[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ Michigan Environmental Council Capitol Update -7/1/04



Title:
Legislative Action next week may be limited to Tuesday (7/6).

MDEQ Budget Conference Committee Named

Senate - Senators McManus, Goschka, Barcia
House - Representatives Pastor, Moolenaar, Brown

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 bill also includes $800,000 to pay for a dioxin bio-availability study using Clean Michigan Initiative (CMI) funding (1998 bond approved by the voters for contamination cleanups). 

The authorizing language for spending CMI  states:

(e) That the responsibility for the cost of response activities pertaining to a release or threat of release and repairing injury, destruction, or loss to natural resources caused by a release or threat of release should not be placed upon the public except when funds cannot be collected from, or a response activity cannot be undertaken by, a person liable under this part.

(f) That liability for response activities to address environmental contamination should be imposed upon those persons who are responsible for the environmental contamination.

The use of CMI money to pay for a study to benefit the Dow Chemical Company is an inappropriate use of those funds - and breaks a promise to voters who supported the CMI bonds.

At the same time, no new sites of environmental contamination are being addressed by the state due to budget shortfalls.

__________________

Conference Committee

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. Senate conferees: Sens.McManus, Johnson, Barcia - House conferees - Reps. Pastor, Walker and Brown

Senate

Passed:

HB 5021
-- Establishes a wildlife violator compact.


On the calendar:

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.

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).

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. 

Recycling bills:

SB 790 – Establishes the recycling advisory council.  The Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee reported SB 790 on Tuesday.   The council would "study" the issue some more including whether to "change" the bottle bill.  The Michigan Environmental Council thinks this area has been "studied" enough - and would rather see "action" to fund recycling programs or expand the bottle bill.

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)

House

Passed:

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

On the calendar:

HB 5870 – Implements HJR Z to constitutionally protect conservation funds if approved by the voters.

HJR Z – Would place before the voters a constitutional amendment to protect conservation related restricted funds – thereby preventing the legislature from using those funds for other purposes.

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. 


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


Submitted by:

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