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E-M:/ Michigan Environmental Council Capitol Update -6/17/04


MDEQ Budget Cuts -- Senate did not agree with House changes -- waiting for conference committee members to be appointed.  Since it is a Senate bill, Senator McManus will be chair of the committee.



Nonconcurred -  The Senate voted against accepting the House changes - the bills will now go to conference committee:

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:

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

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.

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 (6/22) at 3:00 pm to take up:

HB 5021 -- Establishes a wildlife violator compact.

HB 5742 – Sets fees for an environmental laboratory accreditation program and provide for reciprocity, analytical methods, etc.  

HB 5743 -- Environmental laboratory accreditation program; provide for denial of accreditation and information gathering.

Commerce & Labor will meet on Tuesday (6/22) at 3:00 pm to take up:

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.

SB 1206  - Revises the housing inspection ordinance provision. 

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

HB 5598 – Prohibit the eligibility for unemployment benefits for federal Americorps program individuals.

SB 186 - Prohibits smoking in public restaurants


On the calendar:

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

HB 5441
– a bill to clarify when "feasible and prudent" alternatives should be considered to a project that will impact wetlands.  An amendment was added in committee regarding when the MDEQ must issue a permit that may jeopardize Michigan's delegation of the Clean Water Act - section 404 program.

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

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.

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

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 (6/23) at 10:30 am to take up
HB 5914 -- a bill to require the use of  hunter orange on portable hunting blinds.

Agriculture and Resource Management will meet on Tuesday (6/22) at 10:30 am to take up:

HB 6018-6019 – Increases the fines related to illegal practices in the sale of motor fuel

HB 5942 – Requires diesel sold in the state to be blended with biodiesel fuel.

Submitted by:

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