Zorn applauds local schools receiving 2019 safety grants

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Friday congratulated area schools awarded grants this week from the state’s 2019 Competitive School Safety Grant Program.

“School safety is critical in fostering a productive environment for students to learn the skills they need to succeed,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Although many schools have already made vital safety improvements, these competitive grants are part of a continuing effort to protect every Michigan student.”

In 2018, the Michigan Legislature invested a total of $50 million into the grant program to help improve the safety and security of school buildings through the purchase of technology and equipment and through school building safety assessments.

The Michigan State Police (MSP) in October awarded $25 million in grants to 188 schools, school districts and regional education agencies throughout the state — including districts in Clinton, Hudson, Ida, Monroe and Onstead.

This week, the MSP awarded another $25 million in grants. Schools in the 17th Senate District receiving grants are:
• Addison Community Schools — $48,770
• Bedford Public Schools — $186,162
• Dundee Community Schools — $144,394
• Lenawee Christian School, Adrian — $43,776
• Sacred Heart School, Hudson — $48,736
• Sand Creek Community Schools — $97,371
• Tecumseh Public Schools — $210,268
• Whiteford Agricultural Schools, Ottawa Lake — $48,770

A complete list of recipients is available at www.michigan.gov/cjgrants. Click on the “General Grants School Safety” box.

According to the Michigan State Police (MSP), 366 applications were reviewed by a committee that included representatives from the MSP, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools and other school safety professionals.

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Protecting Michigan’s outdoor heritage

We are blessed to have world-class natural resources and numerous outdoor activities in Michigan that help make our state such a great place to live and raise a family. Among these activities are hunting and fishing, which have been family traditions for longer than Michigan has been a state.

I am proud to be a member of the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus — a group of lawmakers in both chambers and from both parties who come together to conserve, preserve and promote Michigan’s great outdoors.

The caucus is dedicated to ensuring our natural resources are protected, advancing the rights of Michigan residents to affordably hunt and fish, and increasing family outdoor opportunities.

Our sports men and women are among Michigan’s greatest custodians of the state’s natural resources — and they also are important to our economy. According to a report commissioned by Michigan United Conservation Clubsand based on a study by Michigan State University professors and researchers, hunting and fishing generates $11.2 billion for Michigan’s economy each year.

By purchasing gear, booking hotels, eating in restaurants, leasing land and spending money in numerous other ways, our 1.1 million anglers and over 700,000 hunters support more than 171,000 jobs — contributing $3.3 billion to Michigan families in salaries and wages.

Anglers and hunters also help with conservation efforts and wildlife management by purchasing licenses and controlling animal and fish populations.

The revenue generated from sports men and women helps conserve fish and wildlife, provide clean and healthy landscapes and maintain public access to these resources.

The expansion of the Petersburg State Game Area in Monroe County is a prime example of this system in action. The state used funds from the sale of waterfowl hunting licenses to acquire 72 acres of land adjacent to the game area to restore critical habitat for wildlife conservation and public enjoyment.

A few of the legislative issues the sportsmen’s caucus continues to work on include improving the Natural Resources Trust Fund to allow more constitutionally restricted funds to be invested into enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities, stopping Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes, protecting our water from PFAS and implementing better Department of Natural Resources services and technologies.

To ensure Michigan continues to attract enough outdoor enthusiasts to fund our conservation efforts, we must also help to engage young people about hunting and fishing — so they will become the next generation of sports men and women and keep our outdoor traditions alive.

I hope you all have a chance to get outdoors and experience everything Michigan has to offer.

Sen. Dale Zorn comments on governor’s 2020 budget recommendation

LANSING, Mich. — After listening to the governor’s presentation of her fiscal year 2020 state budget recommendation on Tuesday, Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, issued the following statement:

“I was encouraged to see the governor put a priority on continuing to make important investments in teaching our children, training our workers and fixing our roads.

“While it is disappointing that the governor’s plan relies on a large tax increase, this is just the beginning of the budget process.

“I look forward to working with the governor to finalize a balanced state budget on time that supports our students, protects our communities and helps attract new investment and jobs.

“It is great to see how much our state has improved since 2011, yet our job now is to work together to build on that success and address the challenges still facing Michigan families, workers, job creators and taxpayers.”

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Zorn: State grant will help improve Lake Erie water

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Friday applauded a Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) grant to the Monroe County Conservation District to help protect water quality.

“This is great news for everyone who enjoys spending time on Lake Erie or who relies on the lake for drinking water,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “People in our area are keenly aware of the annual problem of harmful algae blooms on Lake Erie. As part of a comprehensive effort to combat the lake’s algae blooms, this grant will provide valuable resources and information to area farmers so they can use best practices and help improve the water quality of the lake.”

The Monroe County Conservation District has been awarded a $400,000 Soil Testing to Reduce Agriculture Nutrient Delivery (STRAND) grant — from federal funds — to reduce total phosphorus and soluble reactive phosphorus through nutrient management and best management practices focusing on sustainable change in water quality.

STRAND is a collaboration between MDARD and local agriculture and conservation partners to help farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin reduce the amount of phosphorus entering Lake Erie. To reduce phosphorus runoff, STRAND will work with farmers to increase adoption of grid/zone soil testing and other nutrient management practices.

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