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E-M:/ Michigan Environmental Council Capitol Update -6/11/04



Title:

MDEQ Budget Cuts -- Full House cuts general fund support for MDEQ budget by 15% - Reinstates Hazardous Waste Management Program  - see SB 1066 below.

Weaken Dioxin Standard -- A bill to weaken dioxin cleanup standard scheduled for a hearing Tuesday in House Government Operations Committee.   This bill is an attempt to ignore twenty years worth of study on dioxin - and weaken the Michigan standard to a level to which we would expect a ten-fold increase in cancer deaths.

Rep. Pastor's bill (HB 5441) to exempt driveways from wetland regulation is up in  the Conservation Committee on Wednesday.

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Senate

Passed:

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 Council

HB 5681 – Establishes penalties for the destruction to vegetation or property in Mackinac Island state park.

On the calendar:

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. 

HB 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.

Recycling bills:

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:

Natural Resources & Environmental Affairs will meet on Tuesday (6/15) at 3:00 pm to take up:

SB 1171 - Expands the definition of litter to include abandoned vehicles – and makes the owner the presumptive person responsible for its proper disposal.

SB 1177 - A bill to expand the eligibility and activities authorized regarding hunting from an off-road vehicle for disabled individuals.


SB 1278 – Regulates the operation of airboats.

SB 1279 -- Provide for check-off option on the income tax form for the Michigan state park endowment fund.

SB 1280 – Establishes a citizens committee for Michigan state parks.

SB 1281 – Creates a gem of the parks award and a state park volunteer of the year award.

HB 5021 -- Establishes a wildlife violator compact.

Commerce & Labor will meet on Tuesday (6/15) at 3:00 pm to take up:

HB 5243  - A bill to establish tool and die recovery zones to promote economic development. 

SB 1206  - Revises the housing inspection ordinance provision. 

SB 1242 - Allow the use of mixed use tax credit for plant rehabilitation.

SB 1285 - Report and evaluate the use of state funds for state facilities to insure proper planning for needed space and to avoid sprawl.

SB 1199 - A bill to create commerce centers in certain communities.

SB 1204 – Provides for a income tax credit to homeowners who rent out housing accommodations above their garage under certain circumstances.

House

Passed:

SB 1066 -- MDEQ Budget - fiscal year 2004-05, the House approved a budget for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) that reinstated the Hazardous Waste Management Program, but retained reductions in staffing levels by 8%, and reduces general fund support for the department by 15%.

The House GOP talks about on the importance of timely permits in retaining Michigan jobs -- so what do they propose -- eliminating 8% of the MDEQ's staff. When are these guys going to stop the political games and get serious about our budget crisis and protecting jobs and the environment in Michigan.

SB 1068 -- MDNR Budget for fiscal year 2004-05 - The House version removes travel cuts made by the Senate, removed timber cut mandate language and returned to a version closer to that recommended by the administration.

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 transfer of certain manufactured homes.

HB 4879 -- Provide for exemption from sales tax on used manufactured homes.

HB 4882 -- Eliminate use tax on manufactured home sales.

HB 4880 -- Create and implement a manufactured housing specific tax.

HB 5844 -- Include for homestead property tax credit calculation amounts paid for Michigan manufactured housing specific tax.

HB 4111 -- Exempt from property taxes manufactured housing subject to specific tax.

HB 4868 -- Create a mobile homes manufactured home owners residency act.

HB 4869 -- Establish and clarify owners rights under the manufactured 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

In committee:

Conservation and Outdoor Recreation will meet on Wednesday (6/16) at 10:30 am to take up
HB 5441
– a bill to exempt driveways from wetland permitting requirements under certain circumstances

Agriculture and Resource Management will meet on Tuesday (6/15) at 10:30 am to take up:

HB 5965 – Requires posting of gasoline prices on both sides of marquee or sign at service stations.

HB 5974 -- Requires regulatory impact statement to report impact of proposed rule on farm operations.

Government Operations will meet on Tuesday (6/15) at 10:30 to take up

HB 5903 – Call for discounts and refund of application fees for certain permits under the Mental health code that are not issued in a timely manner.

HB 5963 – Decreases the level of public health protection for dioxin cleanups – resulting in a more than ten-fold increases in expected cancer deaths.

Great Lakes and Tourism will meet on Thursday (6/17) at 9:00 am to take up:

HR 271 -- A resolution to memorialize the Congress of the United States to provide increased funding to support research and education on rip currents in the Great Lakes.

SCR 41 - A concurrent resolution to memorialize the Congress of the United States to provide funding for the dredging of canals around the city of Gibraltar.

Land Use and Environment will meet on Wednesday (6/16) at 2:00 pm or after session, to take up:

HB 5030 – A bill to provide for agricultural security areas and provide them special tax treatment.

HR 261 - A resolution to urge the Ontario Minister of the Environment to establish new landfills and landfill expansions.

Transportation will meet on Thursday (6/17) at 9:00 AM  to take up a number of bills including HR 232 / HCR 53 -  resolutions to call upon the Michigan Department of Transportation to review the current status of alternatives to road salt based on information from existing studies, trials, and tests and to make recommendations for advancing the use of alternatives at the state and local level.

Submitted by:

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