E-Tracking system can effectively combat meth production

By Sen. Jim Marleau, 12th Senate District

A 15-year-old girl is forced to take care of her younger sister because their mother is addicted to methamphetamine. A wife endures years of loneliness, lies, theft and pain at the hands of her husband, a meth addict. A 34-year-old chronicles his agonizing descent in a documentary while the drug ravages his body and eventually kills him.

These are true stories of the effects of the devastating drug methamphetamine, or “meth.” Meth is deadly. It kills users and it destroys families.

As chair of the Senate Health Policy Committee, I oversee legislation addressing the problems of such lethal drugs. Recently the committee passed Senate Bill 333, which would implement the National Precursor Law Exchange, or “e-tracking” system. This system blocks the illegal sale of medications containing pseudoephedrine (PSE), one of the primary components used to make meth. But it also maintains consumer access to these medications, which help treat the common cold and allergies.

The process works in a similar way to a credit card system. Under the e-tracking system, pharmacists and retailers can refuse sale of these medications if a purchaser goes over the legal limit. The statewide system provides up-to-the-minute information on PSE purchases and allows law enforcement to identify those who are abusing the system. E-tracking is available at no cost to Michigan taxpayers.

Most importantly, e-tracking has proven effective. Sixteen states have this type of system. In eight of these states, the technology blocks nearly 126,000 grams of illegal PSE sales per month.

Meth addiction leads to sad and horrific endings. Shawn Bridges, the 34-year-old addict who made the documentary about his death, had a heart attack at age 26, his abuse of the drug crippling his heart. In his final months, Shawn wore a catheter and a feeding tube, he spit up blood, and his weight fell severely before he passed away at 35.

Shawn’s story serves as a reminder. We must do what we can to prevent further tragedies. An e-tracking system is the most effective way to prevent the manufacturing of this deadly drug in Michigan.

Senator Jim Marleau is the chair of the Senate Health Policy Committee. He serves the citizens of the 12th Senate District.

Marleau says legislation will help put an end to mortgage fraud

LANSING–State Sen. Jim Marleau said Friday that a bipartisan, nine-bill package currently being considered by the Legislature would give prosecutors the tools they need to help put a stop to mortgage fraud in Oakland County and throughout the state.

“The importance of this issue cannot be stressed enough. Mortgage fraud affects every taxpayer and resident in Michigan and across the country,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “This legislation addresses one of the costliest and most troubling problems facing homeowners.”

The package creates a new crime of residential mortgage fraud and authorizes new sentencing guidelines and increased penalties for crimes such as forging deeds.

Marleau’s measure, Senate Bill 252, increases the maximum penalty for violating the notary public law to four years in prison. Under current law, the maximum penalty is one year.

“Notaries can play an important role in the mortgage fraud process. While most notaries act in good faith and compliance with the law, those who do not need to be punished to the fullest extent,” Marleau said.

Marleau outlined the reforms at a press conference in the Oakland County Courthouse. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Bill Bullard also spoke at the conference.

Schuette praised Marleau and his fellow legislators for working to strengthen state law to protect homeowners from the devastating consequences of mortgage fraud.

“Michigan homeowners deserve every possible legal protection against mortgage fraud,” Schuette said. “These reforms will give prosecutors and law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on criminals and protect homeowners.”

Johnson, who earned a national award for her efforts to fight mortgage fraud while serving as Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds, also thanked Marleau: “I applaud Senator Marleau’s legislation, which will help protect families and homeowners against mortgage and deed fraud and toughen the penalties for notary publics involved in fraudulent real estate acts. We must protect homeownership and the American dream for people who work so hard to purchase their own homes.”

Bullard agreed.

“In light of the fraudulent signatures our investigation uncovered that were solicited by big banks and financial institutions on mortgage foreclosure documents, I thank Senator Marleau for giving law enforcement additional tools,” Bullard said. “We must do everything we can to ensure the integrity of property records to protect homeowners and bring some sanity back to the mortgage system.”

SBs 43, 44, and 249 through 253 were recently approved by the Senate Banking and Finance Committee and are now before the full Senate for further consideration. House Bills 4462 and 4478 are before the House Committee on Judiciary.

Senator Jim Marleau’s May office hours

We apologize for the recent technical difficulties with our website. Senator Jim Marleau’s office hours for May are as follows:

May 16th
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Oxford Township Hall
300 Dunlap Rd
Oxford, MI 48371

May 23rd
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Independence Township Hall
6483 Waldon Center Drive
Clarkston, MI 48346

May 30th
No office hours in observance of Memorial Day

While the Senator may not be available for the duration of office hours a staff person will always to be available to answer your questions or listen to your concerns. Please contact Senator Marleau’s staff at 248.724.2442 to make arrangements if you wish to speak to him personally.