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E-M:/ RE: / Engler budget cuts fall hard on MDEQ and MDNR

Can someone explain why some of these cuts that, at first blush, appear to come from restricted funds (Forest Management from timber sales, and Purchased Land Taxes from the Natural Resources Trust Fund) would be cut -- if these are restricted, they won't effect the General Fund bottom line, so cutting them gets no benefit, unless there is some accounting fudging going on.  AW
Governor Engler's budget cuts fell sharply
on environmental programs today

Governor Engler has  cut general fund authorization for the MDEQ by $24,125,580 (24%), and MDNR by $6,770,300 (13%).   Among all state departments cut, MDEQ's is facing the largest hit as a percentage of its budget, indicating once again the governor's disregard for protecting Michigan's environment.

Adding insult to injury, Engler's executive order has cut General Fund monies  for programs being supported with the 1998 Clean Michigan Initiative bond dollars. This represents a major league "bait and switch."   To the extent bond money is used  for Department operations today, future generations will pay nearly double as they are required to pay back the funds with interest.

Cuts include the following:

Department of Environmental Quality                              General Fund Cut

Environmental Cleanup and Redevelopment                            $5,546,000

Leaking Underground Storage Tank Cleanup                          $     85,400

Medical Waste Program - eliminated                                      $1,100,000
(mainly used to follow-up on complaints)

Environmental Response Division - funding shifts                    $16,132,830

Laboratory Services                                                               $      85,000

Hiring Freeze                                                                         $   450,000

Water Quality Monitoring - switch to bond                              $  500,000

Low income Community Wastewater Assistance                    $   67,500

Volunteer River, Stream Cleanup                                            $   75,000

Voluntary Lakes Monitoring                                                    $   83,870

Total    $24,125,000 out of a total appropriated of $101,007,900

Department of Natural Resources

GF support for Game and Fish Protection Fund                        $2,300,000

Abandoned Mineshaft Closure                                                  $   350,000

Forest Management                                                                  $1,042,900

Cooperative Resource Program (urban tree planting)                 $   256,500

Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps                                        $   500,000

General Law Enforcement                                                          $   500,000

Purchased Land Taxes                                                                $1,820,900

Total:   $6,770,300 out of a total of $52,083,400

Submitted by:

James Clift
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Ste. 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
(517) 487-9539