Rep. Hughes, Sen. Horn submit bills to clarify state Campaign Finance Act

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn

LANSING, Mich.Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, and Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, each introduced legislation on Tuesday that would amend section 57 of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act and how public ballot information is shared.

House Bill 5249 and Senate Bill 721 would allow a public body to share detailed, factual information on any legislation up for a public vote. The legislation states no specific details can be stated or implied regarding a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote.

“There has been a lot of confusion about SB 571, now Public Act 269 of 2015 recently and I think that HB 5249 addresses all of the key issues that I have heard from my local superintendents and township officials,” said Hughes. “Registered voters should know what’s on the ballot – and most of the time the only information is available through our local leadership. Local officials should be able to share unbiased information without concern.”

Among other key details that HB 5249 and SB 721 would allow are:

  • Actual language of the local ballot question;
  • Date of the election;
  • Financial and tax information relevant to the ballot question, including what the funds will be used for and the average tax increase per homeowner (in relation to millages);
  • A discussion of the local ballot question during a regularly scheduled meeting of a public body, provided proponents and opponents of the ballot question have an equal opportunity to discuss the question;
  • Details regarding proposed community meetings where the ballot question will be discussed, allowing proponents and opponents an equal opportunity to participate, and;
  • Any communication by radio or television advertisement, mass mailing or prerecorded telephone message allowed to be sent within 30 days of an election would have to be approved by the public governing body.

Violation of the bill, if signed into law, would also increase the maximum fine from $1,000 to $5,000 for an individual.

“I voted for the original bill, and firmly believe that taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used for campaigning,” said Horn. “But we went too far, and voters should be able to receive factual information on local ballot questions.

“Rep. Hughes and I are offering a common-sense, carefully drafted set of guidelines that allow schools and local governments to advise taxpayers of actual ballot language, election dates, and financial and tax information. I’m confident these bills strike a necessary balance between informing voters and protecting taxpayer dollars.”

HB 5249 has been assigned to the House Committee on Elections and SB 721 has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Elections and Government Reform for review.



Horn Hometown Tours: Fenton Winery and Brewery

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn recently kicked off his first Hometown Tour of 2016 in Fenton at the Fenton Winery and Brewery (FWB). The senator spent the afternoon with owners Matt and Ginny Sherrow, learning the ins and outs of their operation and the Michigan brewing industry.

FWB was founded as a winery in 2007 and added the brewery in 2009. Matt, an automotive engineer by trade, was inspired by the idea of entrepreneurship in graduate school and chose to pursue a new dream in brewing. Matt primarily handles the operational side of FWB, while his wife, Ginny, brings experience in small business, marketing and finance to the operation. Matt decided to forego the corporate world, and together, they decided to join the small business community.

“I started these tours last year with the goal of experiencing the diversity of my district firsthand,” said Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “The point is to highlight unique, hardworking folks that make a difference in their community — and Matt and Ginny most certainly meet that criteria.”

After going over the fundamentals, such as supplies, methods and the equipment they would be using, Horn received the day’s itinerary — which included the creation of a new label and a specially brewed collaboration project titled “Stout Senator.”

During the first stage of the process, grain is added to a large tub of hot water, where it will then “steep” in the water, extracting sugars from the grain. This process is known as “mashing.” Once the correct time has passed, the sugar water, known as wort, is then drained and transferred to the kettle where it will be boiled and cooled before continuing through the fermentation process. Once the wort is transferred to the kettle, only the mash remains.

“While some consider mash to simply be a byproduct of the initial process, Matt and Ginny decided to use it in a more creative way,” Horn said. “What they do is they take the grain and store it in bins and allow local poultry farmers to come pick them up and use it as feed. I thought this was a fantastic way to indirectly use their business as a way to benefit others in the community.”

While the wort is boiling, hops and additional ingredients can be added to enrich the flavor of the beer. From there, the nearly finished product is then transferred into holding tanks called fermenters, where yeast is added and the fermentation process is completed.

When the beer goes into the fermenter, it looks slightly cloudy. However, as the fermentation process continues, the yeast eats the sugar, creating alcohol and giving the beer a crisp, clear presentation.

“What struck me the most was how consistent and routine everything was,” said Horn. “The brewing process is incredibly scientific and timing and consistency are paramount. Any small variable can throw an entire batch, which is several hours of work and a lot of money, out the window.

“It was an absolute pleasure to join the Sherrows for an afternoon at their business. I want to personally thank both Matt and Ginny for having me, and especially thank them for allowing my involvement in the making of ‘Stout Senator.’”

“Stout Senator” will be available at FWB in mid-February.

For video of this and previous tours, click here.

Horn’s Hometown Tours feature various communities in the 32nd District. If you are interested in having Horn visit, please contact his office at (517) 373-1760, toll-free at (855) 347-8032 or by email at


Editor’s note: A print-quality copy of each photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.


PHOTO 1 CAPTION: State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, stands next to the fermenter with FWB owner Matt Sherrow as the “Stout Senator” moves into its final stage of the brewing process.

PHOTO 2 CAPTION: After draining the wort, state Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, unloads the remaining mash into bins, which are then collected by local poultry farmers who use the mash as feed.


PHOTO 3 CAPTION: After the brewing was completed and everything had been cleaned up, state Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, sat down for a brief conversation with FWB owners Matt and Ginny Sherrow about their business and the community.







Sen. Horn reacts to State of the State address

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, issued the following statement on Tuesday, in response to Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2016 State of the State address:

“The governor devoted much of this evening’s speech to the people of Flint and the ongoing water crisis. I was happy to see that his first priority was addressing the health and well-being of the community. As a grandfather of two, I cannot imagine how angry I would be if my grandchildren were put in this situation. We must end the political blame game and come together to make sure nothing like this ever plagues our state again.

“I’m encouraged to see that the governor called for a commission to build a 21st century infrastructure to complete an honest assessment of where we are at currently. He also called for a strategic plan to examine future infrastructure needs in Michigan so we never have another situation like what happened in Flint again. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature and the administration to find a way to overcome this disaster and to make sure proper oversight and accountability are put in place.

“We need a viable, long-term solution that ensures residents in Flint and other cities with aging infrastructure have a safe, reliable drinking source. No one should have to worry whether or not their city’s water could cause irreparable damage to their child’s development. If you are interested in helping with relief efforts, would like to donate water or are looking for assistance, please visit

“Detroit Public Schools and other troubled districts throughout the state also require our attention. The Legislature, the administration and all parties involved must devise a solution that provides students with a quality education that prepares them for the next level, whether it be college or career, without being overly burdensome on our larger investment in K-12 education.

“Children in Detroit and children all across the state deserve a bright future without worry. Education is the cornerstone to Michigan’s economic development and our impressive economic revival. Michigan is already a national leader in funding preschool and advancing STEM programs, but we still have a 19th century education system in the 21st century. I support the governor’s call to create a commission for a 21st century education to evaluate what obstacles hold us back, what goals to achieve and what is the appropriate system of governance for schools in the future.

“Since 2010, the state of Michigan saw the creation of roughly 420,000 jobs and 61,000 more jobs are projected to be created in 2016. As a part of this success, our state is now number one in the nation for manufacturing job growth. Additionally, Michigan’s unemployment rate has fallen below five percent, marking the first time it has been below the national average in 16 years.

“I am very excited to hear of the governor’s plans to test new mobility technology for self-driving cars at the Willow Run research facility. If done correctly, Michigan can become a global leader in automotive research. I’ll proudly be working with my colleagues in the Legislature, the administration and Michigan’s congressional delegation to get this done.

“Michigan has achieved great success in growing stronger and becoming more economically sound. I am confident that we can continue this positive momentum in 2016. I am ready to work with my colleagues and continue to keep the Michigan recovery going.”


Editor’s note: For a video of Horn’s reaction to Gov. Snyder’s 2016 State of the State Address, please visit the senator’s website at: Click on “Video” under the Media Center tab.


Sen. Horn welcomes Saginaw area residents to state Capitol for State of the State address

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, welcomes Nexteer Automotive President and Global Chief Operating Officer Laurent Bresson (left) and Saginaw Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Van Deventer (right) to the Michigan Capitol before Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2016 State of the State address. Bresson and Van Deventer were Horn’s guests for the annual address Tuesday night.


Editor’s note: A print-quality photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at: Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

Sen. Horn available for comments following State of the State address

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn


State Senator Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth.


Reaction and comments following the governor’s State of the State address.


Immediately following the address, which is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.


By phone or at:

House Appropriations Room

Third Floor

State Capitol

Lansing, MI


Horn will be available following the State of the State address for comments on state issues mentioned by the governor in the address.

Please call Horn’s office at 517-373-1760 or Melanie Ellison at 989-992-5380 prior to 5 p.m. on Jan. 19 to schedule an interview with the senator.

Video will be available for broadcast from the senator’s website at Click on Video under the Media Center tab.





Horn ends 2015 with a perfect voting record

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate recorded 642 roll call votes in 2015, and Sen. Ken Horn was present for each one.

“Voting during session is one of the most significant responsibilities we have as lawmakers,” said Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “The residents of my district expect me to be at work, doing my job. I’ve always considered it an honor and a privilege to serve in Lansing, and the people who sent me here deserve nothing less.”

Of Michigan’s 38 senators, 14 had perfect voting records in 2015, an increase from five senators who had perfect records in 2014.

“Last year we were faced with many difficult decisions. It was my duty as an elected official to make sure the 32nd District was represented during each of those crucial choices,” Horn said. “Looking ahead to 2016, we must continue the path we are on and commit to doing whatever it takes to help keep Michigan on the road to prosperity.”

Horn’s voting record can be verified at



Horn issues statement on Buena Vista drinking water

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, issued the following statement Thursday after residents of Buena Vista recently received notice that their drinking water does not meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards:

“I want to commend Buena Vista Township Supervisor Dwayne Parker and Township Manager Dexter Mitchell and for acting quickly to notify residents of the slightly elevated level of chlorine in the drinking water, and for taking immediate steps to ensure residents are safe.

“With the recent events in nearby Flint, the importance of quick action and remediation when it comes to drinking water safety is paramount.  Keeping residents safe and healthy must be the top priority.

“I spoke with Interim Director Keith Creagh of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Supervisor Parker this morning, and will be working with the DEQ to determine appropriate steps moving forward.

“If it is deemed necessary for the Legislature to get involved, I will present a solution to my Senate colleagues for review. I will offer my assistance in any way necessary to ensure Buena Vista’s water flow is addressed without delay.”