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E-M:/ Michigan Environmental Council Capitol Update



Over the weekend, both houses of the legislature passed supplemental appropriations bills to balance this year’s budget.  It included raiding funds dedicated to other purposes and one time gimmicks.  Included in the raiding of funds were:

 

Funds dedicated to the cleanup of underground storage tanks:

Refined Petroleum Fund                                               $70,000,000

 

 

Michigan Conservation Corps Endowment Fund    $20,000,000

 

A full analysis is available at:

 

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2007-2008/billanalysis/House/pdf/2007-HLA-0436-8.pdf

 

 

Last week, Governor Granholm issued several Executive Orders that will directly impact Michigan’s environment, including:

 

-        Executive Order no.2007 – 35, abolishing the organic advisory committee.

-        Executive Order no.2007 – 34, abolishing the Great Lakes Protection Fund Technical Advisory Board.

-        Executive Order no.2007 – 33, abolishing the Environmental Education Advisory Committee.

 

In the Legislature, the Senate Agriculture Committee is again likely to take up SB 501-504, which deal with the regulation of Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). This Committee is expected to meet Thursday (5/31) at 8:30 am.  

 

SENATE

 

Passed:

 

SB 473 - A bill to require the DNR to maintain a website showing lands open for hunting.

 

In committee:

 

Subcommittees on appropriations:

 

Environmental Quality will meet Tuesday (5/29) at 2:00 pm and Thursday (5/31) at 1:00 pm for Subcommittee Recommendations/Decision Making on the FY 2007-08 Department of Environmental Quality Budget.

 

Standing committees:

 

Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs will meet Wednesday (5/30) at 1:00 PM to take up:

 

SCR 10 - A concurrent resolution to memorialize the Congress of the United States to provide funding for the Saginaw Bay Coastal Initiative.

 

Pending referral:

SR 66 - A resolution to urge Michigan's congressional delegation to secure supplemental funding to control the spread of viral hemorrhagic septicemia in fish populations.

 

SCR 12 - A concurrent resolution to urge Michigan's congressional delegation to secure supplemental funding to control the spread of viral hemorrhagic septicemia in fish populations. 

 

 

HOUSE

 

On the floor:

 

HB 4641 – A bill to allow a county board of commissioners to change name of office of county drain commissioner to office of the water resources commissioner and authorize and increase amount of bond.

 

HB 4642 – A bill to provide for a definition of the term "visibly in existence".

 

HB 4643 – A bill to clarify liability for certain legal expenses of a drainage district.

 

HB 4644 – A bill to increase the enforcement power for removing obstructions or interferences with drains.

 

HB 4688 – A bill to double the amount a drain commissioner can spend on maintenance of a drain (from $2,500 to $5,000) – and assess those costs to taxpayers within a special assessment district.  The taxpayers in such a district have no right to a vote on the maintenance project. 

 

SB 350 - A bill to create an animal welfare fund.

 

HB 4463 - A bill to require the issuance of a permit to operate a marina at a public road.  The MDEQ is concerned that the “shall issue” nature of the application could result in environmental degradation and possible overcrowding on inland lakes.

 

HB 4464 - A bill to clarify the intention of a plat donation of a road, street, or alley terminating at a lake or stream contiguous to a shoreline.

 

 In committee:

 

Subcommittees on appropriations: n/a

 

Standing committees:

 

New Economy and Quality of Life will meet on Tuesday (5/29) at 3:30 PM or after committees are given leave by the House to meet, whichever time is later, and again on Wednesday (5/30) at 8:30 AM, to take up HB 4711-13, bills to amend the brownfield redevelopment act to allow more costs to be covered by captured tax revenues and change the MDEQ approval process for some of those costs.

 

Agriculture will meet Wednesday (5/30) at 2:30 PM, or after committees are given leave by the House to meet, whichever time is later, for presentations by:

-        Michigan Allied Poultry Industries - George House, Executive Director.

-        Michigan Cattlemen's Association - Kathleen Hawkins, Executive Director.

 

 

 

Submitted by:

 

James Clift

Jamie Weitzel

Michigan Environmental Council

119 Pere Marquette, Ste 2A

Lansing, MI 48912

(517) 487-9539

 

www.mecprotects.org