Have a fun and safe July 4th!

On Monday, July 4, America will be celebrating its 240th birthday.

A tired and restless Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia voted on July 2, 1776 to approve a resolution of independence. Two days later, the Congress adopted the official Declaration of Independence. Their actions would change the world.

In this video, Sen. John Proos recounts this courageous act of liberty and encourages families to have fun enjoying the holiday.

Many people will come together to honor America, take in Independence Day parades and fireworks displays or just gather together with friends and family for picnics or barbecues.

The Michigan Senate Republicans also encourage everyone to make the celebration a safe one.

Please keep in mind some simple fireworks and summer safety tips, such as:

• Never giving sparklers to young children and closely monitoring older children;
• Always keeping kids and pets at a safe distance from fireworks;
• Never trying to re-light or pick up fireworks that malfunction; and
• Dousing completed fireworks with plenty of water from a bucket or hose.

For more information on fireworks safety, visit www.cpsc.gov/fireworks.

This week, and throughout the summer, remember to use sunscreen — especially on young children — and drinking plenty of water.

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.

Please remember that a fun Independence Day celebration starts with making sure that it’s a safe one.

Have a Blessed Good Friday and a Happy Easter

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” — John 3:16 (King James Version)

Sen. John Proos, R- St. Joseph, is a public servant, father, husband and devout Catholic. He recently sat down to discuss his faith and wish everyone a happy Easter.

In this short video, Proos talks openly about what the seasons of Lent and Easter mean to him, highlights a special family celebration and mentions the loved ones his family has recently lost.

‘Lauren’s Law’ would help increase organ donations

There are nearly enough people currently in need of a life-saving organ transplant to fill Ford Field in Detroit — twice.

Although 90 percent of Americans say they support organ donation, only about 30 percent of adults nationwide have signed up as donors. While roughly half of Michigan adults are currently registered, it’s not enough to meet the need.

This month, the Michigan Senate unanimously approved Sen. John Proos’ legislation, known as “Lauren’s Law,” which would help increase the number of registered organ donors in the state.

Lauren’s Law is about doing all we can to give the gift of life to those in need of an organ transplant.

According to Donate Life America, more than 120,000 men, women and children nationwide currently need an organ transplant; every 10 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list; and an average of 21 people die each day waiting for an available organ.

In Michigan, there are more than 3,500 people currently awaiting a transplant. In many cases, the transplant has the potential to save the recipient’s life.

Senate Bill 541 would require that the secretary of state’s office inquire whether someone wishes to be added to the Michigan anatomical gift donor registry when the individual applies for a driver’s license.

Proos’ measure is named “Lauren’s Law” after Lauren Shields, who at age 9 was placed on life support while waiting for a heart transplant, which she eventually received. She became the public face of organ donation in New York and helped pass a similar law there.

March is National Kidney Month and Proos got involved in this issue at the initiative of John Grinnell, a constituent who received a kidney transplant 29 years ago.

Becoming an organ donor is easy to do, yet it can be the most impactful thing in someone else’s life that any of us ever do.

For information about organ donation or to sign up to become a donor, residents may visit the Gift of Life Michigan website at GiftofLifeMichigan.org.

The Importance and Impact of Career and Technical Education in Michigan

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month is about raising public awareness on the crucial role that CTE programs have in preparing our students for success.

With much of the U.S. economy evolving to a new era of advanced technologies, CTE programs have become essential to the economic success of future generations. In fact, eight out of 10 of the nation’s most sought after employees are ones with degrees related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Senate Republicans have continually focused on legislation that promotes STEM education in Michigan. Available STEM-related jobs continue to increase — illustrating the importance CTE programs will have in our educational system in the decades to come. Since 2010, the growth rate of STEM employment in Michigan has outpaced the growth seen in all other occupational employment, and this trend is expected to continue through 2020.

Studies have shown a correlation between CTE participants and a higher probability of receiving some form of education beyond high school. In fact, of all the 2012 Michigan high school graduates who participated in one or more CTE programs, 76.4 percent have continued on with their education beyond high school.

Senate Republicans have recognized the importance of both CTE and STEM education, which have an immediate and positive impact on those students who choose to participate in them, and we will continue to focus on legislation encouraging these programs.

Building off Public Acts 208 and 209 of 2014 — which grant students more ample opportunities to participate in CTE programs by expanding upon “cross-walking” credits and revising some of the high school graduation requirements — Senate Republicans have been hard at work to give Michigan students an edge being successful in their future careers.

Led by Sens. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, and Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair, the Senate Republicans have passed several bills this past year including Senate Bill 491, which would make it easier for professionals with expertise in certain fields to become effective classroom teachers, and SBs 169 and 170 that would allow students to receive a STEM certification on their high school diplomas to showcase to universities and businesses their accomplishments and capabilities.

For more information about CTE and what it can mean for you or your children, please visit www.acteonline.org to learn more.

A Day in the Life with Sen. John Proos

In the latest edition of the “A Day in the Life” series, Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, gives residents a glimpse into the life of a Michigan state senator.

The Michigan Senate Republican Blog gave the senator a video camera for a day to record the happenings of a session day — from getting ready at 6:30 a.m. to returning home at 9:30 p.m.

Be prepared with the emergency plan mobile app

The first day of autumn falls during National Preparedness Month and serves as a reminder to Michigan residents to take the necessary steps to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

Being prepared can mean the difference between life and death if disaster strikes, and it can be as simple as following four steps:
• Find out what emergencies may impact your community;
• Develop a plan for what to do during an emergency;
• Practice and maintain your plan so everyone knows what to do; and
• Create an emergency kit with essential items, such as food, water and medications.

For simple steps to prepare, visit www.michigan.gov/prepares. The site also features information on the free Michigan Prepares mobile app, which can help your family plan for emergencies. Along with helping you create an emergency plan, the app covers basic supply checklists, Michigan-specific hazard fact sheets and links to other resources.