John Proos: State legislature moved forward in 2012Published 11:41am Friday, December 28, 2012
By Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph
As we look forward to a new year, we naturally look back and reflect upon the previous 12 months. With our families we celebrate the milestones and work on solving the challenges.
It is not much different when we look at our state legislature. I ask myself two questions: What did we accomplish? And where can we improve?
I am proud that we took on many issues this year and achieved proactive solutions that are already helping to revitalize our state.
The positive actions we took are continuing to create jobs by making our state more attractive to job providers. We removed the barriers to competition that were especially hurting Southwest Michigan workers and small businesses, and we kept our promise to once again pass a state budget that provided essential services to our residents while making sure the state was living within its means.
As a result of focusing on Southwest Michigan jobs and families, our children will have more opportunities for education and employment and more freedom.
We also protected our children from meth, concussions and sexual abuse.
On Jan. 1, a new law required retailers and pharmacies to consult an online tracking system before selling products containing pseudoephedrine, which is commonly used to make meth. The result is that production of millions of dollars of meth has been stopped, while residents have maintained access to necessary cold medications.
As a father of active young children, I know that we must ensure that the health of our young athletes is always the top priority. After hearing from concerned parents and officials from the NFL and Detroit Lions, my concussion initiative was passed and signed. The new law sets guidelines on when an injured child can return to play and creates an awareness program to help train and educate coaches, parents and athletes.
The legislature also finalized bipartisan measures to help prevent child sexual abuse. I sponsored “Erin’s Law” to ensure children have age-appropriate education to recognize and talk about sexual abuse, and I was proud to welcome the law’s namesake, Erin Merryn, to Lansing to tell her story of abuse and the need to help children with education, empowerment and support.
We have accomplished much in the past two years to transform and reenergize Michigan, but more remains to be done. I will continue my efforts to listen to the people about the challenges we face and learn about innovative ideas we could look at to improve our state and our region.
Together I am positive that we can build upon the achievements of 2012 and make 2013 a year of greater prosperity and opportunity.