Free Mammograms Available

Proos PinkRibbonPlateAmong Michigan women, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths. Nearly everyone knows someone who has been impacted by this terrible disease.

I recently supported designating October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Michigan.

Early detection of breast cancer is critical to improving the chance of survival, yet very few Southwest Michigan women ages 40 and older get annual mammograms.

I encourage all at-risk women to take this important and life-saving step. I also urge eligible uninsured women to take advantage of a program that provides free mammograms on select days in October.

The Pink Saturdays Breast Cancer Screenings program has screened more than 9,300 women and expects to provide 1,000 free mammograms this year. To be eligible for a free screening, a woman must be uninsured, be age 40 to 64 and meet certain income guidelines.

Residents may call 1-800-873-0649 to schedule a free screening or visit www.PinkSaturdays.org for more information.

I am also proud to announce that “Pink Ribbon” license plates are now available. I co-sponsored the law last year to create this plate to raise funds that will help provide low-income women access to cancer screening services and follow-up care, including treatment if necessary.

This October, let us celebrate those who have won their fight with breast cancer, support those currently battling this serious disease and remember the friends and loved ones we have lost.

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Back-to-School Tips for Both Students and Parents

Proos_Teaching Mischlers ClassSummer is winding to a close and another school year is about to start. As parents, it is time for us to play our important role of ensuring that our children are prepared to learn.

A good education is critical for children to become tomorrow’s skilled workers and strong leaders, and an active parent can have a huge impact on a child’s desire to learn.

Research has shown that students whose parents are involved in their school work are more motivated and set higher career goals than students with less-involved parents. While helping our children understand classroom material at an early age helps improve their chances for success, visiting a child’s school has also been cited as a key factor in a student’s development.

I encourage all Southwest Michigan parents to try and make time to help and support your young students. The Michigan Department of Education has many helpful resources in the “Parent Engagement” section of its website at: http://www.michigan.gov/mde.

To parents of first-time students, this time may seem daunting, but the best thing you can do to ensure a child’s academic success is simply to be there for them. Ensure they get plenty of sleep, arrive to school on time, complete their homework and eat healthy meals.

And remember that the framework to success also lies in building up a child’s self-confidence with positive reinforcement and encouragement.

I hope you have a great school year!

New Laws Will Help Veterans Entering the Workforce

VeteransAmerica is the land of the free because we are the home of the brave. Let us never forget that we owe our liberty to the courageous men and women in uniform who put their country before themselves.

Unfortunately, when our veterans return home they often face real challenges transitioning into civilian life and into new careers.

I was proud to support common sense reforms to help our veterans find work here at home by removing unnecessary barriers to getting a job in Michigan.

Beginning in late August, honorably discharged veterans will be able to take advantage of new laws designed to assist them entering the workforce in certain professions.

Public Act 127 of 2014 requires the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to waive the license or initial registration fee for honorably discharged veterans in certain fields. The change applies to several occupations, such as barbers, public accountants, foresters, architects, community planners, funeral directors and residential builders.

PA 128 waives the same fees for honorably discharged veterans who apply for licensure as a private security guard or to become a member of a private security guard business.

These new laws are part of our continued effort to increase veterans assistance. They build on already enacted reforms from 2013 that recognized that military training is rigorous and tough and worthy of counting toward comparable jobs in the civilian workforce.

Those measures allow certain military training and experience of honorably discharged veterans to be counted for purposes of professional licensure as an emergency medical technician, firefighter, boiler operator and stationary engineer, mechanical contractor, and residential builder.

The enormous sacrifice and selfless dedication of our veterans and their families is a debt we can never fully repay. However, these reforms are a real, meaningful way to express our appreciation for the service of our veterans and to do something that is good for the entire state — our veterans, our local communities and our economy.

The Best July 4th Celebration is a Safe One

FireworksOn Friday, July 4, America will be celebrating its 238th birthday.

A tired and restless Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia voted on July 2, 1776 to approve a resolution of independence that was proposed by Richard Henry Lee.

Two days later, the Congress adopted the official Declaration of Independence and the famous words written by Thomas Jefferson were read aloud to the public: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

With brave voices, our Founding Fathers risked their lives and those of their families and friends to stand up against injustice and tyranny. Their actions and the resulting Revolutionary War would change the world.

To commemorate this courageous act of liberty, we celebrate Independence Day each July 4th.

As Southwest Michigan families join with their communities to honor America, I encourage everyone to make this celebration a safe one.

It starts with fireworks safety. Some simple tips are to closely monitor children using sparklers, keep kids and pets at a safe distance from fireworks and always have a bucket of water ready.

In addition to celebrating at parades and fireworks displays, many residents will gather together with friends and family for picnics or barbecues. I encourage keeping summer safety tips in mind, such as using sunscreen (especially on young kids), drinking plenty of water and being conscious of your surroundings.

While honoring America, please also remember how to properly care for the flag, including how to retire the flag if it is worn or tattered. The U.S. Flag Code says, “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way.”

Residents who need to retire a U.S. flag can contact the Boy Scouts or your local Veterans of Foreign Wars or American Legion post. These organizations often provide flag retirement services.

The Fourth of July is a joyous time to celebrate our freedoms, show our pride in our country and remember the declaration proclaimed more than two centuries ago that started it all.

I hope you all have a fun and safe Independence Day.

Announcing my Bid for Re-Election to the State Senate in Michigan’s Great Southwest

Proos_Dowagiac DailyEarlier today I announced my candidacy for the 21st Michigan State Senate seat in Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph counties.
Michigan is turning around, but I believe there is more work to be done to put Michigan back on solid footing.  I will continue to focus my efforts on creating an environment that fosters jobs for our families, welcoming new businesses and investing in a world class education system to prepare our children to fill the economic opportunities right here in Southwest Michigan.

The 21st State Senate district will change after the 2014 election from the counties of Van Buren, Cass and Berrien to Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph.

I would like to earn the support and vote of individuals and families in Southwest Michigan as I continue to fight for the common-sense values we hold dear.  Vital to the success of Southwest Michigan and our families are the expansion of infrastructure through broadband networks, ensuring the safety of our communities through proper funding of police and fire services and protecting our precious natural resources.
I ask for your support in Michigan’s primary election on August 5th, 2014 and in the general election, November 4, 2014.
Some of the first term initiatives that I have been proud to work on include:

•    Working to eliminate the fraud waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars, finding efficiencies totaling about 120 million dollars.
•    Improving access to career and technical education for our students through legislation to facilitate flow of information between students, families, schools, the Department of Education, community organizations and businesses.
•    Instituting new point-of-sale computer system designed to stop meth dealers from buying large amounts of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine at pharmacies.
•    Initiating the first proposal to fund our roads since John Engler was Governor.  My legislation dedicated $100 million of unallocated sales tax money, already paid at the gas pump toward Michigan’s infrastructure.
•    Sponsoring legislation to rehabilitate criminals before they are huge expense to society through the swift and sure program available to county courts.
•    Facilitated a new program to connect hunters with farmers looking to protect their land from crop damage.
•    Pushing to give Michigan businesses priority in applying for state contracts whenever possible.
•    Supports the eradication of invasive species from our precious natural resources.

During my tenure in the state legislature I have served over 9,000 individuals, families and businesses in Southwest Michigan who have asked for assistance.  I consider the ability to help so many cut through government red tape as one of my greatest accomplishments.

John Proos Announces Bid for the State Senate in Michigan’s Great Southwest

Proos_Dowagiac DailyState Senator John Proos (R-St. Joseph) today announced his candidacy for the 21st Michigan State Senate seat in Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph counties.
“Michigan is turning around, but I believe there is more work to be done to put Michigan back on solid footing” said John Proos R-St. Joseph.  “I will continue to focus my efforts on creating an environment that fosters jobs for our families, welcoming new businesses and investing in a world class education system to prepare our children to fill the economic opportunities right here in Southwest Michigan.”
The 21st State Senate district will change after the 2014 election from the counties of Van Buren, Cass and Berrien to Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph.
“I would like to earn the support and vote of individuals and families in Southwest Michigan as I continue to fight for the common-sense values we hold dear,” said Proos.  “Vital to the success of Southwest Michigan and our families are the expansion of infrastructure through broadband networks, ensuring the safety of our communities through proper funding of police and fire services and protecting our precious natural resources.”
Proos asks for residents’ votes in Michigan’s primary election on August 5th, 2014 and in the general election, November 4, 2014.
Proos’ first term initiatives:

•    Working to eliminate the fraud waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars, Proos has found efficiencies totaling about 120 million dollars.
•    Improving access to career and technical education for our students through legislation to facilitate flow of information between students, families, schools, the Department of Education, community organizations and businesses.
•    Instituting new point-of-sale computer system designed to stop meth dealers from buying large amounts of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine at pharmacies.
•    Initiating the first proposal to fund our roads since John Engler was Governor.  Proos’ legislation dedicated $100 million of unallocated sales tax money, already paid at the gas pump toward Michigan’s infrastructure.
•    Sponsoring legislation to rehabilitate criminals before they are huge expense to society through the swift and sure program available to county courts.
•    Facilitated a new program to connect hunters with farmers looking to protect their land from crop damage.
•    Pushing to give Michigan businesses priority in applying for state contracts whenever possible.
•    Supports the eradication of invasive species from our precious natural resources.
During Proos’ tenure in the state legislature he has served over 9,000 individuals, families and businesses in Southwest Michigan who have asked for assistance from his office.  He has noted the ability to help so many cut through government red tape as one of his greatest accomplishments.

Consider Taking Amtrak For Your Holiday Travels

In a world where we are constantly connected, the holiday season offers us a chance to cast the worries of our everyday life aside and really reconnect with our loved ones.

If you will be traveling this holiday season to gather with family and friends, I encourage you to consider taking the train.
Amtrak is a great way for people to travel without worrying about traffic, weather or gas prices.

Riding the train offers a unique opportunity for riders to sit back and unwind as they travel, while also helping ease the pressure on gas prices and reduce road congestion.

Amtrak ridership in Michigan increased 4 percent in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Nearly 909,000 people rode the train in Michigan last year — up from about 874,000.

Most traffic was on the Wolverine route that travels through Pontiac, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo and several cities on its way to Chicago. Michigan also has the Pere Marquette between Grand Rapids and Chicago and the Blue Water route that features stops in East Lansing and Kalamazoo as it connects Port Huron to Chicago.

With Amtrak more popular than ever, I encourage Southwest Michigan residents who are considering taking the train for the family holiday trip to make their reservations early.

Check out Amtrak.com for further information. Residents may book trips, change reservations and print eTickets through Amtrak’s eTicketing site at: http://www.amtrak.com/deals.

Amtrak continues to give Michigan families options to enjoy their travels.

Most importantly, Amtrak can help residents gather together with loved ones and enjoy the Christmas holiday.