Education For AllAll of our students deserve a quality education. After meeting with teachers across the district, Senator Bayer witnessed firsthand the shortcomings of Michigan’s school funding. In 2021 alone, Sen. Bayer secured $56 million in foundation funding to Oakland County Schools.
Senator Bayer’s contributions to Michigan’s education budget include:
- Improvements in childcare systems and funding to dramatically increase availability of childcare and participation in Great Start programs.
- Worked with the budget team to equalize foundation funding for K-12 and Great Start Readiness Program students, while increasing equity program funding available to meet additional needs including special education, support for at-risk students, rural students, and English language learners.
- Fixed a funding issue in the budget that caused schools in recovery to potentially lose tens of millions of dollars per year, increasing allocations for low income districts including $40 million for Pontiac schools.
- Increased the number of school-based health centers as well as mental health practitioners in District 12 and across the state. This effort continues with larger increases planned.
- Fought for and won funding for teacher training and professional development for literacy essentials, as well as funding to provide K-5 curriculum via Public Television during the pandemic.
- Secured a $25 million budget allocation to build an emergency WIFI network to support students across Michigan during the pandemic by getting them all access to a network while schools were closed.
Public HealthPublic health touches every area of our lives as was made very clear during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of Senator Bayer's priorities are directly related to public health, including addressing the urgent needs of our people living in poverty and homelessness, environmental protection including access to clean water, paid sick and family leave, reproductive health care access, and gun violence prevention. Her background in community mental health and public service as well as her many conversations with constituents has sharpened her commitment to improving our mental health system overall.
Sen. Bayer’s public health initiatives include:
- Supporting a state budget increase of $5.6 million for mental health.
- Sponsoring a “Human Right to Water” bill.
- Serving as the Vice-Chair of the Michigan Legislative Poverty and Homelessness Caucus.
- Securing $250,000 in State funding in 2019-20 for the Oakland County Homelessness Eradication Blueprint.
- Sponsored and cosponsored bills to help Michigan’s workers weather the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing unemployment benefits, extending unemployment benefits and offering benefits to those not historically covered.
- Supported funding for pandemic medical staffing support for hospitals and COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
Violence Prevention Through Responsible Gun OwnershipOur country is in the midst of a gun violence epidemic. Growing up in a hunting family, Rosemary learned early on the importance of responsible gun ownership. Passing legislation to incentivize gun owners to handle, store and use guns safely will help prevent our children from accidentally or intentionally accessing firearms. Approximately 80% of school shooters get their weapon from home, as was the case in the Oxford High School tragedy.
In addition to her role as the Chair of the bi-cameral gun violence prevention caucus, Senator Bayer is leading ground-breaking efforts to raise awareness about the importance of responsible gun ownership as well as increasing successful violence intervention programs.
Sen. Bayer has sponsored a number of important pieces of legislation including a package of Safe Storage bills which mandate secure storage and help prevent suicides, accidents, and terrible tragedies like the Oxford shooting. Other bills include mandating Universal Background Checks, restricting gun magazine size, and Red Flag laws, which give family members and law enforcement officers a tool to use when there is a potential for harm to self or others.
Protecting Our PlanetClimate change is causing more extreme weather events. Massive storms, flooding, and power outages over the past few years have illustrated a clear need for bold policy changes in order to better protect Michigan residents. We need to do everything we can to reduce our impact on our planet.
Senator Bayer is the Minority Vice Chair on the Department of Energy, Great Lakes and Environment (EGLE) legislative committee and is a member of the Appropriations Committee for EGLE and Department of Natural Resources budgets. She has had many accomplishments in both her budget work and in sponsoring legislation, including:
- A bill that amends the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to prohibit hazardous material in residential use and another bill requiring the labeling of deadly toxins in consumer products, such as glyphosate in RoundUp.
- Endorsement of the Growing Climate Solutions Act to reduce the carbon footprint of Michigan agriculture. Sen Bayer also introduced a bill to regulate and reduce fertilizer runoff into water systems.
- Created a $5 billion proposal for investing in Michigan’s water systems and climate resilience infrastructure to ensure clean, safe water and provide relief to those suffering from repeated flood events.
Civil Rights and Reproductive FreedomMichigan should be a place where everyone can thrive and have an opportunity to succeed without discrimination. Sen. Bayer stands against racism and sexism and supports expanding Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include LGBTQ people. She is also a strong supporter of reproductive freedom and has testified on the Senate floor about having an abortion herself.
Some of Senator Bayer's work in this area includes:
- Sponsoring and co-sponsoring bills to legalize abortion in Michigan should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v Wade.
- Sponsoring a bill to ban the so-called “gay panic” defense, which uses a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity as a justification for committing a crime.
- Co-sponsoring resolutions recognizing Black History Month and commemorating June 19 as Juneteenth and the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 15th Amendment.
- Sponsoring legislation addressing police accountability and transparency.
Creating Jobs By Investing In InfrastructureMichigan’s long overdue investment in infrastructure is a priority we can no longer ignore. In 2018, Michigan scored a D+ on the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card For America’s Infrastructure. Senator Bayer is on the Senate Appropriations Infrastructure and Transportation Committee and works on improving our rail and road systems, both statewide and within District 12.
Infrastructure legislation introduced by Senator Bayer include:
- Senate Bill 748, which creates a state weatherization program to help low-income residents improve the energy efficiency and resiliency of their homes against climate change, creating hundreds of jobs.
- Senate Bill 593, which establishes a framework for local municipalities to develop their own stormwater utility system.
- $200,000 for the replacement of sewer lines in Franklin in the 2022 bipartisan budget effort.
- Legislation to give local communities the ability to set appropriate, safe speed limits, rather than use the current standard of 55 MPH even on very small gravel roads.