2017-09-07 / News Briefs

In brief

Peters cosponsors campaign finance reform legislation

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) has cosponsored two bills to increase transparency in campaign finance and reduce the influence of special interests in Congressional elections. The Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act will require outside groups that spend over $10,000 on election advertising, including super PACs, to disclose their donors and source of funding within 24 hours. Peters is also cosponsoring the Fair Elections Now Act which would establish citizen-funded elections to better strengthen small donors and grassroots voices. Peters previously cosponsored both bills in the 114th Congress.

“For too long, our campaign finance system has given big corporations the ability to spend millions of dollars on federal elections – silencing the voices of Michigan middle class families in the process,” said Senator Peters. “It should be Michiganders deciding who represents them, not corporations looking to buy influence. I’m proud to cosponsor these commonsense bills that will help increase transparency and give power back to the American people in our elections.” — L.R.

Human cases of West Nile found in MI

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the state’s first human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) for 2017. Four cases of WNV have been confirmed; two residents of Montcalm County, and one each from Oakland and Macomb Counties. Their illness onsets range from August 6-11, and all have been hospitalized with neurologic disease.

“This is an important reminder to stay vigilant and protect against mosquito bites throughout the summer and into the fall,” said Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive at the MDHHS. “All residents should take steps to prevent bites, such as use repellent and take extra care during peak mosquito-biting hours between dusk and dawn.”

In addition to the four human cases, five Michigan blood donors have had WNV detected in their blood.

Most people who become infected with WNV will not develop any symptoms of illness. However, some become sick three to 15 days after exposure. About one in five infected persons will have mild illness with fever, and about one in 150 infected people will become severely ill.

Mild illness may include headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting diarrhea, or rash. Severe symptoms of WNV are associated with encephalitis or meningitis, and may include: stiff neck, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, muscle weakness, convulsions and paralysis. People 50 and older are more susceptible to severe WNV disease symptoms.

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