Senate signs off on bipartisan legislation to help protect Michigan neighborhoods

Posted · Add Comment

LANSING— Legislation that would increase the penalty for a drive-by shooting was approved by the Michigan Senate on Tuesday, said sponsor Sen. Jim Marleau.

“Firing a weapon out of a moving car is irresponsible and dangerous, and when it is done with innocent people around it is just plain stupid,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “This legislation allows for longer prison sentences and increased fines when a drive-by shooting occurs.”

Senate Bill 582, sponsored by Marleau, would increase the penalties for anyone convicted of intentionally discharging a firearm from a vehicle into a home or potentially occupied structure.

Senate Bill 583, sponsored by state Sen. Jim Ananich, D-Flint, would increase the number of years and offender can spend in prison for purposefully doing a drive-by shooting.

“The Senate's swift action on these bipartisan measures demonstrates how urgent it is to address violent crime in our neighborhoods,” said Ananich. “These changes are an important part of the comprehensive solutions we need to keep our families safe.”

Marleau added “If passed, these bills will give prosecutors one more tool to keep dangerous criminals behind bars and off the streets,” Marleau added.

SBs 582 and 583 now advance to the Michigan House of Representatives. 

The post Senate signs off on bipartisan legislation to help protect Michigan neighborhoods appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Senate panel hears testimony on Marleau bills protecting school districts from certain court judgments

Posted · Add Comment

LANSING–A state Senate committee heard public testimony Wednesday on legislation that would prohibit court judgments to be levied against school districts for operating costs, said the bills’ sponsor Sen. Jim Marleau, R-Lake Orion.

Senate Bills 442 and 443 are designed to protect taxpayers from financially irresponsible school districts.

“These measures address a gaping problem in the current law, which was exposed by a court decision in my district,” Marleau said. “As was evident from today’s testimony, the adverse consequences of the decision have had a profound effect on people.”

The legislation was prompted by a $7.8 million court judgment against the Pontiac School District for the district’s missed payments to Michigan Education Special Services Association (MESSA), the organization that administers the district’s health and related employee benefit plans.

Responsibility for paying for the judgment will be passed on to taxpayers in the district.

Those who testified Wednesday in support of Marleau’s bills included residents and businesses owners from his district.

“The Legislature passed Proposal A years ago to protect taxpayers from paying for school operating costs, but this judgment puts taxpayers in the Pontiac School District on the hook for such costs, to the tune of nearly $8 million,” Marleau said.

The lawmaker said by law it is too late for his measures to address the situation with Pontiac Schools.

“Unfortunately taxpayers in the cities of Pontiac and Auburn Hills, as well as those in Orion Township, Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield and Sylvan Lake, will most likely notice a significant increase in their summer tax bills,” he said. “It’s sad that the $8 million levied against taxpayers will pay off the MESSA credit, not to fund our children’s education. MESSA spent 18 months providing a benefit our community could not afford, confident that taxpayers would foot the bill. It remains to be seen if the Pontiac School District will ever recover.”

The post Senate panel hears testimony on Marleau bills protecting school districts from certain court judgments appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Senate Health Policy Committee to hear presentation on alarmingly low immunization rates in Michigan

Posted · Add Comment

Who:
State Sen. Jim Marleau, chairman of the Senate Health Policy Committee, along with members of the committee, Michigan physicians, pharmacists, school nurses, public and health plan organizations, and concerned citizens.

What:
Senate Health Policy Committee meeting regarding statewide immunization rates.

When:
Thursday, Oct. 10
2:30 p.m.

Where:
Senate Hearing Room, Ground Floor
Boji Tower
124 W. Allegan Street
Lansing, MI 48933

Brief:
The Senate Health Policy Committee will hear a presentation by the Department of Community Health regarding immunization rates in the state.

At 5.3 percent of the population, Michigan has the fourth-highest rate in the nation of parents refusing to immunize their children, according to numbers compiled by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the Michigan State Medical Society, less than 72 percent of Michigan children and 63 percent of adolescents are fully immunized, leading to recent outbreaks of preventable diseases.

Several health organizations and individuals plan to testify at the hearing on the need to raise immunization rates in Michigan.

The post Senate Health Policy Committee to hear presentation on alarmingly low immunization rates in Michigan appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Bipartisan bills take on problem of deadly drive-by shootings

Posted · Add Comment

LANSING?Drive-by shooters would face stiffer penalties under legislation introduced Thursday by Sens. Jim Marleau and Jim Ananich and a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The measures come at the request of law enforcement officials, who are working to prevent the increased occurrence of innocent families and children falling victim to violent crimes in many communities across the state.

“The broad support from both sides of the aisle shows that this is an urgent problem and one we can take action on,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “Our brave men and women in law enforcement should have the strongest tools available to keep people out of harm’s way, and this legislation is an important piece of that effort.”

Senate Bills 582 and 583 would increase the penalties for drive-by shootings by authorizing life sentences to anyone convicted of intentionally discharging a firearm from a vehicle into a home, in the event that the victim is murdered. The bills also authorize an increase in the maximum years of imprisonment and fines associated with the crime if there was intent to harm and/or the person is injured.
 
“We must work together to ensure safer communities if we want to secure an economic turnaround and the opportunity for investment and jobs,” said Ananich, D-Flint. “These measures are part of the strong, comprehensive approach to public safety that is needed to get results.”

The legislation is expected to be taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee as early as next week.

The post Bipartisan bills take on problem of deadly drive-by shootings appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Marleau named to Medicaid workgroup

Posted · Add Comment

Sen. Jim Marleau has been named to a workgroup formed to study and offer possible options for legislative progress on reforming Medicaid in Michigan.

Marleau, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health Policy, said he was pleased to be a part of the Healthy Michigan Workgroup and excited to get started.

“The market-based strategies in House Bill 4714 are a great start, and now the Senate has limited time to impact this bill in a positive way,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “We have an opportunity to improve on this goal of a healthier Michigan through empowering Michiganders to make healthy decisions.

“Access to high value health care is key to a good quality of life in Michigan. The state leads the nation in developing strategies to use health insurance premiums and copays to improve health while reducing costs.”

Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw, will be leading the workgroup. The other members are Marleau, Sen. Bruce Caswell, R-Hillsdale; Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc; Sen. John Pappageorge, R-Troy; and Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart.

The Healthy Michigan Workgroup will meet during the summer and then present their findings to Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville.

The post Marleau named to Medicaid workgroup appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Marleau bills would protect school districts from certain court judgments

Posted · Add Comment

LANSING―Sen. Jim Marleau introduced legislation Thursday that would prohibit court judgments to be levied against school districts for operating costs.

Senate Bills 442 and 443 were prompted by a $7.8 million court judgment against the Pontiac School District for the district’s missed payments to Michigan Education Special Services Association (MESSA), the organization that administers the district’s health and related employee benefit plans.

Responsibility for paying for the judgment will be passed on to taxpayers in the district.

“The Legislature passed Proposal A years ago to protect taxpayers from paying for school operating costs, but this judgment puts taxpayers in the Pontiac School District on the hook for such costs, to the tune of nearly $8 million,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “My bills address this gaping problem in the current law.”

Marleau said by law it is too late for his measures to address the situation with Pontiac Schools.

“Unfortunately taxpayers in the cities of Pontiac and Auburn Hills, as well as those in Orion Township, Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield and Sylvan Lake, will most likely notice a significant increase in their summer tax bills,” Marleau said. “It’s sad that the $8 million levied against taxpayers will pay off the MESSA credit, not to fund our children’s education. MESSA spent 18 months providing a benefit our community could not afford, confident that taxpayers would foot the bill. It remains to be seen if the Pontiac School District will ever recover.”

SBs 442 and 443 have been referred to the Senate Committee on Education for consideration.

The post Marleau bills would protect school districts from certain court judgments appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Governor signs Marleau ‘medical good faith’ bill

Posted · Add Comment

Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation Tuesday requiring health organizations to provide in writing, upon request, any policies related to “life-sustaining or non-beneficial treatment” a patient is to receive, said sponsor Sen. Jim Marleau.

Public Act 57 of 2013 (Senate Bill 165) creates the Medical Good Faith Provisions Act, the first of its kind in the U.S.

The law was named after Faith Smith, a 4-year-old girl from Rochester Hills who was born with Trisomy 18, a genetic condition. Faith’s parents, Brad and Jesi, contacted Marleau about problems they were having with hospitals providing proper treatment for their daughter’s condition, which is often labeled “incompatible with life” by the medical community.

“You expect doctors to tell you every option to save a life, particularly that of a child, but it is not always the case,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “Patients and their parents need to know about these policies. This law will help ensure transparency on the part of our health organizations.”

Some of the health facilities and agencies covered under the act include:
•    Ambulance operations and medical first response services;
•    Clinical laboratories;
•    Health maintenance organizations;
•    Hospitals;
•    Nursing homes; and
•    Hospices.

“I am thankful that Brad and Jesi Smith brought this issue to my attention and that we were able to address this serious problem,” Marleau said. “Faith and her parents are an inspiration to me and countless others who now have more transparency in health care and better communication between providers, parents and patients.”

Note: For a print-quality version of this photo and others, click the image or click the Photowire link, above.

The post Governor signs Marleau ‘medical good faith’ bill appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Marleau measure would shed light on health care prices and quality of services

Posted · Add Comment

Sen. Jim Marleau introduced a bill Tuesday to bring transparency to Michigan’s health care market.

Senate Bill 333 would create a health care price and quality database. The database would be a tool for residents and employers to compare price and quality when shopping for health care to make more informed decisions.

“In Michigan, 19 cents of every dollar spent is on health care, yet residents have no access to information on the price or quality of these services. That cost is out of balance, and prices do not reflect quality,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “Will we ever have a health care system that rewards value if residents can’t access the price and quality of services? The evidence says we will not.”

Marleau said lack of price transparency is a leading cause of rising health care costs. Studies show variances of up to 700 percent in costs for similar services among different health care providers in the same area. These variances lead to higher costs for employers, health insurance, auto insurance and consumers.

“Residents will be hit hard as well,” Marleau said. “We all are paying about 20 percent of the bill every time we go to a doctor or hospital; it’s not just the employer picking up the check anymore. And the amount we pay out-of-pocket is quickly increasing.”
 
The senator said the state’s record on transparency needs to improve.

“National employers released a report last month ranking health care transparency, and the state of Michigan received an ‘F’ as one of 16 states in which residents have no access to health care price or quality information,” Marleau said. “That has to change.”

Under Marleau’s measure, the database, commonly known as an all-payer claims database, would be a tool to locate cost shifts in the health care market and identify providers who offer the best quality and value. Increased competition would in turn lead to better prices and quality.

SB 333 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy for consideration.

The post Marleau measure would shed light on health care prices and quality of services appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Marleau bill would require Obamacare ‘navigators’ to act in good faith

Posted · Add Comment

LANSING—State Sen. Jim Marleau introduced a measure Wednesday that would establish guidelines to protect Michigan residents when enrolling in health insurance through an insurance exchange.

Marleau, chair of the Senate Committee on Health Policy, said the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) allows states to license “navigators” to assist people enrolling in health insurance through an exchange. Senate Bill 324 would ensure that navigators in Michigan act in good faith.

“We must make sure our residents are protected both from bad behavior as well as from incompetence,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “My bill establishes safeguards to keep navigators honest and to ensure they know what they’re doing.”

Marleau emphasized that the federal rules are not finalized, but the bill was introduced to start a discussion about how the state can ensure residents are protected.

“This is the start of the discussion, but our time to act is limited since residents plan to start shopping on Michigan’s insurance exchange in October,” he said.

SB 324 will protect Michigan residents by registering navigators, requiring background checks on them and ensuring they are professionally trained according to minimum standards for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act training.

“Navigators may be assisting our most vulnerable residents or helping people in their homes,” Marleau said. “Not just anybody can do this.”

SB 324 will also:
•    Prevent conflicts of interest. Under Marleau’s measure, navigators cannot receive any compensation from a health insurer or subsidiary and must give impartial information on health plan costs and benefits;
•    Protect insurance agents. The legislation clearly defines that navigators cannot sell or transact insurance; and
•    Remain revenue neutral. The Department of Insurance and Financial Services may charge a fee to cover the cost of implementing and administering the program.

State Rep. Hugh Crawford, who has introduced similar legislation in the House, said it is paramount that the state establish the registration process to protect Michigan residents.

“The federal health exchange and these navigators are coming to our state, so we must make sure the best interests of Michiganders are kept in mind,” said Crawford, R-Novi. “We need to ensure that when they arrive these workers are registered with the state and play by the rules.”

SB 324 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy.

The post Marleau bill would require Obamacare ‘navigators’ to act in good faith appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Marleau welcomes Grizz, other Oakland University guests to Capitol

Posted · Add Comment

LANSING—State Sen. Jim Marleau, R-Lake Orion, stands in the state Capitol rotunda with Grizz, the Oakland University mascot. Grizz joined OU administrators and students in Lansing Wednesday for Oakland University Capitol Day, where they learned about state government and the legislative process.

Note: Click the image for a print-quality version. This photo and others are also available by clicking the Photowire link, above.

The post Marleau welcomes Grizz, other Oakland University guests to Capitol appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Sen. Marleau welcomes Lake Orion pastor to Senate session

Posted · Add Comment

LANSING—State Sen. Jim Marleau, R-Lake Orion, stands in the Senate chamber with Pastor Michelle Paulsell of Kensington Church in Lake Orion. Pastor Paulsell gave the invocation before the start of the Senate session.

Note: For a print-quality version of this photo, click the image. For other photos of Sen. Marleau, click the Photowire link above.

The post Sen. Marleau welcomes Lake Orion pastor to Senate session appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Marleau bill would ban ‘swipe fees’

Posted · Add Comment

LANSING—State Sen. Jim Marleau introduced a consumer protection measure Thursday that would prevent retailers from adding surcharges to certain bills.

Under current law, merchants are allowed to charge “swipe fees” or “checkout fees” to consumers who pay by credit card. Senate Bill 240 would ban these surcharges, which may be up to 4 percent of a total sale.

“Michigan residents have enough challenges. Paying extra at the register for using a credit card shouldn’t be one of them,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “My measure will protect consumers from this practice. To maintain Michigan’s comeback, we must remain a consumer-friendly state, for Michiganders as well as for the millions of tourists who spend their hard-earned money here every year.”

Currently, 10 states have laws banning credit card surcharges, and at least 13 other states have introduced legislation that would prohibit the practice.

As of January 28, Visa and MasterCard have allowed merchants to add a surcharge to credit card transactions as part of a settlement from an antitrust lawsuit brought by retailers.

“I am thankful that three Republicans as well as three Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors of this bill,” Marleau said. “This issue hurts everyone at the cash register, and we have found a bipartisan solution for it.”

SB 240 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions for consideration.

The post Marleau bill would ban ‘swipe fees’ appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Marleau delighted by $1 million in funding awarded to Pontiac

Posted · Add Comment

LANSING—State Sen. Jim Marleau said Thursday that he is grateful that the city of Pontiac was recently awarded nearly $1 million in funding for blight removal, and he is looking forward to the renewal and cleanup work in the city.

Pontiac will receive $996,668 as part of $15 million in funding awarded to 34 municipal, township and county entities statewide to help eliminate blight in their communities.

“This is wonderful news for Pontiac and the surrounding areas,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “The heart of the city’s residents is to restore Pontiac’s vitality. There’s much work to be done, and this money will go a long way toward rebuilding a renewed Pontiac. I can’t wait.”
 
Funding for the awards comes from a March 2012 settlement reached by 49 state attorneys general, including Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, following a lawsuit over mortgage foreclosure practices.

Of Michigan’s $97.2 million share of the settlement, $25 million was used to create a Blight Elimination Program to help communities demolish vacant and abandoned properties with the goal of promoting public safety, stabilizing property values and enhancing current and future development opportunities.

The Blight Elimination Program is a partnership between Department of Human Services, the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

Applicants for the awards were asked to provide a detailed description of their proposed projects, including a post-demolition land use plan. They were also asked to explain in detail the anticipated benefits aimed at public safety, property value stabilization and economic development. Descriptions of local support along with additional public and private investment in the projects were also requested.

“The Pontiac projects will beautify the city, increase public health and safety and raise property values,” Marleau said. “This is a nice shot in the arm for the city.”

The post Marleau delighted by $1 million in funding awarded to Pontiac appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Sen. Marleau offers free tax preparation guides

Posted · Add Comment

LANSING—Residents of the 12th state Senate District looking for tax preparation information can obtain a free copy of the 2013 Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide by visiting Sen. Jim Marleau’s website, the lawmaker said Wednesday.

The guide, which is a reference for the 2012 tax year, is designed to help residents prepare their state tax returns.

“Tax laws change every year, which can present a real challenge when filling out your returns,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “That’s why this free preparation guide is such a useful tool. I am happy we have made it available again for residents of the 12th District.”
 
The booklet contains information on Michigan’s income tax, property taxes and tax credits. Included is a year-long listing of important property tax dates and deadlines as well as copies of the most commonly used tax forms. The guide also features addresses, phone numbers and email information for obtaining state agency tax assistance.

Marleau added that the guide is meant as a helpful resource and not as a substitute for Michigan Department of Treasury tax instruction booklets.

Residents can contact Marleau’s office at 517-373-2417 to reserve a free copy.

Free copies may also be downloaded from this website by clicking Publications.

The post Sen. Marleau offers free tax preparation guides appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Marleau arranges for a free showing of ‘Flags of Our Fathers’ in honor of Veterans Day

Posted · Add Comment

LANSING―In honor of Veterans Day, state Sen. Jim Marleau has arranged for a free showing of the movie “Flags of Our Fathers” for active duty personnel, reservists and military veterans and their families.

Veterans Day is Sunday, Nov. 11, and the free viewing will occur on Monday, Nov. 12 at 3 p.m. at the AMC Theatre in Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills. Those interested in attending may RSVP through Sen. Marleau’s office by calling 248-724-2442 or by emailing jimmarleau@senate.mi.gov.

“Americans owe their freedom and their opportunity for success to the sacrifices made by veterans and their families,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “I am so thankful for our veterans as well as our reservists and our military personnel currently serving here or overseas. It is important that we all recognize their service.

“Arranging for a showing of this great film is a small way for me to say thank you for their service. I am grateful to AMC Theatres for coordinating this wonderful event.”

“Flags of Our Fathers” is a 2006 film about the Battle of Iwo Jima, the five Marines and one Navy Corpsman who were involved in raising the flag on Iwo Jima, and the aftereffects of that event on their lives.

The post Marleau arranges for a free showing of ‘Flags of Our Fathers’ in honor of Veterans Day appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Marleau bill shines light on health care

Posted · Add Comment

Health insurance database would enable Michigan residents to see true costs

LANSING―Legislation to provide transparency and give Michigan residents tools to make informed health care decisions was introduced Wednesday by Sen. Jim Marleau.

Senate Bill 1237 would create a health insurance database uniquely designed for Michigan to ensure residents know the true cost before they shop for care.

“Today, we don’t know what we’re paying for health care until we get a bill. Even after we get the bill, we don’t know if we could have paid less somewhere else,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “A health insurance cost database will remove the secrecy from health care costs, creating a consumer-driven competitive market and letting consumers know the real costs so we can make informed decisions.”

Marleau said that insurance companies are already tracking this type of data internally and that the database will not accept or use any personal identifying information to ensure patients’ privacy is protected.

“This is a unique opportunity to empower people without costing taxpayers,” he said. “People deserve to know what they are getting for their rapidly increasing investment in health care.”

The responsibility for maintaining the database will fall under the authority of the Michigan Certificate of Need (CON) Commission. The commission currently collects data from hospitals on the number of procedures performed to ensure cost, quality and access to care for Michigan residents, and maintenance of the database is paid for by Michigan health care providers.

“The goal of the CON Commission is to ensure quality and access to care and to control costs,” Marleau said. “A health insurance database is essential for meeting that goal.”

Ten states currently use health insurance databases, and several other states are in the process of implementing them. The concept has been supported by the National Governor’s Association since 2010.

The post Marleau bill shines light on health care appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Sexual assault survivor behind ‘Erin’s Law’ backs bipartisan legislation

Posted · Add Comment

Senate panel approves measures to help protect children from sexual abuse

LANSING—Erin Merryn, a sexual abuse survivor from Illinois, told Michigan lawmakers on Wednesday about her experience and the need for bipartisan legislation to increase education and training in an effort to help prevent the sexual abuse of children.

“As a child I was educated in school on tornado drills, bus drills, fire drills, stranger danger and drugs, but when I was sexually abused, I listened to the only message I was being given—and that came from my abusers to stay silent,” said Merryn, whose mother grew up in Paw Paw. “Educating kids on sexual abuse prevention in schools is the best way to empower kids to tell so abuse won’t go on for years the way it did for me. My voice was silenced. I am on a mission to make sure no other child has their voice silenced and innocence stolen the way mine was.”

Merryn spoke before the Senate Health Policy Committee. Committee Chair Sen. Jim Marleau thanked her for her testimony.

“Erin Merryn is a very courageous young woman. I cannot commend her enough for the work she has done in her home state and throughout the country to educate children as well as adults on how to prevent child sexual abuse,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “It is critical that we do all we can at the state level to help protect our most vulnerable residents from this evil. We need to heed Erin’s advice.”

Merryn spoke in support of Senate Bills 1112-1114, which would require school boards to adopt and implement policies addressing child sexual abuse and create a one-time Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children task force to make recommendations on how to best prevent child sexual abuse in Michigan.

The measures are named “Erin’s Law” after Merryn, whose advocacy in her home state led to the passage of a similar law there in 2011. After going public about abuse by a family member, Merryn made it her mission to try to ensure that children have the age-appropriate education to recognize and talk about sexual abuse.

Similar laws have been enacted in Maine, Indiana and Missouri, and legislation has been introduced in several other states, including Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania.

Under SBs 1112-1114, schools could adopt age-appropriate curriculum, train school personnel on child sexual abuse, and adopt policies concerning informing parents on the warning signs of abuse. Parents would be made aware of the curriculum and be able to “opt out” if they did not want their child involved.

After hearing from Merryn, the Health Policy Committee approved the bills, which now head to the full Senate for consideration.

For more about Merryn’s story, visit her website at www.erinmerryn.net.

The post Sexual assault survivor behind ‘Erin’s Law’ backs bipartisan legislation appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Governor signs Marleau health-registry initiative

Posted · Add Comment

Michigan residents first to access their advance directives nationwide

 

LANSING―Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation Tuesday making Michigan residents the first to have their health care wishes accessible wherever they travel in the United States, said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jim Marleau.

The Peace of Mind registry will store advance directives, which are legal documents allowing individuals to specify their patient advocates, religious preferences, and other decisions about their health care ahead of time.

Marleau said he expects Michigan’s new law to become the national model for other states desiring to pass similar legislation.

“With Michigan’s Peace of Mind registry we will lead the nation in empowering residents to control access to their health care wishes,” said Marleau, chair of the Senate Health Policy Committee. “Through working together and involving organizations across Michigan, we were able to do this first. States across the country already recognize the importance of making this information accessible to residents, but we’re the first to design a model.”

Public Act 179 of 2012 (Senate Bill 723) creates the Peace of Mind registry, a secure database providing health care providers access via the registry’s website to a patient’s advance directives. Before Marleau’s law, there was no way for health care providers in the state to directly access their patients’ advance directives.

“The decisions we make about the care we want at the end of our lives are extremely personal and important,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “Making these decisions accessible to doctors, and especially our loved ones, will substantially improve quality of life and give peace of mind.”

The lawmaker said the registry is not funded by Michigan taxpayers.

“It is free and voluntary. While the Michigan Department of Community Health will retain oversight, the registry will be developed and maintained through financial support by Michigan’s Gift of Life Foundation,” Marleau said.

Editor’s note: A print-quality version of Marleau at Tuesday’s bill signing will be available later today.

The post Governor signs Marleau health-registry initiative appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Media Advisory: Governor to sign Marleau’s health-registry bill into law

Posted · Add Comment

WHO:
State Sen. Jim Marleau, R-Lake Orion.
 
WHAT:
Bill signing.

WHEN:
Tuesday, June 19 at 3:25 p.m.

WHERE:
Press Auditorium
George W. Romney Building
111 S. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, MI

BRIEFING:
Gov. Rick Snyder will sign Marleau’s measure to create a website for state residents that would allow loved ones and health care providers to know their end-of-life wishes.

Senate Bill 723 would create the Peace of Mind Registry, a secure database providing health care providers access to a patient’s advance directives. Advance directives are legal documents allowing individuals to specify patient advocates, religious preferences, and other decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time.

When signed into law, Michigan will be the first state where residents may have their advanced directives accessible throughout the country.

The post Media Advisory: Governor to sign Marleau’s health-registry bill into law appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.

Senate approves Marleau health-registry bill, sends to governor

Posted · Add Comment

LANSING?The Michigan Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed a measure to create a website for state residents that would allow loved ones and health care providers to know their end-of-life wishes, said sponsor Sen. Jim Marleau.

If the bill becomes law, as expected, Michigan residents will be the first to have these instructions accessible no matter where they travel in the country.

“I expect Michigan to become the national model for states across the country for legislation establishing these important websites,” said Marleau, chair of the Senate Committee on Health Policy. “I’m proud that we’re the first state in the nation to do this.”

Senate Bill 723 would create the Peace of Mind Registry, a secure database providing health care providers access to a patient’s advance directives. Advance directives are legal documents allowing individuals to specify patient advocates, religious preferences, and other decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time.

“The decisions we make about the care we want at the end of our lives are extremely personal and important,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “Making these decisions accessible to doctors, and especially our loved ones, will substantially improve quality of life and give peace of mind.”

Currently there is no way for health care providers in the state to access their patients’ advance directives. Marleau’s bill addresses that need.

The lawmaker said the registry is not funded by Michigan taxpayers.

“It is free and voluntary. All costs are covered by the registry itself,” Marleau said.

SB 723 has been sent to the governor to be signed into law.

The post Senate approves Marleau health-registry bill, sends to governor appeared first on Senator Jim Marleau.