(With apologies for cross postings)
Today Speaker Rick Johnson and Rep. Ruth Johnson, chair of the House Land Use and Environment Committee, released their legislative agenda for the 2003-2004 session. The agenda in includes eight points:
The agenda specifically identifies some policies that environmentalists have promoted for years, such as changing laws that force excessive landfill capacity, improving monitoring of beaches, and clearing titles on some abandoned or blighting properties. Other proposals that have lingered and sound good on paper, but raise the ire of environmentalists around the state include streamlining the plat process for land preservation (a proposal that potentially obfuscates the role of local zoning and planning) and implementing use value taxation for agricultural lands (which has been shown in other states to exacerbate land speculation rather than promote permanent preservation). As always the devil is in the details.
Overall, the House Republicans have put forward another measured and fair agenda that has the potential to forge bipartisan alliances and create real change.
Land Programs Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912