LANSING – Today, the House approved State Representative Tom Cochran’s (D-Mason) first bill since taking office by a vote of 108-1. Specifically, House Bill 4085 would establish an income tax check-off for ALS of Michigan. ALS, more popularly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neuromuscular disease that affects a person’s ability to move, speak, swallow and breathe.

“I want to thank my colleagues for their support to assist families struggling with Lou Gehrig’s disease,” said Cochran. “ALS patients and their families cannot deal with a disease like this alone; they need a strong support system and available services. The money raised from an income tax check-off box will go toward funding services to help create a better quality of life for ALS patients and their caregivers.”

ALS of Michigan estimates that there are more than 1,000 Michiganders living with ALS and nearly 200 per year who are newly diagnosed with the disease. The disease generally strikes men and women between the ages of 40 and 75, but is can also strike young people in their 20s and 30s. Cochran’s bill is part of a bipartisan package that also creates a fund to distribute monies collected from the check-off.

“An income tax check-off box is a simple way for people to help out,” said Cochran. “I look forward to the Senate’s action on my bill and hope we can work together to get this legislation signed into law.”