[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ MEC Capitol Update - 5/1/03

House of Representatives

Appropriations - Natural Resources and Environmental Quality Subcommittee

The subcommittee is finalizing its work on its recommendations for HB 4393 (MDEQ budget for fiscal year 2003-04).  As announced, Rep. John Pastor, chair of the Appropriation Subcommittee is proceeding with removing all proposed fees and cut general fund support for the department’s environmental protection programs by 15 percent and its administration by 30 percent – much deeper cuts than recommended by Governor Jennifer Granholm.

The Governor's various fee proposals were designed to make up for the 26% reduction in general fund support for the department, and include $6.9 million
in new fees for water discharge permits.

The subcommittee has begun work of the Department of Natural Resources budget with action on the both budget expected within the next week or two.

Hearings next week:

Appropriations - Natural Resources and Environmental Quality Subcommittee

Wednesday, May 6 - 9 AM - DNR Budget
Thursday, May 7, - 2 PM or after session - both budgets - final decisions likely

Conservation and Outdoor Recreation - Wednesday, May 7 10:30 am

HB 4286  - Establishes the ruffed grouse as the state game bird.

HB 4408 - Expands definition of peace officer for enforcement of snowmobile violations.

House Energy and Technology - Wednesday at 9:00 am

SCR 14  - A concurrent resolution to memorialize the President and Congress of the United States to pursue and support fuel cell research projects in Michigan.


Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee

SB 289 Water Use Regulation - The committee reported SB 289 this week, that as introduced, would have regulated water use in Michigan.. As passed by committee, it is a modest improvement to our water use reporting statute (mainly through additional reporting requirements by the agricultural community). In addition, it requires the MDEQ to do some additional mapping (without enough money or enough information being provided), and establishes a groundwater conservation advisory council to study the issue more and decide if Michigan should ever actually regulate water use.

Proposals to allow the MDEQ to protect fragile natural resources or require users to report water conservation practices were defeated.  Action is expected by the full Senate next week.

Hearings next week:

Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee

HB 4087 - A bill to regulate disputes where conflicts occur between groundwater users.

HB 4257 and SB 244 - Bills to regulate Coastal Wetlands - These bills allows the destruction over of emergent coastal wetland by lake front property owners without a permit.  The House rejected compromise legislation that allowed for lake access, the mowing of vegetation, and the leveling of sand in non-vegetated areas.  The letter was also circulated from the EPA that stated that passage of the bill could result in the loss of up to $3 million in coastal zone management funds from the federal government.

Natural Resources & Environmental Affairs and Appropriations Subcommittees: Natural Resources and Environmental Quality  -  Thursday, May 8 - 11:30 am or later immediately following Session.

Agenda:  Governor's Fee Proposals

Transportation - Special meeting in Oakland County

Monday, May 5 at 7:00 pm

Public testimony regarding the impact of MDOT's deferred road projects (like maybe slowing down urban sprawl)

Oakland Co. Commissioners Auditorium, 1200 N. Telegraph Rd., Pontiac

Submitted by:

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