Proos Offers Tips to Protect Residents Against Eastern Equine Encephalitis

River Country Journal

August 27, 2010

As the Michigan Department of Community Health confirmed a third case of the mosquito-borne disease Eastern Equine Encephalitis, state Reps. John Proos and Tonya Schuitmaker offered tips to protect families from this serious infection.

This is a very serious concern for our area and we must take the proper precautions,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The danger is very real, and tips are available on my website to provide your family every possible precaution.”

Kalamazoo County has experienced two human cases of EEE and recently another human case of EEE was found in Barry County. Horses have been infected in other counties, including Barry, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph.

The Michigan Department of Community Health offers the following tips to protect your family from Eastern Equine Encephalitis:

Use repellent:
When outdoors, use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing. The repellent/insecticide permethrin can be used on clothing to protect through several washes. Always follow the directions on the product label.

Stay indoors when mosquitoes are biting:
Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn.

Wear protective clothing:
Wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits.

Install and repair screens: Have secure, intact screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.

Keep mosquitoes from laying eggs near you: Mosquitoes can lay eggs even in small amounts of standing water. Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels and tires. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Empty children’s wading pools and store on their side after use.

“It’s important we take the MDCH precautions seriously to prevent more people from becoming severely ill,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton.

According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, EEE is one of the most dangerous diseases in the U.S., killing one third of those hospitalized with the infection, and often leaving survivors with lasting brain damage.

For updates on equine and human cases of EEE and other mosquito-borne diseases in Michigan, visit the Emerging Diseases website at http://www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases.

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Auditor General Sites Department of Community Health Questionable Spending

Due to waste, fraud and abuse, over the last two years, state departments have questionably spent nearly $5 billion in taxpayer funding.

Governor Granholm recently rejected a Republican amendment in Senate Bill 797 that would require the Department of Community Health to implement stronger internal controls and other cost-saving measure within the department, as recommended by the state auditors general’s report.

Included in the Auditor General’s findings were $2.1 million in suspicious payments to deceased providers or for services to people that had passed away some time ago, over $4 billion in questionable costs and nearly $500 million in identified inappropriate expenditures.

The recommendations found in this report need to be implemented in order to prevent out-of-control government spending from repeating. Throughout the past several years, these departments have continually been cited for questionable spending of Michigan taxpayer dollars.  There is a clear need for immediate spending reform.

Last year, the Department of Human Services had a similar report from the auditor general.  As a member of that committee I worked across the isle to identify and hold department heads accountable for questionable spending.

These departments demonstrate a pattern of mismanagement and it is time for action that will lead to a solution.

Proos Looks into Pre-paid Funeral Scams

WNDU

Jessie Rymers

August 20, 2010

A southwest Michigan lawmaker is taking action after customers of a Berrien Springs were hit in an embezzlement scam.

In light of charges the Legacy Family Funeral Home bilked money from a pre-paid funeral account, today State Rep. John Proos called on the director of the state’s Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth.

He asked him to review the policies in place for registering a monitoring Michigan funeral homes.

In their talks, the agency also laid out some tips for families to protect themselves from pre-paid funeral scams.

Pattern of Mismanaged Spending

The nonpartisan auditor general has uncovered a pattern of mismanagement and waste in two of Michigan’s largest state departments.

Last October, I told you about more than $800 million in questionable expenditures from the Department of Human Services.

At the time, this was the fourth such report highlighting serious concerns that went unaddressed by the department.

Unfortunately, a recent audit of the Department of Community Health has uncovered $4.4 BILLION in questionable expenditures. This state department is responsible for improving and protecting public health. It’s absolutely unsatisfactory for any department to fail to complete their duties, but it is beyond comprehension for more than $4 billion in spending to go unchecked.

Not only are there serious concerns about fiscal restraint in these departments, the DCH audit uncovered serious allegations of physical abuse ignored by the department.

Unfortunately, as with DHS, 60 percent of the audit were findings that the department had been asked to address before. In my mind, this is a pattern of mismanagement and corruption that must stop.

Clearly these departments are failing to meet the needs of Michigan citizens, and I will keep working to make sure they are held accountable to the taxpayer and the vulnerable citizens they are entrusted to protect.

Proos Wins in a Landslide

The Herald Palladium

By SHAWN McGRATH – H-P Staff Writer

August 4, 2010

ST. JOSEPH – Having campaigned on his experience in Lansing as a veteran lawmaker, state Rep. John Proos won the Republican primary election for State Senate on Tuesday by a large margin, defeating challenger Todd Griffee of Niles.

“It leaves us with an awful lot of responsibility moving forward as the Republican nominee to continue to focus on solutions that will address the many challenges I heard knocking on doors throughout Southwest Michigan,” Proos said, “literally the thousands of doors I knocked on where families are so very concerned about not only their jobs, but the future for their children in our great state. Folks throughout Southwest Michigan are looking for solutions and leadership and I’ll look forward to providing commonsense solutions for the problems we face and the leadership to bring it about.”

Proos, R-St. Joseph, captured about 76 percent of the vote with most precincts reporting late Tuesday. Michigan’s 21st Senate district covers Berrien and Cass counties and most of Van Buren County.

Proos defeated Griffee by a landslide in Berrien County, capturing 9,157 votes to 2,425 with 52 of 65 precincts reporting. Proos handily defeated Griffee in the Cass and Van Buren County areas in the district. Proos received 2,440 votes in Cass County to Griffee’s 1,196 with all precincts reporting. In Van Buren County, Proos received 4,576 votes to Griffee’s 1,615 with all precincts reporting.

“I’ve spent a significant amount of time outside of my district during this run for the nomination for the state Senate seat,” Proos said, “and in doing so, I’ve met so many different people with so many different concerns and goals and aspirations and desires for change that makes a difference for their family.”

Proos, 40, of 2695 Hillview Lane, St. Joseph, was first elected to state House 79th District in 2004 and cannot run for re-election because of term limits.

For his part, Griffee, 43, was upbeat in defeat, pleased with the votes he received.

“As a first-time candidate, with the amount of money I had, how could you ask for anything better than that?” he asked. “If you take the total amount of money spent, and divided it by the number of votes purchased with that and got a price per vote, I’m light years ahead of my opponent.

“For having the deck stacked against me, and all the crummy tricks they threw at me, I think when you look for doing more for less, I’m pleasantly surprised.”

Proos faces Democrat Scott Elliott of Benton Township in the Nov. 2 general election. Elliott was running unopposed in his party’s primary and received 4,952 votes with all precincts in Cass and Van Buren counties reporting, and most of Berrien County reporting.