Senior protection legislation signed into law

For Immediate Release
June 19, 2012

Contact: Derek Sova
517-373-0793

Senior protection legislation signed into law
Sen. Schuitmaker receives Alzheimer’s Association All-Star Advocate award

LANSING, Mich.— Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law a package of legislation today that aims to protect seniors and combat elder abuse. Sen. Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, has been a champion of senior citizens since she began her legislative career in the House of Representatives in 2004 and was excited to be the lead legislator working on this package.

“This is truly a historic day for seniors and families all across Michigan. The signing of these bills is the culmination of years of hard work by countless individuals. This legislation will make an immediate and noticeable positive impact on the lives of seniors,” Schuitmaker said.   

“Elder abuse is a serious problem that often goes unreported. The changes these bills make will go a long way to protect seniors from physical, emotional and financial abuse. They give senior organizations and law enforcement better tools to combat and prosecute those who are guilty of these deplorable crimes and strengthen the penalties the perpetrators face.”

The legislation increases coordination between state and local authorities to expedite claims investigation; allows law enforcement to issue alerts for missing seniors; creates a better definition of the various forms of elder abuse in order to increase reporting; places fewer restrictions on reporting abuse; enacts “whistle blower” type protections for employees; and creates stricter penalties for elder abuse.

At the bill signing today were advocates from around the state, including representatives from the Office of Services to the Aging, Area Agencies on Aging, and the Alzheimer’s Association. The family of Estella Mozelle Pierce was also in attendance. The “Mozelle Senior or Vulnerable Adult Medical Alert Act” is named in honor of Mozelle, a senior suffering from Alzheimer’s who died after wandering from her southwest Detroit home.

“Because of the efforts so many people who are truly passionate about and committed to the cause of senior protection, our parents and grandparents can have a peace of mind that Michigan and its people are looking out for them after their lifetimes of looking out for us.”  

Before the signing ceremony, Sen. Schuitmaker was presented with the Alzheimer’s Association’s All-Star Advocate award for her work on the measure.

Senate Bills 461, 464 and 466, all sponsored by Schuitmaker, are part of the 17-bill package signed by the governor.
###

http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5279&District=20

***Revised Media Advisory***

For Immediate Release
June 18, 2012

Contact: Derek Sova
517-373-0793

***Revised Media Advisory***

Schuitmaker to discuss senior protection bills

Who:
State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker;
Participants in Older Michiganians Day 2012; and
Members of the media.

What:
Discussion of the Senior Protection Package signed on June 19, 2012

When:
Wednesday, June 20
1:00pm

Where:
Capitol Lawn
Capitol Building
Lansing, MI

Brief:
Sen. Schuitmaker will discuss the Senior Protection package.

Each year nearly 80,000 Michigan residents are victims of elder abuse, which can result in physical, emotional and/or financial harm. Currently, Michigan lacks standards to coordinate between state and local authorities on alleged elderly abuse. Moreover, weak penalties do not deter against further abuse.

This legislation increases coordination between state and local authorities to expedite claims investigation; allows law enforcement to issue alerts for missing seniors; creates a better definition of the various forms of elder abuse in order to increase reporting; places fewer restrictions on reporting abuse; enacts “whistle blower” type protections for employees; and creates stricter penalties for elder abuse.

The Legislature recently passed the 17-bill package to enhance protections for senior citizens.  

For more information, please visit senatortonyaschuitmaker.com or call toll-free at 1-866-305-2120.

###

*The above information is meant to replace the information provided by Sen. Schuitmaker’s previous Media Advisory sent out today.

http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5271&District=20

Higher Education Committee reaches agreement on public university funding

For Immediate Release:
June 1, 2012

Contact: Rebecca DeVooght                         
(734) 476-9246
Derek Sova
(248) 376-0067                            
 

Higher Education Committee reaches agreement on public university funding

LANSING, Mich.— A committee made up of members from the state Senate and House of Representatives has agreed to the final details of the 2012-2013 state budget. The conference committee, chaired by Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, met Friday morning and signed the agreement that provides money for Michigan’s 15 public universities.

“This budget provides funding to support the exceptional work our public universities are doing.  At the same time, we are holding them accountable and asking them to demonstrate measurable improvements,” Schuitmaker said of the final agreement. “Throughout this process I have been advocating that our universities should be measured against universities across the country. We are living in a global economy and it doesn’t make sense to compare our schools only to Michigan schools.”

The budget provides incentives for universities to keep tuition costs down and increase their degree completion in critical skills areas such as science, technology, engineering and math. In addition, for the first time ever the higher education budget will measure universities against their national counterparts and provide incentives accordingly. The measurement will be done through the Carnegie Classification system. The Carnegie system compares universities across the country based on metrics measuring areas of student achievement and cost containment.

“I’m very happy with the finished product,” Schuitmaker said. “I know some people would have done things a little differently, but I’m confident that this budget agreement will really benefit our students. Our focus was always on measuring university performance and not just handing out money. This agreement ensures students will receive a quality education at an affordable cost.”

The higher education budget was the final budget to be agreed to by both chambers. Over the last few weeks the Senate and House worked to reach an agreement on how to allocate an additional $36 million that universities would be receiving. The governor, House and Senate reached an agreement late last night.

###

http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5193&District=20