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E-M:/ Michigan Environmental Council Capitol Update - 5/1/05



Bill to require 2% biodiesel in all diesel sold in the state to be taken up by the House - would help Michigan attain compliance with the Clean Air Act and foster farmland preservation. 

Senate

Passed:

SB 332 - Requires Michigan join and advocate for a Great Lakes states coalition to regulate the discharge of ballast water within the Great Lakes. Legislation based in part on a report issued by MDEQ finding that federal efforts to control invasive species from ballast water inadequate.

On the calendar:

SB 73 - Defines how offset rule will be implemented in Michigan's nonattainment areas under the Clean Air Act.

SR 25 - A resolution to urge the United States Coast Guard to immediately eliminate the "No Ballast on Board" (NOBOB) exemption from regulations on ballast water management and require all ships with ballast tanks that enter the Great Lakes to conform to all regulations for ballast water management in federal law.

SB 341 - Allows parking bureaus to be run by downtown development authorities.

SB 342 - Requires the state to explore all options before leasing or building new office space.

SB 343 - Allows for creations of neighborhood improvement authorities.

In committee:

Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs will meet on Tuesday (5/3) at 3:00 pm to take up:

SB 161 - A bill to allow the operation of snowmobiles on the rights-of-way of limited access highways.

SB 261 - A bill to prohibit the sighting in a rifle at night unless at authorized facilities.

SB 366 - A bill to require posting at park entrances whether or not hunting or firearm usage is allowed within the state park.
 

Technology & Energy will meet on Wednesday (5/3) at 3:00 PM to take up:

SB 334 - A bill to provide for service charge to be placed on gas and electricity bills annually for low income and energy efficiency.

Presentations on alternative energies by the Department of Environmental Quality, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, NextEnergy, Shepherd Avisors, and General Electric Wind

Commerce & Labor will meet on Tuesday (5/3) at 3:00 PM to take up:

SB 337 - A bill to create and limit issuance of Single business tax credits for historical buildings;.

SB 338 - A bill to provide for a certain portion of transportation funds earmarked for nonmotorized trails (.5%) to be used for sidewalks. .

SB 339 - A bill to allow multiple buildings to share an elevator. 

Appropriations: Agriculture will meet on Thursday (5/5) at 2:30 pm to take up
the Fiscal Year 2005-06 Agriculture Budget.

Appropriations: Community Health will meet on Thursday (5/5) at 2:30 PM to take testimony on Agenda Administration, Aging, and Public Health Overview

Appropriations: Natural Resources will meet on Wednesday (5/4) at 3:00 PM for an Advice and Consent Meeting on Glen Bailey and Todd Wyett, Appointees to the Michigan State Waterways Commission

Appropriations: Environmental Quality will meet on Tuesday (5/10) at 1:00 p.m. to take up the Fiscal Year 2005-06 Environmental Quality Budget  - Presentation by Steven Chester, Department of Environmental Quality Director

House

Passed:

HCR 8 - A concurrent resolution to urge the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission to extend the operating license of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant.

HCR 9 - A concurrent resolution to urge the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission to extend the operating license of the D.C. Cook Nuclear Power Plant.

On the calendar:

SB 332 - Requires Michigan join and advocate for a Great Lakes states coalition to regulate the discharge of ballast water within the Great Lakes. Legislation based in part on a report issued by MDEQ finding that federal efforts to control invasive species from ballast water inadequate.

HB 4204 - This bill eliminates the 6 cent sales tax on gas to the extent that it exceeds $2.30 gallon.

HB 4257 - The bill reduces the taxes that farmers would pay on their property to $5 acre be providing them a tax credit against their income or Single Business Tax payment to property taxes paid above that amount. The program is limited to only 200,000 acres - in order to limit the the lost tax revenue to the state to $2-3 million.  If applied to all property the bill would cost the state more than $30 million a year (depending on enrollment).  Unlike the current program (PA 116), this act has does not limit the property taxes credit based on the income level of the taxpayer.  The bill does not follow the recommendations of the Michigan Land Use Leadership Council on this point.

HB 4235 a bill to require 2% biodiesel to be included in diesel fuel sold within the state.

HB 4572 -- A bill to allow a portion of the Great Lakes water quality bonds to be expended for grants for engineering and consulting costs associated with sewage treatment projects.

HB 4573 -- A bill to transfer $100 million dollars in authorized bonds (from the $1 billion authorized by the voters in 2002) to the grant program created in HB 4572.

HB 4602 - A bill to revise the definition of maintenance to delete the installation of new traffic signals.

HB 4558 - A bill to forgive a $5 million loan to sugar beet cooperatives.

In committee:

Conservation, Forestry, and Outdoor Recreation will meet on Thursday (5/5) at 8:30 AM for testimony on an Forestry Practices - State of the Forestry Industry, with testimony by Daniel Keithly, Professor - Michigan State University and Paul Call, Weyerhaeuser Paper Company

Tax Policy, Joint Meeting with Senate Finance will meet on Monday (5/2) at 1:00 PM at Grand Valley State University Eberhard Center, 2nd floor Tele-conferencing room 301 W. Fulton St. Grand Rapids, MI for a general discussion regarding the Governors single business tax restructuring proposal. Please note: the meeting will focus only on the parts of the Governors tax restructuring proposal that deal with the single business tax (SBT).

Appropriations: Agriculture will meet on Tuesday (5/3) at 10:30 am to take up
the Fiscal Year 2005-06 Agriculture Budget - - Food Safety and Consumer Protection

Appropriations: Transportation will meet on Wednesday (5/4) at 8:30 AM for a testimony on the 2005-06 Transportation Budget

Submitted by:

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