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E-M:/ what it costs to have two environmental departments

Enviro-Mich message from davemec@sojourn.com (Dave Dempsey)

An analysis prepared by the Senate Fiscal Agency finds that the split of
the DNR into two departments with the creation of the DEQ in 1995 is
costing taxpayers big.  "Following the transition, administration comprised
1% more of the combined DNR and DEQ budgets than before the split," the
Agency reports.  "This represents an increase of approximately 15% in
administrative funding, or over $4.2 million.  When adjusted for inflation
as measured by the Detroit Consumer Price Index, overall administrative
funding has increased almost 9% from 1995, natural resources program
funding has remained stable, and environmental program has decreased by

Top brass have seen an even bigger proportionate increase.  The report
finds that funding for Executive Division programs has increased almost
66%, or $2.1 million annually.

Finally, the report recalls that in making the split, Governor Engler said
the combined DNR was "too large and unmanageable to effectively concentrate
on the importance of both conservation and environmental issues."  It also
recalls:  "At the time of the split, the DMB testified that additional
appropriations would not be needed, and that the new departments would
reallocate resources to cover any potential increases in administration."

For a copy of the report, request "Notes on the Budget and Economy,"
May/June 1997, Senate Fiscal Agency.  The most logical way to obtain the
report is through your State Senator, although MEC can provide a
photocopied version.

Dave Dempsey
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
(517) 487-9539
(517) 487-9541 (fax)

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