The month of May has been a busy one in Lansing. As we head toward the weekend, I’d like to give you a look at what I’ve been working on both in district and in our state’s capital.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at SenKHorn@senate.michigan.gov
or toll-free at 855-347-8032. Or if you are in Lansing, please feel free to stop by my office, room 7200 in the Binsfeld Office Building.
32nd District Memorial Day: a time to honor our fallen
Each year a special Senate Memorial Day Service pays tribute to our fallen servicemen and servicewomen. This solemn tradition ensures the legacy of their sacrifice and service is never taken for granted or forgotten.
This year, I was honored to welcome Kimberly Napoleon, commander for the Wallace C. Schultz/Dwight A. McKinney Jr. Post 9931, in Bridgeport, to the Capitol for the annual Memorial Day Service.
Napoleon was the first female commander of her local Veterans Foreign Wars post and the first African American woman to do so 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.
Also pictured is Brett Holt, state commander of the American Legion Department of Michigan. Horn announces June office hours in Chesaning
Since being elected to represent the 32nd District in the state Senate, I’ve worked to maintain regular office hours in communities throughout the district.
My office hours for the month of June will take place at the following date, time and location: Monday, June 25
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Chesaning Nursing Care Center
201 S. Front St.
I look forward to meeting with folks from the Chesaning area and hearing concerns that any residents of the district may have. Please feel free to drop in. No appointment is necessary. Senate passes 2019 state budget plan
My colleagues and I have worked very hard to get Michigan back on track and in the position we are currently in. We have gotten balanced budgets to the governor well ahead of schedule for seven years in a row and we are on track to accomplish that yet again this year.
The Senate recently approved a balanced budget plan that invests in Michigan’s future. Our budget recommendations prioritize education funding and public safety and continue our commitment to fix Michigan roads, while making government more efficient with taxpayer dollars. Some of the highlights include:
- $14.7 billion for K-12 education, the most in state history;
- Nearly $14 million to train 180 state police troopers;
- $10 million for a new grant program to provide mental health services to K-12 students; and
- A $2.1 billion dollar investment in our roads when combining the transportation funding in this budget and the recent road funding package.
I was especially pleased that the Senate included almost $41 million in skilled trades training to prepare workers for in-demand jobs. I have been calling for increased skilled trades funding for a number of years. Employers around Michigan, especially in my district, are begging for qualified workers; we’re talking welders, machinists and other very good careers that are simply not being filled. 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 supports key programs and services, puts money aside for emergencies and makes smart investments in our state’s future. 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.
The Michigan Senate, House and governor’s office will iron out differences in their budget plans and produce a final state budget in the coming weeks. I will keep you posted on the progress. Horn congratulates March is Reading Month winners
This is the third year I’ve offered a reading contest during the March is Reading Month festivities. Each year, all fourth grade classes in the 32nd District have a chance to participate, and after all of the pages are counted up, I visit the winning classrooms and throw a pizza party.
Two classes at Big Rock Elementary School were on the winners list. Amy Maier’s class read 41,532 pages and Nancy Ferrigan’s class read 39,216 pages. I also recently visited Maggie Williams’ class from Freeland Elementary School, which read 33,352 pages.
I’m closing out my week with visits to Kristie Horst’s class at Morrish Elementary in Swartz Creek, whose students read 27,146 pages, and the first-place winners from Jennifer Wagner’s class at North Elementary in Birch Run, who read a total of 44,577 pages.
Along with the pizza, I delivered a sapling from the 145-year-old catalpa tree in front of the state Capitol. The kids will plant the tree in honor of the tremendous number of pages they read. If you were worried about Michigan’s future, don’t be. These kids are amazing! Horn honored at annual firefighter convention
I recently attended the professional firefighter’s convention in Bay City and was honored to be given the International Association of Fire Fighters Legislative Award by my friend Aileen Pettinger.
Firefighters risk their lives protecting each of us. 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! Horn declares Dixie Highway project a victory for Saginaw
The U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross recently announced that the Department of Commerce will award $2 million to rebuild and expand Dixie Highway in Bridgeport Township. This announcement is a victory for the city and entire region.
The grant from the department’s Economic Development Administration marks the end of a lengthy effort to secure the funding.
One year ago, with the help of local officials I 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.
Members of Bridgeport Township, including business owners and residents alike, understand the importance of widening the road and what this grant will mean for the area. Convincing my colleagues in 2017 that this was a state priority was no small feat. 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 this announcement is a stunning victory for the entire Great Lakes Bay Region.
I want to thank everyone who was involved in making this become a reality. 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. Horn honored by retired police, firefighters
Earlier this week I had the privilege of being named Legislator of the Year by the Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighter Association (RDPFFA) for my 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.
It is quite an honor to receive an award from such an exemplary group of individuals. 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 Taylor (RDPFFA president) over the past few years and sincerely appreciate this recognition. Saginaw Spring Cleanup Days
The 16th Annual Saginaw Riverfront Beautification Day was held last week.
When this project got started it involved a couple dozen citizens volunteering a few hours by picking up litter and planting trees within the Riverfront Saginaw corridor, and over the past four years we have seen this event blossom into a communitywide initiative with one mission: “to beautify Saginaw.”
I popped in for a few minutes to visit with friends. Saginaw City Councilman and Beautification Day Chair Clint Bryant reminds me of my Frankenmuth Jaycee days and our saying, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.”
I was also able to participate in the Spring into Service program last week, which puts paint brushes, rakes and shovels into the hands of high school volunteers. It teaches them the value of both community service and the joy of a hard day’s work.
During the event I had the pleasure of speaking to 150 energetic students and help see them off on their day’s work.
Volunteers, group leaders and students alike make this day, and this town … Sagin-awesome! Staying safe during severe weather
Spring weather can bring thunderstorms, lightning and high winds, leading to possible power shortages. The Michigan State Police offers suggestions to stay safe during a power outage, including:
- Use only flashlights or emergency lighting; never use candles;
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep food as fresh as possible;
- Disconnect appliances and electronics;
- Use extreme caution when driving; and
- Avoid carbon monoxide by not using grills, unvented gas heaters, generators or ovens in the house.
To learn more about being prepared before, during and after severe weather, visit www.michigan.gov/miready