Marleau to chair new Appropriations subcommittee

LANSING — State Sen. Jim Marleau, R-Lake Orion, announced on Tuesday that he will chair the newly formed Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

“As chairman of this committee, I want to focus on renewing the confidence of our residents to make healthy decisions,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “We also have a great opportunity to remove redundant practices and to help ensure government is more efficient.”

In February, the departments of Community Health and Human Services were merged to form the Department of Health and Human Services. The new appropriations subcommittee, created on Tuesday, will replace the two subcommittees representing the old departments.

Marleau currently serves on the Appropriations Committee and was the chairman of the former Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Community Health.

In addition, Marleau is a member of the Senate Health Policy Committee, and he was the chairman of that committee during the previous Legislature and in the House of Representatives.

Also serving with Marleau on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services are Sens. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford (vice chairman); John Proos, R-St. Joseph; Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake; Goeff Hansen, R-Hart; Vincent Gregory, D-Southfield; and Curtis Hertel, Jr., D-East Lansing.

“I look forward to working with all of the members of this committee,” Marleau said. “Senator MacGregor in particular will be a great benefit to our leadership team. He brings invaluable experience from the Human Services budget, and his expertise will go a long way toward better serving the residents of Michigan.”

Marleau also serves as a member of the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee, the Senate Transportation Committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Peace of Mind website now taking advance directives

LANSING—Michigan’s Peace of Mind registry website is now live, making Michigan residents the first to have their health care wishes accessible wherever they travel in the United States, said the sponsor of the law creating the registry, Sen. Jim Marleau.

The registry website is Marleau said residents can create an account on the site and submit their advance directives, which are legal documents allowing individuals to specify their patient advocates, religious preferences, and other decisions about their health care ahead of time.

“This safe, secure registry website marks a substantial improvement in the quality of health care for all Michigan residents,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “Most of us will make extremely personal and important decisions about the care we want at the end of our lives.

“Our loved ones and our doctors will now be able to access critical information regarding these care decisions when it is necessary. That is true peace of mind.”

Marleau, who is a member of the Senate Health Policy Committee, authored Public Act 179 of 2012 to create the registry. The registry includes a secure database providing health care providers access via the website to a patient’s advance directives. Before the registry, there was no way for health care providers in the state to directly access their patients’ advance directives.

The lawmaker said the registry is not funded by Michigan taxpayers.

“It is free and voluntary. While the Michigan Department of Community Health oversees the registry, it was developed and is maintained through financial support by Michigan’s Gift of Life Foundation,” Marleau said.