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RE: E-M:/ Michigan Senate Committee Chairs



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Enviro-Mich message from "Grant Trigger" <GTrigger@honigman.com>
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good summary 

>>> "Anne Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org> 12/08/02 07:34PM >>>
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Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>
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The Sierra Club's vote chart for the current House of Reps. is in our
November issue of the MACKINAC newsletter, online at
http://michigan.sierraclub.org -- go to Newsletters and you'll find
pdfs of
the newsletter.  About page 20 is where the vote charts start.  Voting
charts are always only one part of the criteria that need to be
considered
in trying to figure how a chair will do.

Chairs control what happens in their committees, when it happens and
often
shape a bill making it much better or worse in ways that can't be
charted.
When he was a State Senator, now Congressman Vernon Ehlers chaired the
same
committee and was a huge positive influence on decisions in the
legislature,
even when his votes did not look good.  Rather than kill bills,
Senator
Ehlers generally worked to improve them -- while we often would have
liked
to see bills killed, the reality was that many of these bad bills were
going
to pass, and Senator Ehlers' efforts drastically mitigated the
negatives.
Context is critical for judging a legislative committee chair.  I
wonder who
else in the new Senate Republican majority would be preferred? I hope
in a
year or so we can look back on the selection of Senator Elect Birkholz
as a
great choice.

A couple of other observations on the committee chairs: Natural
Resources
and Environmental Affairs is just one of several committees that will
have
an influence on environmental issues. Among the most important other
committees is the Appropriations Subcommittee for Environmental Quality
and
Natural Resources, which in this era of shrinking budgets will be
critical
in policy decisions made via budgeting choices. Other committees with
clear
environmental portfolios are in the list below of all the Senate
Committees
and new chairs.  Also, bills are not always assigned to the committee
that
would seem to make sense, and the most important decision made is
often
which committee will hear and act upon a bill. The leadership of the
Senate
will play a major role in whether or not environmental issues get a
fair
shake, and the most important decisions on that group were made on
election
day.

Anne Woiwode



Standing Committees and Chairs
Appropriations Sen. Shirley Johnson, Royal Oak
Agriculture, Forestry and
Tourism Sen.-elect Jerry VanWoerkom, Norton Shores
Banking and Financial Services Sen.-elect Mike Bishop, Rochester
Commerce and Labor Sen.-elect Jason Allen, Traverse City
Economic Development, Small
Business and Regulatory Affairs Sen. Alan Sanborn, Richmond
Education Sen.-elect Wayne Kuipers, Holland
Families and Human Services Sen.-elect Bill Hardiman, Kentwood
Finance Sen.-elect Nancy Cassis, Novi
Gaming and Casino Oversight Sen.-elect Jason Allen, Traverse City
Government Operations Sen. Ken Sikkema, Wyoming
Health Policy Sen. Bev Hammerstrom, Temperance
Judiciary Sen.-elect Alan Cropsey, DeWitt
Local, Urban and State Affairs Sen.-elect Laura Toy, Livonia
Natural Resources and
Environmental Affairs Sen.-elect Patty Birkholz, Saugatuck Twp.
Senior Citizens and Veteran Affairs Sen.-elect Laura Toy, Livonia
Technology and Energy Sen.-elect Bruce Patterson, Canton
Transportation Sen.-elect Jud Gilbert, Algonac
>



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