Zorn to hold office hours in Adrian on January 8

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn announced on Wednesday that he will conduct district office hours in Adrian on Friday, Jan. 8.

Office hours are open to residents to express their opinions or concerns about state government or to request assistance with a state issue. No appointment is necessary.

The Dec. 8 office hours will be held 10 – 11 a.m. at the Adrian District Library, 143 E. Maumee St., Adrian.

“I am holding these local office hours in order to help provide residents a convenient opportunity to meet with me in person,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “My aim is to provide the best service possible for the hardworking people of the 17th District. I look forward to continuing a regular series of meetings throughout the district and hearing directly from constituents in one-on-one discussions.”

Residents who are unable to attend one of the office hours may contact Zorn’s office at (517) 373-3543 or via e-mail at SenDZorn@senate.michigan.gov.

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New Zorn, Pavlov legislation protects our natural resources

LANSING, Mich. — Protecting Michigan’s natural resources, hunting heritage and wild game just got easier under legislation sponsored by state Sens. Dale Zorn and Phil Pavlov and signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Zorn sponsored Senate Bills 245 and 246, now Public Acts 188 and 189 of 2015. The measures toughen penalties and increase restitution for individuals convicted of the illegal killing, possessing, purchasing or selling of certain animals in Michigan.

“These new laws help to ensure wild game is protected and the long heritage of hunting in Michigan is preserved for future generations,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “They also preserve the natural resources of Michigan for enjoyment by everyone.”

Under Zorn’s legislation, an individual convicted of illegally killing, possessing, purchasing or selling moose or elk will 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 will lose their license for five calendar years for a first offense and for ten years for a second offense.

Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, sponsored SB 244, now PA 187 of 2015. The law increases existing fines for these crimes. The new fines are 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.

“Our natural resources and hunting heritage must be protected,” said Pavlov, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. “Poaching is a despicable, illegal activity that threatens these traditions. With these laws, we have more weapons in the fight against poaching.”

Photo caption: Sens. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township (left) and Dale Zorn, R-Ida (right) hold Senate Bills 244 (Pavlov) and 245–246 (Zorn), now Public Acts 187, 188 and 189 of 2015, after they were signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday. The new laws increase restitution and toughen penalties for individuals convicted of the illegal killing, possessing, purchasing or selling of certain animals in Michigan.

Note: For a print-quality version of this and other Zorn or Pavlov photos, click the image or visit www.SenatorDaleZorn.com or www.SenatorPhilPavlov.com and click the Photowire link under the Media Center tab.

Governor signs Zorn’s firefighter certification bill

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn and area fire chiefs joined Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday for a formal bill signing of Zorn’s legislation to provide firefighter certification reciprocity with states that have the same requirements as Michigan.

“This is the result of hearing from many fire chiefs and local officials about the difficulty and expense of recruiting and retaining firefighters,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “By finally having Michigan recognize out-of-state firefighter certification, this new law improves our local fire departments’ ability to protect families and staff their departments at appropriate levels.”

Joining Zorn at the bill signing were Adrian Fire Chief Paul Trinka, Spencer Township (Ohio) Fire Department Chief Carl Arnold and Midland Fire Department Chief Chris Coughlin.

Arnold is a veteran of the Ida Township Fire Department, and Coughlin represents the Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs. Both men testified earlier on behalf of Zorn’s bill.

Senate Bill 372, now Public Act 203 of 2015, requires the state fire marshal to extend reciprocity certification to a firefighter from another state who seeks to work as a firefighter in Michigan, as long as the individual was certified in the other state after completing a program that meets or exceeds Michigan’s standards.

“I thank the governor for signing this commonsense measure to allow local communities to hire firefighters who are well-qualified and have met out-of-state certification standards that meet or exceed our own,” Zorn said. “It also will reduce the cost of certification and help people returning to Michigan serve as volunteers or find work as full-time firefighters.”

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Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting Zorn’s website at www.SenatorDaleZorn.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

Sen. Dale Zorn reminds residents that home heating help may be available

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn is encouraging Southeast Michigan residents struggling with winter heating bills to take advantage of several assistance programs offered through the state, utility companies or charitable organizations.

“Michigan winters can be harsh and with another one nearly here, I want to remind area families that help with heating bills may be available,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “First, if you are unable to pay your bills, please contact the utility company ASAP and explain the situation. Being proactive could help keep the heat on and save your life.”

The Winter Protection Plan safeguards seniors and low-income gas and electric customers from service shutoffs and high utility bills from Nov. 1 to March 31. It allows eligible customers to avoid shutoffs while paying nothing or just a small percentage of their annual bill during the protection period. To apply, residents should contact their natural gas or utility company.

“It is important to remember that this is a deferment plan, not a financial assistance program,” Zorn said. “It is meant to ease the burden of high utility bills in the winter. However, immediate help may be available if you are facing conditions of extreme hardship or emergency.”

The State Emergency Relief Program offers financial assistance for low-income residents who are normally able to make ends meet but may need help due to an unexpected emergency. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/heatingassistance. Residents can also contact their local Department of Health and Human Services office at (517) 264-6300 in Lenawee County and 734-243-7200 in Monroe County.

“Many nonprofit and community organizations also have programs to help ensure that Michigan residents will not have to worry about how they are going to keep their families warm during the cold winter,” Zorn said.

When funding is available, county programs offer assistance with electric, gas and deliverable fuels like propane. For more information in Monroe County, contact the program coordinator at 734-241-2775 ext. 233 or visit www.monroecountyop.org/emergency-services.html and click on Utilities Assistance. In Lenawee County, contact the program coordinator at 517-263-7861.

The Heat And Warmth Fund (THAW) is a leading provider of utility assistance for Michigan residents in need. Since its inception in 1985, THAW has distributed more than $160 million in assistance to more than 223,000 Michigan households. For more information, visit www.thawfund.org.

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Sen. Zorn pays tribute to intern from Monroe County

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn on Tuesday presented a special tribute to Cait Corie of Dundee in recognition of her successful completion of her legislative internship in Zorn’s Senate office. Corie is a student at Monroe County Community College.

The tribute was signed by Zorn; Gov. Rick Snyder; Lt. Gov. Brian Calley; and Rep. Jason Sheppard, R-Temperance.

“Cait Corie has a great commitment to learning all facets of the legislative process, and I know that her good spirit, work ethic and determination will serve her well in her future endeavors,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “She brought an outgoing positive attitude to the office every day, and I want to express my sincere appreciation to Cait for her exceptional work on behalf of the people of Michigan and the 17th Senate District.”

Zorn said that his office is always looking for talented young people to serve the residents of Monroe and Lenawee counties as an intern.

“One of the best parts of my job is being able to meet and work with talented young people,” Zorn said. “Legislative internships offer a unique opportunity to learn the legislative process and develop valuable workplace skills that help young professionals advance their careers.”

Residents who are interested in internship opportunities in Zorn’s office are encouraged to contact the office at (517) 373-3543 or via e-mail at SenDZorn@senate.michigan.gov.

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Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting Zorn’s website at www.SenatorDaleZorn.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

Photo caption: Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, presented a special tribute to Cait Corie of Dundee in recognition of her successful completion of her legislative internship in Zorn’s Senate office. Corie is a student at Monroe County Community College. The tribute was signed by Zorn; Gov. Rick Snyder; Lt. Gov. Brian Calley; and Rep. Jason Sheppard, R-Temperance.