**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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


Zorn sponsors Trooper Adams memorial highway bill

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn has introduced legislation to honor Trooper Rodger Adams, who was the 25th Michigan State Police officer to die in the line of duty.

“Too often, we take for granted the sacrifices that our state troopers and local law enforcement officers make every day to keep us safe,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “The life and death of Trooper Rodger Adams reminds us that, in an instant, one of our brave men and women can be lost. This bill would pay tribute to the memory of Trooper Adams — a husband, veteran and dedicated officer who was tragically killed while protecting the people of Michigan.”

On May 14, 1971, Adams and his partner were dispatched to investigate a traffic crash shortly after 1 a.m. As they headed east on U.S. 12 near Tipton Highway, an oncoming car skidded around a curve and crossed the centerline. Adams swerved the patrol car, but he was unable to avoid the oncoming car. The two vehicles hit nearly head-on. Adams was killed instantly, and his partner was seriously injured.

Senate Bill 132 would designate a portion of U.S. 12 in Lenawee County from M-52 to the Monagan Highway as the “Trooper Rodger M. Adams Memorial Highway.”

If the bill is signed into law, it will have no fiscal impact on the state or local government. State law requires sufficient private contributions to completely cover the cost of erecting and maintaining markers indicating the name of a memorial highway.


Sen. Dale Zorn applauds FCA’s $119M investment in Dundee plant

LANSING, Mich. — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) on Tuesday announced it would convert the Mack Avenue Engine factory in Detroit into an assembly plant as part of a $4.5 billion expansion that includes a $119 million investment to relocate Pentastar engine production currently at the Mack factory to the Dundee Engine Plant.

After the announcement, Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, issued the following statement:

“I applaud Fiat Chrysler for the incredible investment they are making in our state and our people. The multi-billion-dollar project will provide exciting new opportunities for Michigan workers and enhance our entire economy.

“This is tremendous news for the people of Dundee and our entire region. Moving the Pentastar engine production to Dundee instead of out of state illustrates how far we have come to turn around our state and create a Michigan that can compete against anyone for new jobs.”


Sen. Zorn named to MiSTEM Advisory Council

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn has been appointed by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey to the MiSTEM Advisory Council, which is dedicated to making Michigan a world leader in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

“It is an honor to serve on this council as we work to improve STEM education in our state,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “We need an effective and innovative STEM system that ensures all our students have access to an education that gives them the knowledge and skills they need to be successful and have a rewarding career. I will put to use a mix of legislative and real-world experience to achieve that goal.”

Created in 2015, the council is tasked with overseeing the MiSTEM Network, recommending high-quality programs for funding, and making recommendations to the governor and the Legislature each year on how best to maximize STEM education opportunities for students.

Along with two senators and two House members, the council features business, higher education, K-12 education and philanthropic leaders appointed by the governor.

“Not enough of our children are going into critical STEM-related fields, yet the demand for skilled workers in these areas continues to grow,” Zorn said. “I look forward to working with the council to make recommendations that will help increase STEM education opportunities and encourage more learning in these challenging areas of study.”