Sen. Dale Zorn to honor Vietnam veterans during BBA’s Trade Fair’s veterans program

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich.Sen. Dale Zorn will be hosting a Vietnam veteran lapel-pinning ceremony on Sunday, March 12 during the Bedford Business Association’s 34th Annual Trade Fair’s veterans program.

“In commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the Vietnam War, I have hosted several moving events to give long-overdue recognition to the Vietnam War era veterans and their families on behalf of a grateful nation,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “The response to previous ceremonies was overwhelming, and I am proud to be holding another event during the veterans program of the Bedford Business Association’s 2017 Trade Fair.”

The ceremony on Sunday, March 12 will start at 11 a.m. in the cafeteria of Bedford High School, located at 8285 Jackman Road, Temperance, MI 48182.

“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,” Zorn said. “I invite all interested residents and veterans to come out and join us as we recognize the service and sacrifice of our Vietnam veterans.”

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.

###

**PHOTO & VIDEO ADVISORY** Sen. Zorn welcomes Pastor Simon to Capitol for Senate invocation

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, welcomed the Rev. Corey Simon to the Michigan Capitol on Tuesday. Simon serves as pastor at Ida United Methodist Church in Ida and delivered the invocation before Senate session.

###

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.

Video of Simon’s invocation is available by clicking here or by visiting Zorn’s website and clicking on “Video” under the Media Center tab.

Zorn to hold March 3 coffee hour in Blissfield

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn has announced that he will conduct a district coffee hour in Blissfield on Friday, March 3.

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. on Friday, March 3 at Cakes n’ Shakes, located at 133 S. Lane St. in Blissfield.

“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.

###

Zorn offers free tax preparation guides

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan residents who are getting ready to file their taxes and want current information can call Sen. Dale Zorn’s office for a free copy of the Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide 2017 or download the guide from the senator’s website.

The guide, which is a reference for the 2016 tax year, is designed to help residents prepare their state tax returns.

“It is important for Michigan families to have reliable, updated information when preparing their annual taxes,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “As your state senator, I am proud to offer this useful taxpayer guide free to residents of Monroe and Lenawee counties. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this valuable resource while filling out their state tax forms.”

The booklet contains information on Michigan’s income tax, property taxes and tax credits. Included is a year-long listing of important property tax dates and deadlines as well as copies of the most commonly used tax forms. The guide also features addresses, phone numbers and email information for obtaining state agency tax assistance.

Zorn said that the guide is meant as a helpful resource and not as a substitute for Michigan Department of Treasury tax instruction booklets.

Free copies of the Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide 2017 may be downloaded by visiting www.SenatorDaleZorn.com/Publications.

Residents may also call Zorn’s office at (517) 373-3543 to request a printed copy of the guide.

###

Senate approves Zorn’s border community economic development bill

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation to help attract new business investment to the state’s border communities.

“This initiative is about helping towns and counties along Michigan’s borders attract new investment and development in their communities, which will create jobs and increase support for our local governments and schools,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Michigan’s border communities are interconnected with our Ohio neighbors, with many people living in Michigan and working in Ohio and vice versa. That interconnection is unique to our border communities, but it also puts them at a disadvantage.

“This legislation will give communities along our border an equal opportunity to compete for jobs with the rest of the state.”

Michigan provides grants, loans and other economic assistance to qualified businesses that make investments in Michigan or provide “qualified new jobs” in the state. Currently, a “qualified new job” means a job performed by an individual who is a Michigan resident.

Senate Bill 40 would expand the “qualified new job” definition to include a job performed by a resident or non-resident who is employed by a business located in a Michigan border county.

“Our goal is simple and clear: To encourage businesses that want to create jobs — by building new facilities or expanding their operations — to do so here in Michigan instead of across the border in Ohio or Indiana,” Zorn said. “This is a business hindrance that all border counties struggle with, and I am proud to be working on this issue with Senator John Proos, who represents three counties along the Indiana border in Southwest Michigan.”

Lenawee Now Executive Director Jim Van Doren testified last week in support of the bill.

“Economic development is a regional issue and competition along the southern border is a great example,” Van Doren said. “Senator Zorn, working so closely with his counterpart Senator Proos from the west side of the state, is a major asset, and this bill will help us attract and expand industry right here in Lenawee County.”

Tim Lake, president and CEO of the Monroe County Business Development Corporation, said, “Monroe County is excited to learn that Michigan boarder counties will have the playing field leveled as we as we compete with our neighboring states to attract new business and retain our existing businesses. We certainly appreciate the heavy lifting that Senators Zorn and Proos have done in bringing Senate Bill 40 forward. Senate Bill 40 is a solution to a long time problem will certainly help in growing Michigan.”

Southwest Michigan First CEO Ron Kitchens said, “I want to thank Senators Zorn and Proos for helping solve a vitally important issue, central to the focus of local economic developers working to attract companies to Southwest Michigan. Senate Bill 40 will give us an important tool to compete with neighboring states in winning projects that bring jobs to our region.”

SB 40 has been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

###

Sen. Dale Zorn comments on governor’s 2018 budget plan

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — After listening to Gov. Rick Snyder’s presentation of his proposed Fiscal Year 2018 state budget on Wednesday, Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, issued the following statement:

“Michigan families and small businesses live within their means, and so should their state government. The governor laid out a balanced budget plan to do just that while meeting our challenges, providing essential services and making smart investments in our future.

“Education is vital to having a successful career, and I support the governor’s call to once again increase funding for our local schools and put more resources into helping at-risk students succeed.

“As a small business owner who employs skilled workers, I am glad to see a continued focus on career training to help give students and workers the skills necessary to get a well-paying job in a growing economy.

“During my time in the Legislature, we’ve faced tough challenges and worked together to solve them. We balanced a $1.5 billion budget deficit, increased state spending on education to record levels, reduced our debt and energized our economy.

“We have achieved much to improve our state, energize our economy and help create thousands of jobs. This is just the beginning of the budget process, but the governor’s plan continues our ongoing efforts to invest in our children, attract investment and jobs to Michigan and make government more efficient and effective.”

###

**PHOTO ADVISORY** Zorn welcomes area United Way executive director to Michigan Capitol

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, welcomed Connie Carroll, executive director of the United Way of Monroe/Lenawee Counties, to the Michigan Capitol on Tuesday. Carroll was visiting Lansing for the Michigan Association of United Ways and Michigan 2-1-1 Legislative Day.

###

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

Zorn to hold Feb. 17 coffee hour in Tecumseh

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn has announced that he will conduct a district coffee hour in Tecumseh on Friday, Feb. 17.

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 British Tea Garden, 112 E. Chicago Blvd., Tecumseh.

“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.

###

Senate OKs Zorn bill to stop parole violators from receiving welfare benefits

Measure is part of Senate’s comprehensive criminal justice reforms

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved bipartisan criminal justice reforms focused on protecting the public, reducing costs and lowering recidivism.

Included in the comprehensive package was Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation to prevent the state from giving public assistance to parole and probation violators.

“Refocusing Michigan’s criminal justice system on rehabilitation and reform of prisoners will keep our residents safe, reduce the cost to taxpayers and help break the cycle of crime,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Nine of every 10 Michigan prisoners will one day return to our communities. It is critical that we efficiently and effectively rehabilitate them so they are prepared to contribute to society and find success in life after prison.”

Reforms in the 21-bill package include improving tracking of data on people who re-offend, allowing judges to shorten a probation term as a result of good behavior, speeding up hearings for prisoners with serious and life threatening medical conditions, encouraging partnerships with outside volunteers who offer services to prisoners, expanding housing reforms for juvenile offenders, and creating a tax credit for employing a probationer or parolee.

Senate Bill 18 would require probation and parole supervisors to provide to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) a list of people who have failed to report their whereabouts as required. Zorn’s bill, SB 19, would then prevent DHHS from granting public assistance to the listed parole and probation violators.

“Taxpayer-funded welfare benefits should not be going to people who violate their parole or probation,” Zorn said. “Trust is an important part of the rehabilitation process. When prisoners are given a chance to rejoin society through parole or to avoid prison through probation, we expect them to meet some basic requirements — such as reporting to a supervisor.

“This reform is about cracking down on those who violate the public trust and ending the practice of taxpayers giving benefits to offenders who don’t follow the rules.”

The bills have been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

###

Senate panel approves Zorn’s border community economic development bill

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Economic Development and International Investment Committee has approved Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation to help spur business investment in Michigan border communities.

“Michigan has created nearly half a million private-sector jobs in six years, yet we must continue to help encourage creating new jobs in our state,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This initiative is about helping bring new investment and jobs to towns and counties along Michigan’s borders. New economic development in our border communities will increase support for our local governments and schools.”

Michigan provides grants, loans and other economic assistance to qualified businesses that make investments in Michigan or provide “qualified new jobs” in the state. Currently, a “qualified new job” means a job performed by an individual who is a Michigan resident.

Senate Bill 40 would expand the “qualified new job” definition to include a job performed by a non-resident who is employed by a business located in a Michigan border county.

Lenawee Now Executive Director Jim Van Doren testified in support of the bill.

“On behalf of Lenawee County, a border community, this bill will extend the reach of our workforce,” Van Doren said. “It makes a tremendous impact on companies looking to locate or expand here. We’re grateful for Senator Zorn’s close involvement in our community as it allows him to truly understand our needs and represent us to the state.”

Zorn said, “Communities in Southeast Michigan are interconnected with our Ohio neighbors, with many Michigan residents who live here and work in Ohio and vice versa. That interconnection is unique to our border communities, but it also puts them at a disadvantage. The goal of this legislation is to encourage businesses in Michigan that want to invest and create jobs in our state by giving communities along our border an equal opportunity to compete for jobs with the rest of the state.”

SB 40 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

###

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