Sen. Jones: Nude dancers and liquor is nothing but trouble for Michigan

LANSING—Due to a ruling by the Federal 6th Circuit, the ban on Michigan’s policy that alcohol establishments cannot have fully nude dancers has effectively been lifted.

State Sen. Rick Jones was recently made aware of this ruling and has been working with the Attorney General’s office. Recently, he submitted a request for legislation that would not allow establishments that serve alcohol to have fully nude dancers.

“I think having intoxicated patrons around nude dancers is a recipe for major trouble,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge “This practice seems to clash with the Pure Michigan message, I see no good that can come from allowing fully nude dancers and alcohol, because it is irresponsible at best and could be dangerous for dancers as well as patrons.”



Sen. Jones: Nonhuman primates present disease and other dangers

LANSING— State Sen. Rick Jones on Thursday introduced legislation that would ban private ownership of animals such as moneys, apes and lemurs.

“These are wild animals that can be very dangerous,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “The average person does not have the proper training, property or equipment necessary to properly care for these types of animals.”

Senate Bill 669 would outlaw new ownership of nonhuman primate species but would allow for current owners to keep their pets. The legislation would prohibit importation, breeding and sale or transfer of primates in Michigan.

Animals in the legislation include monkeys and apes that can range in size from a lemur weighing as little as one ounce to a gorilla weighing more than 400 pounds.

In 2009 a Connecticut woman was severely mauled and permanently disfigured by a “pet” chimpanzee.

“I am sure there are multiple steps that could have been taken to prevent this woman from being mauled,” Jones said. “However, it comes down to the simple fact that these are not companion animals and they have no place being in private residences.”

In 2000 the Large Carnivore Act was passed by the state Legislature. However, the ownership of animals such as apes remains legal and unregulated in Michigan.

“The close genetic relationship between these animals and humans also allows for diseases to be easily transferred,” Jones said. “These diseases include monkey pox, measles, Ebola and rabies.”

Senate approves legislation to protect patients and increase transparency at oversight boards

For Immediate Release
Nov. 7, 2013

Contact: Arika Sinnott, Sen. Schuitmaker's Office: 

Contact:  Sen. Rick Jones
LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Senate passed legislation Thursday to better protect patients by increasing oversight and transparency at the state’s boards of health professions.  All four bills in the package passed unanimously. 

Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, and Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, introduced the legislation as a response to evidence that a former Board of Medicine chairman dismissed serious allegations against a Muskegon abortion provider, Dr. Robert Alexander, without investigation and without disclosing their prior relationship.

“Today is a major milestone and I am grateful to my colleagues for their commitment to patient safety,” said Schuitmaker. “Michigan’s residents are one step closer to knowing that when they go into the doctor’s office, those doctors are practicing safe medicine.”

Senate Bill 575 requires a minimum of three board members to review every allegation brought to the boards. Currently, a board chairperson has the power to make decisions without consulting other members. It further prohibits the currently permissible practice of board members testifying as paid expert witnesses in malpractice suits over allegations that may later come before the board to investigate.

“The more I learned about what went on in some of these doctors’ offices and at the Board of Medicine, the more I realized how necessary this legislation was,” said Jones. “Patient’s lives were put in danger and no one was held accountable. That is unacceptable.” 

SB 576 requires board members to disclose any conflict of interest that might exist between them and the health care providers they are investigating. SB 577 automatically revokes a health professional's license if they are found guilty of criminal sexual conduct against a patient while acting in their capacity as a health professional, and SB 578 makes revisions to the law governing decisions of disciplinary subcommittees.

In 2009, allegations were brought against Dr. Robert Alexander by another doctor who treated one of Alexander’s patients. Chairman of the Board, Dr. George Shade, then singlehandedly dismissed the allegations without investigating. In 2012, Dr. Alexander’s clinic in Muskegon was shut down for multiple health and safety violations. 

Further information showed that Dr. Alexander lost his license and served time in prison in the 1980s and 1990s.  When he applied to have his license reinstated, Shade served as Alexander’s mentor.


Jones and Anderson introduce legislation to ban e-cigarettes for minors

LANSING- A bipartisan package of legislation that would prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes and nicotine cartridges to minors as well as ban minors from possessing these objects was introduced in the Michigan Senate on Wednesday, said sponsor Sen. Rick Jones.

“There is nothing I can do from stopping a legal adult from smoking a cigarette,” said Jones, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “However, introducing young children to a smoking culture before they turn 18 is both irresponsible and dangerous.”

Senate Bills 667 and 668 were introduced by state Jones, R-Grand Ledge and Sen. Glenn Anderson, D-Westland.

“These electronic cigarettes can beevery bit as addictive as regular tobacco cigarettes and the fact that a child of any age can legally purchase them is outrageous,” Anderson said. “There is a proper place in Michigan for e-cigarettes, but it isn’t in the hands of our children.”

The legislation would treat stores who sold electronic cigarettes or nicotine cartridges to minors the same way as if they sold them tobacco. Minors who possessed these items would be treated the same as if they were in possession of tobacco.

“This is a bipartisan effort to help protect children across Michigan,” Jones said. “If a legal adult wants to smoke, that is their decision. But I firmly believe we need to do everything in our power to keep anything resembling a cigarette out of the hands of children.”