In This Issue:
Bay City seminar to focus on human traffickingHuman trafficking is the second-largest and fastest-growing criminal industry in the world - and it's happening right here in Michigan, a key border state. In fact, it is estimated that hundreds of children under the age of 18 in our state are sold into the world of sex trafficking every year.
To raise awareness of the problem, I will be hosting a Human Trafficking Seminar on Thursday, May 1, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Alice and Jack Wirt Library, 500 Center Avenue, Bay City. The free event will feature special guest state Sen. Judy Emmons who will give a powerful presentation on human trafficking, its victims, the problem in Michigan and the steps to combat it.
Emmons is leading a bipartisan package of bills of which I am a sponsor to give law enforcement more tools to investigate instances of human trafficking and grant more rights to trafficking victims. The legislation would also provide safe harbor for victims and eliminate the statute of limitations for trafficking offenses.
The only chance we have to ending human trafficking in Michigan is if everyone - from law enforcement to concerned neighbors - understands the problem and how they can help put an end to it. I encourage parents, educators, students, clergy, social workers, law enforcement and anyone else who is interested to attend this important seminar.
Senior citizen identity theft series continues in the ThumbNationwide, as many as five million seniors become victims of financial abuse each year, crimes that often include identity theft and fraud. To help area residents protect themselves, I am hosting a Senior Citizen Identity Theft Seminar presented by Attorney General Bill Schuette's Senior Brigade.
The seminar will take place on Friday, May 9, at the Rawson Memorial Library, 6495 Pine St, Cass City, from 2:00 -3:00 p.m. RSVP's are not required and there is no cost to attend.
Representatives of Schuette will provide information on preventative steps that can be taken to avoid becoming a victim and to minimize the impact when you've been targeted. The seminar will also include a presentation by Chanda Booms, senior vice president and Secrecy Act Officer at Signature Bank, on how financial institutions experience the growing problem and ways they can help their customers prevent it.
Ag rail and water transportation summit a success!
I am joined by agriculture leaders from throughout the state in accepting the MABA "Legislator of the Year" Award
While agriculture continues to expand across Michigan, farmers and agribusinesses depend more than ever on a reliable, growing transportation network for receiving supplies and shipping products around the world. I recently joined the Michigan Agri-Business Association (MABA) in convening a summit of agriculture, business, state and federal leaders to discuss rail and water transportation issues and needs.
Rail and water transportation are especially important for Bay and Thumb area agriculture and business. More than 50 percent of corn, 80 percent of soybeans and 40 percent of wheat produced in the region reach their destinations by rail every year. One rail hopper transports more than two truckloads of grain, lowering transportation costs by an estimated $.50 per bushel and reducing the impact of truck traffic on our streets, roads and highways, an issue that is especially relevant this year.
Michigan has a lot of work to do to improve and expand its rail and water transportation options. The summit highlighted the importance of improved rail and water transportation infrastructure to economic growth and job creation and focused on steps that need to be taken at the state and federal level.
Following my opening remarks at the summit, I was pleased to receive MABA's "Legislator of the Year" award for legislative leadership on agriculture issues and the state budget.
Work zone safetyWith road work projects ramping up this spring, the Department of Transportation reminds motorists to slow down, stay alert and drive carefully in construction work zones on state and local roads.
Officials encourage drivers to pay attention not only to workers, but to stopped traffic and other drivers attempting to merge. While work zone crashes and fatalities were down in 2013 from 2012, serious injuries were up 87 percent.
Please take your time and drive safe as you and your family make lifelong memories in Michigan's great outdoors!
Spring and summer fun is Pure Michigan!
Love to fish? Michigan boasts 36,000 miles of rivers and streams-including 1,000 miles of blue ribbon trout streams.
Love to boat, sail, canoe or kayak? With shoreline on four of the five Great Lakes and 11,000 inland lakes, Michigan sportsmen and women have access to the greatest freshwater resources in the world.
Love to camp, hike or nature watch? You're never more than an hour's drive from a blue ribbon state park or recreation area.
And by spending your vacation and leisure dollars in our great state, you help support many small businesses, their employees and the local communities where they live.
I am pleased to provide my annual Boating and Fishing Update that includes legislative news, license information, festival dates and much more to help you in planning your Pure Michigan spring and summer fun.