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E-M:/ committee oks 2 bond bills



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Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>
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The State Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee
approved two of the bills needed to place a bond issue on the ballot
this November.  Several minor amendments were also approved, but the
bond package remains one that MEC can't support.

The bills approved were S.B. 902, which establishes a grant program for
nonpoint source runoff control, and S.B. 904, which implements the
entire bond program.  S.B. 904 contains an extra $50 million for local
parks and recreation funding on top of the $500 million that Governor
Engler proposed.  But it doesn't contain funding for programs to relieve
urban sprawl by protecting farmland and open space, for combined sewage
overflow correction, and for pollution prevention.  Funding earmarked
for environmental cleanup and brownfield redevelopment does not specify
a dollar amount that will be spent on addressing public health and
environmental risks.

Sen. Ken DeBeaussaert won several amendments to the two bills.  An
amendment to S.B. 902 enables nonprofit groups (such as watershed
organizations) to compete for grants to control runoff.  

The bills go to the Senate floor.  Two bills or more are also expected
to be acted on by a House committee in the next several weeks.

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