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Michigan Legislative Update

Week of January 29, 2015

by Judy Augenstein

New legislation

SJR "C"  -  sponsored by Senator Casperson, modifies allowable expenditures by the Natural Resources Trust Fund, adopted by the Senate

SB 16  -- sponsored by Senator Casperson, modifies allowable expenditures to the NRTF, referred to the Senate Committee on Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.

View legislation at legislature

The 2015 legislature is beginning its legislative session much like 2014's marathon lame duck session which ended on December 19---with policy and budget debate being shaded by an upcoming statewide ballot proposal over roads.  The proposal, which voters will consider in May, is aimed at raising the state's sale tax from 6% to 7% in order to add $1.2 billion a year that will mostly go toward fixing Michigan's crumbling roads.  Even though "lame duck" legislators voted on the proposal on the last day of session in December, the issue will hover over the Legislature through the first five months of the year.

Governor Rick Snyder signed into law SB 910, sponsored by Senator Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba.  The measure amends the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to prohibit the Department of Environmental Quality from promulgating a rule limiting emissions from wood heaters, or enforcing a similar Federal regulation adopted after May 14, 2014.

Rep. Ken Goike, R-Ray Township has been named chair of the important Joint Administrative Rules Committee.  Some say this committee is the second most important committee of the standing committees, the Appropriations Committee taking the number one spot. 

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