<![CDATA[Rep. Winnie Brinkss' Site Feed]]> http://076.housedems.com <![CDATA[Progressive Women’s Caucus Names its 2015-16 Leadership]]> http://076.housedems.com/news/article/progressive-women-s-caucus-names-its-2015-16-leadership <p>LANSING – State Rep. <strong>Winnie Brinks</strong> (D-Grand Rapids) has been elected to serve as chairwoman of the Progressive Women’s Caucus, a group of Lansing legislators committed to fighting for equal pay, women’s access to health care and other critical issues affecting women and their families. Other leaders elected include Vice Chairwoman Rep. <strong>Christine Greig</strong> (D-Farmington Hills), Secretary Rep. <strong>Erika Geiss</strong> (D-Taylor) and Treasurer Rep. <strong>Vanessa Guerra</strong> (D-Saginaw).</p> <p>“As women in the legislature, it’s important for us to keep in mind the impact of proposed policies on women and families, and to ensure that our voices are heard in the legislative process,” Brinks said. “The Progressive Women’s Caucus can be a valuable resource to its members by providing support and valuable knowledge to our newly elected members. It’s critical that we impact what happens in our state’s Legislature so that women’s perspectives are not overlooked, despite the fact that we are underrepresented. I look forward to leading this very impressive group of women as we move forward.”</p> <p>The Progressive Women’s Caucus will be instrumental in advancing legislation that will close the wage gap, ensure women can affordably address all their health care needs and help their families achieve financial security. The PWC includes Democratic women legislators in the House and Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor).</p> <p>“The Progressive Women’s Caucus works for legislation that is important not only to women, but to their husbands, sons, fathers and brothers,” Greig said. “When a woman is prevented from earning her worth, or kept from getting critically important cancer screenings that can save her life, it affects her entire family. I’m proud to be working with other women legislators on policies that will benefit not just women, but all Michiganders.”</p> <p>Women’s ability to access health care has been under attack in recent years. New, highly restrictive laws have placed undue burdens on the women’s health care centers that many lower-income women rely on to get cancer screenings, and a new state law requires women to purchase additional health insurance in order to cover medical care following a miscarriage.</p> <p>“A democracy functions best when laws treat all individuals fairly and equally, and yet many groups within our democratic citizenry have unique needs and concerns that also deserve attention,” Geiss said. “Issues surrounding women’s health, neonatal and infant health, or those relating to a mother’s ability to feed and care for an infant without restriction or inhibition impact the overall health and well-being of our communities and our economy. These issues should be among the primary concerns of all legislators of both genders.”</p> <p>Republicans also blocked legislation introduced in the previous session that would address the persistent wage gap between men and women. In Michigan, women earn 74 cents to each dollar earned by men, which is worse than the national wage gap of 77 percent.</p> <p>“People overwhelmingly support the idea of equal pay for equal work, and yet Republicans in Michigan have put up roadblocks to keep this from becoming a reality,” Guerra said. “Women – and the families who depend on them – simply want a fair deal in the workplace. I’m proud to work with my colleagues in the Progressive Women’s Caucus to make this a reality in Michigan.”</p> <p><img src="https://mihousedemsblog.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/womens-caucus1-e1422378549246.jpg" alt="" title="" /></p> <![CDATA[Rep. Brinks Responds to Snyder’s State of the State Address]]> http://076.housedems.com/news/article/rep-brinks-responds-to-snyder-s-state-of-the-state-address <p>LANSING – State Representative <strong>Winnie Brinks</strong> (D-Grand Rapids), in response to Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State Address tonight, said that the Legislature needs to focus on making Michigan’s economy work for everyone. Snyder addressed the looming budget deficit, caused by massive tax breaks and incentives to big corporations. Coupled with tax increases on seniors and working families, Michigan’s recovery lags behind the rest of the nation.</p> <p>“After four years of unfair tax policies and corporate handouts, we are now faced with a deficit, and far too many people are still looking for a good-paying job,” Brinks said. “Prioritizing big corporations over families hasn’t worked. We need to flip the equation and put regular people first, so that Michigan’s economy will work for everyone.”</p> <p>Snyder expressed his support for the proposal to raise money for road improvements, which comes in the form of a 1 cent sales tax increase that must be approved by voters on the ballot in May. House Democrats backed the plan last term, which included restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit to its former level and increasing funding for schools.</p> <p>“The road funding plan isn’t perfect, but our kids will benefit from increased investment in education and working families will get tax relief from the restoration of the Earned Income Tax Credit.” Brinks said.</p> <p>Brinks reiterated her priorities of working for everyday people on several issues. Per-pupil funding in public schools is less than it was in 2009. And rather than continuing the failed approach of massive handouts to wealthy corporations, Brinks and many of her colleagues want to increase support for entrepreneurs and the small businesses that truly drive our economy.</p> <p>“We need to work on providing opportunities for people who have been left behind by policies that favor big corporations and expect working families and students to foot the bill,” Brinks said. “Moving ahead, I look forward to working across the aisle to find solutions to the challenges that face our state in a way that will benefit everyone.”</p> <![CDATA[Brinks Named Dem Vice Chair of Workforce and Talent Development Committee]]> http://076.housedems.com/news/article/brinks-named-dem-vice-chair-of-workforce-and-talent-development-committee <p>GRAND RAPIDS – State Representatives <strong>Winnie Brinks</strong> (D-Grand Rapids) was appointed the Democratic vice chairwoman of the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee today. She was also placed on the Education, Health Policy and Tourism committees.</p> <p>&#8220;It’s a great honor to be tasked with being the Democratic vice chairwoman on the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee,&#8221; Rep. Brinks said. &#8220;Before joining the Legislature, I worked in an organization that helped improve workplaces by retaining employees and building skills, and I&#8217;m excited to put that knowledge and experience to work for the people of Michigan.&#8221;</p> <p>In her first term, Rep. Brinks served on the House Education and Health Policy committees as well. In the Education Committee, Brinks looks forward to continuing her efforts to improve Michigan schools. Brinks was also active in Health Policy in her first term, and authored several bills aimed to improve women’s health care and fight breast cancer.</p> <p>&#8220;I’m grateful to be also appointed to the House Tourism Committee in my second term,&#8221; Brinks said. &#8220;Tourism is the Michigan’s second-largest industry, providing our state with thousands of jobs and many opportunities for recreation. I look forward to working on policies that will grow this critical sector of our economy and attract more visitors to our state.&#8221;</p> <![CDATA[Rep. Winnie Brinks, House District 76]]> http://076.housedems.com/multimedia/videos/rep-winnie-brinks-house-district-76 <p>Rep. Winnie Brinks is the returning State Representative for Michigan&#8217;s House District 76.</p> <![CDATA[Rep. Winnie Brinks, Rep. Brandon Dillon Sworn In at State House]]> http://076.housedems.com/news/article/rep-winnie-brinks-rep-brandon-dillon-sworn-in-at-state-house <p>LANSING – State Representatives Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) and Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids) were sworn into office at the state Capitol today. Brinks will be serving her second term representing House District 76, and Dillon will be representing House District 75 for a third term.</p> <p>&#8220;It’s a great honor to return to the Capitol to serve the families of Grand Rapids, and I am ready and eager to get to work,&#8221; said Brinks, who will also serve as the House Democrats’ policy chairwoman. &#8220;The people of the 76th District can count on me to always put their needs first in the Legislature, and I’ll be working hard to bring them tax relief, greater economic opportunities and better schools.&#8221;</p> <p>Accompanying Brinks at her swearing-in was her mother, Alice DeVries.</p> <p>&#8220;I look forward to advancing legislation that will make a real difference in the lives of Grand Rapidians,&#8221; said Dillon, who is also the House Democratic nominee to be the minority vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. &#8220;Many important issues face our state, from the proper funding of education to repairing our roads, and I will be working hard to make sure the priorities of working families always come first in the Capitol.&#8221;</p> <![CDATA[Greimel Announces Leadership Positions]]> http://076.housedems.com/news/article/greimel-announces-leadership-positions <p>LANSING – House Democratic Leader <strong>Tim Greimel</strong> (D-Auburn Hills) announced today who will fill a number of leadership positions for the 2015-2016 legislative session.</p> <p>“This outstanding Democratic Leadership team will help to shape public policy in a positive way for Michigan’s families, kids and seniors,” said Greimel. “I’m proud to have a leadership team from all different backgrounds and I look forward to working with them to better Michigan.” The leadership posts being announced today include:</p> <ul> <li>Assistant Leaders: Reps. <strong>Fred Durhal III</strong> (D-Detroit) and <strong>Vanessa Guerra</strong> (D-Saginaw)</li> <li>Whip: Rep. <strong>Robert L. Kosowski</strong> (D-Westland)</li> <li>Caucus Chair: Rep. <strong>David Rutledge</strong> (D-Ypsilanti)</li> <li>Caucus Vice Chair: Rep. <strong>Leslie Love</strong> (D-Detroit)</li> <li>Minority Vice Chair of Appropriations: Rep. <strong>Brandon Dillon</strong> (D-Grand Rapids)</li> <li>Policy Chair: Rep. <strong>Winnie Brinks</strong> (D-Grand Rapids) </li> </ul> <p>These members will join a leadership team that includes Rep. <strong>Sam Singh</strong> (D-East Lansing) as Democratic Floor Leader. As a result of his being elected chair of the Detroit Caucus, Rep. <strong>Brian Banks</strong> (D-Detroit) is also part of the House Democrats’ leadership team.</p> <![CDATA[Rep. Winnie Brinks, Rep. Brandon Dillon Take Oath of Office]]> http://076.housedems.com/news/article/rep-winnie-brinks-rep-brandon-dillon-take-oath-of-office <p>GRAND RAPIDS – State Representatives Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) and Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids) both took an oath of office on Monday, Dec. 15 in preparation for the upcoming Michigan legislative session starting Jan. 1. Brinks will be serving her second term representing House District 76, and Dillon will be representing House District 75 for a third term.</p> <p>“I’m honored and thrilled to be returning to the state Capitol next year to continue the work of representing the families of Grand Rapids,” Brinks said. “I pledge to work hard on their behalf to bring them tax relief, more and better job opportunities and to restore critical funding to our schools.” The Hon. Christopher P. Yates, Kent County Circuit Court Judge, administered the oath of office to Brinks and Dillon at a ceremony in his courtroom held Monday.</p> <p>“I’m grateful for the opportunity to work for Grand Rapids’ families, seniors and students in the Michigan House of Representatives for a third term,” Dillon said. “The hardworking people of our city need a strong, clear voice in the Capitol, and I am committed to being that voice and telling their story.”</p> <![CDATA[Brinks Resolution Declares October Breast Cancer Awareness Month]]> http://076.housedems.com/multimedia/videos/brinks-resolution-declares-october-breast-cancer-awareness-month <p>Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids), who has introduced several proposals to combat breast cancer and promote early detection of the disease, has introduced House Resolution 411, naming October Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Michigan. The measure passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support.</p>