Proos’ Concussion Awareness Bill Signed


Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation raising awareness for youth concussions in Michigan, which has the support of many organizations across the state including the Detroit Lions and the NFL.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation on Tuesday to protect young athletes by educating coaches of youth sports organizations, including schools, and requiring them to adopt a concussion awareness program, said sponsor Sen. John Proos.

“This is about emphasizing the seriousness of concussions, which impact the lives of thousands of young people each year,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph, in a press release. “We must help inform parents, coaches and athletes about concussions and what is in the athlete’s best interest. A concussion is difficult to identify, so it is critical to ensure athletes understand the gravity of this type of injury and that we set guidelines that err on the side of caution so that a child’s health is always put first.”

Public Acts 342 and 343 of 2012 require the creation of a concussion awareness program that includes training and distribution of educational materials for coaches, parents and athletes. A youth suspected of sustaining a concussion will be required to be immediately removed from activity and would not be able to return until he or she had been evaluated by a health professional and received written clearance to play.

“Research consistently has shown that concussions are a serious health threat to athletes,” Snyder said. “Coaches and parents need to be proactive in recognizing the signs of a concussion so we can protect injured children and teens from any further complications.”

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, more than 140,000 high school athletes are estimated to suffer a concussion each year. Ohio State University data show that high school football has the highest rate of overall concussions at 6.94 per 10,000 athletes participating in school-sponsored activities from 2008-2011, followed by ice hockey at 6.11, boys’ lacrosse at 4.21 and girls’ soccer at 3.83.

Tele-Town Hall a Great Success

Throughout my time in the state Legislature, I have held a series of tele-town hall meetings. I recent held my latest tele-town hall to discuss the year’s accomplishments and hear from residents about their priorities.

The meeting was a great success with 4,769 area residents participating.

I strongly believe that listening to the hard-working people of Southwest Michigan is vital and irreplaceable to being a good public servant.

Thousands of families and job providers were able to hear what we have been doing and express their viewpoints. During the meeting I discussed our accomplishments and priorities; answered many good questions; and sought the input from residents about key issues, such as how best to solve our continuing fiscal and road funding problems.

In addition to having 18 people ask me questions, everyone was able to give their opinion on a series of important issues facing Michigan.

While the reforms we made are resulting in an improving Michigan economy and reduced unemployment, pocketbook issues continue to be the top priority for Southwest Michigan.

When asked what issue is most important to them and their families, 56 percent of residents said creating jobs or growing the economy.

“Creating jobs” was the answer of 37 percent of participants. 19 percent said “growing the economy” and “paying down government debt” was the most important to 18 percent.

It is a reminder to me that our primary focus must continue to be on helping our job creators succeed and grow, attracting new entrepreneurs to Michigan and reducing our debts.

Residents who were unable to attend the tele-town hall may always contact my Senate office by email at or by calling 517-373-6960.

Non-Partisan Pamphlet on Statewide Ballot Proposals Available

On Nov. 6, each Michigan voter will have a chance to play an important role in establishing public policy and setting the direction for our state. Not only will voters have the opportunity to select their elected leaders, but you will be asked to consider six statewide ballot proposals.

Proposal 12-1 is a referendum on whether to keep the Emergency Manager Law and the remaining proposals would amend the Michigan Constitution.

By now you have undoubtedly seen the various ads on TV or in your mailbox by the numerous groups trying to persuade you.

I invite Southwest Michigan voters to contact my office to obtain a non-biased, non-partisan newsletter containing information to help familiarize you with the pros and cons of these six proposals.

The pamphlet includes the actual language that will appear on the ballot along with brief analyses of the important issues at hand.

I want to make it clear that the analyses do not necessarily reflect my views. The information was approved by both Republican and Democratic staff with the intent of giving you the strongest arguments for and against each proposal so that you can make an informed decision on the issues.

Keep in mind that this pamphlet is only about the six statewide ballot proposals. Depending on where you live, there may also be other local or regional questions on your ballot.

Southwest Michigan voters who would like this informational pamphlet may contact my office at 517-373-6960 or by email at: The newsletter is also available as a free download from my Senate website at: Click on “Statewide Ballot Proposals”.

Senate Passes Proos’ “Swift and Sure” Program

WSJM – Radio

The state Senate has approved legislation from Senator John Proos to create what’s called the “Swift and Sure” program for parolees and those on probation. Proos says it’s based on a successful program out of Hawaii that cut the crime rate and drug use by probationers.

The St. Joseph Republican said not only will the program help those who are out of jail by giving them support to prevent more crime, it will also save the Michigan Department of Corrections money. Proos says the 2012 fiscal year’s budget included “Swift and Sure” as a pilot program for counties that have combined criminal and drug courts, and now in the 2013 budget, more counties will be able to apply for the program if the bills pass the House and are signed by Governor Snyder.


Fire Prevention Week About Raising Fire Safety Awareness

The Chicago Fire of 1871 killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless and destroyed more than 17,400 structures. In 2010, a house fire was reported every 85 seconds.

Firefighters responded to 369,500 home fires that caused 2,640 civilian deaths and $6.9 billion in damage.

In 1922, Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Chicago tragedy by raising awareness about fire safety.

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 7-13 this year, with the theme: “Have 2 Ways Out!” It is a reminder of one step we can do to keep our families safe in the event of a house fire.

Every second counts. Having a home escape plan that everyone knows and has practiced is critical because your home could be engulfed in flames in less than three minutes. As the theme mentions, have two ways out in case the main exit is blocked by fire.

Nearly two-thirds of house fire deaths occur in homes that do not have working smoke detectors. Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, test them once a month and replace the batteries every year.

I want to highlight two Southwest Michigan events commemorating Fire Prevention Week.

On Sunday, Oct. 9, the Hartford Fire Department is sponsoring a pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon at the fire station, with all proceeds from donations going to fire prevention.

Saturday, Oct. 13 is the Safety Jamboree sponsored by the Hartford Lions Club. Everything is free. A parade starts at 1 p.m. and events follow at the high school, including fire department demonstrations, games, face-painting and more.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week, including fire facts, safety tips and other resources visit:

Proos Sponsors Bill to Close Loophole in Michigan’s Child Safety Seat Law

WTVB – Radio

A bill to close a loophole in Michigan’s child safety seat law was recently approved by the Senate Transportation Committee.  Introduced by State Senator John Proos, the plan would eliminate a way for someone to get out of a ticket if they’re cited for violating the child safety seat rule. Proos says that the law does require parents to properly restrain their kids in the car, but they can get out of the ticket if they simply show the magistrate a receipt for the purchase of a car seat. Proos’ legislation would get rid of that exception. He says that parents ought to have a safety seat for their kids from the get-go, and not have a way to get around that if they’re caught. The plan now goes to the full Senate.