Zorn applauds grant for Echo expansion in Monroe County

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn announced on Wednesday that Echo Engineering and Productions Supplies will make key investments and create jobs at two Monroe County facilities thanks to a recently approved state incentive.

“There is great economic growth happening throughout Southeast Michigan and Monroe County,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Our region has a long history of manufacturing, and this expansion will put two existing facilities back into productive use.

“This grant will support a $2.4 million expansion project that will create 60 jobs, provide new opportunities and continue to improve the local economy.”

Echo is a full-service manufacturer of custom plastic components and has experienced significant growth due to increasing development in the aerospace, automotive, heavy machinery, lighting and electronics industries.

The company recently acquired two move-in-ready facilities in Monroe County — one in the city of Monroe and the other in Frenchtown Township.

The Michigan Strategic Fund approved a $210,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant to Echo to support the project. According to state officials, Michigan was chosen over competing sites in Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina and Texas.

“Just like PlaneWave’s recent move here from California, this is yet another example of Michigan drawing in jobs from out of state,” Zorn said. “I applaud state, local and company officials for working together to make it a reality.”

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Zorn supports federal Great Lakes restoration funding

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn on Thursday joined 63 members of the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus (GLLC) in expressing support for the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and urging Congress to continue fully funding the initiative.

“The Great Lakes are the world’s largest surface freshwater system and provide clean drinking water to nearly 40 million people,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “It is our responsibility to protect this great natural resource, and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a critical part of that effort.”

Zorn signed on to a GLLC letter noting that Congress passed legislation in 2016 authorizing the GLRI for five years at $300 million per year and urging the current Congress to follow through on that commitment and continue fully funding the initiative.

“I am pleased that a bipartisan budget agreement has been signed that includes this vital funding to protect and improve the Great Lakes,” Zorn said. “The GLRI supports important efforts to clean up toxic sites and restore natural habitat. It is also an essential resource for preventing the introduction of Asian carp into the Great Lakes and eliminating harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.”

The letter was initiated by Michigan Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, who chairs the GLLC. It was signed by Zorn and five other Michigan senators on both sides of the aisle.

The GLLC is a nonpartisan, binational organization of state and provincial legislators from eight Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces. The bipartisan group co‑signing the letter represented all eight states in the Great Lakes region.

This is the latest effort by Zorn and the GLLC to help protect the Great Lakes. Last year, Zorn signed on to a GLLC letter to President Trump urging swift federal action to help prevent the introduction and spread of Asian carp in the Great Lakes.

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Zorn to honor Vietnam veterans during Bedford Township Veterans Center grand opening

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich.Sen. Dale Zorn will be hosting a Vietnam veteran lapel-pinning ceremony on Sunday, March 18 during the grand opening of the new Bedford Township Veterans Center.

“In commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the Vietnam War, I have hosted several moving events to give long-overdue recognition to Vietnam veterans and their families on behalf of a grateful nation,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “The response to previous ceremonies has been overwhelming, and I am proud to be holding another event during the grand opening of a wonderful new facility focused on improving services to all our veterans.”

The ceremony on Sunday, March 18 will start at 2:30 p.m. at the Bedford Township Veterans Center, located in the former post office building at 760 W. Temperance Road in Temperance. Recipients and guests are encouraged to be there by 2:15 p.m.

“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.

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Zorn announces March coffee hours

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn has announced that he will conduct district coffee hours in Clinton and Luna Pier this month.

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

The first coffee hour will be held on Monday, March 19 from 8 to 9 a.m. at Clinton Coney Island, located at 103 Tecumseh Road in Clinton.

The second coffee hour will be held on Friday, March 23 from 8 to 9 a.m. at Gander’s Family Restaurant, 4219 Luna Pier Road in Luna Pier.

“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 restaurants, no town-hall style discussions will be entertained. No appointment is necessary.

Residents who are unable to attend 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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Zorn bill seeks to help destroy unused drugs in hospice care

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn has introduced legislation to help combat opioid abuse by allowing hospice nurses to safely dispose of excess prescription drugs when the drugs are no longer needed.

“We continue to see the devastating effects of the opioid epidemic in our state and our local communities,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “One of the problems at the heart of this crisis is the easy access to highly addictive drugs. This legislation targets the issue of safely destroying unused medications of patients receiving hospice care.”

Controlled substances prescribed to a hospice patient are the property of the patient or the patient’s family in the case of the patient’s death. A hospice employee may not assist in disposal unless there is a state law permitting assistance.

Senate Bill 842 would require the Department of Health and Human Services to promulgate rules for the appropriate disposal of controlled substances in the homes of hospice patients when drugs are not needed by the patient or the patient has died.

“The Monroe County Substance Abuse Coalition partners with a local Call to Action Medical Workgroup to address prescription drug abuse in our community,” said Vicky Loveland, coordinator of the coalition. “The perspective from the medical community is significant as we work toward preventing opioid misuse. Our coalition continues to be proactive in trying to reduce access to unused prescription drugs, and this additional action would enforce a safe disposal policy.”

The bill would also require providers of hospice services to establish and implement a controlled substance disposal policy.

The policies would need to include procedures for offering assistance in disposing controlled substances and recording the patient or the family’s decision on accepting or declining assistance, as well as requirements for witnessing the disposal and education to patients and their families on the safe disposal of prescription drugs.

“This can help reduce drug diversion, which is fueling the opioid crisis,” Zorn said.

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Zorn supports $175 million road funding increase

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Thursday voted to boost funding to improve state and local roads and bridges by $175 million this year.

“As I travel throughout Monroe and Lenawee counties, I repeatedly hear about the terrible condition of our roads — especially compared to the roads in our neighboring states,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “The people want the roads fixed, and this legislation will invest an additional $175 million this year to improve our roads and bridges.”

The governor’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2019 recommends moving up a scheduled $175 million increase in 2020 to 2019 — on top of a $150 million increase already planned for 2019.

House Bill 4321 would move up the additional $175 million in road funding to the current 2018 fiscal year.

“As a result of responsible leadership and budgeting, we can make this significant investment with existing resources,” Zorn said. “This smart use of available surplus funds from last year will help protect drivers on Michigan roads and support our state’s growing economy.”

Zorn said that he also remains committed to enhancing road funding once again when the Legislature finalizes the fiscal year 2019 budget.

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