Sen. Dale Zorn to hold coffee hour in Dundee on April 10

LANSING—Sen. Dale Zorn has announced that he will hold a local coffee hour in Dundee on Friday, April 10. The coffee hour is open to residents to express their opinions or concerns about state government or to request assistance with a state issue.

The Dundee coffee hour will be held on Friday, April 10 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Cool Beanz Coffee, 112 Park Place, Dundee.

“Coffee hours provide residents a convenient opportunity to meet with me in person for a one-on-one discussion about issues facing our state and our families,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “I encourage anyone who needs help or wants to share their viewpoint on state issues to stop by.”

No appointment is necessary. To respect other patrons of the restaurant, no town-hall-style discussions will be entertained.

Residents who are unable to meet during the coffee hour may contact Zorn’s office via email at SenDZorn@senate.michigan.gov or toll-free at 1-855-347-8017.

“My aim is to provide the best service possible for the hardworking people of Monroe and Lenawee counties, and I plan on continuing a regular series of coffee hours throughout the district to hear directly from constituents about state and pocketbook issues,” Zorn said. “My official website and Facebook page are also convenient ways to help residents stay up-to-date on what is happening in your Legislature and what I am doing as your senator.”

Constituents may visit the senator’s website at www.SenatorDaleZorn.com. On the site, visitors can also click on the Facebook logo to find the senator’s official Facebook page.

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**PHOTO ADVISORY** Sen. Zorn discusses requiring Uber drivers to carry commercial insurance, plate

LANSING—Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, on Wednesday testified before the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee about the need to protect Michigan drivers and consumers by requiring that drivers connected to Uber carry commercial insurance, have a commercial vehicle plate and maintain a chauffer’s license. Senate Bill 188 simply includes transportation network drivers under the existing limousine act.

A print-quality version of the above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting Sen. Zorn’s website at www.SenatorDaleZorn.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

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Zorn, Pavlov introduce anti-poaching bills

LANSING, Mich.— State Sens. Dale Zorn and Phil Pavlov introduced measures on Thursday to increase restitution and toughen penalties for individuals convicted of the illegal killing, possessing, purchasing or selling of certain protected animals in Michigan.

“These bills will send a strong message to poachers that Michigan will not tolerate illegal taking of game,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Protecting our natural resources, namely the game of this state, is held in high regard.”

Under Senate Bills 245 and 246, sponsored by Zorn, an individual convicted of illegally killing, possessing, purchasing or selling moose or elk would lose their license for 15 calendar years for a first offense and for lifetime for a second offense. If the animal were a bear or antlered white-tailed deer, the individual would lose their license for five calendar years for a first offense and for ten years for a second offense.

SB 244, sponsored by Pavlov, would increase existing fines for these crimes. The new fines would be as follows:
•    Elk: $5,000 per animal (with additional fines for antlered elk);
•    Moose: $5,000 per animal  (with additional fines for antlered moose);
•    Bear: $3,500 per animal;
•    Eagle: $1,500 per animal;
•    Bearded turkey: $1,000 per animal; and
•    Waterfowl: $500 per animal.

“There have been several incidents of poaching in Michigan in recent years,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. “Migratory birds have been shot, clubbed with baseball bats and golf clubs, and run over; bears are being illegally harvested and their parts sold abroad; and elk, moose and other animals are also being targeted.

“This is despicable, and it is harmful not only for the animals but for Michigan sports enthusiasts as well. We must protect and preserve our wild resources, and these bills will do that.”

Matt Evans of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs applauded Zorn’s and Pavlov’s work on the legislation.

“The illegal taking of game and fish is something that should never be tolerated, and Michigan United Conservation Clubs has always strongly supported this notion,” Evans said. “We applaud the efforts of Senators Pavlov and Zorn to curb poaching in Michigan, and we look forward to working with them on their bills.”

SBs 244, 245 and 246 now head to the Senate Committee on Outdoor Recreation and Tourism for further consideration.

Zorn applauds grant to revitalize historic buildings in downtown Milan

LANSING—Sen. Dale Zorn on Friday congratulated Wabash & Main LLC for receiving a grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) that will help them renovate four historic buildings in downtown Milan.

“This is outstanding news for Milan and the entire community. It will pave the way for a total capital investment of more than $5 million, create good jobs and help put these historic buildings back to productive use,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “I applaud everyone who worked to help make this revitalization a reality. As a result of a cooperative effort, this public-private partnership will help bring about new opportunities for people to live, work and raise a family in Milan.”

Wabash & Main LLC and Wabash & Main Properties were awarded a $873,601 Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based grant to renovate four downtown Milan buildings into mixed-use facilities. The first-floor commercial space will retain an existing bakery and create additional office and restaurant space, while the second and third floors will be transformed into 15 new apartments.

“I’m very excited for this project,” said Milan Mayor Michael Armitage. “This will bring a much-needed transformation to one-quarter of our downtown. This will create a new, vibrant living and retail space which will make downtown Milan a destination to live, shop, and work. It will also enhance and preserve the history of the buildings.”

The Michigan Community Revitalization Program provides grants, loans or other assistance of up to $10 million to projects that will revitalize regional urban areas, act as a catalyst for additional investment in a community, reuse vacant or historic buildings and promote mixed use and sustainable development.

The city of Milan has approved a 10-year property tax abatement valued at $404,000. The project will also receive federal historic tax credits and $967,200 from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

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Lawmakers introduce resolutions urging safe, permanent nuclear spent fuel storage

LANSING—Three Michigan senators introduced resolutions on Thursday calling on the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to complete facilities for safely spent nuclear fuel.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 8, sponsored by Sen. Dale Zorn, calls on Congress to appropriate from the Nuclear Waste Fund the money necessary to establish a permanent repository.

Each year, the fund’s balance increases by about $750 million in direct taxpayer payments.

“Over the last 30 years, the nuclear power industry and its customers have paid the federal government billions of dollars to construct a permanent repository for nuclear waste, and yet the federal government has failed to meet its own obligation,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “The Nuclear Waste Fund contains more than enough money to pay for this site, and we urge its completion.”

In 2002, Congress and President Bush approved Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the site of a safe nuclear waste repository for the U.S.

“We are urging the federal government to live up to its responsibility to establish a permanent repository for high-level nuclear waste,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Michigan taxpayers have been assessed $812 million since 1983 for the construction of a permanent site. It is 2015, and a permanent site has still not been built. There is only so long the nation can continue to safely store waste at temporary sites at the cost of hardworking Michigan and U.S. taxpayers.”

Proos’ resolution, SCR 6, compels Congress to return the money collected from Michigan residents if a permanent repository is not built.

SCR 7, sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov, calls for a safe and permanent location to store nuclear waste and to require that a proposed facility in Ontario and any nuclear waste repository requested to be built in the Great Lakes basin first be approved by the International Joint Commission.

“Our federal government has identified a safe and scientifically acceptable location, yet refuses to move forward with its funding and implementation. Meanwhile, Canada is pursuing a flawed nuclear waste policy that could result in a permanent storage site on the shores of the Great Lakes,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “Leadership is needed to put our national and regional nuclear policy on a better course.”

The Canadian company Ontario Power Generation plans to permanently bury radioactive waste in Kincardine, Ontario, less than a mile from the shores of Lake Huron. Pavlov has been a leading opponent of the company’s plans.

In 1982, Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act requiring the federal government to follow a strict timeline for building a permanent repository for high-level radioactive waste from the nation’s nuclear power plants. According to the act, the repository should have started accepting waste by 1998.

SCRs 6-8 have been introduced and referred to the Senate Energy and Technology Committee for consideration.

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Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sens. Pavlov, Proos and Zorn will be available on each senator’s websites at:

Pavlov: www.SenatorPhilPavlov.com. Click on “Audio” in the Media Center.

Proos: www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Audio” in the Media Center.

Zorn: www.SenatorDaleZorn.com. Click on “Audio” in the Media Center.

Zorn votes for River Raisin battlefield project

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

Project included in trust fund bill headed to governor to be signed

LANSING—Sen. Dale Zorn on Thursday voted to support the Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) plan, which features funding to help the city of Monroe purchase land adjacent to the River Raisin National Battlefield.

The NRTF is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights. The fund’s dollars are constitutionally restricted to recreation improvements and land acquisitions.

“The Natural Resources Trust Fund invests these restricted funds in our natural and recreational resources to improve our quality of life and make Michigan more attractive to job creators and tourists,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “I strongly supported this project to help enhance community access to the River Raisin battlefield, which is the only national battlefield park from the War of 1812.”

House Bill 4078 authorizes the NRTF to spend $4,986,200 toward a $7 million project for Monroe to acquire properties adjacent to the River Raisin battlefield that would be used for accessible recreation, the conservation of natural resources and the improvement of urban areas. HB 4078 now heads to the governor to be signed into law.

“The importance of the River Raisin site as a cultural, historical and natural resource was illustrated by the fact that the project was the trust fund board’s top priority for land acquisitions,” said Zorn, vice chair of the Senate Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Committee. “Once signed by the governor, this plan will help preserve a piece of our heritage and improve access to outstanding outdoor recreation for area residents and visitors.”

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**PHOTO ADVISORY** Sen. Zorn welcomes Custer Elementary students to the state Capitol

LANSING—Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, welcomed fourth-grade students from Custer Elementary Campus in Monroe to the Michigan Senate on Thursday. The students visited with Zorn and met Lt. Gov. Brian Calley during their day long tour, which included a tour of the Capitol and a stop at the Michigan Historical Museum.

A print-quality photograph of Zorn is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at: www.senatordalezorn.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

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Senate approves Zorn bill allowing schools to form district libraries

LANSING—The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Dale Zorn that would allow a school district to establish a district library.

The law allowing local governments, including school districts, to form new district libraries currently prohibits districts from doing so after Jan. 1, 2015. Zorn’s measure, Senate Bill 108, would remove that provision.

“There are a number of communities that would like to engage in this process and feel that this sunset has tied their hands,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “I believe education is paramount to the future of our state. It is fitting that the Senate has approved this bill during National Reading Month, because the formation of district libraries will provide more options for students and our residents to enjoy reading a book and seek the knowledge they need to succeed.”

The issue is a particular concern for the city of Milan, a portion of which is in Zorn’s Senate district. The city straddles the line between Washtenaw and Monroe counties.

Milan Mayor Michael Armitage voiced his support for Zorn’s bill.

“Removing the sunset for a school district joining in the formation of a district library will help ensure that all residents in the Milan area have access to the local library,” Armitage said. “Allowing school districts to participate in these intergovernmental relationships makes sense, especially since library access is so closely connected to education.”

SR 108 now heads to the Michigan House of Representatives, where Monroe County state Rep. Jason Sheppard, R-Temperance, has also expressed his support of seeing Zorn’s bill become law.

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Zorn, Jenkins applaud Transportation Economic Development Fund grant for Lenawee County

LANSING—Lenawee County will use more than $200,000 in Category F grants from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) through the Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) to upgrade a key road, Sen. Dale W. Zorn and Rep. Nancy Jenkins announced on Thursday.

“This is great news for the city of Tecumseh and the state,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This project is an important step in improving and maintaining our roads. We will continue to look for innovative ways to fund road repairs and give our communities the tools they need to succeed.”

Lenawee County will see the city of Tecumseh resurface 0.8 miles of North Evans Street in Tecumseh from M-50 to the bridge north of Water Street. The project also includes curb repairs and upgrading ramps to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards along an all-season north-south route that serves as the primary connection between Tecumseh and the village of Clinton. The $296,528 project will receive $222,396 in state Category F funding and $74,132 in match from the city.

Rep. Nancy Jenkins is pleased to see this project come to fruition, and is hopeful that funding for much needed road projects in Lenawee County can continue.

“Our roads and bridges are such an important part of our everyday lives here in Lenawee, and I’m glad we were able to set aside funds to improve them,” said Jenkins, R-Clayton. “These improvements will help us invest in our future and benefit citizens across Michigan.”

The Category F grants are used to expand or preserve all-season roads on commercial routes in urban areas of rural counties. To get the greatest impact from the grants, MDOT considers a number of factors, such as the amount of commercial traffic on local roads, connections to other state trunk lines and other all-season roads in the area, as well as the project’s ability to improve safety and intermodal connectivity.

More information about the program is available online at www.michigan.gov/tedf.

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Sen. Dale Zorn to hold coffee hour in Tecumseh on March 13

LANSING—Sen. Dale Zorn announced Tuesday that he will hold a local coffee hour in Tecumseh this month. The coffee hour is open to residents to express their opinions or concerns about state government or to request assistance with a state issue.

The Tecumseh coffee hour will be held on Friday, March 13 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at The Daily Grind, 139 E. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh.

“Coffee hours provide residents a convenient opportunity to meet with me in person for a one-on-one discussion about issues facing our state and our families,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “I encourage anyone who needs help or wants to share their viewpoint on state issues to stop by.”

No appointment is necessary. To respect other patrons of the restaurant, no town-hall-style discussions will be entertained.

Residents who are unable to meet during the coffee hour may contact Zorn’s office via email at SenDZorn@senate.michigan.gov or toll-free at 1-855-347-8017.

“My aim is to provide the best service possible for the hardworking people of Monroe and Lenawee counties, and I plan on continuing a regular series of coffee hours throughout the district to hear directly from constituents about state and pocketbook issues,” Zorn said. “My official website and Facebook page are also convenient ways to help residents stay up-to-date on what is happening in your Legislature and what I am doing as your senator.”

Constituents may visit the senator’s website at www.SenatorDaleZorn.com. On the site, visitors can also click on the Facebook logo to find the senator’s official Facebook page.

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