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E-M:/ Sen. Levin says NO to field hearings on his top legislative priority

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Date: Thu, 19 Mar 1998 09:31:38 -0800 (PST)
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To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
From: elansingcwa <elansingcwa@cleanwater.org>
Subject: S 981 Public Field Hearings

Contacts:   Mac McLendon, Clean Water Action (517) 337-4447
Alison Horton, Sierra Club (517) 484-2372
Tom Leonard, West Michigan Environmental Action Council (616) 451-3051
Libby Harris, East Michigan Environmental Action Council (313) 555-5555

Levin Says "No" to Public Field Hearings on "Top Legislative Priority"

Citizen groups set to hold hearings on Senator Levin's Regulatory
Improvement Act, with or without his attendance 

East Lansing, MI -- In spite of Carl Levin's unwillingness to commit to
attend, citizens and advocates concerned with public health, labor and
environmental issues are going ahead with planned public field hearings on
Senate Bill 981, Levin's Regulatory "Improvement" Act of 1997.  

Senator Levin has designated S 981 his top legislative priority.  Citizen
groups argue that any legislation given such a designation deserves the
opportunity for public input.  Event organizers have negotiated with Levin's
schedulers for weeks, working to make it as easy as possible for him to
attend the hearings.  Saturday's Detroit-area meeting was moved to the
Westin Hotel in order to accommodate Levin's scheduled appearance there on
the same day at the annual Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson Day
fundraiser.  In spite of these efforts, Levin's staff says it will not be
"logistically feasible'' for the Senator to take part in the hearings.

Citizens and advocates fear S.981 would jeopardize decades of public health,
worker safety and environmental safeguards by giving control of the
regulatory process over to big-monied special interests.  These interests
would be able to decide the fate of regulations and safeguards in which they
have a direct financial interest through their membership on a "peer-review
panel." Panel members, under this legislation, will be able to hold meetings
behind closed doors, and outside the rules of the Open Meetings Act --
shutting the public out of the regulatory process completely. 

The public field hearings are scheduled as follows:

        Saturday, March 21, 10:00 a.m., the Marquette Room in the Westin
		Hotel in the Renaissance Center, Detroit and,
        Monday, March 23, 7:00 p.m., the Donnelly Center in Aquinas
College, Grand Rapids.  The Donnelly Center is off Woodward,
east of Robinson Street.

The public is encouraged to attend and members of the news media are
welcome.  Excellent Visuals.
	# # #
Nolan Bennett				Program Coordinator
Clean Water Action			Phone:	(517) 337-4447
4990 Northwind Dr., Suite 210		Fax:	(517) 337-2833
East Lansing, MI  48823

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