Zorn’s border community jobs bill headed to the governor

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation to help attract new business investment to the state’s border communities is now on its way to the governor’s desk.

“This legislation will give our border communities an equal opportunity to compete for jobs,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “There is one simple goal with this reform: To encourage businesses that want to create jobs — by building new facilities or expanding their operations — to do so here in Michigan instead of across the border.”

Michigan provides grants, loans and other economic assistance to qualified businesses that make investments in Michigan or provide “qualified new jobs” in the state. Currently, a “qualified new job” means a job performed by an individual who is a Michigan resident.

Senate Bill 40 would expand the “qualified new job” definition to include every job at a business project located in Michigan, as long as the business certified in writing at the time of disbursement that at least 75 percent of its employees are Michigan residents.

“Those of us who live and work along state borders know our communities are interconnected with our neighbors to the south, with many people living in Michigan and working in Ohio and vice versa,” Zorn said. “The current law puts interconnected border communities at a disadvantage, because businesses looking to invest here cannot guarantee that they will be able to fulfill the ‘qualified new jobs’ requirement with Michigan residents, and they cannot count the employees they might bring into the state.

“This reform will especially promote Monroe and Lenawee counties with more business and industry investments as well as job opportunities.”

SB 40 now heads to the governor to be signed into law.