Join me for coffee
I will be holding coffee hours in the 37th District this month. I'll be available to answer questions and provide information and assistance, as well as take suggestions on issues affecting communities and businesses in the district. No appointment is necessary. I hope you're able to join me.
Michigan Senate acts to protect minors
When it comes to keeping kids safe, it seems as though there are always new challenges. I recently supported two bills to protect children from alcohol and nicotine abuse. Senate Bill 231
would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes and nicotine cartridges to minors and treat stores that sell the products to minors the same as if they sold them tobacco. The bill would also prohibit a minor from buying or using e-cigarettes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2013 more than a quarter million middle and high school students - who never smoked traditional cigarettes - used e-cigarettes. In fact, the products come in many kid-friendly flavors, like chocolate, fruit and bubble gum. Yet the nicotine in them can be just as addictive as conventional cigarettes. Clearly, these devices don't belong in the hands of our children.
Another measure, Senate Bill 240
, would prohibit the sale, distribution and possession of powdered alcohol. Small enough to fit in a pocket, this product can be readily concealed and easier for young people to access and consume. A number of states have already banned powdered alcohol and several others are considering bans.
Both bills have been sent to the House for consideration. Michigan Child Protection Registry
Speaking of protecting minors, do you know if your children are safe while online?
Michigan families, especially minors, are becoming inundated with advertisements from alcohol, tobacco, pornography and gambling marketers through different internet accounts and websites, as well as on cell phones. Texting-based advertisements are the newest marketing effort that many of these companies are using. Thankfully, the State of Michigan offers a free program to stop adult advertisements from reaching e-mails, mobile phones (text messaging ads) and instant messenger IDs. The Michigan Child Protection Registry, like the federal Do Not Call List, is a free do-not-contact service for Michigan's families and can be located at www.ProtectMIChild.com
As a strong supporter of this registry, I would like to encourage you to sign your entire family up for the registry and inform your friends and colleagues about how they can protect children and families from unwanted adult advertising. Signing up only takes seconds. Just go to www.ProtectMIChild.com
and keep your family safe. Enjoy Free Fishing Weekend June 13-14
Michiganders and out-of-state visitors can enjoy two days of free fishing the weekend of June 13 and 14.
All fishing license fees are waived, letting participants fish both inland and Great Lakes waters for all species of fish at no charge. However, all fishing regulations do still apply.
Michigan offers some of the finest freshwater fishing in the world, with more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes and 36,350 miles of rivers and streams.
With some of the best inland lakes and easy access to the Great Lakes, northern Michigan is the place to get out and enjoy a free weekend of fishing with family and friends.
For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing
. How to properly display the American flag
Flag Day is celebrated each year on June 14, commemorating the adoption of the American flag in 1777. Since then, our flag has been a symbol of freedom throughout the world - freedom that has been protected by the courage and sacrifice of the members of our nation's military.
Certainly, Old Glory commands proper attention and respect. Many people have questions on flag etiquette and I am pleased to provide some general information on my website at www.SenatorWayneSchmidt.com
. State parks honor veterans with Fireworks-Free Fourth of July
Michigan is home to more than 660,000 veterans, some of whom prefer to avoid fireworks and other loud noises.
On this Independence Day weekend (July 3-5), 12 Michigan state parks will offer Fireworks-Free Fourth of July celebrations. Located farther away from urban areas that often host large local firework displays, these parks are ideal camping locations for veterans and others who prefer a quieter holiday celebration.
The weekend event, made possible by a partnership between the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, provides a great alternative when celebrating our nation's freedom. Ground-level fireworks such as sparklers, fountains and other novelties will still be permitted. Find out more, including a list of participating state parks, at www.MichiganVeterans.com