Angry House Republicans go on the offense against the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Chester in House budget hearing. Budget cuts include cutting travel by 50% -- hurting enforcement/compliance efforts. Hearings continue next week.
SB 723 -- To expand potential loan for pollution prevention assistance from $50,000 to $150,000 from the revolving loan fund.On the calendar: HB 5509 -- The budget for the Department of Agriculture for fiscal year 2004-2005. The main problem is related to the use of $3 million in Environmental Response Funds for activities not related to environmental cleanups (the legislatively mandated purpose of those funds). Meanwhile, no new sites of environmental cleanup are being addressed this year due to funding shortfalls.
SB 926 - A bill to extend the prohibition of feeding deer and elk in certain parts of the state.
SB 1132 -- This bill will require the Auditor General to do a performance audit of state laboratories and to compare their costs with private labs.
SB 1133 -- Creates a voluntary Laboratory Data Quality Assurance Program that labs in Michigan could participate in, possibly making them more attractive to use by the state or private entities.
SB 1135 -- Creates the Laboratory Data Quality Assurance CouncilHB 4729 -- Amends the statute controlling aquatic nuisances to enhance sanctions for violations.
HB 4730 -- Amends the statute controlling aquatic nuisances reduce the regulation applied to the applicants of aquatic pesticides and limits the reasons that the department could deny a permit. Any permit not acted on within 15 days is granted. The Michigan Environmental Council opposes this bill.SB 953 - This bill directs the state to invest "surplus funds" in underwriting qualified agricultural energy production loans. Loans could be made systems such as methane digesters, biomass gasification technology and ethanol plants. A farmer who had been guilty of a criminal violation or responsible for a civil violation of water discharge laws would not be eligible for a period of one year.
SB 955 - The bill exempts from property taxes methane digesters electric generating systems.
SR 143 -- A resolution to encourage the further utilization of methane digestion in Michigan.
SB 217 - The bill to amend the drain code was
from the Agriculture Committee. (referred back to Ag committee)
SB 532 and SB 533-- anti-littering legislation
SB 853 -- Reporting on the nature and the amount of litter collected under the adopt-a-river program
SB 854 - creates statewide recycling coordinator position
SB 855 - Reporting on the nature and the amount of litter collected under the adopt-a-shoreline program
SB 856 - Requires the state to conduct a comprehensive study on littering and create a marketing program to reduce litter
SB 857 - Reporting on the nature and the amount of litter collected under the adopt-a-trail program
SB 858 - Reporting on the nature and the amount of litter collected under the adopt-a-park program
SB 860 - Establishes a 1-800 number for reporting littering violations
SB 861 - Sets statewide goals for recycling rates (30% by 2009, 50% by 2014)In committee:
Finance will meet on Tuesday (6/1) at 1:00 pm top take up:
Continued Discussion on
SB 477 -
Establishes a value-based tax for
Natural Resources & Environmental Affairs will meet on Tuesday (6/1) at 3:00 pm to take up:
Environmental Quality Report - Hydrogeology and Simulation of Regional
Groundwater Level Declines in Monroe County
HB 5681 – Establishes penalties for the destruction to vegetation or property in Mackinac Island state park.
On the calendar:
HB 5876 - This bill similar to a dozen others -- requires
that the state issue permits within an agreed time limit or fees are
refunded to the applicant. This bill deals with 44 different programs
within the Department of Environmental Quality. The Michigan
Environmental Council opposed the bill -- due to the fact that the
legislature at the same time is cutting the MDEQ budget (down to $38
million from $101 million in 2001).
HB 4106 -- Provide for state real estate transfer tax on
of certain manufactured homes.
HB 4879 -- Provide for exemption from sales tax on used
HB 4882 -- Eliminate use tax on manufactured home sales.
HB 4880 -- Create and implement a manufactured housing
HB 5844 -- Include for homestead property tax credit
amounts paid for Michigan manufactured housing specific tax.
HB 4111 -- Exempt from property taxes manufactured housing
to specific tax.
HB 4868 -- Create a mobile homes manufactured home owners
HB 4869 -- Establish and clarify owners rights under the
home owners association act.
HB 5035 -- Revise membership of the mobile home commission.
HB 5034 -- a bill to access mobile homes as real property.
HB 4358 -- To increase the length limit for trucks to 65 feet.
SB 510 -- a bill to establish stormwater fees.
HB 5312 -- allows hunters to donate an additional $1.00 when purchasing hunting or fishing licensing to support the sportsmen against hunger program
SB 193 -- Provides for a specialty license plates for ducks unlimited
HB 5709-10 -- Provides for a single business tax credit for
businesses that sell
replacement trees to municipalities affected by emerald ash borer.
Agriculture and Resource Management will meet Tuesday (6/1)
at 10:30 am to take up a number of bills regarding discounts for fees
if permits are not issued in a timely manner (similar to HB 5876
Natural Resources and Environmental Quality will meet on
(6/1) at 9:00 AM to take up: SB 1066 -- The Department of
Environmental Quality for the fiscal
year 2004-2005 to take public testimony and start making decisions.
Last week's testimony included the chair Rep. Pastor and other
Republican members criticizing the MDEQ efforts to protect public
health in Saginaw and other areas of the state. Committee members were
short on specifics -- long (winded) on the rhetoric.