**PHOTO ADVISORY** Sen. Zorn, Dr. Bell attend signing of legislation to help stop overdoses in Michigan schools

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, and Dr. Stephen Bell (right) joined Lt. Gov. Brian Calley on Wednesday as Calley signed bipartisan legislation allowing school districts in the state to stock naloxone, an antidote used to treat an opioid overdose in an emergency situation.

Bell is an osteopathic physician with a practice in Newport. He was a member of the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force, formed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2015 to create a comprehensive statewide action plan to address prescription drug and opioid abuse. Bell is currently a member of the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission, created in June 2016 by Snyder to help implement the task force’s recommendations.

Senate Bills 805 and 806 were sponsored by Zorn and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint. More information about the bills is available by clicking here.

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Editor’s note: The above photograph of Zorn is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at: www.SenatorDaleZorn.com/Photowire.

Sen. Dale Zorn scores perfect voting record in 2016

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate recorded 857 roll call votes in 2016, and Sen. Dale Zorn made sure to cast a vote on every single one of them.

“The people of Monroe and Lenawee counties sent me to Lansing to be their voice in the state Senate,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “At the foundation of that duty is being at work each day and casting votes on legislation. I take the responsibility that has been entrusted in me seriously, and I am proud to have never missed a vote.”

Zorn has not missed any of 1,499 roll call votes during his two years in the state Senate. He also had perfect voting records all four years of his service in the House of Representatives from 2011 through 2014.

In total, Zorn has not missed a single vote of more than 4,300 roll call votes during his six years in the Legislature.

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve on behalf of the hardworking men and women of Michigan’s 17th Senate District,” Zorn said. “As they go to work each day, I believe they deserve the same dedication from their elected officials.”

According to information on MichiganVotes.org, Michigan’s senators and representatives missed a combined 1,228 recorded roll call votes in 2016. However, 57 percent of legislators in 2016 had perfect voting records.

Zorn was one of 14 senators and 72 representatives who did not miss any votes in 2016. A full recording of missed votes is available at www.MichiganVotes.org/MissedVotes.aspx.

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Senate’s skilled trades legislation headed to the governor

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

Zorn co-sponsored skilled trades act

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation sponsored by Sen. Dale Zorn as part of a legislative package to update and improve guidelines and standards for skilled trade professions is on its way to the governor to be signed.

“As a small business owner who employs and depends on highly skilled workers, I know first-hand the need for standards that are tough, clear and efficient,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This skilled trades package will ensure that Michigan has safe and high standards and also help encourage current and future workers to choose a rewarding and successful career in the skilled trades.”

Senate Bills 963-972 would combine more than 30 years of state statutes to create the Skilled Trades Regulation Act in Michigan. The state currently operates under ambiguous statutes that have been pieced together over time and lack modern language with regard to application and complaint processes and enforcement of penalties.

The legislation would solve several consistency issues within the state’s skilled labor industries and establish efficient application, renewal, and testing processes for licensees.

“While jobs in manufacturing and other skilled trades have led the recovery in Michigan, that economic growth is limited as many job providers are having difficulty finding young people with the necessary technical skills,” Zorn said. “I look forward to seeing the governor sign this important initiative into law — putting in place updated, uniform standards that meet the highest marks for enforcement and efficiency.

“With these new laws, Michigan would be able to better ensure the safety of our workers, the quality of their work and the ability of employers to find the skilled workers they need.”

Under current law, many Michigan workers are licensed across multiple trades and are subject to varying processes and requirements due to outdated statutes. The new act would provide reliability for professionals with multiple skilled trade licenses.

Sponsors of the 10-bill package include Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth (SBs 963, 966 and 970); Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy (SB 967); Sen. Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford (SB 969); Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City (SBs 964-965 and 971); Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton (SB 972); and Zorn (SB 968).

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Sen. Dale Zorn comments on comprehensive energy plan

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — After the Michigan Legislature passed the Michigan Comprehensive Energy Plan on Thursday, Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, issued the following statement:

“These bills modernize the framework for Michigan’s energy grid and give utilities and energy providers stability as they plan Michigan’s future needs. Because of the closing of energy plants in Michigan, we must ensure our future does not include energy shortages, and these bills will best provide our electrical future. After two years of work, the bills passed with wide, bipartisan support and I’m happy with the final compromise.”

Senate Bills 437 and 438 would require utility companies to competitively bid for new generation projects; require providers to follow strict rules to ensure they have enough energy to meet demand; incentivize energy waste reduction programs; empower customers utilizing electric choice; and continue the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard program.

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Zorn bill to help stop overdoses in schools sent to governor

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday sent to the governor bipartisan legislation that would allow school districts in the state 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, R-Ida, and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint.

“The alarming rise of opioid and prescription drug abuse in our communities and among our children is a matter of life and death and must be addressed,” Zorn said. “I look forward to seeing the governor sign this legislation to 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.”

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.

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.

“These measures are about doing what we can to prevent opioid deaths in our schools,” Zorn said. “However, we must remain focused on stopping prescription drug abuse altogether in order to make a real, long-term difference in the future of our children and our state.”

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

Zorn and Ananich 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.

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Zorn’s hunting license app bill heading to the governor

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — Duck hunters in Michigan could soon be able to show proof of their hunting license on their smartphones under legislation sponsored by Sen. Dale Zorn and approved by the Michigan House on Tuesday. The Senate will now send it to the governor to be signed.

“Hunting remains a tradition and cherished pastime of many families in Michigan, and it also contributes more than $2 billion to Michigan’s economy each year,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “I look forward to seeing the governor sign this proactive measure and allowing duck hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts in Michigan to have their hunting and fishing licenses on their phones.

“It would increase convenience, help ensure an enjoyable time for the entire family and allow everyone 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.”

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Zorn applauds Crystal Waters project in trust fund recommendations

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn applauded the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) board for including the Crystal Waters project in Monroe County in its list of 2017 land acquisition recommendations.

“The Crystal Waters project would provide a wonderful public place for our sportsmen and sportswomen to hunt and fish,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “With more than six-and-a-half miles of proposed trails for the site, the land would also provide recreation opportunities such as hiking or just taking a walk through nature. While there are currently no inland public access lakes in Monroe County, this property has seven bodies of water, and a boat launch is proposed on an 85-acre lake.

“Crystal Waters will be a place for personal solitude and family enjoyment in Michigan’s great outdoors and is a positive use of the trust fund’s constitutionally restricted resources.”

The plan approved by the NRTF board includes $3.5 million to acquire 680 acres for a new Department of Natural Resources (DNR) state game area in northwest Monroe County. The property would be managed for deer, turkey, small game and waterfowl habitat, along with hunting and fishing opportunities.

“The Crystal Waters project is an example of the trust fund’s 40-year record of preserving our state’s natural resources and improving public access to outstanding recreational opportunities,” said Zorn, vice chair of the Senate Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Committee. “I strongly support this project and look forward to approving these restricted funds to enhance the quality of life in Michigan for generations to come.”

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.

Since its creation in 1976, the NRTF has awarded more than $1 billion for land acquisition and public outdoor recreation development projects for communities in every county.

The NRTF board’s recommendations for projects in 2017 will now head to the Legislature for review as part of the budget process.

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**PHOTO ADVISORY** Sen. Zorn welcomes local students to Capitol for technology showcase

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, welcomed students from Madison Middle School in Adrian to the Michigan Capitol on Wednesday.

The students participated in the 16th Annual Student Technology Showcase at the Capitol. The event is designed to show legislators and the public how technology is being used in the classroom to enhance learning in Michigan schools.

Joining the students were their technology teachers, Jill Brandeberry and Jeanelle Wonders.

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Editor’s note: The above photograph of Zorn is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at: www.SenatorDaleZorn.com/Photowire.

Zorn amendment allows more community foundations to participate in proposed new act

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation to create the Michigan Community Foundation Act. Before passage of the bill, Sen. Dale Zorn pushed for and won approval of an amendment to open up the proposed new act to more local community foundations.

Senate Bill 959 would allow the transfer of intangible personal property from a municipality, public library, and/or school board to a community foundation that meets certain conditions.

“For many years, community foundations throughout Michigan have partnered with local governments, schools and libraries to improve the quality of life of area residents,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This legislation would further foster the collaborative relationship between public agencies and area foundations. For example, it would give cities the option to use a community foundation to put excess city-owned land back to productive use — which is good for everyone.”

To be eligible to participate, SB 959 would require that a community foundation meets numerous requirements, including having been in existence for at least 10 years; having at least $5 million in assets; being a 501(c)(3) publicly supported entity; and supporting a broad range of charitable activities within the municipality that it serves.

“After more than 30 years in local government, I understand the positive impact that community foundations can have on the lives of area families and the success of local businesses,” Zorn said. “This is about allowing these outstanding foundations to expand their partnerships with public entities to ensure Michigan is a great place to live and work for generations to come.”

SB 959 now heads to the Michigan House of Representatives for consideration.

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Zorn to honor Vietnam era veterans after Wreaths Across America event in Monroe

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich.Sen. Dale Zorn will be hosting a Vietnam veteran lapel-pinning ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 17 immediately following the Wreaths Across America event in Monroe.

“Michigan’s Vietnam veterans served our country with honor, yet they were often forgotten when they returned home and received little or no thanks for their service,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This lapel-pinning ceremony is the latest in a series of emotional events to give long-overdue recognition to the Vietnam War era veterans and their families on behalf of a grateful nation.”

The Wreaths Across America event will start at noon at Monroe Veterans Park, located at 1599 North Custer Road in Monroe. Guests are encouraged to arrive by 11:30 a.m.

The ceremony will begin with a moment of silence, followed by an invocation and several acknowledgements and readings. The Cadet Honor Detail will place the wreaths, which will be followed by a VFW Honor Guard 21-gun salute and Taps. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of wreaths will be placed by military and civilian organizations at cemeteries, memorials and monuments across the nation.

The lapel pinning for Vietnam Era veterans by Zorn will follow the benediction at 12:30 p.m.

“I invite all interested residents and veterans to come out for the wonderful Wreaths Across America tribute and to stay and join us as we recognize the service and sacrifice of our Vietnam veterans,” Zorn said. “In commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the Vietnam War, this lapel pin ceremony is designed to honor all our Vietnam era veterans, whether they served in-country, in-theater, or were stationed elsewhere during the war.”

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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