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E-M:/ Michigan Environmental Council Capitol Update 4-24-06



In addition to the Governor’s announcement of 90% mercury reductions from power plants by 2015, this month, Governor Granholm issued an Executive Directive that the Public Service Commission propose an Energy Plan for the State of Michigan by the end of this year. The plan must include energy efficiency, alternative energy technology, and renewable technologies; create and establish targets for a renewable portfolio standard; and include ways to protect Michigan’s environment from pollution and other hazards posed by fossil fuels. For more information, visit: http://www.michigan.gov/printerFriendly/0,1687,7-168-36898-140415--,00.html

 

Senate

 

Passed:

SB 1074 – A bill to impose a temporary 12 cents per gallon tax on certain alternative fuels. 

SB 1075 – A bill to acquire a supply of alternative fuel by October 2006 so that all State-owned vehicles capable of using alternative fuels are able to use them. 

SB 1076 – A bill to create a grant program and incentives to convert fuel delivery systems to provide biodiesel blends. 

 

SB 1077 – A bill to create a commission to investigate and recommend strategies to promote the use of alternative fuels. 

 

SB 1078 – A bill to designate up to 10 additional renaissance zones for renewable energy facilities. **A floor amendment was introduced to require that by-products of these facilities not be sold or distributed to CAFOs.

 

SB 1079 – A bill to extend regulations of certain fuels.

 

SB 1132 – A bill to create a local federal match program to fund transportation projects.


On the calendar:

Forestry:
**HB 5453 – A bill to require timber sales on all timber land evaluated by the department within 18 months of the evaluation. 

SB 912 – A bill to provide for tax incentive for managing private forestland by exempting them form the school mileage – with the state required to make up the difference.


SB 913 - A bill to establish a qualified forest property recapture tax for properties that received property tax breaks under the property tax act, but then were converted to other uses.

SB 914 - A bill to exempt qualified forest property from most property taxes – leaving them similar to homesteads.

 

HB 5456 – A bill to define which facilities would be eligible for new forest products renaissance zones.

 

SB 919 – A bill to create 20 new forest products renaissance zones.

 

SB 337 - A bill to create a tax credit for historical buildings renovations. The bill however creates them as SBT credits, which although generated by nonprofit groups would be sold to SBT tax payers. A grant program to the nonprofits could serve the same purpose directly.

Agriculture: 

SB 1167 – A bill to create an agricultural roundtable to discuss the commercialization of agricultural products. 

 

SB 1168 – A bill to establish a grant and revolving loan program for the commercialization of agricultural value-added products, processes, and services.

 

SB 1169 – A bill to create and administer the agricultural development fund. 


In Committee:

Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs will meet on Tuesday (4/25) at 3:00 pm to take up:

 

HB 5554 – A bill to establish criteria for the designation of a school as a “green school”.

 

SB 1107 – A bill to revise county road commissions’ method of approving final plat. 

 

Transportation will meet on Tuesday (4/25) at 1:00 pm to take up:

 

SB 1051 – A bill to provide a cap on the collection of transportation fund revenue administrative expenses. 

 

SB 1182 – A bill to create increase the local limitation on transfer of funds from a major street system to a local street system. 

 

Appropriations: Agriculture will meet on Thursday (4/27) at 3:30 pm to take up:

-Department of Agriculture Budget

 

Appropriations: Transportation will meet on Tuesday (4/25) at 2:00 pm to take up:

-Road and bridge funding

 

House

On the calendar:

Energy:
HB 4647 – Provide for a Single business tax credit for a production tax credit for wind energy from wind turbines.

HB 4648 – Provide for a definition and outline the regulation of wind energy systems by townships.

HB 4649 – Provide for a definition and regulation of wind energy systems by counties.

Agriculture:
**SB 777 – A bill to preempt local governments from regulating seeds, including genetically engineered seeds.

 

**SB 538 – A bill to make methane digesters and similar technologies eligible for small business pollution prevention loans. The use of methane digester is only viable for large scale confined animal feeding operations, many of which have been shown to be chronic violators of environmental laws, or as designed, are expected to become violators during certain weather conditions. The Michigan Environmental Council opposed the legislation because we do not believe scarce state resources should be used to subsidize these types of farms.

**HB 5711 - Presumption of compliance with environmental law for farm participating in MAEAP program.

**HB 5712 – This bill excludes CAFOs registered in the MAEAP from the requirement to get a water discharge permit. 

HB 5713 - Require Department of Environmental Quality to publish a booklet that explains laws and rules that farms must follow to comply with environmental laws.

HB 5714 – Require complainants name to be given when filing a complaint concerning a farm with the Department of Environmental Quality and subject those people to costs if they file more than two unverified complaint.

HB 5715 -5716 - Designate the Department of Agriculture to oversee the Clean Water Fund Nonpoint Source Program.

 

Public Lands/Forests:

HB 5674 – A bill to authorize the Mackinac Island state park commission to sell property and accept gifts.


SB 248 – A bill to revise procedures to establish and issue vehicle fund-raising registration plates. 

Transportation:
**HB 5560 – A bill to allow a public transit authority to levy taxes up to 25 years.

Land Use:
HB 5817-5820 – Bills to modify how payments are made to residential occupants who move due to condemnation actions.

 

HB 5294-5296 – Establish grace period and limit fines for zoning ordinance violations for cities and villages, counties, and townships.

HB 5565-5567 – A bill to expressly allow for mixed use zoning in townships, counties, and cities and villages. 
 
In committee:

 

Conservation, Forestry, and Outdoor Recreation will meet on Thursday (4/27) at 8:30 am to take up bills including:

 

**SB 971 – A bill to require review and recommendation of the citizens committee for Michigan state parks before there is a sale of state park land.

 

**SB 972 – A bill to prohibit land within state parks from being designated surplus and being sold.

 

Government Operations will meet on Wednesday (4/26) at 2:00 pm or after session to take up a set of bills including:

 

HB 5749 – A bill to give local units of governments the ability to regulate the use of certain vessels and equipment on inland lakes by adoption of a local ordinance. 

HB 5960 – A bill to authorize townships to regulate public access sites on inland lakes and streams.

 

Appropriations: Agriculture will meet on Tuesday (4/25) at 10:30 am to take up:

-Agriculture budget decision making

 

Appropriations: Environmental Quality will meet on Tuesday (4/25) at 1:30 pm or after session to take up:

-Water Quality Monitoring FY 2006-7 decision making

-HB 5779 – A bill to provide the Department of Environmental Quality $0 in FY 2006-7.

 

Submitted by:

James Clift
Kate Madigan
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Ste 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 487-9539
http://www.mecprotects.org/