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New law restores local control over school fundraisers

As Michigan students head back to the classroom, schools will once again have the option to host traditional fundraisers, such as bake sales, that sell sweet treats not on the federally approved "Smart Snack" list.

School clubs, athletic teams and other organizations have been unable to raise money at school by selling food such as brownies or cupcakes under federal rules that went into effect last year.

I supported Senate legislation-now law-that directs the state Department of Education to ensure local control by giving schools the option of holding two such school bake sales or fundraisers per week. These decisions are best left in the hands of school board members, parents and administrators.

Fall travel guide now available

The only antidote to the end of a Pure Michigan summer is the start of a Pure Michigan autumn!

From scenic drives and trails to culinary tours, the Pure Michigan Official Fall Travel Guide covers it all, including a special section on Deer Camp. Access the digital version and sign up for weekly fall color updates at Or contact my office to receive a print copy.

New website for senior services

Senior citizens and their families can quickly access information on services in their area at, a new and easy-to-use one-stop website.

The site is designed to connect Michigan seniors with state and local programs to help them maintain their independence as they age. The website lists information and links to resources on a wide range of services, including help at home, basic needs, safety and security, health care and more.

Be prepared with the Michigan emergency plan mobile app

Many Michigan communities have experienced hazardous weather or other emergencies over the past year alone, including tornadoes, winter storms, flooding and power outages.

September is National Preparedness Month and a good reminder to make sure your family knows what to do in case of an emergency. The 2015 theme is Don't Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.

A free app for iPhones and Android phones-Michigan Prepares-can help your family plan for emergencies in a few quick steps. Along with helping you pull together the right information to create an emergency plan, the app covers basic supply checklists, Michigan-specific hazard fact sheets and links to other resources.