**PHOTO ADVISORY** Zorn, Lightner congratulate 2019 Governor’s Fitness Award finalist

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, and Rep. Sarah Lightner, R-Springport, congratulated Kathy O’Mara of Brooklyn for being selected as a finalist for the 2019 Governor’s Fitness Awards.

The Michigan Fitness Foundation and the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports sponsor the annual awards to honor individuals, organizations and communities that inspire health, wellness and active living.

Pictured from left: Lightner, Zorn, O’Mara and Lightner’s Legislative Director Tony Mosesso.

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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.

Senate passes Zorn local public safety bill

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Tuesday approved Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation to help more local communities fill first responder and public safety positions.

Currently in Michigan, a public servant of a township, city, village or county with a population of 25,000 or more cannot serve that community as an EMT, firefighter, police officer or public safety officer.

“This simple reform would allow more local public servants — who are trained and willing to serve — to help save lives in their communities,” said Zorn, R-Ida.

Senate Bill 19 would expand the current population limit to enable local governments with up to 40,000 residents to have board or council members serve the local government as EMTs, firefighters, police officers or public safety officers.

“Many rural Michigan townships in the 1990s were struggling to find volunteer firefighters or EMTs — a problem made worse by the fact that townships could not consider trained board members for these positions,” Zorn said. “The law was changed to provide more flexibility, but now townships just above the population limit are having the same issues in finding enough first responders and police officers.

“My bill will improve safety in small communities, clear up confusion due to different population limits in different laws, and put in protections to ensure elected officials serving in public safety positions are not also participating in collective bargaining negotiations.”

SB 19 also expands the positions open to board or council members. Currently, the exemptions are limited to firefighter and EMT positions. It would add fire chiefs, public safety officers and police chiefs to the list.

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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Zorn applauds state loan for Bedford wastewater treatment improvements

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn on Monday applauded the approval of state low-interest loans to Monroe County on behalf of Bedford Township to help make needed sewer and wastewater treatment improvements.

“It is critical that we continue to help communities make the public infrastructure improvements necessary to protect our water resources and provide clean and safe water to Michigan families,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “I applaud Monroe County and Bedford Township leaders for working with the state to ensure they can make these important upgrades and repairs.”

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has announced the approval of a $10.2 million loan from the State Revolving Fund for improvements to the Bedford Township Wastewater Treatment Plant. The funds will support three pump stations and the rehabilitation of 24,300 lineal feet of sewer pipes and 83 manholes. It is the second of two loans for this two-segment project.

Michigan’s Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund, better known as the State Revolving Fund (SRF), provides low-interest loans to local municipalities for construction of needed water pollution control facilities, such as sewage or stormwater treatment projects.

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**PHOTO & VIDEO ADVISORY** Zorn welcomes Pastor Cullen to Capitol for Senate invocation

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, welcomed the Rev. D. Lee Cullen Jr. to the Michigan Capitol on Thursday. Cullen serves as pastor at Holy Ghost Lutheran Church in Monroe and delivered the invocation before Senate session.

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Editor’s note: The above photographs are available by clicking on the images or by visiting Zorn’s website at www.SenatorDaleZorn.com/Photowire.

Video of Cullen’s invocation is available by clicking here or by visiting www.SenatorDaleZorn.com/Video.

Senate panel approves Zorn local public safety bill

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Local Government Committee on Thursday approved Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation to help local communities fill first responder and public safety positions.

Currently in Michigan, a public servant of a township, city, village or county with a population of 25,000 or more cannot serve that community as an EMT, firefighter, police officer or public safety officer.

“In the 1990s, many rural Michigan townships were struggling to find candidates to be volunteer firefighters or EMTs, and the problem was aggravated by the fact that townships were banned from considering board members for these positions,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “The law was changed in 1992 to provide more flexibility, but now townships just above the population limit are having the same issues in finding enough first responders and police officers to protect the public.”

Senate Bill 19 would expand the current population limit to enable local governments with up to 40,000 residents to have board or council members serve the local government as EMTs, firefighters, police officers or public safety officers.

“This simple reform would allow more local public servants — who are trained and willing to serve — to help save lives in their communities,” Zorn said.

SB 19 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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Sen. Zorn sponsors sandhill crane hunting resolution

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn on Tuesday introduced a resolution requesting that the state scientifically manage sandhill cranes as it does other wildlife.

“The ever-increasing sandhill crane population in Michigan offers wonderful bird-watching opportunities, and it also could support a new and exciting hunting experience in our state,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “A Michigan hunt would enrich our outdoor heritage, help state and federal agencies manage sandhill cranes, and preserve the species for generations of wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.”

Senate Resolution 30 encourages the Michigan Natural Resources Commission to add sandhill cranes to the game species list and seek U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approval to establish a hunting season for the birds.

Federal approval is required for a hunt since the sandhill crane is a migratory species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

“Minnesota, Tennessee and Kentucky already allow the cranes to be hunted when they migrate beyond our state’s borders, and the federal government has indicated they would approve a Michigan hunt if the state requested it,” Zorn said. “Hunting seasons for birds like the sandhill cranes are strictly regulated, and Michigan would be required to gather information from hunters and track the sandhill crane population.”

SR 30 has been referred to the Senate Natural Resources Committee for consideration.

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