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E-M:/ DNR renovation an open secret

Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>

The DNR spinmeisters have made some valid points.  It is true that the
money they seek from state parks, the Michigan Conservation Corps, and
field programs for Mason Building redecoration would "lapse" (bureaucratese
for being lost to the state's general fund) if it was not spent on some
other DNR purpose. The question is, how did they manage to lapse general
fund money in State Parks, MCCC, and Field Programs?

As stated last week, DNR is proposing that $150,000 be shifted from support
for field programs, $100,000 from state parks and almost $50,000 from the
Michigan Conservation Corps to pay for the overhauled headquarters offices
in Lansing.  Can't the DNR find a way to spend the money it was
appropriated for these programs?  The agency regularly pleads lack of staff
and other critical support to carry out its mandated functions. And how can
the DNR justify not spending $100,000 on state parks when it just
successfully pleaded to the voters the need for $50 million to overhaul the
same parks as part of Proposal C? 

My earlier posting said the remodeling may have merit.  No one denies the
Mason Building could stand some improvements.  The question is whether the
funding should come from other programs or the DNR should stand up and
request the money as a new appropriation.

Dave Dempsey
Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
http: www.mienv.org

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