Sen. Emmons recognized for her work on behalf of family and small businesses

LANSING—Sen. Judy Emmons has been named a 2014 Guardian of Small Business award recipient by the Michigan branch of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) for her efforts on behalf of small business in Michigan.

“Small businesses, many of them family owned and operated, are the engine that drives Michigan’s economy,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “I am committed to doing what I can as a lawmaker to help these businesses thrive, which means success for all of us. I am honored and humbled that the NFIB has recognized me for my efforts.”

In announcing the honor, NFIB State Director Charlie Owens said Emmons has a “solid understanding of the problems facing family businesses and their employees.”

“Your track record on key small business issues represents a commitment to help Michigan’s most dynamic economic sector continue to lead the way toward greater growth and prosperity for all our citizens,” Owens said.

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Landmark human trafficking legislation signed into law

LANSING—Sen. Judy Emmons joined Gov. Rick Snyder and human trafficking survivors from across the state in Troy on Thursday as the governor signed into law comprehensive legislation to crack down on human trafficking and support its survivors.

“Over the past three years, I’ve met with survivors of human trafficking and anti-trafficking activists across Michigan to develop solutions to help end this horrible crime, which devastates the lives of thousands of women and children every year,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan, who led the effort in the Senate against human trafficking. “I am filled with gratitude that these landmark reforms to end this modern-day slavery and support its survivors are now law.”

Among the approved reforms signed on Thursday is Senate Bill 584, sponsored by Emmons and named the Theresa Flores Act. It eliminates the statute of limitations for any offense related to human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of children and increases the statute of limitations to 25 years for adults.

The new law is named for Theresa Flores, a Michigan native and the author of The Slave Across the Street, her personal story about how she overcame human trafficking. As a survivor and renowned expert on human trafficking, Flores has worked closely with Emmons to raise awareness on the issue and develop the solutions.

“The battle against human trafficking first started with raising public awareness, and we stood united as parents and survivors to do that,” Emmons said. “These new laws are the next step in a fight against a criminal industry that is second only to illegal drugs.

“Michigan is leading the nation now with some of the country’s strongest human trafficking laws. It’s a loud and clear statement that we are serious about protecting women and children, prosecuting traffickers and rescuing and assisting survivors.”

The 21 new laws would measures to increase penalties for soliciting a minor prostitute, add “Johns” who solicit minor prostitutes to the sex offender registry, create a “safe harbor” for minor victims of trafficking and establish a permanent Human Trafficking Commission.

Senate Bills 205-206, 584-585, 587, 590, 592-593, 597 and 602 and House Bills 4021, 5012, 5025-5026, 5158, 5231, 5233-5234, 5236-5237 and 5239 are now Public Acts 324-344 of 2014.

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Emmons honored as outstanding 4-H alumnus

LANSING—Sen. Judy Emmons was among eleven 4-H alumni inducted into the Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society on Oct. 3.         

The Michigan 4-H Emerald Clover Society honors former Michigan 4-H members whose professional leadership and community service reflect the ultimate outcome of 4-H membership—extraordinary use of an individual’s head, heart, hands and health to make communities, the country and the world better places in which to live. This recognition is provided by Michigan 4-H Youth Development with support from the Michigan 4-H Foundation.

“4-H is an incredible organization that instills in our future leaders the values that lead to success,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “It is an honor to be recognized by them in this way.”

Also inducted into the 4-H Emerald Clover Society Class of 2014 were: Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg; Jamie Clover Adams of Lansing; Kelly Boles Chapman, Bellevue; Betsy McPherson Knox, East Lansing; Harmony L. Nowlin, Alma; Matthew T. Shane, Manchester; Douglas A. Sprik, Hamilton; Doris Stuever, Lynn; Susan L. Safford Traubenkraut, Frankenmuth; and Karen L. Waite, Mason.  

The 4-H Emerald Clover Society induction took place Friday, Oct. 3 during the 4-H Town and Country Gala at the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Standing up against human trafficking

LANSING—Comprehensive, bipartisan legislation to crack down on human trafficking and support its survivors is on its way to the governor, said Sen. Judy Emmons, who led the effort in the Michigan Senate.

“Loud and clear, Michigan is speaking out and standing strong against a multi-billion-dollar criminal enterprise that devastates the lives of thousands of women and children every year,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “Human trafficking is a scourge that requires a comprehensive solution, and we stood united as parents, lawmakers and Michiganders to approve landmark reforms to end this modern-day slavery and support its survivors.”

Emmons said that after Thursday’s action by the House and Senate, 22 bills are heading to the governor’s desk that would address human trafficking in Michigan, including increasing penalties, training and survivor support.

Among the approved reforms is Senate Bill 584, sponsored by Emmons and named the Theresa Flores Act. It would eliminate the statute of limitations for any offense related to human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of children and increase the statute of limitations to 25 years for adults.

The bill is named for Theresa Flores, a Michigan native and the author of The Slave Across the Street, her personal story about how she overcame human trafficking. As a survivor and renowned expert on human trafficking, Flores has worked closely with Emmons to raise awareness on the issue and develop the legislative solutions approved on Thursday.

“The battle against human trafficking starts with raising public awareness, and we have made great strides in that effort,” Emmons said. “This package will give Michigan some of the strongest human trafficking laws in the nation and are an important step forward in a fight against a criminal industry that is second only to illegal drugs.

“I look forward to seeing these bills signed into law, giving Michigan key legal tools to prosecute traffickers, rescue and assist survivors and help train those on the front lines.”

Reforms in the package include bills to increase penalties for soliciting a minor prostitute, adding “Johns” who solicit minor prostitutes to the sex offender registry, creating a “safe harbor” for minor victims of trafficking and establishing a permanent Human Trafficking Commission.

“As a mother and grandmother, it is particularly alarming to me that 80 percent of survivors are exploited sexually and 40 percent of cases involve the sexual exploitation of a child,” Emmons said. “Under these reforms, healthcare officials will receive the proper training to accurately identify and help individuals who have been trafficked and state assistance will be better allocated for human trafficking survivors.

“I made it my personal mission to protect our children from human trafficking and these bills will make Michigan a safer place to live and work, and better protect our children every day.”

Senate Bills 205-206, 584-585, 587, 590, 592-593, 597 and 602 and House Bills 4021, 4867, 5012, 5025-5026, 5158, 5231, 5233-5234, 5236-5237 and 5239 now head to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

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OK-2-SAY school safety hotline in effect

LANSING—Michigan’s OK-2-SAY hotline, a 24-hour confidential tip line designed to help prevent school tragedies, is now operational, said Sen. Judy Emmons, sponsor of the law creating the early warning program.

“According to the U.S. Secret Service, in more than 8 of every 10 incidents of school violence, someone other than the attacker knew about the plan but didn’t report it,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “The OK-2-SAY program is about keeping students safe and saving lives by eliminating fears that silence students from reporting threats in our schools.”

Emmons’ bill, Public Act 183 of 2013, created the state program modeled on a Colorado initiative launched after the Columbine High School tragedy. That program has resolved 284 planned school attacks, 1,323 planned suicides, 2,207 bullying instances, 469 sexual offenses, and 320 weapon reports.

“I want every Michigan student and parent to know that it is ‘OK-2-SAY’ something if you hear of any threats against students or other individuals,” Emmons said. “Tips are 100 percent confidential and can be reported by phone, text message, email and on the OK-2-SAY website.”

The OK-2-SAY program accepts anonymous tips 24-hours-per-day. Students can call 1-855-OK-2-SAY (65-2-729), text a message to 652729, email ok2say@mi.gov or fill out a form at www.mi.gov/ok2say. An Android app is also available and an iPhone app is coming soon.

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Editor’s Note: A print-quality photo of Emmons detailing the OK-2-SAY tip line in 2013 is available by visiting Sen. Emmons’ website at www.SenatorJudyEmmons.com. Click Photowire under the Media Center tab. 

Sen. Emmons honored for efforts to end human trafficking in Michigan

LANSING—Sen. Judy Emmons was recently honored by the Michigan Council of Professional Investigators (MCPI) with the group’s Pinnacle Award in recognition of the senator’s efforts in ending human trafficking in Michigan.

“Michigan’s professional investigators understand the scourge of human trafficking in our communities – often seeing firsthand how it can devastate the lives of women and children,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “It is truly an honor to be recognized by such dedicated citizens for our efforts over the past three years, working with survivors and anti-trafficking activists, to raise awareness about trafficking and develop comprehensive solutions to end it.”

MCPI Legislative Chair Peter Psarouthakis presented Emmons the Pinnacle Award on Sept. 9 at the organization’s annual meeting in Royal Oak.

Emmons and human trafficking survivor and author Theresa Flores met with Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday about the crime and the need to crack down on it and support its survivors. After meeting with Snyder, Flores and Emmons spoke about the heinous nature of trafficking at a rally on the Michigan Capitol steps and talked with legislators and residents about the Senate’s 19-bill legislative package to increase penalties, training and survivor support in Michigan.

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Editor’s Note: The above photograph is available by visiting Emmons’ website at www.SenatorJudyEmmons.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.
 

Emmons, Flores meet with Gov. Snyder about efforts to end human trafficking, support survivors

LANSING—Sen. Judy Emmons and Michigan native Theresa Flores met with Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday about human trafficking in Michigan and the need to enact comprehensive legislation to crack down on the crime and support its survivors.

Flores is a survivor, author and renowned expert on human trafficking and has worked closely with Emmons to raise awareness on the issue and develop a 19-bill, bipartisan legislative package to increase penalties, training and survivor support in Michigan.

“Human trafficking is a scourge on our society – one that is often overlooked or misunderstood,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “During the past three years, I’ve met with victims and anti-trafficking activists across the state to raise awareness and develop comprehensive solutions to a global criminal enterprise that devastates the lives of thousands of women and children every year.

“I thank Governor Snyder for talking with Theresa and me about human trafficking and what we can do to help end the crime in Michigan and support survivors.”

After meeting with Snyder, Flores and Emmons spoke out about the heinous nature of the crime and the importance of acting to end it at a rally on the Michigan Capitol steps and talked with legislators and residents about the Senate’s legislation.

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Editor’s Note: A print-quality photograph is available by visiting Emmons’ website at www.SenatorJudyEmmons.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

Emmons, Flores leading effort to enact Senate legislation to end human trafficking, support survivors

LANSING—Sen. Judy Emmons will host Michigan native Theresa Flores on Tuesday as part of an ongoing effort to bring attention to human trafficking in Michigan and rally support for a comprehensive Senate package designed to crack down on the crime and support its survivors.

Flores is a survivor, author and renowned expert on human trafficking and will speak out about the heinous nature of the crime and the importance of acting to end it at a rally on the Michigan Capitol East Steps on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 3:15 p.m.

Afterward, Flores and Emmons will be talking with legislators and residents about the Senate’s 19-bill, bipartisan package that would address human trafficking in Michigan, including increasing penalties, training and survivor support. The discussion will be held at Karoub Associates at 121 W. Allegan St. in Lansing shortly after the rally.

Both the rally and the discussion are open to all interested residents.

“Human trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar global criminal enterprise that devastates the lives of thousands of women and children every year — and it’s happening right here in our state,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “As a mother and grandmother, it is particularly alarming to me that 80 percent of survivors are exploited sexually and 40 percent of cases involve the sexual exploitation of a child. I have made it my personal mission to protect our children from human trafficking.”

Among the reforms is Senate Bill 584, sponsored by Emmons and named the Theresa Flores Act. It would eliminate the statute of limitations for any human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of children offenses. The bill has been approved by the Senate and awaits House passage.

“As the point person in the Senate on human trafficking, I know that we are up against a criminal industry that is second only to illegal drugs,” Emmons said. “To be successful we need a comprehensive solution. It all starts with raising public awareness, and we have made great strides in that effort. However, to win this battle we also need more legal tools, increased support for survivors and additional training for those on the front lines.”

To learn more about human trafficking and the Senate’s legislative efforts, visit Emmons’ website at www.SenatorJudyEmmons.com or contact her office at 517-373-3760 or via email at senjemmons@senate.michigan.gov.

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Stand In & Stand Up to End Human Trafficking

WHO:
Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan; members of S.O.A.P. (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution); current and former legislators; and concerned citizens.

WHAT:
Emmons will host the Stand In & Stand Up to End Human Trafficking legislative event at the Michigan Capitol. Highlights include legislative updates, a rally on the Capitol lawn, a private viewing of the documentary Sex+Money: A National Search for Human Worth and helping S.O.A.P. deliver soap bars with the human trafficking hotline number to lawmakers.

WHEN: 
Tuesday, June 10
9 a.m.

WHERE:  
Farnum Building
Room 810
125 W. Allegan
Lansing, MI

WHY:
The day is part of an ongoing effort by Emmons to raise awareness of the world’s fastest-growing criminal industry, identify solutions to stop it and support its victims. S.O.A.P. was developed to publicize a toll-free hotline number that can be called by victims and those who suspect human trafficking is taking place.

SCHEDULE:
9 a.m. — Welcoming remarks and updates on human trafficking legislation moving through the Legislature.

10:30 a.m. — Rally on the Capitol lawn to show lawmakers the support for the legislation.

11:30 a.m. — Visits to House and Senate offices to talk about human trafficking and the pending legislation to address it.

1:30 to 3:30 p.m. — Private viewing of Sex+Money: A National Search for Human Worth. This is a documentary about sex trafficking of children in America and the movement to stop it.

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Emmons welcomed former VFW State Commander Eric Halvorsen to Senate Memorial Day service

LANSING—Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, welcomed former VFW State Commander Eric Halvorsen (right) to the state Capitol on Thursday as her guest for the Michigan Senate’s 20th Annual Memorial Day Service, honoring Michigan residents killed in action protecting America.

Before the ceremony, Halvorsen, of Sheridan, joined Emmons as Gov. Rick Snyder (seated) signed her bill allowing schools to award high school diplomas to honorably discharged veterans of the Vietnam War.

Pictured from left are Gov. Snyder; VFW District 9 Commander-Elect Donald Rule; Sen. Emmons; Sen. John Moolenaar, R-Midland; and Halvorsen.

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A print-quality photograph of Emmons and Halvorsen is available by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorJudyEmmons.com. Click on Photowire under the Media Center tab.