Senate approves Jones measures to create Special Olympics Fund

LANSING — Legislation creating the Special Olympics Michigan Fund was approved by the state Senate Thursday, said sponsor Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge.

“As a longtime volunteer for Special Olympics of Michigan, this legislation is very important to me and to many children with special needs and their families,” Jones said. “I hope that residents consider donating a portion of their state tax refund to such a worthy organization.”

Senate Bills 381 and 382, Jones’ measures, establish the fund and create a checkoff box on Michigan Income Tax forms.

Michigan has one of the largest Special Olympics programs in the United States, with more than 20,600 athletes participating in Special Olympics Michigan programs.

According to the lawmaker, the Michigan Department of Treasury can remove the new checkoff without legislative approval if it fails to raise $100,000 in its first two years.

Existing checkoffs on Michigan Income Tax returns include the United Way of Michigan, the Girl Scouts of Michigan, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and the Children’s Miracle Network.

SBs 381 and 382 will now go to the House of Representatives for further consideration.