First-time homebuyer program approved by Senate

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Wednesday approved legislation aimed at encouraging Michiganders to buy their first home and place their roots here in Michigan.

“We have worked for years to both retain and attract talented young individuals,” said Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “Purchasing a home is a major step in anyone’s life and the process can be quite overbearing. These bills would provide an additional tool to those working through one of life’s major milestones.”

Senate Bills 511 would create the Michigan First-time Home Buyer Savings Program. It would allow an individual to create a savings account with their financial institution and designate it as a first-time homebuyer savings account. Funds in the account could be used toward a down payment or allowable closing costs for a first-time home purchase in Michigan.

SB 512, sponsored by Horn, would provide a state income tax deduction of up to $5,000 for a single return and $10,000 for a joint return for contributions made into a first-time homebuyer savings account for up to 20 years.

These first-time homebuyer savings accounts would function similarly to education savings plans, which have proven to be extremely beneficial in helping Michigan families cover increasing costs of higher education.

“Six other state have approved legislation creating first-time home buyer programs and have widely been considered to be a sensible approach to promoting home ownership” Horn said. “Many people are struggling with student loans and finding the funds to make a down payment so home ownership may not seem feasible. These bills will provide additional assistance in encouraging up-and-coming talent to find both work and a home here in Michigan.”

SBs 511 and 512 will now go to the House for further consideration.

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Senate introduces bills to build stronger talent pipeline with expanded tools for K-12 schools

LANSING, Mich., Nov. 30, 2017 — Michigan students would receive even more tools to explore, receive training and land one of the state’s thousands of good jobs available now and into the future under bills introduced today in the state Senate, said Talent and Economic Development Director Roger Curtis and State Superintendent Brian Whiston.

Senate Bills introduced today, if adopted, would create talent portfolios, allow more frequent and meaningful use of educational development plans and update career development plans in a school’s improvement plan.

“We applaud the leadership shown by Sens. Peter MacGregor and Ken Horn with the introduction of this critical legislation,” Curtis said. “These bills are aimed at providing students with the resources needed to explore careers and understand the training needed to land jobs in our 21st-century economy.”

The two bills were created in the spirit of the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance recommendations announced this past summer.

“Senate Bills 684 and 685 are the culmination of years of work and I’m proud to be a part of yet another step in getting students the resources they need to make sound career choices,” said Sen. Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “We want to give students the chance to explore every opportunity available to them. Talent portfolios will be something that parents and counselors can point to as young people begin to look at their futures.”

Sen. MacGregor agreed.

“When I first took office, one of my principal goals was to get people back to work,” said Sen. MacGregor, R-Rockford. “The Legislature has championed many pieces of legislation aimed at expanding opportunities to students. We’ve come to realize that a four-year college degree is not ideal for every student and we need to improve access to options that help students make career choices. These bills would do just that.”

The alliance was created by Gov. Rick Snyder and is headed by Curtis and Whiston, and includes more than 100 education, business, economic development and labor organizations from across the state.

“Creating the talent of the future starts in our schools,” Whiston said. “These bills build upon our forward-moving progress to ensure students get career connected before graduation and help address our career awareness gap. These bills are good for our students, our economy and the future of Michigan.”

As part of the bills, students’ educational development plans would:

  • Provide them with an opportunity to explore careers specific to their interests and identify career pathways and goals for achieving success in those careers.
  • Offer information on various types of careers and current and projected job openings in the state with projected wages.
  • Create an opportunity to develop a talent portfolio, a record of a student’s experience, proficiencies, certifications or accomplishments that demonstrate talents or marketable skills.

The bills also require schools to involve hands-on learning, combined with classroom instruction that enhances a student’s employability skills and requires schools to provide age-appropriate career informational resources in all grades.

Schools will also need to provide students with the opportunity – in a grade the district deems appropriate – to complete one or more experiences in a field of the student’s interests and have school counselors discuss career interests, options and preparations with students at each grade level.

Schools also would offer programs providing students in grades six to 12 with work-based learning activities that make connections between industry experts in a variety of fields and ensure all students in grade 12 know how to develop and use a resume, reference letter, school record and talent portfolio.

The bills add to the House bill package currently being considered, which include HBs 5139-5142 and 5145 and support a number of the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance recommendations. The legislation also supports current efforts to make Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years.

Curtis said the alliance is keeping its foot on the gas and will continue to work with lawmakers and stakeholders to make sure students are prepared post-secondary education, be it a four-year degree, apprenticeship program, certification program or community college.

Horn to join Saginaw Spirit in honoring area veterans

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn announced on Wednesday that he is partnering with the Saginaw Spirit on Nov. 4 to host a Military Appreciation Night at one of the team’s upcoming games at the Dow Event Center.

Horn and the Spirit are welcoming all area veterans and those who support them. The event will feature area veterans organizations and the assistant adjutant general of Michigan’s National Guard Maj. Gen. Michael Stone.

“I think this is a great opportunity for a night out with friends and family members and it’s for a good cause,” said Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “I appreciate the Saginaw Spirit for honoring our veterans each year, especially for including in this year’s program a ‘welcome home’ pinning ceremony recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. This event gives the entire Great Lakes Bay Region a chance to thank those who have served and those currently serving.”

The puck drop for the first game is at 3 p.m. against the Michigan Warriors, who operate as a charitable and recreational hockey program made up of disabled veterans. Following the game at 5 p.m. will be a special ceremony honoring all veterans, which will include a commemorative pinning for Vietnam era veterans. All area Vietnam era veterans are welcome to participate in the pinning portion of the ceremony. The special ceremony and commemorative pinning will take place in the Red Room of the event center.

The event will wrap up with Horn, Stone and Sgt. 1st Class Ronnie Cyrus of the Michigan Military and Space Heroes Museum dropping the puck at the Saginaw Spirit’s game against the North Bay Battalion at 7:05 p.m.

All veterans and active duty military will receive a complimentary ticket to both games. Additional tickets for both games will be available to friends, family members and supporters for $13 — with $5 of that price going to the Michigan Warriors program.

Please contact the Saginaw Spirit box office at 989-497-7747 by Friday, Nov. 3 for tickets.

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Horn announces November office hours in Blumfield Township

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, announced that November office hours are scheduled for the 32nd Senate District.

Horn will be available to meet with constituents at the following date, time and location:

Monday, Nov. 13

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Blumfield Township Office

1175 Vassar Road

Reese

Horn will be on hand to answer questions and respond to concerns any residents of the district may have. No appointment is necessary.

For more information or to contact Horn, please visit www.SenatorKenHorn.com or call 517-373-1760.

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Horn issues statement on recent committee appointment

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, issued the following statement after his recent appointment to the Senate Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Homeland Security:

“This announcement brings good news to me and to those who live in the 32nd District,” Horn said. “I had the privilege of serving on this committee during my time in the House and I appreciate the opportunity to be a member again in the Senate.

“With the work we’ve been doing to thank Vietnam veterans and host pinning ceremonies, it’s the perfect time to be back on the committee. I look forward to working for Michigan’s veterans and honoring their service.”

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Statement from Sen. Horn

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, issued the following statement:

“With a deeply broken heart, it falls on me to announce the drowning death of my granddaughter Zelda ‘Zellie’ Rowan Horn. Zellie just celebrated her second birthday. She is survived by her parents, Kevin and Ruth, and her brother Liam.

“Our entire family is struggling to come to grips with this tragedy and our first day without Zellie. Kevin and Ruth are extraordinarily private people that were thrust into a very public life. It is on their behalf we ask for space, and time to grieve.

“On behalf of the entire family, we would like to share our deep appreciation to our area first responders; firefighters, police and EMT that arrived quickly on the scene. We also extend our most sincere gratitude to the nurses and doctors at Covenant Hospital for your care and empathy.

“We thank all our friends and family, around the world, for all the love and prayers you’ve already shared. Please keep our family in your prayers as we struggle with this overwhelming grief.

“We will pass along details as they become available. Please contact my office for anything further.”

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Horn announces September office hours in Linden

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, announced that September office hours are scheduled for the 32nd Senate District.

Horn will be available to meet with constituents at the following date, time and location:

Monday, Sept. 25

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Linden Mills Historical Museum

201 N. Main St.

Linden

Horn will be on hand to answer questions and respond to concerns any residents of the district may have. No appointment is necessary.

For more information or to contact Horn, please visit www.SenatorKenHorn.com or call 517-373-1760.

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Horn announces August office hours in Swan Creek Township

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, announced that August office hours are scheduled for the 32nd Senate District.

Horn will be available to meet with constituents at the following date, time and location:

Monday, Aug. 21

Noon – 2 p.m.

Swan Creek Township Hall

11415 Lakefield Road

St. Charles

Horn will be on hand to answer questions and respond to concerns any residents of the district may have. No appointment is necessary.

For more information or to contact Horn, please visit www.SenatorKenHorn.com or call 517-373-1760.

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Horn reminds residents of upcoming Vietnam veteran pinning ceremony in Frankenmuth

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn reminded residents that his office will be co-hosting a pinning ceremony for area veterans on Saturday, Aug. 5.

Horn is partnering with the Michigan Military and Space Heroes Museum in Frankenmuth to host the pinning ceremony as a way to formally give thanks to those who fought for our country in the Vietnam War. Horn and other community leaders will be presenting official Vietnam veteran lapel pins to those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces between November 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975.

“I participated in a previous pinning ceremony and it was one of the most touching and fulfilling things I have ever had the pleasure of being involved in,” said Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to thank each veteran for their service, thank their families for their sacrifice, and to give those who served the warm welcome home that many unfortunately never received.”

Speakers include Spc. Michael D. Cox, U.S. Army, of Saginaw and Maj. Gen. James T. Jackson, U.S. Army, who currently serves as the director of the United States of American Vietnam War Commemoration.

Vietnam War era veterans are encouraged to attend and receive their pin at the following date and time:

Saturday, Aug. 5

Social Hour: 9 a.m.

Ceremony: 10 a.m.

Michigan’s Military and Space Heroes Museum

1250 Weiss St.

Frankenmuth

Attendees are asked to please park at Sullivan’s Black Forest, 281 Heinlein Strasse, where a free shuttle will take them to the museum. Shuttles will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Additional parking information is attached.

Please RSVP to Horn’s office via email at senkhorn@senate.michigan.gov or phone toll-free at 855-347-8032. This will ensure sufficient pins are available at the ceremony. All family members are invited to join and the ceremony is open to the public.

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Horn: Good Jobs package a boost for Michigan

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn

LANSING, Mich. — In response to House and subsequent Senate passage of the Good Jobs for Michigan bills, state Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, issued the following statement:

“Over the past couple of years as chairman of the Senate Economic Development Committee, my top priority has been to grow Michigan’s economy.

“With the passage of the Good Jobs for Michigan package, which was preceded by the MiThrive Initiative, we’re allowing the private sector to create great jobs and allow private developers to create vibrant, energetic communities to welcome new workers into our state.”

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