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Re: E-M:/ GreedScreen



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Enviro-Mich message from "Dave Dempsey" <davemec@voyager.net>
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The Engler Administration is lying through Mr. Green Scam.

Nothing in his posting is new, or meaningful.  I was involved in the
negotiations on the bond for MEC in 1998, and followed the issue until
voters approved the Clean Michigan Initiative.

It was MEC which called attention to the 1995 Auditor General's report
showing that Engler had cut water quality monitoring to the point where the
state couldn't tell if water quality was getting better or worse.  It was
MEC which drafted the amendment to a budget bill requiring DEQ to develop a
water monitoring strategy to close the gap. The strategy, released in early
1997, showed the state needed $3.2 million more per year to have an adequate
monitoring program.  It was MEC which pushed for general funds to implement
this recommendation. Engler added only $500,000 of general funds to the
budget.

When Engler proposed the bond in January 1998, he sought nothing for general
water quality cleanup, although he did seek $50 million for nonpoint source
pollution reductions.  Working with a number of interest groups and
concerned members of the House, MEC was successful in forcing Engler to
accept an additional $90 million in water quality funding. But Engler
refused to allow any of the money to be spent on the state's worst water
mess -- combined sewer overflows fouling Lake St. Clair.

We then worked with legislators to identify useful ways the money could be
spent.  One suggestion was water quality monitoring. It was the clear
understanding at the time the bond was put on the ballot by the Legislature
that $10-$15 million of the $90 million should be spent for water quality
monitoring, giving the state time to find an alternative, permanent funding
source.  Engler and DEQ disregarded this understanding and requested a full
half of the $90 million go to monitoring.

Mr. Green Scam apparently misinterprets the words "first priority" to mean
"most of the money."  The actual intent was to assure that some of the money
went to monitoring while haggling continued over how to spend the rest.  One
can't expect either honesty or subtlety of understanding from Mr. Green
Scam.




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