Senate panel approves Zorn’s border community economic development bill

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LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Economic Development and International Investment Committee has approved Sen. Dale Zorn’s legislation to help spur business investment in Michigan border communities.

“Michigan has created nearly half a million private-sector jobs in six years, yet we must continue to help encourage creating new jobs in our state,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “This initiative is about helping bring new investment and jobs to towns and counties along Michigan’s borders. New economic development in our border communities will increase support for our local governments and schools.”

Michigan provides grants, loans and other economic assistance to qualified businesses that make investments in Michigan or provide “qualified new jobs” in the state. Currently, a “qualified new job” means a job performed by an individual who is a Michigan resident.

Senate Bill 40 would expand the “qualified new job” definition to include a job performed by a non-resident who is employed by a business located in a Michigan border county.

Lenawee Now Executive Director Jim Van Doren testified in support of the bill.

“On behalf of Lenawee County, a border community, this bill will extend the reach of our workforce,” Van Doren said. “It makes a tremendous impact on companies looking to locate or expand here. We’re grateful for Senator Zorn’s close involvement in our community as it allows him to truly understand our needs and represent us to the state.”

Zorn said, “Communities in Southeast Michigan are interconnected with our Ohio neighbors, with many Michigan residents who live here and work in Ohio and vice versa. That interconnection is unique to our border communities, but it also puts them at a disadvantage. The goal of this legislation is to encourage businesses in Michigan that want to invest and create jobs in our state by giving communities along our border an equal opportunity to compete for jobs with the rest of the state.”

SB 40 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting Zorn’s website at www.SenatorDaleZorn.com/Photowire.