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Robertson supports bill to allow access to experimental medicine

Many drugs that could provide effective treatments for terminally ill patients take years to be approved. I recently supported legislation that would allow patients with an advanced illness access to these experimental drugs.

Senate Bill 991 creates the "Right to Try Act," which would let patients use investigational drugs, biological products or devices that have not yet been approved for general use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To be eligible for new treatments and medicine, a patient must have:

  • An advanced illness attested to by the treating physician;
  • Considered all other available treatment options;
  • Received a recommendation from their physician to try an investigational drug, biological product or device;
  • Given written informed consent; and
  • Documentation from their physician that the patient meets all the requirements.

The legislation has been referred to the House Health Policy Committee.


Michigan a leader in digital government

The Center for Digital Government recently awarded Michigan an "A" grade in the Digital States Survey, a biannual survey looking at each state government's ability to better serve citizens. Michigan is one of only two states to earn the top mark in three consecutive surveys.

The state scored high marks in technology modernization and a commitment to transparency through the online dashboard. Michigan's dashboards measure performance in areas such as economic strength, health and education, value for money, quality of life and public safety. Go to to check the state's progress.


Home heating credit deadline nears

The Sept. 30 deadline to apply for the federally funded Michigan Home Heating Credit in 2014 (for tax year 2013) is right around the corner.

The credit assists qualifying senior citizens and low-income customers with their winter energy bills. Eligible customers must have their homestead in Michigan, own or rent the home in which they live and meet income requirements. Form MI-1040CR-7 is available at the Department of Treasury's website: or by calling 517-636-4486. It is not necessary to file a Michigan tax return to apply for the home heating credit.