Whitmer Names Jen Flood as the New Budget Director Along with New Promotions
Governor Whitmer appointed Jen Flood as the new Budget Director in the State Budget Office. Flood comes from a background in the Governor’s office as the director of legislative and public affairs. She has worked alongside the governor since she was the Senate Democratic Leader.
Chris Harkins, who has served at the state’s budget director since September 2021, will vacate his role with the state mid-November for a new career at Michigan State University.
Governor Whitmer also announced promotions within the executive office. Maria Martinez was promoted from chief compliance officer to Jen Flood’s previous position of deputy chief of staff. Below lists the new hires in the policy, legal, and communication division.
• Zoe Ahlstrom, Deputy Policy Director
• Marissa Kreutzfeld, Deputy Legal Counsel
• Amy Lishinski, Deputy Legal Counsel
• Hailey Cherepon, Associate Legal Counsel
• Sarah Alkiek, Communications Liaison
• Taylor Gribble, Communications Assistant
• Zoe Kukla, Digital Community Organizer
Cost-Lowering Oral Chemotherapy Legislation Signed into Law
After a 15-year battle to lower the cost of orally administered chemotherapy medication, House Bill 4071 was signed into law by the Governor on October 24, 2023. The bill addresses disparities between the level of health insurance coverage for various types of chemotherapy and establishes a cap on related co-pays. Michiganders can now expect coverage for oral chemotherapy that mirrors that of other chemotherapy treatments.
Thanks to the persistence of Representative Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills) and the numerous advocacy groups supporting this cause, Michigan patients can focus on choosing the cancer treatment that fits their lifestyle instead of settling for the one that fits their budget.
Michigan Disclosure Bills Introduced in the Senate
With the passing of Proposal 22-1, the Senate needs to adhere to the deadline given by the end of this year to pass financial disclosure legisaltion. Senate Bill 613-616 was introduced Tuesday, October 24, to keep state legislators accountable by mandating that they disclose their financial status as well as limit their total years served in Lansing to a maximum of 12 years.
However, legislators found that the bill has some loopholes. Legislators currently do not need to disclose gifts and their spouse’s financial income, which some view as joint income.
Michigan is currently one of two states that do not require state legislators to report their financial assets to the public.
Whitmer Appoints Brian Love as MVAA Director
Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed Brian Love as the Director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) following the resignation of previous Director, Adam Hollier. Hollier has since announced his candidacy for Congress.
Love’s transition to Director follows a myriad of experiences that make him well suited for his new position. In addition to prior service in the Marine Corps, he is also the Director of Community Engagement for The Education Trust and Chair of Michigan’s NAACP Veterans Affairs Committee. Previously, Love was appointed by Whitmer to the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund’s Board of Directors.