Governor signs Jones bill to help counties save tax dollars

LANSING—Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to enable counties to save money currently paid to the state for handling foreclosures was signed on Tuesday by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Before Dec. 1, 1999, counties could pass resolutions having the state of Michigan serve as their foreclosing governmental unit.

“At a time when there were relatively few foreclosures, having the state do this job might have made good financial sense,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Unfortunately, counties must pay multiple fees to the state for handling the foreclosures. As foreclosures increased, these fees were costing counties, like Eaton County, thousands of dollars.

“Eaton County and others asked for the opportunity to rescind their resolutions and handle their own foreclosures, but the law included no process for them to do so. Now they can.”

Senate Bill 574, now Public Act 132 of 2014, allows county boards to rescind their previous decision to have the state of Michigan serve as their foreclosing governmental unit. Currently, 12 counties have elected to have the state as their foreclosing governmental unit.

Jones said the fees include the costs for site inspections, publication notices, title searches, inspection fees and amounts paid to outside contractors.

“In the end, this is about allowing county governments to take control of their own proceedings while also saving county taxpayers thousands of dollars every year,” Jones said.

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Jones donates to Michigan Interfaith Council on Alcohol Problems

LANSING—State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, recently raised $500 for the Michigan Interfaith Council on Alcohol Problems (MICAP) and presented a check to the Rev. Bill Amundsen at the Grand Ledge A&W.  Amundsen is a retired pastor of the Grand Ledge United Methodist Church and currently serves on the MICAP board and lives in Delta Township.

“As a former sheriff, I have seen firsthand the impact alcohol can have on young lives,” Jones said. “I am proud to help an organization whose mission is to help those who may be or have been harmed by alcohol or other drugs.” 

MICAP educates Michigan citizens about the consequences of the abuse of beverage alcohol and other impairing drugs and promotes public policies that eliminate or mitigate those consequences. The council is the state affiliate of the American Council on Alcohol Problems and a member organization of the Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking.

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Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of this and other Jones photos, visit www.SenatorRickJones.com. Click on Photowire.

Senate panel approves ‘cyber revenge’ bills

LANSING—Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sens. Rick Jones and Steven Bieda to criminalize “cyber revenge” was approved on Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Cyber revenge, also known as revenge porn, is the distribution of sexually graphic images of an individual without their consent, as well as posting online images originally obtained with consent within the context of a private relationship.

“Revenge porn isn’t about art or speech or even sex – it’s about using the power of the Internet to destroy someone’s life,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Cracking down on cyber revenge will help stop former lovers from taking images captured in trust and using them to intimidate or harass their ex-partners.

“This proposal would also apply to hackers who steal personal images and then post them online or send them to a victim’s family or co-workers.”

Senate Bills 924 and 925 would make it illegal in Michigan to post any sexually explicit image on the Internet without that person’s written permission. Under the measures, first-time offenders would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a fine of $500 or both. Subsequent violations could result in a year in prison, a $1,000 fine or both.

“Explicit photographs of an individual published on a website, where millions of people can view it, can turn their humiliation into a public commodity that devastates lives,” said Bieda, D-Warren. “We must address the issue now, and I look forward to seeing the Senate swiftly act on this important legislation.”

SBs 924-925 now head to the full Senate for consideration.

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Sen. Jones bags a wild turkey

LANSING—Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, shows off the result of a successful wild turkey hunt on Sunday, May 4. The senator encourages Michigan residents to take advantage of one of the nation’s longest wild turkey seasons.

“I wish more teenagers would put down their video game controls and enjoy Michigan’s great outdoors,” Jones said. “Hunting is a time-honored tradition, and the early spring is a great time of year to get out and hunt.”

The Michigan spring wild turkey hunting season is underway and lasts until May 31. More information about turkey hunting can be found at www.michigan.gov/turkey.

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Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of this and other Jones photos, visit www.SenatorRickJones.com. Click on Photowire.

Jones, Bieda introduce bipartisan legislation to crack down on ‘cyber revenge’

LANSING—Legislation that would criminalize “cyber revenge” was introduced in the Michigan Senate on Thursday by Sens. Rick Jones and Steven Bieda.

Cyber revenge is the distribution of sexually graphic images of an individual without their consent, as well as posting online images originally obtained with consent within the context of a private relationship.

“This is an attempt to stop cyber revenge – usually the actions of a former lover to intimidate or harass their ex-partner or to damage their reputation,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “This breach of trust is a growing problem in America that affects both men and women. I will do everything I can to stop this, because everyone deserves to have their privacy protected – especially in their own home.”

Senate Bills 924 and 925 would make it illegal in Michigan to post any sexually explicit image on the Internet without that person’s written permission.

“Explicit photographs of an individual published on a website, where millions of people can view it, can turn their humiliation into a public commodity that devastates lives,” said Bieda, D-Warren. “We must address the issue now.”

First-time offenders would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a fine of $500 or both. Subsequent violations could result in a year in prison, a $1,000 fine or both.

Besides pictures taken by a partner, the bills also apply to malicious hackers who steal images and upload them to websites or send them to a victim’s family, friends and co-workers.

SBs 924-925 are expected to be referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration. Jones is the chair of the committee and Bieda serves on the panel as minority vice-chair.

The Cyber Civil Rights Initiative aims to bring awareness to and reduce the occurrence of harassment on the Internet. To learn more about cyber revenge, visit the initiative’s campaign on the issue at www.EndRevengePorn.org.

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