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March 13, 2017
Both the House and the Senate continue to hold many committee meetings on both policy and budget. On the policy side, committees are starting to move from presentations to bills and budget testimony is starting to enter its final stages. This week House Commerce will be taking up a bill on healthy food access, and House Tourism will be hearing an update on the 2012 Blue Ribbon Panel State Parks report.
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Embracing Clean Energy
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HB 5015 - Renewable Energy

MEC Position: Support
Works with PURPA contracts, seemingly to help ensure that the commission forces utilities to consider them This bill helps protect renewable energy and cogenerators under the PURPA, the Public Utilities Regulatory Utility Policy Act, and strengthens accountability of utilities to submit to the commission. It abolishes part of the law governing the Michigan Public Service Commission, and changes some proceedings. For example, it would prohibit rate increases without notice or hearing, and qualifies how residential energy conservation programs are permitted. It also allows for securitization of stranded costs, and changes some aspects of power supply cost recovery. It adds sections to the contested case process, related to co-generation and small power plants, while promoting a diverse array of sustainable energy resources. Last, it defines avoided cost, and cogeneration facilities, qualifying facilities, and small power facilities. MEC supports this bill. The bill helps protect ratepayers and operators of small renewable energy companies by forcing utilities to consider the true cost of power. View Details

Protecting Michigan's Waters
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SB 591 - Native Copper Mines

MEC Position: Oppose
Exempts from regulation under Part 632 native copper mines that annually produce less than 75,000 tons of waste rock or disturb less than 10 acres of land. Native copper is defined as copper in its elemental form. View Details

Advancing Transportation Solutions
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HB 5062 - Bus Rapid Transit

MEC Position: Support
Bill would make corresponding amendments to provide for a penalty ($100 civil fine) if a vehicle illegally uses a dedicated BRT lane. MEC supports this legislation as a way to encourage BRT systems and develop transit options statewide. View Details

Conserving Natural Resources
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SB 507 - Recycling measurement

MEC Position: Support
This bill would create the first system in Michigan for tracking how much the state is recycling. This requires all recyclers over 100 tons per year to report to the state how much material they are recycling. MEC supports this bill, as it is a necessary first step to improving the state's recycling rate. View Details
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