**Media Advisory** Sen. Zorn, River Raisin National Battlefield Park officials to detail new education center funding

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn and River Raisin National Battlefield Park officials will hold a press conference on Friday, Oct. 1 to outline state funding approved in the newly signed state budget for a new education center at the park.

Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida;
Rep. Joe Bellino, R-Monroe;
Scott Bentley, superintendent of the River Raisin National Battlefield Park; and
Doug Chaffin, chairman of the River Raisin National Battlefield Park Foundation.

A press conference to outline the River Raisin Great Lakes History and STEM Education Center that will be completed thanks to $2 million in funding included in the fiscal year 2022 state budget signed by the governor on Wednesday.

Friday, Oct. 1 at 10 a.m.

River Raisin National Battlefield Park Visitor Center
333 N. Dixie Highway

River Raisin National Battlefield Park preserves, commemorates and interprets the January 1813 battles of the War of 1812 and their aftermath in Monroe County. The second battle resulted in the greatest victory for Tecumseh’s American Indian confederation and the greatest defeat for the U.S. The resulting rally cry “Remember the Raisin” spurred support for the rest of the war.

Zorn has been working on securing funding for four years to build the education center, which has been designed in partnership with Michigan educators to engage students and use social and emotional learning to unpack the complex history that led to the War of 1812 in the Great Lakes, the formation of Michigan as a state, and the influence of the River Raisin battles on the formation and implementation of U.S. policy.


Zorn applauds grant for Morenci water infrastructure project

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn on Tuesday applauded the city of Morenci for earning a state grant to make water and sewer infrastructure improvements.

“Clean and efficient water and sanitation infrastructure are critical to maintaining healthy communities and helping them attract new investment and opportunities,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “I applaud the local leaders in Morenci for working together with state officials to earn this grant to make these important updates and keeping their water clean and safe for area families.”

The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) awarded Morenci a $2 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to reconstruct water and sanitary sewer mains, resurface three streets, and complete a rebuild of a lift station and iron removal filter system.

The grant requires a $478,452 local match from the city.

Morenci was one of 11 communities around Michigan to earn the funding, which is designed to support low- and moderate- income communities in making necessary improvements or upgrades to their existing public infrastructure related to water, sewer and wastewater systems.

In addition, MSF approved up to $550,000 in CDBG funds to provide administrative services to assist the communities with the compliance and administrative requirements of the awards.


Zorn secures local battlefield funding in 2022 state budget

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Tuesday voted to approve a balanced fiscal year 2022 budget that puts a priority on improving the lives of all Michigan families and features funding for improvements to the River Raisin battlefield.

“This budget focuses on getting people back to work, supporting our direct care workers, fixing local bridges, reducing debt and keeping our communities safe — all without raising taxes,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Along with making key investments to help people and job providers recover and build a stronger future in our state, this budget includes funding to directly enhance the lives of families in Monroe and Lenawee counties.”

The Senate approved Senate Bill 82, which is a general omnibus budget that includes $2 million for River Raisin National Battlefield Park enhancements, $3.5 million for an east-west connection tunnel in Adrian, $2.9 million for increased staff at the Monroe County Maintenance Facility to perform road maintenance, $300,000 for traffic safety during Michigan International Speedway race weekends, and $25 million for a pilot program in the western Lake Erie basin to increase the participation of agricultural lands using best management practices for water quality.

“I have been working on securing the needed funding for the battlefield for four years, and it is great to see this investment finally being made,” Zorn said. “Improving the water quality in Lake Erie and ensuring the roads are safe in the winter are also critical to the people in our region.”

SB 82 also features:
• $1.4 billion to lower rates and recruit more childcare workers,
• $190 million to repair or replace local bridges,
• $414.5 million to permanently increase wages for direct care workers,
• $95 million for the Going Pro and Michigan Reconnect training programs,
• $40 million for the Pure Michigan tourism campaign, and
• $33 million to train new state police troopers and corrections officers.

The plan also deposits $500 million in the state’s rainy-day fund and $150 million in the unemployment trust fund to increase its solvency due to fraudulent benefit payments.

On Wednesday, the Senate is also expected to approve House Bill 4400, which includes increases for community colleges and public universities and $86 million to reduce university MPSERS obligations — which would build on the $140 million in the already signed K-12 budget to reduce school unfunded liabilities.

SB 82 and HB 4400 complete the 2022 state budget that began with the signing of the K-12 budget in July, which provided a record level of state school funding for the current school year and boosted every school district’s foundation allowance up to at least $8,700 per student.


Senate approves Zorn railroad crossing safety reform

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation aimed at improving safety and traffic flow at rail crossings in Michigan.

“This is about protecting Michigan drivers as more businesses and manufacturers look at using trains to efficiently transport their products and materials,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “While using trains more can help reduce the wear and tear on our roads, it also can mean more frequent train crossings and longer delays caused by trains blocking roadways.

“This new program would help local governments and the railroad industry work together to enhance safety at railroad crossings, which could drastically reduce or virtually eliminate the chance of a deadly train-vehicle collision and improve emergency response times.”

Senate Bill 425 would create a new Local Grade Separation Grant Program to provide state matching funds for local governments and the rail industry to transform a local roadway crossing so that road traffic would travel either over or under the railroad. The program would also consider projects that improve traffic at the rail crossing without a full grade separation. SB 427 would create the Local Grade Separation Fund to reserve funds for these projects.

Michigan has over 4,000 rail crossings with public highways within the state, and in 2020, was ranked the 15th worst in the nation for the total number of collisions, injuries, and fatalities at highway-rail crossings.

In July, the Senate approved SB 529, a $1.6 billion transportation infrastructure funding plan that would use $126 million in federal recovery funds to improve safety at several intersections between railways and roadways.