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E-M:/ Clean Michigan Initiative - HB 4305 - Update

Enviro-Mich message from James Clift <jamesmec@voyager.net>

Michigan Environmental Council - Capitol Update

Re: Clean Michigan Initiative, FY 1999-2000, HB 4305

The Michigan legislature ended the session by placing HB 4305 into a
conference committee after the House refused to concur with changes that
the Senate made in the bill. The conference committee will discuss the
items of difference and prepare a conference report when the legislature
returns in January.

The major items of difference are:

Water Quality Monitoring - The House bill authorized the use of 50% bond
money and 50% general fund money to support the water quality monitoring
$3,000,000 line item.  The Senate bill followed the administration
request of $3 million per year from bond money (they plan to spend use
$45 million of the clean water portion of the bond money over the next
fifteen years).  MEC supports House version.   MEC believes it is
fiscally irresponsible to borrow money for ongoing staffing
responsibilities during good economic times.

Lead Abatement – The Senate added $5 million in lead abatement funding.
The House had removed the funding because of disputes about how the
money was going to be used.  MEC also disagreed with the administration
plan for spending the lead abatement funds.

Waterfront Development – The Senate removed language that the House
inserted that prohibited giving grants to businesses that were in
competition with other Michigan businesses.

Other minor items of difference:

Tracking funding by watershed – Both bills require the tracking of
spending by watersheds but use different language.  MEC supported both

Beach monitoring –Both bills include language that requires greater
beach monitoring and the establishment of a statewide database on beach
conditions. MEC supported both versions of the language.

Neither bill included the $1.5 million small-engine / lawnmower trade-in
program that MEC did not support.

Thanks to everyone who contacted their legislator urging support for the
MEC positions. I will follow up this message with further information
regarding membership of the conference committee; the date of the next
hearing and further action people can take to help refine the bond
program at a later date.

Prepared by:
James Clift, Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Ste. 2a
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 487-9539

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