Safer clinics guaranteed by law

Safer clinics guaranteed by law

LANSING— State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, announced on Thursday that Gov. Rick Snyder signed a series of bills that establish new health and safety standards for abortion clinics.

This package of legislation went through the Senate Judiciary Committee and Jones worked to help pass it.

"These changes are common sense and needed badly.  We license tattoo parlors, dentist offices, and even used car lots,” said Jones.  “Certainly we should license an abortion clinic.” 

Under the omnibus package:

  • Any abortion clinic in Michigan will be licensed, inspected and clean.  A recent poll showed that 87 percent of women in Michigan wanted this change.                                                                                                               
  • All aborted babies must be cared for in the proper manner. Last year, 17 aborted babies were found in a common garbage dumpster outside of an abortion clinic in Delta Township.  This new law will ensure that a medical cremation takes place.
  • Requires that a doctor or clinic professional ask all patients if they were coerced or forced by violence or threat of violence to have an abortion.  Groups which seek to prevent domestic violence were in favor of this change.

“During testimony in the Senate Judiciary Committee, we heard stories of unclean exam rooms in clinics, a woman bleeding to death because proper care was not available,” Jones said. “Last year, instead of being cremated, 17 aborted babies were thrown in a garbage dumpster in Delta Township.

“No woman should be threatened with violence to force her into abortion.  This is a pro-woman law,” added Jones.

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Jones measure seeks to crack down on sexual abuse of foster children

Jones measure seeks to crack down on sexual abuse of foster children

LANSING— Legislation that would increase protections of foster children against sexual abuse was signed by the governor on Tuesday, said sponsor Sen. Rick Jones.

Public Act 372 would close a loophole in state law to prevent foster parents from legally having sexual intercourse with their foster children.

“When I was told about the case in Barry County I knew swift action had to be taken,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Foster homes should be safe places for children. It sickens me that someone would abuse the system in order to take in foster children for their sexual perversion.”

Recently, a foster parent in Barry County was accused of having sex with his 16- and 17–year- olds in his foster home. Some charges against the suspect could not be brought because the victims were scared to say “no” to the subject.

“I find it shocking that Michigan taxpayers were paying this man to care for the children and he was abusing them,” Jones said. “However, a major loophole has been closed and I hope an incident like this never occurs again.”
 

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Gov. Snyder signs bills to increase penalties for dog fighting

Gov. Snyder signs bills to increase penalties for dog fighting  

 

LANSING— State Sen. Rick Jones announced on Thursday that Gov. Rick Snyder signed a series of bills that increases penalties for those who engage in dogfighting. 
“This package of legislation sends a clear message that dogfighting will not be tolerated in Michigan,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge.

The legislation is a bipartisan effort between Jones, Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, and Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township.

Jones’ measure, Public Act 350, would subject the property of a person convicted of being involved in animal fighting to forfeiture.

PA 351, sponsored by LaFontaine, would allow the place where the illegal conduct took place to be declared a nuisance, allowing local authorities to padlock the property.

Bieda’s bill, PA 352 , would subject the groups that engage in animal fighting for material gain to prosecution under the racketeering (RICO) statute, which could result in longer prison sentences and/or greater fines.

All three bills are strongly supported by the Michigan Humane Society, American Humane Society and the Animal Law Section of the Michigan State Bar.

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Work release reform sent to governor

Work release reform sent to governor

LANSING—A package of legislation designed to strengthen oversight for prisoners on work or school release was approved by the Michigan House of Representatives on Thursday and will soon be on the governor’s desk, said sponsor Sen. Rick Jones.

“This legislation will ensure that an inmate’s work or school has been thoroughly verified and the court is aware of his or her location in an effort to protect Michigan’s citizens from violent felons,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge.

In 2011, an Eaton County Circuit Court Judge granted work release to a convicted felon based on a phony document provided to the inmate’s attorney from an acquaintance.  Instead of working, this inmate allegedly committed a series of break-ins and then allegedly committed a double homicide against a retired state trooper and his wife. 

Senate Bill 1126, sponsored by Jones, requires that once a prisoner is approved for release, the Department of Corrections Bureau of Probation must provide verification of employment or enrollment to a judge before the inmate is released.  This verification must take place within seven days of the prisoner being approved for work release.

Jones also introduced SB1127, which requires that any felon on school or work release wear an electronic monitoring device, which would be paid for by the inmate.

“This legislation may have prevented two of my friends being brutally murdered,” Jones said. “The goal of our corrections system is to rehabilitate prisoners so that one day they can be productive members of society, and work release is a critical part of that process. However, public safety must be a chief concern when deciding if an inmate can be granted work or education release.”

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