Lt. Gov. Brian Calley: we should treat all Michiganders with dignity, respect

Advocates launch collaborative anti-stigma effort

All Michiganders have value and worth and are an important part of our society, said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley last week.

Calley joined with disability advocates Dec. 20 to defend the dignity that all people deserve, especially those with disabilities. The effort was launched after audio recordings were released including dehumanizing language attacking Michiganders with disabilities.

“While we’ve made some progress to end the stigma that keeps Michiganders with intellectual and developmental disabilities from being included in our society, recent events were a sober reminder that we still have a long way to go,” Calley said. “Every single person has value and worth and should be treated with respect and dignity. We will not stand for disrespect and are turning this into an opportunity to do something positive.”
To increase the impact of anti-stigma efforts, Calley has launched a GoFundMe campaign benefiting the ARC of Michigan, raising funds to launch a large-scale effort to defeat stigma and create a more inclusive and accepting society in Michigan. The effort, which hopes to raise $250,000 can be viewed at www.gofundme.com/help-the-arc-of-mi-defeat-stigma

The press conference announcing the campaign was thought to be in some part response over a controversial tape in which the mayor of Warren, Jim Fouts, allegedly makes a number of extremely offensive comments about people with disabilities. Fouts denies that it is him on the tape, claiming that Macomb County Administrator Mark Hackel made a “phony tape” in retaliation for an investigation Fouts insti-gated.

Advocates pledged collaborate on efforts to ensure all Michiganders receive the respect and dignity they deserve. To learn more about anti-stigma efforts taking place in Michigan, visit www.endingstigma.org.

Earlier, on Dec. 7, Lt. Gov. Calley had issued the following statement regarding House passage of a bill that bans non-emergency restraint and seclusion in Michigan schools, which has since passed the Senate in a slightly different was sent to the governor for signature on Dec. 22.

“Today’s vote sends a strong message to our students that their safety in school is a top priority in Michigan. Ending these practices will open up a whole new world of opportunity for our students with disabilities, giving them access to both community and academics. The time to end these practices is long overdue and every day they are allowed is another day where students with great potential throughout Michigan are being locked up instead of learning.”

In other news, Lt. Gov. Calley signed a bill on Dec. 28 in Gov. Snyder’s absence that advances Michigan’s fight against opioid abuse.

Life-saving overdose reversal drugs will now be available without a prescription and schools can now have this medication on-hand for use in an emergency, under legislation signed today by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.

“Protecting the health and safety of Michiganders by working to reduce opioid addiction and overdose deaths continue to be a priority but addiction is still on the rise so there is still a lot of work to do,” Calley said. “Increasing access to medications that prevent overdose deaths is a common-sense reform that will save lives.”

House Bill 5326, sponsored by state Rep. Anthony Forlini, allows opioid antagonists to be obtained without a prescription to have on hand in case an overdose occurs. Senate Bills 805 and 806, sponsored by state Sens. Jim Ananich and Dale Zorn, respectively, allow overdose reversal drugs to be prescribed to schools to have on-hand in the case of an overdose. The bills are now Public Acts 383-385 of 2016.

These bills continue recommendations of the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force, chaired by Calley, to make opioid antagonists more readily available. 

Lt. Gov. Calley signed 11 additional bills, including:

HB 4136, sponsored by state Rep. Peter Lucido, will require current high school social studies curriculum to include material covered by the civics portion of the federal naturalization test. The bill is now PA 391.

HBs 4353 and 4355, sponsored by state Reps. Harvey Santana and Paul Muxlow, respectively, gives animal shelters the opportunity to check the criminal background of a potential adopter. The bills also establish a regulatory program for large-scale dog breeder kennels. The bills are now PAs 392 and 393.

Article V Section 26 of the Michigan Constitution gives authority to the lieutenant governor to sign legislation when the governor is out of state.

For more information about these pieces of legislation, visit www.legislature.mi.gov.