The boondoggle lives

Jones comments on state police leaving recently built HQ building

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — After hearing that the Michigan State Police (MSP) will be moving out of its recently built Lansing headquarters building in March, Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, issued the following statement:

“Six years ago I fought to keep the Michigan State Police headquarters at Michigan State University. The state was leasing the campus building for $1 a year. However, Gov. Granholm decided to reward her political friends by building a new headquarters downtown Lansing. Now, the state police are preparing to move to the secondary complex — where they wanted to be the entire time.

“I can simply say: I told you so. The project was a boondoggle and Granholm’s name should be put on the building to remind all the taxpayers.

“People have asked: How could this happen? Doesn’t the state put out competitive bids for new buildings? The answer is no, not if it’s a lease. The scheme was to have a new headquarters built with a single-source bid, which was allowed because the building would be leased for 25 years. I led the fight against the project after officers of all ranks contacted me and asked me to stop it.

“They were happy with the MSU location and saw no reason to move. If they did move, they wanted to be at the secondary complex — which already had the MSP training center, a crime lab and a post.  It had plenty of parking for staging troopers in case of a disaster, had space for helicopters to land and could be secured from terrorists. The downtown location made no sense to anyone, except Granholm and her political cronies.

“I got an attorney general ruling that said we could end the lease at any time with proper notice. However, it was decided to purchase the building. As the state police move to an appropriate place, no one wants to buy the building and we will have to fill it with state workers. Making lemonade out of lemons, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services workers from four leased buildings will now move in.

“The lesson learned is that Michigan State Police should advise the Legislature on any new moves. This is NOT their fault. This boondoggle is the fault of a governor who has since abandoned the state and moved to California.”

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Senate committee approves Jones’ arson deterrent bill

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved bipartisan legislation designed to deter arson in Michigan, said Sen. Rick Jones, who sponsored one of the measures.

“Arson is a serious and often deadly crime that must be stopped,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “According to the state fire marshal, one-third of all Michigan fires are reported as arson or suspicious blazes. These fires often result in innocent people being hurt or killed, and they cost taxpayers millions of dollars every year.”

Senate Bills 696 and 697 would aid in the determent of arson and increase the effectiveness of arson investigations.

Jones’ bill, SB 697, would help deter arson for the purpose of collecting insurance money. Under the bill, an insurance company would not have to further pay a claim on a building’s fire damage if it’s determined not to have been accidental, until it receives a sworn statement from the insured party that they had nothing to do with the fire.

“Arson fires can tremendously impact insurance costs for all Michigan homeowners, and especially those in a fire’s surrounding community,” Jones said. “My bill is about helping protect homeowners from a neighbor who decides to burn down his house — or have someone do it for him — in order to get the insurance money.”

SB 696, sponsored by Sen. Bert Johnson, D-Highland Park, would help law enforcement by requiring medical professionals to report treatment of burn victims, especially in the cases where an accelerant helped cause the injury — creating reasonable suspicion that the patient committed arson.

The bills now head to the full Senate for consideration.

Jones, Hertel recognize accomplishments of Lansing’s Grand River GM plant and its workers

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Rick Jones and Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. during Senate session on Thursday recognized the recent awards and accomplishments of the General Motors Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant and its workers.

“This plant — along with the Delta Township plant — make the finest cars in the world,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “There’s no reason not to buy American. It is an honor to pay tribute today to the hard work of the men and women of the Grand River plant on their achievements.”

Jones and Hertel, D-East Lansing, presented Senate Resolution 143 to Lansing Regional Plant Manager Mike Trevorrow, Lansing Regional Personnel Director Shawn Davis, Local UAW 652 President Mike Green, and Local UAW 652 Chairman Ted Krumm.

The resolution honors the plant and its workforce for earning the 2013 North American Car of the Year with the Cadillac ATS; the 2014 Motor Trend Car of the Year for the Cadillac CTS Sedan; and the 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year for the Chevrolet Camaro.

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Editor’s note: The above photograph of Jones is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorRickJones.com. Click on “Photowire.”

Video of Jones’ presentation can be seen at: www.SenatorRickJones.com/video.

Sen. Jones, Rep. Barrett sponsoring free screening of ‘13 Hours’ for veterans, active service members

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rick Jones announced on Tuesday that the Grand Ledge Sun Theatre will show the movie “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” free for all veterans, active duty military personnel and members of the National Guard from Friday, Feb. 19 through Thursday, Feb. 25.

Jones and Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Potterville, are sponsoring the screening. Theater owner Chuck Pantera also announced that free medium pop and popcorn would be available.

“We owe our veterans a tremendous debt, and this is one way we can say thank you to all the men and women who have served — and those who continue to serve — our nation,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “The last time we did this, 800 veterans showed up to see American Sniper.

“I am proud to once again work with Representative Barrett to show our support and appreciation of America’s service men and women with a free screening of a film that depicts the actions of real-life heroes.”

The film “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” is based on the book “13 Hours” by Mitchell Zuckoff and follows six members of a security team who fight to defend the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya after waves of terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2012.

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Senate OKs bill to keep the status quo in Michigan bars

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Wednesday approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones to stop the expansion of fully nude dancers into Michigan bars.

“Citizens do not want Michigan to become like Windsor or Las Vegas,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Tourism is very important to Michigan, and we want families to come here and enjoy a vacation. This bill would keep the status quo in Michigan and stop the expansion of fully nude entertainment into bars that serve alcohol.”

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Michigan’s liquor rules banning full nudity were unconstitutional.

Currently, full nudity is not allowed in Michigan bars that serve alcohol. Topless bars may exist with the proper permit.

Senate Bill 302 would keep the current status and prohibit bars that serve alcohol to allow or provide fully nude entertainment.

The bill would not apply to an exhibition or performance in a theater, concert hall, art center, museum or similar establishment that was primarily devoted to the arts or theatrical performances.

The Michigan Licensed Beverage Association supports the legislation maintaining the status quo. SB 302 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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**MEDIA ADVISORY** Sen. Rick Jones, Great Lakes advocates to release information showing residents opposed to fish farming in public waters

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rick Jones will join conservation and environmental groups in the Capitol at noon on Tuesday to release results of a new poll showing that Michigan residents overwhelmingly oppose proposals to allow commercial fish farming in the Great Lakes.

Who:
Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge;
Rep. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo;
Michigan United Conservation Clubs;
Michigan Trout Unlimited; and
Michigan Environmental Council.

What:
Press conference on new EPIC-MRA poll results on Great Lakes aquaculture.

When:
Tuesday, Feb. 2 at noon.

Where:
Michigan Capitol
Room 402/403
Lansing, MI

Brief:
Jones has introduced Senate Bill 526, which would ban commercial fish farming in the Great Lakes or connecting waters of the lakes.

Polling results to be released Tuesday will show that Michigan residents overwhelmingly favor taking steps to keep commercial fish farming out of public waters.

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