Sen. Kowall working to help protect children from unsafe window blinds


LANSING — To help prevent tragedies involving children getting caught in window blind cords, Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, introduced safety legislation in the Michigan Senate Wednesday.

“Solutions exist to make window blinds safer. It’s time these sensible concepts become state law,” Kowall said. “I’m proud to sponsor these measures to help protect children all across Michigan. I strongly urge my colleagues to take swift action on these vital proposals.”

Senate Bill 602 would ban window blinds or other window coverings in child care centers that have pull cords or inner cords capable of forming a loop and posing a risk of strangulation to a young child.

The other measure, SB 603, would prohibit the sale of window blinds that do not include cleats, hardware, instructions for installation, and a warning about the danger of accidental hanging or strangulation from window blind cords that are not secured.

According to a June article in the Chicago Tribune, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports “that more than 200 children in the United States have died in the last two decades from being strangled in window-cord related accidents with blinds and shades.”

The nonprofit group Parents for Window Blind Safety believes that many incidents go unreported and in reality, a child dies every two weeks after strangling in the cords of window coverings.

Sen. Kowall sponsors measure to help fund education

LANSING — To help ensure that the priority of educating children across the state is properly funded, Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, has sponsored legislation to benefit Michigan’s public education system.

Senate Bill 601 would allow the Michigan Lottery to place advertising on Club Keno games. Under the proposal, only 2 percent (not to exceed $400,000) of the revenue collected annually would cover advertising costs, while the remainder would be disbursed to the School Aid Fund.

“It’s prudent to pursue all possible sources of revenue to help Michigan’s children receive a quality education,” Kowall said. “This could be a valuable source of funding for the state’s School Aid Fund and I think we should secure education funding however possible.

“As a father and grandfather, I know personally how vital it is that we prepare our children for the future with a solid foundation. I encourage my fellow lawmakers to support this measure.”

Senate panel tours proposed NITC site

LANSING — A bus containing Michigan lawmakers, state officials, Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle, Ambassador Bridge Company representatives and a member of the Parliament of Canada recently toured the current Ambassador Bridge facilities and the proposed site for the New International Bridge Crossing (NITC).

The Senate Economic Development Committee, chaired by Sen. Mike Kowall, heard testimony Monday and got a firsthand look at the sites and facilities on both sides of the border.

“The tour was informative and helped shed a new light on both sides of the NITC debate,” said Kowall, R-White Lake. “We have received a great deal of new information and will continue to process it in the coming weeks.”

The delegation toured the Ambassador Bridge facilities in Detroit and Windsor, as well as the Delray neighborhood in Detroit and Sandwich Town in Windsor, the proposed landing site locations for the NITC.

“There is no deadline for action on this issue,” Kowall said. “The committee is going to take its time, investigate all the issues thoroughly and vote on the legislation when we feel we have all the facts. It’s more important that we get this right, then getting it done right now.”

According to Kowall, the Senate panel will convene further hearings on the NITC in the fall.