New law provides health care to families of fallen public safety officers
Our first responders put their lives on the line when working to keep our families, neighborhoods and communities safe. We should do what we can to support their families when the unthinkable happens.
My bill to provide health care coverage for the surviving spouse and dependents of public safety officers who died in the line of duty was recently signed into law. I was honored to join Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan Sheriffs' Association CEO and Executive Director Terrence Jungel, and Katie Sherwood, widow of fallen Clare County Deputy Kevin Sherwood, who died 10 years ago while on duty, at a recent ceremonial bill signing. Public Act 284 of 2016 (SB 218)
allows family members of law enforcement officers, corrections officers, firefighters, and members of a rescue squad or ambulance crew who lost their lives as a result of on-the-job duties to receive extended health care benefits.
The medical benefit plan would be comparable to the plan offered to retired state police officers and available for a maximum of five years. The law is retroactive to Oct. 1, 2015.
The new law is an important way to honor the sacrifices of those who work to help and protect others and support their families. Honored as Michigan Sheriffs' Association Legislator of the Year
I was honored to be named Legislator of the Year by the Michigan Sheriffs' Association during the group's Fall Professional Development Conference in Lansing.
I have a great deal of respect and admiration for our law enforcement professionals, and to receive this award from the Michigan Sheriffs' Association is an incredible honor. Officers are out on the front lines to serve and protect our communities every day, and I am committed to working in my capacity as state senator to do what I can to support their mission to keep us all safe. Take steps to stay safe online
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and a reminder to safeguard personal information while online.
According to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, Michigan residents and businesses have lost more than $26.5 million to cybercriminals already this year. The average victim has tallied a loss of nearly $4,000.
The Michigan State Police urges consumers to be vigilant internet users and offers the following tips:
• Don't click on links or pop-ups, open attachments or respond to emails from strangers.
• Don't respond to online requests for personal information.
• Password-protect all user accounts and devices that connect to the internet.
• Don't use the same password twice; change your password on a regular basis.
More information about staying safe online is available at www.michigan.gov/cybersecurity
. Watch for deer while driving
Driving in Michigan in the fall requires a little extra caution. Although deer and vehicle collisions occur throughout the year, 45 percent of these crashes happen in October, November and December.
According to the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition, most accidents and injuries occur when drivers swerve to avoid hitting the deer. If a crash is unavoidable, the safety group recommends that drivers don't swerve, brake firmly, hold onto the steering wheel with both hands, come to a controlled stop and steer the vehicle well off the roadway.
More information, including additional safety tips and statistics by county, is available at www.Michigandeercrash.com
. Coffee Hours in the 37th District