4821-4822

HB 4894-4902

HR 0075

Affordable Health Care

Healthy Michigan expanded health care access to 700,000 Michiganders who did not have health care before. I’m fighting to protect this program so no one has to face losing their coverage. We must also develop and implement legislation that will result in lowering the overall cost of our health care. Michigan families struggle every day as they face limited wage increases, are required to contribute more toward the cost of insurance premiums, and high co-pays and deductibles that result in medical bills they cannot afford to pay. I sponsored HB 5111 which would cap copays for behavioral health visits to $5. This bill is part of the Health Over Profits for Everyone (H.O.P.E) bill package aimed at addressing the skyrocketing costs of health care in Michigan. Health care decisions are personal and confidential. I believe that individual health care decisions should be between medical professionals and their patients.

 

Michigan’s infant and maternal mortality rates are also a priority. The infant mortality rate in Michigan is 38th in the nation. Black, Hispanic and American Indian infants have a higher rate of infant mortality than white infants.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Black women are 3 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes, and American Indian women are more than twice as likely to die due to pregnancy-related issues, than white women.  44% of maternal deaths in Michigan were preventable according to a recent analysis by the Michigan Maternal Mortality Surveillance Committee (MMMS).  We must address health disparities and make sure all women have high-quality health care that meets their individual needs.

Relevant Bills Sponsored, Co-Sponsored and/or Supported

HB 5107, HB 5108, HB 5110, HB 5111

HB 5431-5432

HB 4701

HB 5179

HR 0144

HB 4279, 4281

Quality Education 

Michigan families deserve a quality education for their children that allows each child to reach their full potential in a safe environment. Michigan educators give so much to our students but still continue to face many challenges including overcrowded classrooms, lack of resources, and inadequate pay. As a result, teacher shortages continue to plague Michigan classrooms. I support lowering class size, empowering educators, increasing pay that reflects their dedication to the profession and to our children, providing incentives to attract and retain the best and brightest to the Michigan teacher ranks, and investing in our schools to help Michigan meet its goal to become a top 10 education state.  I also support having equal standards across the board for public, charter, and cyber schools.  With an apples to apples comparison, the state’s financial resources can be allocated to best support student learning, and ensure that students with special needs receive the education and resources to which they are entitled.

Relevant Bills Sponsored, Co-Sponsored and/or Supported

HB 4054

HB 4071

HB 4276

HB 4363

HB 4583

HB 4904-4906

Infrastructure Overhaul

After years and years of neglect and inaction, our infrastructure is literally crumbling. Bridge debris has fallen on the cars of Michiganders trying to go to work to put food on the table for their families. Potholes are causing tire blowouts, placing Michiganders and their families at risk for car accidents. We must act now by taxing heavy trucks, that are causing the most damage, and closing corporate tax loopholes. We also must invest in high quality road materials that will withstand Michigan winters.

Relevant Bills Sponsored, Co-Sponsored and/or Supported

HB 4062

Protect Our Women

As Vice-Chair of the Progressive Women's Caucus, it is important to me to make sure that women are protected at work and in their everyday lives. I sponsored HB 5058, which is part of the bipartisan "address confidentiality" bill package. As a whole these bills (HB 5054-5058) help keep the addresses of domestic violence victims confidential. This bipartisan bill package passed the House on February 25, 2020.

 

I co-sponsored HB 4636 to prohibit the discriminatory employment practice of asking a job applicant about past compensation; HB 4638 to create a pay equity program to encourage equal pay for equal work; and HB 4380 to create the office of higher education sexual assault prevention, advocacy, and resource officer within the department of civil rights to combat sexual assault on college campuses. 

Relevant Bills Sponsored, Co-Sponsored and/or Supported

HB 5054-5058

HB 4636

HB 4638

HB 4380

Protect Our Seniors

Seniors are a vital and valued part of our community. In order to best support the seniors in our community, pursuing meaningful legislation is an integral aspect of my work in Lansing. After months of advocacy from colleagues, and myself, Governor Whitmer submitted an application to designate Michigan an age-friendly state in the AARP network, which was successful. This was an important designation for Michigan as a clear indication that we need to adjust our policies and priorities to reflect our changing demographics.

 

My first bill P.A. 16 of 2019 passed into law in May 2019. This law makes provisions for release of elderly incarcerated individuals with chronic health conditions to nursing facilities to continue care. Releasing those who do not pose a threat to public safety not only reduces state spending required for health care for the remainder of their sentence, but it also ensures our criminal justice system has a compassionate approach toward care for medically frail prisoners in Michigan.

 

There is no excuse for elder abuse. I held a Town Hall on Elder Abuse in October 2019, with Attorney General Dana Nessel. I also introduced HB 4256, part of the Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse bipartisan bill package (HB 4254-HB 4260, 4265) to combat the physical and financial abuse of seniors. This package passed the House on February 25, 2020. 

Making sure seniors can age in place is very important to me. I sponsored HB 4813, which creates a tax credit available for those who retrofit their principal place of residence to improve accessibility or provide greater visibility.

 

I also support repealing the pension tax. Governor Gretchen Whitmer accounted for a repeal of the pension tax in her 2019 budget. Unfortunately, the Republican-led legislature refused to take up this issue. The Republican leadership rejected Governor Whitmer's 2019 budget proposal and refused to give the bill repealing the retirement tax a single hearing. I will continue to fight for a hearing for this very important legislation that would significantly impact the lives of seniors.

Relevant Bills Sponsored, Co-Sponsored and/or Supported

HB 4132

HB 4256

HB 4813

HB 4006

Rep. Kyra Bolden with the Southfield Commission on Senior Adults and the certificate from AARP designating Michigan an age-friendly state.

Support Our Veterans

My father is a Vietnam Veteran and my husband works at the VA Hospital in Detroit. I understand the incredible sacrifice that veterans have made to make sure that we have our freedom in this country. Unfortunately, some veterans return home and do not know where to start to be able to access benefits. I introduced House 5226 and HB 5227, and together the bills would create a joint advisory committee to increase awareness of veterans' benefits established between the departments of health and human services and military and veterans affairs.

Relevant Bills Sponsored, Co-Sponsored and/or Supported

HB 5219

HB 5220

HB 5221

HB 5222

HB 5230

HB 5231

HB 5232

HB 5233

HB5234

HB 5245

Criminal Justice Reform

Crime in Michigan has dipped to a 50-year low, but the number of people locked up in county jails across the state has nearly tripled since the 1970s. In 2019, we appropriated 2 billion dollars for Corrections. We over-incarcerate individuals in the state of Michigan, particularly non-violent offenders and those suffering from addiction and mental illness.

Incarceration isn’t the right answer for every crime. Offenders whose crimes are motivated by a mental health or substance abuse issue, for example, could be better served through other rehabilitation efforts. We need to focus on improving early detection of behavioral health needs, expanding access to mental health resources and substance abuse recovery programs, and not making incarceration the default sentence for everyone. I am proud that the two bills I was able to get signed into law were criminal justice reform measures. 

My first bill (HB 4132) was signed into law by Governor Whitmer on May, 23 2019, creating Public Act 16 of 2019.  This law is a Criminal Justice Reform measure that will help save our State money, while also taking a compassionate approach to elderly, medically-fragile incarcerated individuals. 

 

My second bill (HB 5117) was signed into law on March 3, 2020, creating Public Act 42 of 2020. This law is a Criminal Justice Reform measure which amends the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act (WICA) to expand access to justice and compensation for the wrongfully convicted. 

I also introduced HB 4256, part of the Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse bipartisan bill package (HB 4254-HB 4260, 4265) to combat the physical and financial abuse of seniors. This package passed the House on February 25, 2020. 

I sponsored HB 5058, which is part of the bipartisan "address confidentiality" bill package. As a whole these bills (HB 5054-5058) help keep the addresses of domestic violence victims confidential. This bipartisan bill package passed the House on February 25, 2020.

Relevant Bills Sponsored, Co-Sponsored and/or Supported

HB 4980-4985

HB 5029

HB 5181 

HB 5269

SB 0092

HB 4359

State Rep. Kyra Bolden with Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, Senator Jeremy Moss, Rep. Tyrone Carter, Rep. Tenisha Yancey and Rep Sherry Gay-Dagnogo at her Criminal Justice Town hall and Expungement Clinic held on February 29th.

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Paid for by Kyra Harris Bolden for State Rep

29485 Woodhaven Ln. Southfield, MI 48076

Kyra@votebolden.com