I hope this e-mail finds you well and warm! Here is my latest behind-the-scenes update as I continue to make the transition as Representative-elect. I write these letters out of a heart for government transparency and an engaged and informed citizenry. However, if at anytime you would rather not receive these updates, you can unsubscribe below at the bottom of the email.
Recently, I submitted my committee preferences to the Committee on Committees which makes recommendations to the Speaker of the House. Representatives generally serve on either Policy or Appropriations committees since they meet around the same time. My preference is to serve on Appropriations over Policy, which would allow me more input on budgeting and the fiscal side of government. As a Registered Nurse, I submitted my preference for Community Health or Health Policy, but also have an interest in Energy & Technology, Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Commerce, and Education. I expect to find out committee assignments in January.
Representative-elects are allowed to draft 10 bills in December and it is important to me that my choices reflect the conservative values of life and liberty on which I campaigned, in addition to being well thought-out and researched. Right now, Michigan's legislature is in the last week of the lame duck session so I have also been fighting bills that threaten our freedoms and expand government. Some good news so far is that it looks like the Elliott-Larsen expansion will not make it out of committee!
This month I will need to hire my office staff with a budget of $102,000, which covers the staff salaries as well as office needs, including constituent mailers. There are a pool of potential staff in Lansing, some who are already committed to offices and some who are still available to be hired. I have been told that what generally happens is that a number of staff will rotate around to the different offices throughout the year, like a revolving door. Since Lansing is the heart of the political machine that I have been challenging, having staff who I know and can trust is extremely important. It is also imperative to me to hire staff that are qualified and who have the necessary skills and experience in order to create the team that will serve the 80th District in an exemplary fashion. Lastly, there is the salary, travel, and work load that need to be considered. As you can imagine, the number of people who meet all of these requirements is very small. I have put a lot of thought and effort into this area and will be making my final selection soon.
Over the past two weeks I attended two legislative conferences, one in Washington DC and the other at Michigan State University. Since my children hadn't been to DC, we turned it into an educational field trip and Joe and the kids toured the capitol while I attended the conference. I really enjoyed meeting Representatives from around the nation and attending some informative legislative sessions! Overall, my weeks are filled with numerous meetings, both in district and in Lansing. Recently I met with a number of health care agencies, physicians, the Allegan County Road Commission, and also with Representative Bob Genetski as he assists me in making a smooth transition.
Lastly, I continue to organize the January 9th and 10th Michigan Grassroots PowWow. This event has grown to have a very significant impact on the political field statewide. I really couldn't do this without the volunteer support team who are doing most of the heavy lifting. It looks like this event will be the largest political event from now until the next Michigan Republican Party State Convention. We will be discussing Inner-Party Politics, the Art of Elections (looking ahead at 2016), and Going on Offense on the 2015 Legislative Agenda. I would love to have you join me and the other hundreds of top conservative activists from around the state on January 9th and 10th at the Soaring Eagle Resort in Mt. Pleasant. Tickets are only $25 for the conference, hotel not included, and you can register at Eventbrite by clicking here.
This past week was special for both of our twins, Paige & Joey. Paige passed her driving test and Joey decided to run for the position of Youth Vice Chair of the Michigan Republican Party which will be decided by a vote of the precinct delegates at February State Convention.
I appreciate your prayers as my family transitions into this new role of public office and we prepare to serve the people of Michigan & District 80! May God bless and keep you today!
With Firm Reliance on Divine Providence,
Cindy Gamrat for State Representative
Paid for by Citizens to Elect Cindy Gamrat · PO Box 452, Plainwell, MI 49080, United States