Zorn amendment allows more community foundations to participate in proposed new act

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation to create the Michigan Community Foundation Act. Before passage of the bill, Sen. Dale Zorn pushed for and won approval of an amendment to open up the proposed new act to more local community foundations.

Senate Bill 959 would allow the transfer of intangible personal property from a municipality, public library, and/or school board to a community foundation that meets certain conditions.

“For many years, community foundations throughout Michigan have partnered with local governments, schools and libraries to improve the quality of life of area residents,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This legislation would further foster the collaborative relationship between public agencies and area foundations. For example, it would give cities the option to use a community foundation to put excess city-owned land back to productive use — which is good for everyone.”

To be eligible to participate, SB 959 would require that a community foundation meets numerous requirements, including having been in existence for at least 10 years; having at least $5 million in assets; being a 501(c)(3) publicly supported entity; and supporting a broad range of charitable activities within the municipality that it serves.

“After more than 30 years in local government, I understand the positive impact that community foundations can have on the lives of area families and the success of local businesses,” Zorn said. “This is about allowing these outstanding foundations to expand their partnerships with public entities to ensure Michigan is a great place to live and work for generations to come.”

SB 959 now heads to the Michigan House of Representatives for consideration.