Horn supports legislation allowing additional safety lights on school buses

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Wednesday approved legislation that would improve public safety by allowing school districts to install additional safety lighting on school buses.

“This legislation was easy to support,” said Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “Though it was the result of an unfortunate tragedy, I’m grateful that Representative Holly Hughes introduced this bill that will increase safety for motorists, school bus drivers and children who ride the bus.”

House Bill 4054 would amend the Pupil Transportation Act to allow a school bus to be equipped with flashing advisory signs on the rear door of the bus for the purpose of providing an additional warning of the vehicle’s status to other drivers.

The new light will be placed in the middle on the rear door of a bus at eye level with most vehicles, and flash messages such as ‘caution,’ ‘stopping,’ ‘stop’ and ‘do not pass’ to indicate what a vehicle must do as the school bus slows or stops.

“Studies have shown that these lights are effective,” Horn said. “Michigan schools can now decide on a district by district basis if they’d like to implement this feature. This is not a law requiring these lights to be installed. All decisions regarding these lights remains up to local school districts.”

HB 4054 will now go to Gov. Rick Snyder for consideration.


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 Bill 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.