Join me for coffee and conversation
It’s my goal to visit all eight counties of the 37th Senate District each month to meet with residents and discuss important state and local issues. I invite you to join me during my May coffee hour locations, listed below. Free ORV weekend
Off-road enthusiasts can take advantage of the second Free ORV Weekend of the year on Aug. 20-21. Michigan residents and nonresidents legally can ride DNR-designated routes and trails, including the state's five scramble areas, without an ORV license or trail permit. Riders can save up to $36.25.
Michigan's large public ORV trail system covers 3,800 miles of trails and routes through the state. For more information, including ORV trail maps, a list of ORV-friendly state parks and campgrounds, and a link to the Michigan ORV Handbook, visit www.michigan.gov/orvinfo
. New law allows tax check-off for Red Cross
The American Red Cross is an important part of communities across Michigan, providing disaster assistance, blood supply and donation, and health and safety training.
I supported Senate legislation recently signed into law that will enable people to support this great organization through voluntary donations on their state tax returns. By checking a box on their state income tax form, Public Acts 183
of 2016 will allow taxpayers to direct $5, $10 or more to the American Red Cross in Michigan. There were eight funds on the checkoff portion of the 2015 state income tax form. Michigan law requires a checkoff to raise at least $50,000 in a single tax year for two consecutive years in order to remain on the form. Michigan concussion law protects young athletes
High school athletes are returning to practice fields, and it's a good time to revisit Senate legislation passed into law to protect the health of our kids.
Public Acts 342 and 343 of 2012 require adults involved with a youth athletic activity, including coaches, employees and volunteers to complete a concussion awareness training program. The school or organization must also provide educational materials to athletes and their parents/guardians.
Most importantly, any young athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion, must be immediately removed from the activity and cannot return until he or she receives written clearance to play from a health professional.
More information about the law is available at www.michigan.gov/sportsconcussion
. West Nile virus confirmed in Michigan
Late last month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the state's first human case of West Nile virus for 2016.
Most people who become infected with West Nile virus will not develop any symptoms or will experience a mild flu-like illness; some will become more severely ill. To help protect against the mosquito that transmits the virus, remember to use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors, repair window screens, and empty water from any mosquito-breeding place, such as old tires. Find information on West Nile virus in Michigan at www.michigan.gov/westnilevirus