HB 4257 (S-4)- Bill to regulate Coastal Wetlands - The Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee reported HB 4257 on Thursday (5/22). The reported bill includes the following changes from the House passed bill:
HB 4087 - The Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee reported this bill to regulate disputes where conflicts occur between groundwater users. Although many groups, including MEC support the concept, the legislation does not include any funding for the MDEQ to take on this substantial new commitment. No action on this bill this week.
Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee
Held their first hearing on out-of-state waste Wednesday in Rochester. The following hearings are scheduled:
Wednesday, May 28st at 6:30 pm at Meads Mill Middle School, Rondel Media Center, 16700 Franklin Rd., Northville
Tuesday, June 3, at 8:00 am in the Senate Hearing Room, Ground Floor, Boji Tower (formerly Michigan National Tower), Lansing
Rep. Johnson introduced HBs 4686 - HB 4692 on this issue. They are available at: www.michiganlegislature.org
Senators introduced SB 489, 497-500, 502.
Natural Resources & Environmental Affairs and Appropriations Subcommittee -
HB 4393 - Michigan Department of Environmental Quality budget - FY 03-04 - Next hearing is May 28th at 3:00 pm.
The House passed HB 4393 on Wednesday. As announced, Rep. John Pastor, chair of the Appropriation Subcommittee proceeded with removing all proposed fees and cut general fund support for the departmentís environmental protection programs by 15 percent and its administration by 30 percent.
If upheld by the Senate, the cuts will result in the layoff of as many 120 employees at the Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the loss of over $15 million in federal matching funds. Rep. Pastor is trying to minimize the impacts, but given the inadequate nature of current program, these cuts will result in serious threats to public health in Michigan. General Fund support for the department has dropped from $101 million in 2001 to $51 million under the budget passed by the House.
HB 4400 - Michigan Department of Natural Resources budget FY 03-04
The House passed HB 4400 reducing administrative general fund support by 40%. Provisions recommended by the Governor to increase Motor Vehicle permits into State Parks were removed. The state is also exploring reducing the amount of taxes paid on state-owner land.
Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Tourism
The finished a series of three hearings at which farmers, drain
You can read MEC's testimony at www.mecprotects.org/draincode.pdf
Task Force hearings:
Senate Republican Task Force on Expansion of the Bottle Bill and Recycling
June 2nd - Sault Ste. Marie - June 2nd - 7-9 pm
House of Representatives
Conservation and Outdoor Recreation
HB 4492 - The committee took testimony on this bill but is trying to limit the scope of travel that would occur in nondesignated areas. The bill is designed to allow disabled people over 60 years of age greater ability to use nondesignated areas for the purpose of accessing designated trails.
House Agriculture Committee -HB 4610 / SB 217
Efforts by Rural Michigan and American Farmland Trust to dedicate a
House Appropriation Subcommittee - Agriculture - SB 288 - Thursday, May 29th at 8:00 am . The budget includes cuts that would eliminate funding for programs designed to oversee new regulations on organic foods.
House Appropriation Subcommittee - Transportation - SB 265 - Tuesday, May 27th at 8:00 pm - The bill includes substantial cuts to public transportation.