Zorn sponsors school busing, local government and rental property measures

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn has reintroduced legislation to increase flexibility for purchasing new school buses, serving on local boards and transferring rental property.

Senate Bill 20 would expand the use of a sinking fund to allow school districts to use it to purchase school buses.

“As schools return to in-person learning and try to keep up with increasing costs, we should give them more flexibility in safely transporting their students,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Older buses are more expensive to operate and maintain, are more polluting and are the least reliable. This reform would allow local voters to decide how best to provide school busing. It can also help lower costs compared to bonding or borrowing, which can help put more education dollars into student instruction.”

SB 17 would help more local communities fill first responder and public safety positions.

Currently, a public servant of a Michigan 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. SB 17 would expand the population limit to 40,000.

“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. “The law was changed decades ago to provide more flexibility to rural townships that were struggling to find volunteer firefighters or EMTs. Now townships just above the population limit are having the same issues in finding enough first responders and police officers.”

SB 16 would allow rental property owners more flexibility when transferring property between entities. It is a reintroduction of SB 692, which was passed by the Legislature last year only to be pocket vetoed by the governor without explanation.

“This is about ending unnecessary and costly rental reinspections simply based on the transfer of a property from one type of entity to another — even if the owners of both entities are the same people,” Zorn said. “I was frustrated when the governor didn’t sign this reform, and I hope we can find an agreement to end this form of double dipping that happens when an owner transfers property from one business entity to another or from personal ownership into an LLC, IRA or trust.”