Zorn’s rental property transfer reform approved by Senate

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation by Sen. Dale Zorn to allow rental property owners more flexibility when transferring property between entities.

“This reform would stop local governments from requiring unnecessary and costly rental re-inspections simply based on the transfer of a property from one type of entity to another if the owners of both entities are the same people,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This issue is a form of double dipping and arises when an owner transfers property from one business entity to another or from personal ownership into an LLC, IRA or trust. Properties that are certified and in compliance at the time of these limited types of transfers shouldn’t need to be re-inspected.”

Senate Bill 692 amends the Housing Law of Michigan to add that a transfer of ownership to another person is not a change in ownership if the owner, owners, trustors, grantors, or members of the transferring person are under common control.

Under the bill, a property must have been inspected within two years of it being transferred. Since several municipalities have longer time periods between inspections due to good behavior or inspection capacity, the bill allows for a period set forth by the local municipality if it is longer than two years.

SB 692 clarifies that “person” in the law means an individual or a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability limited partnership, trust, individual retirement account, or other legal person recognized in Michigan.

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

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**PHOTO ADVISORY** Zorn, Bellino honor St. Mary Catholic Central 2019 state champion football team at Capitol

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, and Rep. Joe Bellino, R-Monroe, welcomed the 2019 St. Mary Catholic Central High School football team and Head Coach Adam Kipf to the Michigan Capitol on Thursday.

During Senate session, Zorn recognized the team for winning the 2019 Division 6 football state championship last November and presented the team with a special tribute in their honor. It was the school’s fourth football state title.

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

Video of Zorn recognizing the team during Senate session is available by clicking here or by visiting www.SenatorDaleZorn.com/Video.

**PHOTO ADVISORY** Zorn, Bellino welcome state champion St. Mary Catholic Central volleyball team to Capitol

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, and Rep. Joe Bellino, R-Monroe, joined Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist in welcoming the St. Mary Catholic Central High School volleyball team and Head Coach Karen O’Brien to the Michigan Capitol on Wednesday.

Zorn recognized the team during Senate session for their recent Division 3 State Volleyball Championship and presented the team with a special tribute in their honor.

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

Video of Zorn recognizing the team during Senate session is available by clicking here or by visiting www.SenatorDaleZorn.com/Video.

Zorn disappointed in governor’s veto of high school press box bill

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn expressed his disappointment that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday vetoed his legislation to clearly state that football stadium press boxes, concession stands and ticket booths do not need to be heated as “occupied” spaces.

“This bill was a commonsense reform designed to ensure that no other school in Michigan has to deal with the bureaucratic nightmare Madison School District did last year,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “By vetoing this bill, the governor is saying that she doesn’t care if schools have to waste valuable time and taxpayer dollars on unnecessary building requirements or a burdensome appeals process.”

Zorn noted that while the Madison schools were able to move on with an important improvement project for its student athletes, Hudson Area Schools are going through the same situation.

“I am deeply disappointed that Governor Whitmer vetoed Senate Bill 294,” said Dr. Michael J. Osborne, superintendent of the Hudson Area Schools. “My small community and school district are now in a position where we have to consider increasing our costs by more than 25%. This is devastating to a small community attempting to replace a press box that is over 50 years old. We have numerous safety issues with our current press box, and it is imperative that we address these issues. Just considering a modest press box is a major financial burden for a district our size.

“Our community has generously donated about half of the funds that were originally estimated for the cost. Now with the new interpretation of the regulations and the veto by Governor Whitmer, our plan for a safe and functional press box is even further away. To have this bill move through the House and Senate only to be vetoed by the governor is very disheartening.”

Last summer, Madison School District in Adrian was putting in bleachers in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and building a new press box facility near the football field and track. However, state building inspectors had initially interpreted the mechanical code to say that the press box would be an “occupied space” and would need permanent heating facilities capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 68 degrees.

In July, the district won its appeal to the Michigan Construction Code Commission, allowing it to proceed with the project without the additional costs.

In response to the initial ruling, Zorn sponsored Senate Bill 294, which would have amended Michigan’s construction code to clarify that interior spaces, such as press boxes under 500 square feet, that are built as viewing areas for outdoor sporting activities are exempt from the permanent heating requirements. The bill would have also exempted ticket booths and concession stands from the heating requirement.

In her veto letter, the governor said, “legislation that makes construction in this state less safe for everyone is not an appropriate response to a single license denial,” and that “bills like SB 294 … encourage disappointed applicants to ‘appeal’ to the Legislature.”

“There is nothing in my bill that would have made high school press boxes less safe or built with shoddy construction, as stated by the governor, since the school districts use union labor. I am disappointed in her response,” Zorn said. “In fact, by vetoing the bill the governor will force some schools to continue to use old, outdated facilities as they raise the additional funds for unnecessary heating units.

“The governor’s last reason for her veto is baffling. Most of what we do in the Legislature is listen to the people about ways to improve state laws and make their government work better for everyone. In this case the governor is doing the opposite by forcing school districts to spend more of their valuable time and limited resources on these projects. It is inappropriate to use funds meant for educating our students.”

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