Jones to sponsor bill to stop radioactive waste from being dumped in Michigan

LANSING—Sen. Rick Jones announced on Tuesday that he will be introducing legislation that would stop companies in other states like Pennsylvania from dumping their low-level radioactive waste materials in Michigan landfills.

“I was shocked to learn that a landfill in Michigan was scheduled to accept nearly 40 tons of low-level radioactive sludge from Pennsylvania,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “We want a Pure Michigan that attracts families from across the country and the world for fun and excitement in the great outdoors – not as a dumping ground that attracts the country’s radioactive waste.”

Jones’ bill would strengthen Michigan’s regulations concerning disposal of radioactive drilling wastes to mirror those already existing in neighboring Great Lakes states, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“I will be working to adopt the same tough standards as other states because the risk that this type of waste may pose to our lakes and rivers is simply too great,” Jones said. “Michigan needs to send a loud and clear message to other states that we don’t want their radioactive sludge.

“It is not just about protecting Michigan residents; it is about being responsible with how we protect the world’s largest collection of fresh water.”

Jones noted that the waste at issue in this case is technologically enhanced, naturally occurring radioactive material that is an oil and gas drilling byproduct, which accumulates radiation that normally occurs in nature.

According to news reports, a landfill in Wayne County received approval from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality in 2006 to accept the low-level radioactive material and states such as Ohio have recommended using the facility.

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Senate panel unanimously approves Jones’ bill to protect rights of active-duty military parents

LANSING—The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones to ensure that active military parents are not punished for not appearing in court over custody disputes while serving overseas and that they would retain custody as long as the child is in a safe environment.

“America’s servicemen and women put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms and deserve to fulfill their service without fear of losing custody of a child while they are on duty,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “It is truly sad that we are even having this discussion or that this legislation is necessary.”

Senate Bill 1015 would mandate that – unless the best interests of the child are being violated – the court shall not modify the current parenting time order if one of the parties has filed a motion of stay under the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

The bill was inspired after a Michigan judge this summer held U.S. Navy Petty Officer Matthew Hindes in contempt of court and ordered his arrest after he failed to appear in court for a custody hearing, despite the fact that he was on duty aboard a submarine in the Pacific Ocean.

After lifting those orders under public pressure, the judge recently ordered Hindes’ six-year-old daughter be temporarily removed from his custody while he remains on deployment.

Hindes was given custody of his daughter in 2010 following the child’s removal from the mother’s home by Michigan child protective services due to neglect and reports of abuse. His attorney asked for a stay in the case under the federal act, but the judge held that the law allows her to temporarily place the child in the mother’s care pending the outcome of a new custody petition.

“The judge’s actions are insulting and imply that a parent serving his country is worse for a child than one with a history of neglect,” Jones said. “The child in this case was in no inherent danger. My legislation will ensure Michigan respects previous custody rulings while a parent is serving the nation overseas and fill in loopholes in the law so that no member of our armed forces has to go through this type of ordeal.”

SB 1015 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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Senate panel unanimously approves Jones’ bill to protect rights of active-duty military parents

LANSING—The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones to ensure that active military parents are not punished for not appearing in court over custody disputes while serving overseas and that they would retain custody as long as the child is in a safe environment.

“America’s servicemen and women put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms and deserve to fulfill their service without fear of losing custody of a child while they are on duty,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “It is truly sad that we are even having this discussion or that this legislation is necessary.”

Senate Bill 1015 would mandate that – unless the best interests of the child are being violated – the court shall not modify the current parenting time order if one of the parties has filed a motion of stay under the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

The bill was inspired after a Michigan judge this summer held U.S. Navy Petty Officer Matthew Hindes in contempt of court and ordered his arrest after he failed to appear in court for a custody hearing, despite the fact that he was on duty aboard a submarine in the Pacific Ocean.

After lifting those orders under public pressure, the judge recently ordered Hindes’ six-year-old daughter be temporarily removed from his custody while he remains on deployment.

Hindes was given custody of his daughter in 2010 following the child’s removal from the mother’s home by Michigan child protective services due to neglect and reports of abuse. His attorney asked for a stay in the case under the federal act, but the judge held that the law allows her to temporarily place the child in the mother’s care pending the outcome of a new custody petition.

“The judge’s actions are insulting and imply that a parent serving his country is worse for a child than one with a history of neglect,” Jones said. “The child in this case was in no inherent danger. My legislation will ensure Michigan respects previous custody rulings while a parent is serving the nation overseas and fill in loopholes in the law so that no member of our armed forces has to go through this type of ordeal.”

SB 1015 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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Senate panel unanimously approves Jones’ bill to protect rights of active-duty military parents

LANSING—The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones to ensure that active military parents are not punished for not appearing in court over custody disputes while serving overseas and that they would retain custody as long as the child is in a safe environment.

“America’s servicemen and women put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms and deserve to fulfill their service without fear of losing custody of a child while they are on duty,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “It is truly sad that we are even having this discussion or that this legislation is necessary.”

Senate Bill 1015 would mandate that – unless the best interests of the child are being violated – the court shall not modify the current parenting time order if one of the parties has filed a motion of stay under the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

The bill was inspired after a Michigan judge this summer held U.S. Navy Petty Officer Matthew Hindes in contempt of court and ordered his arrest after he failed to appear in court for a custody hearing, despite the fact that he was on duty aboard a submarine in the Pacific Ocean.

After lifting those orders under public pressure, the judge recently ordered Hindes’ six-year-old daughter be temporarily removed from his custody while he remains on deployment.

Hindes was given custody of his daughter in 2010 following the child’s removal from the mother’s home by Michigan child protective services due to neglect and reports of abuse. His attorney asked for a stay in the case under the federal act, but the judge held that the law allows her to temporarily place the child in the mother’s care pending the outcome of a new custody petition.

“The judge’s actions are insulting and imply that a parent serving his country is worse for a child than one with a history of neglect,” Jones said. “The child in this case was in no inherent danger. My legislation will ensure Michigan respects previous custody rulings while a parent is serving the nation overseas and fill in loopholes in the law so that no member of our armed forces has to go through this type of ordeal.”

SB 1015 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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Sailor to lose custody while on deployment

LANSING—A Lenawee County judge on Monday ordered that the six-year-old daughter of Petty Officer Matthew Hindes will be temporarily removed from his custody while Hindes remains on deployment in the Pacific Ocean.

Attorneys for Hindes repeated their objection based on rights granted by the Federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which allows protections from changing parental time orders while servicemembers are deployed on active duty, which Hindes currently is. The judge, however, held that the law allows her to make temporary adjustments while the original stay that allowed Hindes to keep custody is in effect until October. 

“This action shows us that more legislation is needed to protect the custody rights of those serving our county,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Our servicemen and women, who put their lives on the line preserving our freedoms, should not fear losing custody of a child while they are on duty protecting the rights of all Americans.”

The proceedings of this case inspired Jones to introduce Senate Bill 1015, which states that unless the best interests of a child are being violated, the court shall not modify the current parenting time order if one of the parties has filed a motion of stay under the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

“This legislation should not even be necessary. The child is in no inherent danger and the father was previously granted custody,” Jones said. “We need to fill the loopholes in the law so that no soldier, sailor, airman or Marinehas to go through this type of ordeal while serving the nation.”

Jones introduced SB 1015 in July. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary. A hearing is expected on Wednesday, Aug. 13 when the Legislature is back in session.  

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