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Michigan Senate acts to protect minors

When it comes to keeping kids safe, it seems as though there are always new challenges. I recently supported two bills to protect children from alcohol and nicotine abuse.

Senate Bill 231 would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes and nicotine cartridges to minors and treat stores that sell the products to minors the same as if they sold them tobacco. The bill would also prohibit a minor from buying or using e-cigarettes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2013 more than a quarter million middle and high school students - who never smoked traditional cigarettes - used e-cigarettes. In fact, the products come in many kid-friendly flavors, like chocolate, fruit and bubble gum. Yet the nicotine in them can be just as addictive as conventional cigarettes. Clearly, these devices don't belong in the hands of our children.

Another measure, Senate Bill 240, would prohibit the sale, distribution and possession of powdered alcohol. Small enough to fit in a pocket, this product can be readily concealed and easier for young people to access and consume. A number of states have already banned powdered alcohol and several others are considering bans.

Both bills have been sent to the House for consideration.

Robertson offers information on how to fly the flag

Flag Day is celebrated each year on June 14, commemorating the adoption of the American flag in 1777. Since then, our flag has been a symbol of the freedoms we enjoy - freedoms that have been protected by the courage and sacrifice of our nation's veterans.

Certainly, Old Glory commands proper attention and respect. Many people have questions on flag etiquette and I am pleased to provide some general information on my website at

State parks honor veterans with Fireworks-Free Fourth of July

Michigan is home to more than 660,000 veterans, some of whom prefer to avoid fireworks and other loud noises.

On this Independence Day weekend (July 3-5), 12 Michigan state parks will offer Fireworks-Free Fourth of July celebrations. Located farther away from urban areas that often host large local firework displays, these parks are ideal camping locations for veterans and others who prefer a quieter holiday celebration.

The weekend event, made possible by a partnership between the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, provides a great alternative when celebrating our nation's freedom. Ground-level fireworks such as sparklers, fountains and other novelties will still be permitted. Find out more, including a list of participating state parks, at