House approves Jones bill to prohibit addictive drug

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to prohibit tianeptine sodium in Michigan will soon be sent to the governor.

“Abuse of this addictive compound has resulted in withdrawal symptoms that can be extremely painful and violent — leading many countries to already restrict its use,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Tianeptine sodium binds to opioid receptors in the brain like heroin and oxycodone do. The drug has not been approved by the FDA, but it is available to unsuspecting consumers on the internet.”

Senate Bill 801 would add tianeptine sodium to Michigan’s list of Schedule 2 controlled substances, making it illegal to sell or possess without a valid U.S. prescription.

Jones said that tianeptine sodium was developed in France, where a suggested dosage of the drug as an antidepressant is 10-12 mg. However, it is being found to be administered by people without prescription at 500-3,000 mg.

“I applaud the House on their quick action and look forward to seeing the governor help protect our communities from the impacts of this highly addictive and dangerous drug by signing this bill to prohibit it in Michigan.”

SB 801 was approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday and will soon be sent by the Senate to the governor to be signed.

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Jones’ veterans club legislation heading to governor

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation that would allow a veterans club to sell beer to members of different chapters of the same organization was unanimously approved by the Michigan House on Thursday and will soon be sent to the governor to be signed.

Last year, the Liquor Control Commission (LCC) told a Veterans of Foreign Wars club that they could not sell beer to visiting members from other VFW clubs.

For decades, the American Legion, VFW, Eagles, Moose, and Knights of Columbus clubs allowed visiting members of another club within the same organization to purchase a beer. The LCC had been interpreting the law differently than current club practices.

“Many people join nonprofit veterans and fraternal groups to make a difference in their communities and to connect with their brothers and sisters who served our nation,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “This legislation would establish traveling memberships for these organizations and is supported by state officials and nonprofit veterans and fraternal groups.

“I look forward to seeing the governor sign this measure to ensure that Michigan veterans can visit their fellow veterans in another town and purchase a beer at the local veterans club.”

Senate Bill 662 would allow a local club of a nonprofit veterans or fraternal organization that is currently allowed to sell alcohol to its members to serve alcohol to members of different branches or chapters of the same organization from across the state.

The Senate unanimously approved SB 662 in January. Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Potterville, introduced similar legislation in the House.

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Jones’ voluntary car interlock bill moves from committee

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to allow Michigan parents to install a breath alcohol analyzer device on their car without it sending reports to the secretary of state.

“The combination of the inexperience of young drivers and the high rate of underage drinking can be deadly and a source of anxiety for many parents of teenagers and college students,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Allowing parents to install an ignition interlock on their car can help prevent drinking and driving.”

In Michigan, if a restricted license is ordered for a habitual drunk driving offender, the person must install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) on any vehicle he or she owns or intends to operate. A BAIID is a breath alcohol analyzer that connects with a vehicle’s ignition and other control systems. The BAIID measures the driver’s bodily alcohol content (BAC) and keeps the vehicle from starting if the BAC is 0.025 or higher.

Currently, Michigan drivers are allowed to have an interlock device installed on their vehicle voluntarily. However, even if the interlock device is installed voluntarily, the company that provides the interlock is required to generate a report when the device is used and send that report to the secretary of state.

“Several parents of young drivers would like to voluntarily install a breath alcohol interlock device on a family car, but do not want the government involved,” Jones said. “Michigan parents should be able to use current technology to stop their children from making a life-changing mistake — without the information about the use of the technology having to be sent to state officials.”

Senate Bill 892 would allow interlock providers to develop, market and sell a SOBER (Startup Operated Breath Engine Restrictor) device in Michigan. The provider of the SOBER device would not be required to transmit a report to the secretary of state when the device is used.

To avoid confusion of law enforcement, the new device would be similar in function to a BAIID, but would be visually different from a state-ordered device.

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House panel OKs Jones bill concerning traffic light outages

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — A Michigan House committee has approved Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to provide clarity to drivers on what to do at an intersection when the traffic light goes out.

“It is critical that all drivers know exactly what to do at intersections, especially when the traffic light is out,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Even though most drivers are taught that an intersection with a nonworking traffic signal becomes a four-way stop, that is not true in Michigan. This legislation would clarify the law and ensure that all drivers are on the same page when they are out on our roads.”

Senate Bill 521 would require drivers to treat intersections where a traffic signal is malfunctioning as a four-way stop. The bill would not apply to traffic lights that are only active during certain periods, such as signals outside of a school or a fire department.

“It can be dangerous if two drivers have different expectations when approaching an intersection where a storm has knocked out the power and the traffic light isn’t working,” Jones said. “Treating all intersections as four-way stops if the signal is out might slow traffic a bit on major roads, but it’s worth it if it can help save lives.”

The Michigan State Police support the bill. SB 521 was approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday and now heads to the full House for consideration.

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Jones introduces voluntary alcohol interlock bill

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rick Jones has introduced legislation to allow parents to install a device similar to a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) on their car without it sending reports to the secretary of state.

“Parents of teenagers and college students have a lot to worry about when they let their children use the family car,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “The combination of inexperience behind the wheel and the high rate of underage drinking is especially troubling. Allowing parents to install an ignition interlock on their car can help prevent their children from drinking and driving.”

In Michigan, if a restricted license is ordered for a habitual drunk driving offender, the person must install a BAIID on any vehicle he or she owns or intends to operate. A BAIID is a breath alcohol analyzer that connects with a vehicle’s ignition and other control systems. The BAIID measures the driver’s bodily alcohol content (BAC) and keeps the vehicle from starting if the BAC is 0.025 or higher.

Currently, Michigan drivers are allowed to have an interlock device installed on their vehicle voluntarily. However, even if the interlock device is installed voluntarily, the company that provides the interlock is required to generate a report when the device is used and send that report to the secretary of state.

“I have heard from several people who would like to voluntarily install an interlock device on their vehicle, but hesitate to do so because of the report that must be sent to the secretary of state,” Jones said. “Parents should be able to use current technology to stop their children from making a life-changing mistake — without information about that prevented mistake being reported to the state.”

Senate Bill 892 would allow interlock providers to develop, market and sell a SOBER (Startup Operated Breath Engine Restrictor) device in Michigan. The provider of the SOBER device would not be required to transmit a report to the secretary of state when the device is used.

To avoid confusion of law enforcement, the new device would be similar in function to a BAIID, but would be visually different from a state-ordered device.

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Sen. Rick Jones invited to speak at Oxford University

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rick Jones has accepted an invitation to speak at the University of Oxford in England on Michigan’s efforts to stop female genital mutilation (FGM).

“I’m honored to speak at Oxford University on such an important topic,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “This horrific act of barbarism is an attack on women and a violation of human rights. Michigan has made great progress in outlawing this evil procedure that harms women for the rest of their lives.”

The director of the International Gender Studies Centre at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford, invited Jones to participate in a workshop on FGM on Friday, March 9.

“In Michigan, there was a case where little girls as young as 6 years old were mutilated by local doctors,” Jones said. “When Michigan got tough on doctors and people involved with female genital mutilation, the whole world was watching.”

Included in Public Acts 68-79 of 2017 were measures to ban the practice of FGM in Michigan and make the practice a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Jones said that no tax dollars will be spent for his travel to England.

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**PHOTO ADVISORY** Sen. Jones takes 10th ‘Polar Plunge’ to support Special Olympics

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, plunged into an ice-cold pool in front of the Capitol on Thursday as part of the 2018 Legislative Polar Plunge.

Jones and other legislators participated in the plunge to help raise money for Special Olympics Michigan, a nonprofit organization offering year-round sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Jones is a member of the Special Olympics Michigan board and the plunge was his seventh at the Capitol and his 10th overall.

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Editor’s note: The above photographs of Jones are available by clicking on the images or by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorRickJones.com/Photowire.

Jones supports $175 million road funding increase

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rick Jones on Thursday voted to boost funding to improve state and local roads and bridges by $175 million this year.

“I often hear from constituents about potholes and the overall poor shape of our roads,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “They want the roads fixed. I was proud to support legislation to invest an additional $175 million of existing surplus funds into our communities to improve the roads and protect Michigan drivers.”

The governor’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2019 recommends moving up a scheduled $175 million increase in 2020 to 2019 — on top of a $150 million increase already planned for 2019.

House Bill 4321 would move up the additional $175 million in road funding to the current 2018 fiscal year.

Here is a list of the road funding increase for each county and community in the 24th Senate District as a result of HB 4321, according to the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency:

Clinton County $711,021.34
Eaton County $858,937.83
Ingham County $1,356,941.09
Shiawassee County $574,139.04

Bancroft $5,762.35
Bellevue $10,449.10
Byron $5,705.18
Charlotte $60,368.29
Corunna $26,156.43
DeWitt $31,143.90
Dimondale $9,128.69
Durand $24,592.18
Eagle $1,409.80
Eaton Rapids $39,617.23
Elsie $8,441.40
Fowler $8,532.29
Grand Ledge $49,810.84
Laingsburg $11,295.11
Lansing $910,510.48
Lennon $4,305.03
Morrice $8,494.51
Mulliken $4,858.10
New Lothrop $5,300.52
Olivet $12,170.44
Ovid $12,175.67
Owosso $109,109.21
Perry $14,859.05
Potterville $16,638.42
St. Johns $57,618.88
Vermontville $7,318.03
Webberville $9,984.40
Westphalia $7,358.34
Williamston $26,689.63

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