Practice Beach and Pool Safety this Independence Day

This Independence Day it is important to take precaution as we head to the water. Michigan’s lakes and beaches are some of our greatest treasures, but they also pose one of our state’s greatest dangers for swimmers.

In a 2004 issue of National Geographic, Lake Michigan was identified as one of the most dangerous zones, with undertows and rip currents that have caused more than 50 drownings since 2000. Over the past five years, more than 30 people have drowned off Southwest Michigan’s coast alone.

I have reintroduced House Bill 5168 to further increase the safety of all people on Michigan’s waterfront. This legislation is a direct result of unfortunate fatalities over the past several years and a local lifeguard bringing it to my attention.

Lifeguards are trained to save lives – sometimes at the risk of their own. When a person is in crisis, lifeguards are trained to react. HB 5168 expands Michigan’s Good Samaritan Act to offer protection to lifeguards.

My legislation protects them from liability when they perform lifesaving emergency care, in an act of good faith, for everyone’s best protection.

Many accidents are preventable with proper caution. With nearly 100 accidental drownings each year in our state alone, it is vital we take swimming safety seriously and with proper precaution. Please use extra precaution this Independence Day.

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Proos Farmers’ Market Legislation Headed to Governor

River Country Journal

July 1, 2010

Legislation to allow Michigan families to enjoy homemade food from local roadside stands and farmers’ markets is headed to the governor, after it was unanimously approved by the Michigan Senate Thursday (July 1st).

“I’m very pleased this legislation that removes barriers to entrepreneurship and over regulation is on its way to the governor,” said state Rep. John Proos, sponsor of House Bill 5280. “Agriculture continues to be a foundation of our state’s economy, and roadside stands and farmers’ markets are part of this crucial sector in our economy. I encourage the governor to protect these jobs.”  (John Proos audio clip – :25)

Proos noted that there has been an increase in farmers markets’ around our state. Recent counts report nearly 200 new ones opening up every day. The increasing trend is not only a result of people wanting to eat healthy, but also interested in the fresh fruits, vegetables and homemade products.

“I was approached by local producers to pursue this legislation. Upon research, some 30 states have decreased regulation and removed barriers to entry for products to be sold locally. My legislation would do the same,” Proos said.

To legally sell a pie at a farmers’ market in Michigan you must invest up to $30,000 to meet current state regulations. HB 5280 deregulates current Michigan laws and allows venders at roadside stands and farmers’ markets to produce goods in their own homes, by requiring all products to be labeled with “Made in a home kitchen that has not been inspected by the Michigan Department of Agriculture.”

“With the great diversity in agricultural items grown in Michigan these bills encourage opportunities for entrepreneurs to be the next Gerber or Kelloggs,” Proos said. “This legislation would encourage entrepreneurs to enter the food industry and grow the 120 products Michigan currently sells nationally.”

The legislation introduced by Proos sets the maximum sales at $15,000 per year, and will allow cottage food operations to sell at homes, farmers’ markets, roadside stands, county fairs and town events.