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E-M:/ House Dems / Grassroots Groups Pass Anti-Trash Bills

Enviro-Mich message from "Daniel Farough" <Dfarough@house.mi.gov>


Massive grassroots pressure from environmental groups and House
Democrats finally overcame 12 months of stonewalling on anti-Canadian
and out-of-state trash bills by the Republican House leadership.  

Below is a quote from Speaker Johnson taken from today's MIRS in
response to grassroots pressure and the Trash-O-Meter forcing him to act
on out-of-state waste.  The Trash-O-Meter has been on a 25 stop blitz
across the state.  Democrats also held 15 Town Hall meetings across the
state, held more than a dozen press conferences and launched yard sign
campaigns and petition drive (on-line and door-to-door).  You can visit
the companion webpage at www.trashometer.com 

QUOTE OF THE DAY -- MIRS, December 11th

"I hope the trash-o-meter ends up in the bottom of a landfill."

-- House Speaker Rick JOHNSON (R-LeRoy) after the House passed
legislation aimed at curtailing the flow of out-of-state trash coming
into Michigan. The trash-o-meter was a Democratic gimmick meant to put
pressure on the GOP.

Thursday, December 11, 2003	                                    
Contact: Dan Farough
Phone: (517) 373-2093

House Dems Credit Grassroots Effort in Anti-Trash Victory
First anti-trash bills pass House after GOP feels the heat
LANSING ---- House Democrats led by Democratic Leader Dianne Byrum
(Onondaga) today expressed gratitude to the concerned citizens of
Michigan for pressuring reluctant Republican leaders into acting on
anti-trash legislation that Democrats have been championing for nearly a
The House overwhelmingly approved two bills that closely mirror
legislation by Rep. Paul Gieleghem (D-Clinton Township) aimed at curbing
the flow of Canadian and out-of-state waste into Michigan.
	Byrum applauded the House Republican Leadership for joining
House Democrats, Governor Jennifer Granholm and the people of Michigan
in the anti-trash fight. Byrum also praised Gieleghem and Rep. Kathleen
Law (D-Gibraltar) for their leadership on the trash issue.
"The people of Michigan deserve credit for making their voices heard
and forcing the Republican leadership to finally pay attention to this
issue," Byrum said. "Now that the Republican leadership is finally
on board, I look forward to working with them to pass more bills to
protect Michigan from imported trash."
Gieleghem called the vote "an important victory in a long fight."
 	"As everyone knows, members of the House Democratic Caucus
have been working long and hard to stop the flow of Canadian and
out-of-state garbage into our state. We know that our efforts have paid
off," Gieleghem said. "Hopefully, our work will pay dividends for
the people of Michigan with the long overdue passage of these bills."


Gieleghem's bills included: (1) allowing Michigan to reject trash
from states that have a regulatory system less stringent than the rules
we impose on ourselves; and, (2) adding pop bottles and cans to the list
of items prohibited from disposal in Michigan landfills.  The second
bill was not addressed by the House.
>From the beginning, Gieleghem's bills earned bipartisan support.
However, the bills were stalled by House Republican leaders since
Gieleghem introduced them on Jan 29th.
Since then, House Democrats have held 15 Town Hall meetings across the
state;  introduced a Trash-O-Meter device that measures in real time the
amount of imported waste coming into Michigan; held more than a dozen
press conferences; and, launched a yard sign campaign and petition drive
(on-line and door-to-door) to force action on the bills.
Added pressure came when a grassroots campaign spearheaded by local
Democratic Party organizations in places stretching from Southeastern
Michigan all the way to Marquette in the Upper Peninsula picked up steam
as citizens rallied in support of the anti-trash legislation.
"At long last, the Republican leadership felt the heat from the
public and allowed these bills to move forward," Law said.
"Today's passage of these bills is a good first step, but we
still have other pieces of our anti-trash package that need to be moved.
It is my hope that the Republicans will put politics aside and listen to
the people they represent." 

Dan Farough
Press Secretary
House Democratic Communications

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