Robertson backs bill targeting youth cigarette salesAlmost all tobacco use begins in childhood and adolescence. In fact, according to a report by the U.S. surgeon general, nearly 90 percent of adults who smoke daily began smoking by the age of 18.
I recently supported legislation to increase the penalties for providing tobacco to minors and for minors who use tobacco products. Under the bill, fines would increase to $100 for a first violation and up to $500 for a second or subsequent violation. The current penalty of $50 has not been raised in more than 20 years.
It’s my hope that more stringent penalties will help deter youth smoking and discourage the illegal sale of tobacco to minors.
Robertson votes to ban sex offender loitering near day care centersThe Senate recently approved legislation to further protect Michigan’s children. The bills prohibit sexual predators from loitering within 1,000 feet of a licensed child or day care center and provide penalties for violators. The only exceptions are for an offender transporting his or her own child to school or day care, or meeting with an employee regarding the child’s attendance.
Currently, there is a 1,000 foot school safety zone to keep offenders away from schools. Senate Bills 76 and 77 extend the safety restrictions to child care centers and offer parents added peace of mind.
As background, in 2011 seven individuals were convicted of first offense student safety zone violations and two individuals were convicted of second or subsequent student safety zone violations; all served jail time or a combination of jail time and probation.
State campground reservation system reminderImprovements to the state parks and harbors online Central Reservation System are underway! The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports that the new reservation system will become fully active in early November.
In the meantime, keep in mind that from Oct. 22-31, customers cannot make website reservations. However, the call center at 1-800-44-PARKS remains active through Oct. 30.
Stay up-to-date during the transition phase and find out about new website features (including campsite photos!) at www.michigan.gov/stateparks.
At your serviceAs always, I am here to serve you. Should you ever have any questions or need assistance in a state matter, please feel free to contact my office at (866) 305-2126 or by visiting my website www.SenatorDaveRobertson.com. I'll gladly help.