Zorn escorts Whitmer for 2020 State of the State, welcomes Ryan and Dory Philbeck as his guests

Senator issues statement following the governor’s address

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, escorted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer into the House chamber on Wednesday night to deliver her 2020 State of the State address.

Zorn and his wife Cindy welcomed Ryan and Dory Philbeck of Monroe to the Michigan Capitol as the senator’s guests for the governor’s address. Ryan is the CEO of the Patriot Group, a construction company based in Monroe, and Dory is the president of the Philbeck Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to help local at-risk children.

After listening to the address, Zorn issued the following statement:

“Michigan has come a long way since I joined the Legislature in 2011. We created a positive business environment that has created new jobs and opportunities, energized our outlook on the future and enabled us to increase our investments in key priorities. We need to build on that success to solve the challenges we still face.

“Last year was full of ups and downs. We achieved historic auto insurance reform to reduce costs on Michigan drivers, and we once again increased school funding to record levels. But we also had the governor wipe out nearly a billion dollars in vital funding — including almost $400 million for local roads — in retaliation for us not passing her $2.5 billion gas tax increase.

“We need to improve our roads, but I’m concerned about using bonding to do it. Bonding is not a long-term funding source, it’s a short-term financing fix — that we will be paying off for decades to come.

“We have a responsibility to the people of Michigan to make divided government work to improve their lives and our entire state.

“I remain committed to working together with the governor on responsible solutions that fix our roads, protect our water, support our students and continue our state’s comeback.”

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