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Michigan Legislative Update

Week of January 29, 2016

by Judy Augenstein

This week the Legislature has been focused on the Detroit Public School crisis and the Flint water crisis.  Governor Rick Snyder is stepping up the presence of his office in Flint to help manage the water crisis with longtime adviser Rich Baird named to head up the state's efforts and Snyder contends that Lt. Governor Brian Calley will be spending a significant amount of time in the city as well.  This week the governor announced the appointments to the new Flint Water Inter Agency Coordinating Committee and they include the two outside expert who proved instrumental in rousing the state to recognize lead was leaching into Flint's water, doctor Mona Hanna-Attisha and Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards.

On Thursday, the House gave final approval to the $28 million supplemental for Flint to aid in its efforts to combat the water crisis, with a focus on providing services for children with lead poisoning.  The bill saw some changes as the amount of water bottle donations to Flint prompted the Senate to move $1.7 million from the Department of Health and Human Services for more water to the Department of Education for Early On Program assessments for babies and toddlers.

This week Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona introduced HB 5275 and referred to the the House Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee.  The purpose of the bill is to allow ORV's and horses the use of forest roads in the lower peninsula and to require a forest road inventory.  View the bill at

No forestry related bills were scheduled for debate by the House Natural Resources Committee or the Senate Natural Resources Committee this week.

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