Sen. Zorn to hold a coffee hour in Milan on April 11

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn has announced that he will conduct a district coffee hour in Milan on Tuesday, April 11.

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 5 to 6 p.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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**PHOTO ADVISORY** Monroe students’ sign on display in Zorn’s Senate office

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, recently welcomed Monroe High School students Starlyn Higgins, Travis Lenta and Nick Bradburn to the state capital. The students presented Zorn with a “Thankful for Our Michigan Roots” sign they made in their welding classroom. The sign is on display in Zorn’s Senate office. Joining the students were their instructor Glenn Zorn and Career and Technology Education Director Bill Ferrara.

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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/Photowire.

Michigan Senate calls for action to fight Asian carp invasion

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate has approved a resolution co-sponsored by Sen. Dale Zorn urging federal action to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.

“Monroe County is the Walleye Capital of the World and one of 40 counties in Michigan to touch at least one of the Great Lakes,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “The lakes are a wonderful resource, and it is our duty to protect them. The threat we are facing from Asian carp cannot be overstated. Asian carp breed quickly, have no natural predators and can consume as much as 20 percent of their body weight in a day.

“If Asian carp get into the Great Lakes, the environmental and economic impact would be catastrophic. It is a battle that we simply cannot afford to lose.”

The Chicago Area Waterway System Advisory Committee was formed in May 2014 with the goal of reaching consensus on short- and long-term measures to prevent Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species from moving between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins through the Chicago Area Waterway System.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 7 supports the committee’s recommendations to implement immediate control technologies at Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet, Illinois, and to further investigate the specific system of control points for long-term movement of aquatic invasive species into and out of the Great Lakes.

“Asian carp have traveled 90 miles closer to Lake Michigan in the past few years and are now only 47 miles away. We do not have the luxury of time,” Zorn said. “We need quick action to help prevent a disaster that would decimate our vibrant fishing, tourism and boating industries and put at risk the livelihoods of thousands of Michigan families.”

SCR 7 says that the carp are voracious filter feeders and could out-compete the native fish of the Great Lakes, threatening a $7 billion sport and commercial fishery.

“Fishing and boating have long been among Michigan’s premier outdoor activities — attracting tourists to our state and helping make Michigan such a great place to live,” Zorn said. “We refuse to accept leaving our lakes vulnerable to an Asian carp invasion that would forever change our way of life and wreak havoc on the ecosystems of the Great Lakes and all its rivers.”

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**PHOTO ADVISORY** Sen. Zorn welcomes local 4-H members to Capitol

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, welcomed local students to the Michigan Capitol as part of the 4-H Capitol Experience, an annual four-day conference that focuses on civic engagement and public policy. The students were accompanied by MSU Extension’s Monroe County 4-H Program Coordinator Sara Lewis (right).

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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/Photowire.

Sen. Zorn named to new education subcommittee on Michigan Merit Curriculum

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn has been named to a new Senate subcommittee to review the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC).

The MMC was enacted by the state in 2006. Since that time, Michigan students have been required to obtain, as a condition of receiving a high school diploma, a minimum of 18 credits in eight specific subject areas. While school districts determine how to implement these requirements, the MMC allows flexibility to develop appropriate scheduling systems, curricula and courses to meet the individual needs and desires of each district.

“More than 10 years ago, Michigan adopted one of the nation’s most rigorous sets of high school graduation requirements — designed to set high goals for students and to help them reach those goals,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “We owe it to all Michigan students to ensure that they have access to an education that gives them the knowledge and skills needed to be successful, obtain a well-paying job, and lead meaningful and fulfilling lives.”

Senate Education Committee Chairman Phil Pavlov recently announced the creation of the Education Subcommittee on Michigan Merit Curriculum.

“It’s appropriate to periodically review state education policy to meet the needs of Michigan’s students,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “Senator Zorn will bring valuable, real-world experience and insight to the subcommittee as it reviews the Michigan Merit Curriculum and how it relates to career and technical education.”

Sen. Marty Knollenberg will serve as chairman of the new subcommittee.

“Education policy is a passion of mine. All of Michigan’s children have potential. It’s up to us as policymakers to make sure they have access to a curriculum that gives them, as individuals, the best opportunity to succeed,” said Knollenberg, R-Troy.

“I look forward to working on this top-to-bottom review of our state’s education curriculum,” Zorn said. “I will start this process with an open mind, yet I also recognize that education is not one-size-fits-all and that there is always room for improvement. While not enough of our children are going into the robust fields of applied sciences and math, the demand for skilled workers continues to grow in Michigan.

“My goal is to make sure that our curriculum encourages learning in challenging areas of study that are critical to our future and ensures that all students can pursue the path that best meets their needs and prepares them for success.”

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Senate approves Zorn’s emergency vehicle lights reform

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation to allow the use of corner flashing lights on emergency vehicles as an option to rotating or oscillating lights attached to the roof.

Modern ambulance and rescue vehicles can have blind spots when rotating lights are attached to the roof. For decades, these vehicles have been using corner lights that meet the state’s visual requirements but their use has not been codified in state statue.

“This is about allowing local governments to use the improved lighting systems that are in use on many of today’s new emergency vehicles,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “As a result, this reform could help improve public safety and reduce the cost of replacing aging vehicles.”

Senate Bill 46 would eliminate the current Michigan requirement that flashing, rotating or oscillating lights on emergency vehicles be mounted on the roof of the vehicles.

The bill would allow corner lights to be used on ambulance and rescue vehicles as long as the lights meet the requirements of being visible 500 feet away and from 360 degrees around the vehicle. Roof-mounted rotating lights may continue to be used as long as the requirements are met.

“After years of innovation, the traditional rotating light bar attached to the roof of an emergency vehicle may not be the safest or most cost-effective option,” Zorn said. “On many modern rescue and emergency vehicles, the flashing lights are mounted on the corners of the vehicle rather than the roof. These lights are often brighter than traditional roof-mounted lights and meet the state’s visibility requirements.”

SB 46 has been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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**PHOTO ADVISORY** Bellino, Zorn welcome Rick Becker to Michigan Capitol

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, and Rep. Joe Bellino, R-Monroe, welcomed Rick Becker to the Michigan Capitol on Tuesday. Becker is vice president and general manager of Stoneco of Michigan. He was recognized by Zorn and Bellino on Tuesday for recently becoming chairman of the Michigan Aggregates Association.

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Editor’s note: The above photograph of Zorn and Bellino with Becker is available by clicking on the image or by visiting www.SenatorDaleZorn.com/Photowire.

Senate OKs Zorn resolution urging permanent solution for nuclear waste

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate has approved Sen. Dale Zorn’s resolution calling for federal action on a solution for safe storage or reuse of spent nuclear fuel.

“The federal government was supposed to start storing spent nuclear fuel in a permanent site years ago, yet today the spent fuel continues to be stored at more than 60 temporary sites around the country, including here in Monroe County,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “The U.S. Department of Energy continues to skirt its obligations to the American people. Their inaction to safely store this nuclear waste in a long-term facility or provide a manner to reuse or reduce it continues to unnecessarily put the safety of our local communities at risk.

“This is especially true for the people of Michigan and everyone in the Great Lakes basin who relies on the world’s largest collection of fresh water.”

Senate Concurrent Resolution 8 urges the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to fulfill their obligation to establish a permanent solution for handling high-level nuclear waste. SCR 8 says that currently, more than 70,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel are stored in pools or casks at temporary sites around the country, including locations in Michigan.

The federal Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 called for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to begin collecting spent nuclear waste and develop a long-term plan for storage of the material. In 2002, Congress approved Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the site of a safe nuclear waste repository, but the DOE halted the project in 2010 despite the Nuclear Waste Fund receiving more than $30 billion in revenue from electric customers throughout the country in order to construct the facility and store the spent fuel.

“New technology exists that could substantially reduce the amount of spent nuclear fuel that would need to be stored and the length of time it would need to be isolated,” Zorn said. “With this resolution, Michigan would — once again — call on Congress to either open a permanent storage repository or take the billions of dollars collected from customers and use it to help support the reuse or recycling of spent nuclear fuel.”

SCR 8 notes that the DOE’s National Laboratories have pioneered a method of recycling spent nuclear waste into fuel, known as pyrochemical processing, which could extend the productive life of uranium and cut down on nuclear waste.

The Senate also approved SCR 6 and SCR 9, both co-sponsored by Zorn. SCR 6 calls on Congress to appropriate funds from the Nuclear Waste Fund to build a permanent repository for high-level nuclear waste or reimburse electric customers who paid into the fund. SCR 9 urges the president and Congress to explore and support policies that will lead to the establishment of facilities in the U.S. for the reprocessing and recycling of spent nuclear fuel.

All three resolutions now head to Michigan House of Representatives for consideration.

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Zorn to hold March coffee hours in Bedford and Ida

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn has announced that he will conduct district coffee hours in Bedford on Saturday, March 11 and in Ida on Friday, March 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 Bedford coffee hour will be held on Saturday, March 11 from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Bedford Business Association’s 34th Annual Trade Fair at Bedford High School, located at 8285 Jackman Road in Temperance.

Zorn will be at the fair at various times during the weekend, but he is making a point to be at his booth on Saturday from 1 to 2 p.m. to meet with constituents.

The Ida coffee hour will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. on Friday, March 17 at Old 23 Grill, located at 3168 Lewis Ave.

“I am holding these local coffee 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.”

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

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

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Senate committee approves Zorn resolution urging permanent solution for nuclear waste

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Energy and Technology Committee on Thursday approved Sen. Dale Zorn’s resolution calling for federal action on a solution for safe storage or reuse of spent nuclear fuel.

“Although nuclear power can be a reliable source of electricity production for decades to come, the spent nuclear fuel used to generate power continues to pile up at more than 60 temporary sites around the country, including here in Monroe County,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “The failure of the federal government to open a facility to safely store this nuclear waste or provide a manner to reuse or reduce it puts the safety of our local communities at risk.

“This is especially true for people of Michigan and the Great Lakes basin. We need a permanent solution that will end the long-term storage of nuclear waste on the shores of the world’s largest collection of fresh water.”

Senate Concurrent Resolution 8 urges the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to fulfill their obligation to establish a permanent solution for handling high-level nuclear waste. SCR 8 says that currently, more than 70,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel are stored in pools or casks at temporary sites around the country, including locations in Michigan.

The federal Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 called for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to begin collecting spent nuclear waste and develop a long-term plan for storage of the material. In 2002, Congress approved Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the site of a safe nuclear waste repository, but the DOE halted the project in 2010 despite the Nuclear Waste Fund receiving more than $30 billion in revenue from electric customers throughout the country in order to construct the facility and store the spent fuel.

“It is unsettling that the nuclear power industry and its customers have paid billions of dollars to construct a permanent storage repository, and yet spent nuclear fuel continues to be stored at temporary sites,” Zorn said. “Thankfully, new technology exists that could greatly reduce the amount of waste needed to be stored and reduce the time that the waste must be isolated.

“Congress needs to either open a permanent storage site or use the money they collected from ratepayers to build it to help support nuclear fuel recycling.”

SCR 8 notes that the DOE’s National Laboratories have pioneered a method of recycling spent nuclear waste into fuel, known as pyrochemical processing, which could extend the productive life of uranium and cut down on nuclear waste.

The committee also approved SCR 6 and SCR 9, both co-sponsored by Zorn. SCR 6 calls on Congress to appropriate funds from the Nuclear Waste Fund to build a permanent repository for high-level nuclear waste or reimburse electric customers who paid into the fund. SCR 9 urges the president and Congress to explore and support policies that will lead to the establishment of facilities in the U.S. for the reprocessing and recycling of spent nuclear fuel.

All three resolutions now head to the full Senate for consideration.

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