Zorn, Walberg to honor Vietnam era veterans after Luna Pier Veterans Day parade on Nov. 5

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich.Sen. Dale Zorn and Congressman Tim Walberg on Tuesday announced they will be co-hosting a Vietnam veteran lapel-pinning ceremony following the Veterans Day parade in Luna Pier on Saturday, Nov. 5.

“In commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the Vietnam War, Congressman Walberg and I have hosted several emotional events to give long-overdue recognition to the Vietnam War era veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “The response to previous ceremonies was overwhelming, and we are proud to be holding another event after the only Veterans Day parade in Monroe County. I invite all interested residents and veterans to join us.”

The Fourth Annual Luna Pier Veterans Day Parade starts at noon on Nov. 5 at Water Tower Park, located at 11309 Harold Drive in Luna Pier. The parade will travel south to Luna Pier’s Memorial Park, located at the corner of Harold Drive and Luna Pier Road. The lapel pinning ceremony will take place during a commemorative service after the parade at the memorial park. The estimated start time of the service is 12:45 p.m. Guests are encouraged to arrive early.

“We are forever indebted to those who answered America’s call and dutifully served our country during the Vietnam War,” said Walberg, R-Tipton. “It is an honor to participate in this pinning ceremony as we offer local veterans the recognition and respect that has been so deeply earned. After fifty years, this tribute is long overdue.”

A Vietnam War Commemorative Lapel Pin will be provided to any U.S. veteran who served on active duty at any time from Nov. 1, 1955 – May 15, 1975, regardless of location.

The ceremony is made possible by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. Information regarding the commemoration can be found at www.VietnamWar50th.com.

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Sen. Zorn to hold a coffee hour in Milan on Nov. 4

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn has announced that he will conduct a district coffee hour in Milan on Friday, Nov. 4.

Coffee hours are open to residents to express their opinions or concerns about state government or to request assistance with a state issue.

The coffee hour will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. at The Morning Owl, 9 W. Main St. in Milan.

“I am holding this local coffee hour 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.”

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

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

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Senate approves bipartisan legislation to help fight overdoses in schools

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved bipartisan legislation that would allow Michigan school districts to stock naloxone, an antidote used to treat an opioid overdose in an emergency situation.

Senate Bills 805 and 806 are sponsored by Sen. Dale Zorn and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich.

“This legislation will help save lives by giving our schools the option to have a remedy on hand with proven results in reversing the effects of opioid overdose,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “While these measures are about doing what we can to prevent opioid deaths in our schools, we must stay focused on stopping prescription drug abuse altogether to make a real, long-term difference in the future of our children and our state.”

In June 2015, Gov. Snyder created the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force, a multi-stakeholder group formed to create a comprehensive statewide action plan to address prescription drug and opioid abuse. One of the many recommendations from the task force was to expand access to naloxone.

“We’re working with educators and health professionals to find comprehensive solutions to this epidemic,” said Ananich, D–Flint. “If we can help any school that decides to participate save even one life, it’s worth it.”

The bills outline some specific requirements for school districts that decide to obtain the drug, including that:
• There must be at least two employees in the school district trained to administer the drug;
• The training must be approved by a licensed professional nurse;
• School personnel must call 911 if they believe a pupil is having an overdose; and
• School employees must notify the parents or legal guardians of students who were administered the drug and encourage them to seek substance abuse treatment for the pupils.

Ananich and Zorn began discussions on ways to prevent opioid abuse when they served together in the Michigan House. Genesee and Monroe counties are among the hardest hit by drug overdoses in the state.

If the bills are enacted into law, Michigan would become the eighth state in the country to allow school personnel access to the lifesaving drug.

SBs 805-806 now head for the House of Representatives for consideration.

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Senate approves Zorn’s hunting license app bill

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation to allow duck hunters to show proof of a license on their smartphones.

“Hunting has always been a favorite tradition and pastime of many families in Michigan, and it contributes more than $2 billion to Michigan’s economy each year,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Allowing duck hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts in Michigan to have their hunting and fishing licenses on their phones would increase convenience, help ensure an enjoyable time for the entire family and allow them to focus on their favorite outdoor activities.”

Senate Bills 1073-1075 would require the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to provide smartphone applications that display base hunting, waterfowl and all-species fishing licenses for customers by March 1, 2018.

Zorn is the sponsor of SB 1074, the bill pertaining to waterfowl.

The legislation would also require the DNR to further implement mobile technology into other services, such as providing information on points of public access, nearby trails, descriptions of game species and hunting boundaries.

“People have access to a world of valuable information and services on their smartphones,” Zorn said. “This easy-to-use app has the potential to be more than just a convenience. As we have seen in other states, this technology offers the chance to enhance the outdoor experience throughout the state for residents and tourists who enjoy hunting and fishing.”

SBs 1073-1075 have been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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Sen. Zorn again raising awareness of Dysautonomia

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — A resolution was adopted on Tuesday commemorating the month of October as Dysautonomia Awareness Month.

Senate Resolution 216, sponsored by Sen. Dale Zorn and approved by the Michigan Senate, seeks to increase the public’s understanding of the rare and debilitating condition.

“Even though more than 70 million people worldwide live with some form of dysautonomia, most people have no idea what it is,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Dysautonomia is a serious neurological system disease that has a tremendous impact on the lives of those with the medical condition and their families. This awareness month is an effort to change the narrative and help improve the lives of millions of people.”

Dysautonomia is an umbrella medical term utilized for a group of complex conditions that are caused by a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS regulates all of the unconscious functions of the body, including the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, metabolic and endocrine systems.

Zorn’s resolution states that dysautonomia can occur secondary to other medical conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, and Parkinson’s disease. Certain forms of dysautonomia include side effects, such as frequent fainting, dizziness, shortness of breath and difficulty eating and sleeping, and can sometimes lead to death.

“Dysautonomia Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to help raise understanding of a condition that disables residents of every age, gender and race from performing the most basic functions,” Zorn said. “Each morning can bring new and unexpected challenges for those with dysautonomia. It is also a chance to encourage people to contribute to finding a cure.”

For more information about dysautonomia or to donate to help raise awareness and find a cure, residents can visit the Dysautonomia Information Network website at www.dinet.org or the Dysautonomia International site at www.dysautonomiainternational.org.

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Zorn to hold coffee hour in Monroe on Oct. 21

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn has announced that he will conduct a district coffee hour in Monroe on Friday, Oct. 21.

Coffee hours are open to residents to express their opinions or concerns about state government or to request assistance with a state issue.

The coffee hour will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. at Agua Dulce Coffee & Tea, 17 W. 1st St. in Monroe.

“I am holding this local coffee hour to 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.”

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

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

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Zorn sponsors public employee ‘free speech’ bill

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn has introduced legislation to protect public employees who speak with elected officials.

“Over the years, several local public employees have expressed concerns to me that they worry about their job or their career if they communicate with their elected representatives,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Many of these folks are afraid to speak with their local elected officials out of fear of retribution in employment considerations. I introduced this legislation to provide protections for public employees who wish to help improve their state and communities by simply talking with their elected leaders.”

Senate Bill 1086 would prohibit a public employer from discharging, threatening or otherwise discriminating against a public employee for communicating with an elected official. This would apply to the employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, location and privileges of employment.

The state’s Whistleblowers’ Protection Act protects individuals who are reporting, or those about to report, a suspected violation of a law, rule or regulation.

“I believe this is a matter of free speech and good government,” Zorn said. “While whistleblowers are protected, those protections are limited to those reporting wrongdoing. Public employees who work with elected officials to try to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of state or local government deserve the same protection from retaliation.

“Frankly, I think it’s sad that this type of free speech protection is even necessary.”

SB 1086 has been referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee for consideration.

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