Sen. Brandenburg District Update

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Brandenburg supports new laws to improve specialty courts

Laws that take effect this month will help improve outcomes for some offenders and cut down on the rate of recidivism.

Under Public Acts 161-164 of 2017, specialty or “problem-solving” courts, including veterans treatment, sobriety, drug treatment and mental health courts, will follow the same evidence-based practices and uniform guidelines as part of a new certification process. The new laws will help give participants the best opportunity for success and create a more consistent approach for the courts.

Michigan’s specialty courts reach 97 percent of the state’s population, helping offenders access treatment to address underlying issues such as alcohol or drug abuse.

Brandenburg backs bill to help people with limited mobility

Many seniors and others with limited mobility depend on easy access to disability parking.

I recently supported legislation to give physical therapists the same ability as physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners to certify a patient’s disability in applying for free parking stickers, disability windshield placards, license plates and parking permits.  As health professionals with specialized knowledge in recognizing and providing treatment for mobility problems, these individuals also have the training and experience to determine a disabling condition. Senate Bill 582 has been sent to the House for consideration.

Pure Michigan Hunt update

Three lucky hunters recently received a congratulatory call from theMichigan Department of Natural Resources as the 2018 Pure Michigan Hunt winners. The winners will receive elk, bear, spring and fall turkey and antlerless deer licenses and a base license to be used in 2018 as well as first pick opening morning of the waterfowl season at any managed waterfowl hunt area. Each hunter also will receive a package of donated hunting gear worth more than $4,000.

The 2018 drawing had a total of 35,214 applications, generating more than $176,000 for habitat restoration and improvements. Applications for the next Pure Michigan Hunt drawing will be available starting March 1. Visit www.mi.gov/pmh for more information.

February is Heart Month

Up to 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be prevented. Many risk factors, such as blood pressure, smoking, cholesterol and lack of regular physical activity can be controlled. That’s why it’s important to learn about prevention and lifestyle changes.

I recently cosponsored Senate Resolution 125, a measure proclaiming February 2018 as American Heart Month and Feb. 2, 2018 as “Go Red for Women Day” to bring attention to heart disease. By raising awareness on heart health, we can help save thousands of lives each year.

Report a pothole

Michigan’s seasonal freeze-thaw cycle takes a toll on pavement! According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, as moisture seeps into the pavement, freezes, expands and thaws, it creates a gap in the pavement. As vehicles drive over the gap, the pavement weakens, leading to a pothole.Motorists can report a pothole on any state road (roads beginning with M, I or U.S. designations) at www.michigan.gov/mdot (click on How Do I) or by calling 888-296-4546. For potholes on other roads, contact your county or local unit of government.