Sen. Zorn applauds grant to help improve Loch Erin water

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Thursday applauded a Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) grant for the River Raisin Watershed Council to help protect the water quality in Loch Erin in Lenawee County.

“I have been working to get this grant for a couple years, and I applaud EGLE for awarding this important funding to help protect Loch Erin from harmful algae blooms,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Anyone who has seen the annual algae blooms on Lake Erie understands the tremendous impact they can have on the health of the lake and people’s lives.”

EGLE’s Water Resources Division has awarded the River Raisin Watershed Council with a $100,967 grant toward a $133,970 project to develop a watershed management plan for the area immediately surrounding Loch Erin.

After Loch Erin property owners were unable to receive funding in 2020, they joined with the River Raisin Watershed Council to provide a plan that met EGLE’s requirements.

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Zorn comments on 2022 State of the State address

LANSING, Mich. — After listening to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2022 State of the State address virtually Wednesday night, Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, issued the following statement:

“It’s about time that the governor has gotten on board about the need for tax relief — especially considering the terrible damage her actions had on hundreds of Michigan family businesses during her unilateral shutdowns.

“I have been calling for a repeal of the pension tax for years, and I look forward to working with the governor and my colleagues to get much-needed retirement income tax relief for our seniors.

“We can work together to improve our state. Last year, we found agreement on innovative tools to help attract and create good jobs in Michigan and pass a balanced state budget that included record funding for our schools that finally achieved the goal of providing every school district the same amount of minimum per-student foundation allowance.

“I am committed to building on that foundation as we work to improve our state and the lives of everyone in Michigan.”

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Sen. Zorn applauds GM $7B investment in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Tuesday applauded General Motors’ announcement that they will be investing $7 billion and creating 4,000 jobs in Michigan.

“GM’s multi-billion-dollar commitment is enormous news — not only for Eaton and Oakland counties — but for everyone in our state. It shouts to the world that Michigan is the place to be,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This historic investment in Michigan manufacturing and jobs is exactly the type of long-term opportunities we were aiming for when we passed the Make it in Michigan package last year.

“I want to thank GM for their continued dedication to our state, and I will do everything I can to help make sure we have the skilled workforce available to fill these high-wage jobs with Michigan workers.”

GM and LG Energy Solution, via their Ultium Cells joint venture, are investing $2.6 billion to build a volume battery cell manufacturing facility at GM’s existing plant in Delta Township near Lansing. GM also will invest $4 billion to expand its Orion Township assembly plant to produce electric vehicles and create a battery assembly line within the facility. GM is also investing over $510 million in upgrades at two existing facilities in the Lansing area.

Zorn bill would preempt local bans on natural gas use

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Wednesday introduced legislation to stop local governments from prohibiting the use of natural gas in Michigan homes and businesses.

“The terrible idea of banning the use of clean and affordable natural gas at the local level is the latest example of environmental extremism — one that would have a huge impact on Michigan families and small businesses,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This bill would protect homeowners across our state by preemptively stopping these dangerous policies — which have been adopted in cities from Seattle to New York City — from coming to Michigan.”

Senate Bill 820 would prohibit a county, city, village or township in Michigan from adopting or enforcing an ordinance, resolution or policy banning the use of natural gas or the installation of natural gas infrastructure.

“The vast majority of Michigan residents use natural gas to heat their homes,” Zorn said. “Not only is a piecemeal energy policy bad for our state, banning the use of natural gas in homes without the electric infrastructure to replace it or assistance to help struggling families get new equipment is morally reprehensible.”

In December, New York City banned natural gas connections in new buildings by 2027 and the state of New York is considering a bill to mandate all-electric buildings by 2023. Last year, Seattle also strengthened its restrictions on natural gas in new commercial and multifamily buildings and now bans natural gas use for heating.

Since 2020, twenty states have passed similar laws to block local governments from banning the use of natural gas.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Local Government Committee for consideration.

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