No Bridge Cards in gentlemen’s clubs or liquor stores

LANSING -Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, announced on Monday that he will be introducing a bill to stop the use of Bridge Cards in gentlemen's clubs and liquor stores. Last session, Jones sponsored legislation banning Bridge Cards from being used in casinos.

"Recently, I was advised and shocked to learn that Bridge Cards could be used in gentlemen's clubs and liquor stores," Jones said. "It is an obscene use of tax dollars meant to feed hungry children and provide the necessities of life. Booze and strip clubs need to be off limits to welfare money."

A new federal law requires each state to prevent access to electronic benefit transfer transactions at ATMs located in casinos, gaming establishments, liquor stores, or any establishment that provides adult-orientated entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment. Jones' legislation will bring the state into compliance to prevent a federal fine. The Michigan Department of Human Services is in support of coming into compliance.

Sen. Jones welcomes Grand Ledge gymnastics team to Capitol

Lansing— State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, honored the Grand Ledge High School girls gymnastics team with a tribute on Senate floor on Thursday. The Grand Ledge High School gymnastics team won the Division 1 State Championship for the fifth consecutive year.

“This is the first time in girl’s gymnastics that a team has won five consecutive championships,” said Jones. “It is amazing that they continue to dominate even with new girls coming and going each year. The dedication of the student athletes, coaching staff and their parents should be commended”  

Senate approves blight package

LANSING- A bipartisan package of legislation that addresses issues related to blight violations was approved by the Michigan Senate on Thursday, said sponsor state Sen. Rick Jones.

"There are cases where people buy buildings in Detroit and other cities and let them rot," said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. "We need to put teeth into blight laws so that slumlords respond to blight infractions.

Senate Bills 35 to 39 increase penalties for unpaid blight violations and provide local governments tools to better control urban blight.

Under the measure:

A first violation is a civil infraction and a fine of $500;

A second violation is a misdemeanor, possible imprisonment for not more than 93 days and a fine of $500;

A third and all subsequent violations will result in a misdemeanor, possible imprisonment for not more than one year and a fine of $500;

Individuals who have unpaid fines dues to blight violations will be prohibited from applying for new permits; and

Local governments can garnishee the wages of individuals with unpaid blight fines or place a lien on their properties.

"I would like to thank my Senate colleagues for supporting this measure," Jones said. "I would specifically like to thank Senator Virgil Smith of Detroit for all of his work and for his perspective on how this issue affects Detroit."

Jones legislation targets animal abusers

LANSING- A bipartisan packageoflegislation that wouldincrease penalties for people who abuse animals was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, said sponsor state Sen. Rick Jones.

"People who are animal abusers later become people abusers," said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. "I wish this legislation was not necessary. However, serial animal abusers must face higher penalties."

Senate Bills 235 and 236, a bipartisan package of bills sponsored by Jones and Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, strengthen the penalty for individuals who abuse or neglect more than 25 animals. The package also establishes penalty tiers for first and second animal torture or killing.

Under the new law, a person charged with animal abuse or neglect involving 25 or more animals could face up to seven years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 500 hours of community service. Currently, the penalty for crimes involving 10 or more animals is four years in prison, a $5,000 fine and 500 community service hours.

"I fully expect this legislation to pass the Senate and the House and be signed into law," Jones said. "I would like to thank Senator Bieda for his hard work to help get these measures out of committee."

Eaton County receives funds for transportation and economic development

LANSING- The Michigan Department of Transportation has announced that Eaton County has been selected for a grant to help improve transportation infrastructure.

Oneida Township will receive $683,000 in order to assist with the resurfacing of Oneida Road. and adding turn lanes at the intersection of M-43 and Oneida Road.

"I am thrilled that Eaton County was able to receive some extra funds to help with the transition," said state Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge. "These grants have already proven to be vital in helping local municipalities. I would like to thank everyone involved for making these funds available."

The Office of Economic Development evaluates projects up to six times a year, selecting those that provide the greatest return on investment and best meet the directives established by the Legislature. This activity is an essential tool in attracting and retaining jobs for Michigan

The goal of the program is to support economic growth in Michigan through transportation investments critical to developments that create and retain jobs in seven target industries.

Jones bill would prohibit online lottery sales

Jones bill would prohibit online lottery sales
 

LANSING — State Sen. Rick Jones introduced legislation on Tuesday  that would prohibit the Michigan Lottery from allowing the purchase and play of lottery games over the Internet.

“When Michigan Lottery officials made me aware that they plan to allow people to play lottery games online, I was immediately concerned,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “I was even more concerned when I was told that young people will play, because they like playing games on their phones.”

Finland and England and the state of Illinois already have systems in place to allow those who wish to gamble online.

Jones said he opposes the expansion to online gambling for the following reasons: 

• It will be easier to become addicted from home;

• Personal debt will skyrocket through increased credit card sales;

• The state should be encouraging young people to invest in their education or save for a home ¬– not to gamble on their phone; and

• By putting this online, it will further deprive Michigan small businesses of sales and store traffic.  Currently, if adults want to play Keno or the lottery they go to a convenience store, gas station or restaurant that sells tickets. Typically when someone goes to a store they also buy other products.

“Gambling addiction is a serious problem, and allowing people to gamble online or from their cell phone can potentially ruin lives,” Jones said. “We could have cases where people gamble away their home without ever leaving it.”

Senate Bill 294 will be referred to committee later this week. 

Senate Judiciary Committee votes to keep lower blood alcohol content limit

LANSING-The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Tuesday to maintain the .08 blood alcohol limit for drunk driving. Sen. Rick Jones, chairman of the committee, and Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker both voted to support the legislation.

“It’s important that Michigan keeps its BAC level at .08 and not go backwards,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Increasing the BAC limit will not only cause Michigan to lose important road funding dollars, but also make our streets more dangerous.”

Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, added, “Maintaining the .08 limit saves lives, plain and simple. There is no reason that someone who has consumed that much alcohol should be driving. Allowing the limit to return to .1 would only allow more dangerous drivers to be legally on the road and put our families at greater risk.”

In 2003, the Michigan Legislature passed a law lowering the blood alcohol limit for operating under the influence from .1 to .08. However, the Legislature included a sunset provision that would have allowed the BAC limit to return to .1 in 2013.

Testimony provided to committee members by the Michigan State Police, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Michigan Alcohol Policy Promoting Health & Safety offered evidence supporting the .08 limit. Studies have shown that virtually all divers are significantly impaired with a BAC of .08, and since Michigan implemented the .08 limit in 2003, drunk driving deaths have dropped by 25 percent.

This legislation passed the House of Representatives and Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously. It will now go to the full Senate for a vote.

Jones donates to local library

Jones donates to local library

LANSING— Lastmonth, schools and librariesacross Michigan celebrated March is Reading Month by encouraging students to pick up a book and read. 

State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, celebrated March is Reading Month by reading to a group of local elementary schools students and providing them bookmarks. Jones read to a group of children at Dimondale Elementary last month,librarian Dottie Snyder mentioned to Jones that the library was raising money for a children’s mural to be painted and that they were $100 shy of their goal to complete the mural.   Sen Jones raised the hundred dollars and presented it to Dottie.

 

Jones: You will be able to lose your home from your home

Jones: You will be able to lose your home from your home

LANSING —The Michigan Lottery hopes to begin selling lottery tickets online this year, said state Sen. Rick Jones.

“I recently was contacted by Michigan Lottery officials, who made me aware that they plan to expand Keno and lottery ticket sales to the internet,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “I was also told that more young people will play, because they like playing games on their phones.”

Finland and England and the state of Illinois already have systems in place to allow those who wish to gamble online.

I oppose this expansion for the following reasons: 

  • It will be easier to become addicted from home. 
  • Personal debt will skyrocket through increased credit card sales
  • The state should be encouraging young people to invest in their education or save for a home ­– not to gamble on their phone.
  • By putting this online, it will further deprive Michigan small business of sales and store traffic.  Currently, if adults want to play Keno or the Lottery they go to a convenience store, gas station or restaurant that sells tickets. Typically when someone goes to a store they also buy other products.

“Gambling addiction is a serious problem, and allowing people to gamble online or from their cell phone can potentially ruin lives,” Jones said. “We could have cases where people gamble away their home from their couch.”

 

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