Horn announces June office hours in Chesaning

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, announced that June 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, June 25

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Chesaning Nursing Care Center

201 S. Front St.

Chesaning

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 welcomes Saginaw pastor to Capitol for Senate invocation

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, welcomed The Rev. Douglas R. Jackson to the Michigan Capitol on Tuesday. Dr. Jackson serves as pastor at Community Baptist Church in Saginaw and delivered the invocation before Senate session.

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Editor’s note: A print-quality photograph of Horn welcoming Tuesday’s guest is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorKenHorn.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

Photo Caption: State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, stands at his desk on the Senate floor with The Rev. Douglas R. Jackson and his wife Kathy after Dr. Jackson delivered the invocation before Senate session.

Sen. Horn welcomes Bridgeport-area veteran to state Capitol

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, welcomed Kimberly Napoleon, commander for the Wallace C. Schultz/Dwight A. McKinney Jr. Post 9931, in Bridgeport, to the Capitol for the Michigan Senate’s 24th Annual Memorial Day Service on Thursday.

Napoleon was the first female commander of her local Veterans of Foreign Wars post and the first African American woman to command a post in the state of Michigan. She is a veteran of the U.S. Army and served during three military operations, including Operation Just Cause, Operation Earnest Will and Desert Shield/Desert Storm during the Persian Gulf War from 1987-1996. She was awarded the Bronze Star for her bravery and sacrifices on behalf of this country.

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Editor’s note: A print-quality photograph of Horn welcoming Thursday’s guest is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at www.SenatorKenHorn.com. Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

PHOTO CAPTION: State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, stands for a photo on the Senate floor with post commander Kimberly Napoleon, his guest for the Michigan Senate’s 24th Annual Memorial Day Service.

 

Horn honored by retired police, firefighters

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn on Tuesday was named Legislator of the Year by the Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighter Association (RDPFFA).

“It is quite an honor to receive an award from such an exemplary group of individuals,” said Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “These men and women spent their entire careers facing danger and working to better their communities. It takes a special type of person to put the needs of others above their own. I’ve enjoyed working with Don over the past few years and sincerely appreciate this recognition.”

RDPFFA President Don Taylor recognized Horn for his continued efforts to allow firefighters and police to increase income deductions for their pensions in order to cover benefits that are not covered by Social Security.

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

Photo caption: State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, stands with Don Taylor (left), president of the Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighter Association, and Al Grant, secretary/treasurer of the association.

Snyder signs registration discounts for handicap-accessible vehicles

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday gave final approval to legislation that allows vehicles other than vans to be modified as handicap-accessible and receive a reduced rate on their annual registration.

The Michigan Vehicle Code allows a van owned by an individual who uses a wheelchair, or an individual responsible for transporting a member of their household who uses a wheelchair, to receive a 50 percent discount on their registration.

“When this first began, vans were the only vehicles capable of such modifications, so they were the only vehicle included in the law,” said Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “At one of my local office hours, a constituent made me aware that more vehicles can accommodate these changes so I introduced Senate Bill 815 to correct the disparity.”

As vehicle engineering and technology continue to advance, more vehicles, like pickup trucks for example, are capable of being modified to include wheelchair lifts or hand controls to allow someone who is disabled improved mobility. Senate Bill 815 would allow vehicles that have been modified with a permanently installed wheelchair lift or hand controls designed to replace the brake and gas pedals to qualify for the discounted registration.

These modifications are typically quite expensive and can greatly increase not only the cost of a vehicle, but the associated fees as well. Because the tax is based on the weight and type of vehicle, modified vehicles have much higher vehicle registration fees.

Horn says his legislation is about extending assistance to all accessible vehicles as a way to help offset some of the associated costs of the modification.

“The intent of the original law was good,” Horn said. “But times have changed and laws need to keep up. It was a simple fix that will benefit many people in Michigan.”

SB 815 is now Public Act 152 of 2018.

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Editor’s note: Audio of Horn discussing his legislation is available here or on his website at www.SenatorKenHorn.com. Click “Audio” under the “Media Center” tab.

Horn honored at annual firefighter convention

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn was recently awarded the International Association of Fire Fighters Legislative Award at the recent professional firefighter’s convention in Bay City.

“Firefighters risk their lives protecting each of us,” said Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “These men and women are not only trained to run toward danger, but many first responders have a natural drive within them to save others. I cannot begin to explain what it means to be recognized by such an outstanding group of people. To all firefighters, thank you for your service to Michigan!”

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

Photo caption: State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, stands with Mark Docherty, president of the Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union.

Horn declares Dixie Highway project a victory for Saginaw

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn

LANSING, Mich. — The U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Friday announced that the Department of Commerce will award $2 million to rebuild and expand Dixie Highway in Bridgeport Township.

The grant from the department’s Economic Development Administration marks the end of a lengthy effort to secure the funding.

“This quest began years ago and I am happy to see it finally become a reality,” said Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth.

One year ago, Horn was able to lock down $1 million in state dollars for the project. Securing that money was the first step in qualifying for matching federal funds that would launch the reconstruction. Horn was joined by state Rep. Vanessa Guerra, D-Saginaw; representatives from Bridgeport Township and its DDA; the Saginaw County Road Commission; Saginaw Future Inc.; the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce; and East Michigan Council of Governments to make their case for funding to state and federal officials.

“Convincing my colleagues in 2017 that this was a state priority was no small feat,” Horn said. “Many of my fellow legislators were unaware of the business and tourism impact this region provides to the state, but we were able to make them believers. Once the $1 million was obtained at the state level, we were able to take our case to the federal government, and last week’s announcement is a stunning victory for the entire Great Lakes Bay Region.”

Members of Bridgeport Township, where the stretch of Dixie Highway is located, understand all too well how this will change the landscape both commercially and economically.

“Widening the road is imperative,” said Bridgeport Township Manager Rose Licht. “Our residents win, the region wins and the state wins — as an already crowded commercial hub will have the means to expand.”

The project was able to move forward because of the plans of local businesses to expand and create jobs. Orchid Unique Orthopedic Solutions and Amigo are two companies that expect that the Dixie Highway improvements will enable their continued expansions.

“Amigo Mobility’s headquarters has been on Dixie Highway since the company was founded 50 years ago,” said Beth Thieme, CEO of Amigo Mobility. “We’ve been concerned about the number of accidents and are relieved this road will be safer for our employees, customers and the rest of the community traveling on this busy road. This will also help attract more business to this area.”

Orchid’s facility in Bridgeport was equally thrilled with the news.

“Orchid has been working for over two years with local, state and federal officials to secure these funds,” said Jason Ratcliffe, plant general manager of Orchid. “We have been in the Bridgeport community since 1997 and since that time, we have seen steady growth in our operations and of the community along Dixie Highway. These improvements will increase the safety of employees, visitors and business partners of Orchid and the surrounding businesses, while promoting future growth here in Bridgeport.”

The Saginaw County Road Commission contributed numerous hours of engineering work and planning to take the proposal to the federal level.

“We’ve fought for this as a top priority for the region for years,” said Managing Director Dennis Borchard. “We’d like to thank Senator Horn for his support, along with the Bridgeport DDA, Saginaw Future and all the businesses that are committed to economic development as part of this project. Strong partnerships locally and with our state legislators were key — those relationships and significant data showing an economic benefit made this a reality.”

Horn declared Friday’s announcement a victory for the entire region.

“I want to thank everyone who was involved in making this become a reality,” Horn said. “From the local level to my colleagues in the Legislature and our partners on the federal level, this was a tremendous team effort. Estimates expect this investment to create 54 new jobs and generate $6.5 million in private investments. It will truly transform the area.”

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Horn applauds Senate passage of fiscal year 2019 budget

Sen. Ken Horn

Sen. Ken Horn

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Thursday approved a package of bills that would fund the state of Michigan for the 2019 fiscal year.

“My colleagues and I have worked very hard to get Michigan back on track and in the position we are currently in,” said Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “We have passed balanced budgets well ahead of schedule for seven years and we are on track to accomplish that yet again this year.”

Horn added that it is important to get the budget approved early because local governments and schools, among others, need to know what funding they’ll receive from the state so they can balance their own budgets.

“Schools, for instance, start their fiscal year in July,” Horn said. “If we wait until the last minute, we are holding them up from making investments and financial decisions for their districts. It’s simply not a responsible or efficient model.”

The K-12 budget tops $14.6 billion, which marks the highest investment increase in the state’s history. Schools will see a foundation allowance increase of between $115 and $230 per pupil. Skilled trades programs will also see $40.9 million to prepare workers for high-demand jobs.

Horn said he was also happy to support setting aside funds for Career Education Planning Districts that have not been able to get Career Technical Education (CTE) millages passed and are therefore lacking funding. This money is earmarked for CTE training and for equipment.

“I have been calling for increased skilled trades funding for a number of years,” Horn said. “I have employers in my district who are begging for qualified workers to come and fill some of these positions. I am beyond pleased that we are increasing our efforts toward filling those positions and once again teaching people how to work with their hands.”

This budget plan also includes funding for numerous other important services and programs.

The package makes improvements to public safety by hiring 100 new state police troopers, training an additional 80 troopers and investing in improvements to sexual assault awareness programs on our college campuses.

The budget also includes investments for what has remained on residents’ minds for years: roads. When adding the 2019 budget and the recent road funding package, the Legislature will have invested an additional $2.1 billion more in our roads since 2017.

“This budget supports key programs and services, puts money aside for emergencies and makes smart investments in our state’s future,” Horn said. “I may not agree with every single thing included, but I was happy to vote yes and get one step closer toward yet another balanced budget ahead of schedule.”

Senate Bills 850-865 now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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