Schuitmaker, Jansen introduce ‘Officer Trevor Slot Memorial Highway’ bill

LANSING—Sen. Mark Jansen and Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker on Tuesday introduced legislation to rename part of I-96 in honor of Officer Trevor Slot, who was killed in the line of duty while trying to apprehend armed bank robbers on Oct. 13, 2011.

“Officer Trevor Slot served the Walker Police Department for nine years, had a loving family and enjoyed life in Michigan. Tragically, two years ago Officer Slot made the ultimate sacrifice as he did his duty – protecting the people of Walker,” said Jansen, R-Gaines Township. “His loss continues to be felt by the entire community. I am proud to sponsor this bill as a way to ensure that his unwavering service to protecting the people, and his dedication and sacrifice as an officer will always be remembered.”

Senate Bill 673, sponsored by Jansen and co-sponsored by Schuitmaker, would rename the portion of I-96 within the Walker city limits as the “Officer Trevor Slot Memorial Highway.”

“Officer Slot’s highest priority in life was his family and our hearts still go out to his wife and two daughters,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “The outpouring of love and support from Walker residents is truly illustrative of Officer Slot and how much this community cares for its friends and neighbors. This legislation is about building on that support and putting in place a permanent recognition of Officer Slot’s service and selfless commitment to public safety.”

Among the tributes to Officer Trevor Slot is the recent Trevor Slot Memorial 5K Run/Walk, a non-competitive run/walk that followed a ceremony at the Walker Police and Fire Memorial. Proceeds from the event were donated to the Trevor P. Slot Foundation, which supports students entering the criminal justice field.

SB 673 was referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee for consideration.


Senate approves legislation to protect patients and increase transparency at oversight boards

For Immediate Release
Nov. 7, 2013

Contact: Arika Sinnott, Sen. Schuitmaker's Office: 

Contact:  Sen. Rick Jones
LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Senate passed legislation Thursday to better protect patients by increasing oversight and transparency at the state’s boards of health professions.  All four bills in the package passed unanimously. 

Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, and Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, introduced the legislation as a response to evidence that a former Board of Medicine chairman dismissed serious allegations against a Muskegon abortion provider, Dr. Robert Alexander, without investigation and without disclosing their prior relationship.

“Today is a major milestone and I am grateful to my colleagues for their commitment to patient safety,” said Schuitmaker. “Michigan’s residents are one step closer to knowing that when they go into the doctor’s office, those doctors are practicing safe medicine.”

Senate Bill 575 requires a minimum of three board members to review every allegation brought to the boards. Currently, a board chairperson has the power to make decisions without consulting other members. It further prohibits the currently permissible practice of board members testifying as paid expert witnesses in malpractice suits over allegations that may later come before the board to investigate.

“The more I learned about what went on in some of these doctors’ offices and at the Board of Medicine, the more I realized how necessary this legislation was,” said Jones. “Patient’s lives were put in danger and no one was held accountable. That is unacceptable.” 

SB 576 requires board members to disclose any conflict of interest that might exist between them and the health care providers they are investigating. SB 577 automatically revokes a health professional's license if they are found guilty of criminal sexual conduct against a patient while acting in their capacity as a health professional, and SB 578 makes revisions to the law governing decisions of disciplinary subcommittees.

In 2009, allegations were brought against Dr. Robert Alexander by another doctor who treated one of Alexander’s patients. Chairman of the Board, Dr. George Shade, then singlehandedly dismissed the allegations without investigating. In 2012, Dr. Alexander’s clinic in Muskegon was shut down for multiple health and safety violations. 

Further information showed that Dr. Alexander lost his license and served time in prison in the 1980s and 1990s.  When he applied to have his license reinstated, Shade served as Alexander’s mentor.


O’Brien, Schuitmaker host transportation forum

For Immediate Release
Nov. 4, 2013

Contact: Derek Sova, 517-373-0793        Stephanie Bogema, 517-373-1774
Office of Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker        Office of Rep. Margaret O’Brien

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—State Rep. Margaret O’Brien and State Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker will be hosting a transportation forum to better inform local officials and members of the public about how Michigan’s roads are funded.

“Road funding has been a major focus for the last two years, and I’ve heard from numerous constituents about their concerns,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “It is no secret that many of Michigan’s roads are in bad shape, and as winter approaches we are likely to see them get worse.”

“This event will provide the public with more information about how our roads are funded and give people an opportunity to discuss options going forward,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton.

Presentation topics will include an overview of how the state’s infrastructure is funded through the Michigan Transportation Fund and other revenue sources, an examination of the condition of Kalamazoo County roads, and information about how road agencies have worked to improve efficiency and make necessary investments for the future.

Featured presenters include Rep. Joseph Haveman, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee; Joanna Johnson, Kalamazoo County Road Commission; Pete Pfeiffer, Michigan Department of Transportation; Chris Barnes, city of Portage; and Fred Nagler, city of Kalamazoo. All presenters will also be on hand for a question and answer session afterwards.

The forum will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. at the Groves Center at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (7107 Elm Valley Drive, Kalamazoo). Snacks will be provided.
Questions can be directed to O’Brien's office at 877-DIST-061.