Here's priority legislation we're tracking during this legislative session, including the bill number, our position, and a link to the bill's status on the Michigan Legislature website.
See Michigan Environmental Council Policy Priorities 2017-2018: Refocusing the State of Michigan on Protecting Public Health, for a list of our top policy priorities, developed in collaboration with our member organizations.
HB 4205 -- No stricter than federal
This bill would prevent the state from promulgating administrative rules that are more stringent than the federal government unless the state can prove by clear and convincing evidence the need to have that rule. This would result in weaker protections for the Great Lakes and massive litigation costs each time the state attempted to undertake a rulemaking.
HB 5095 -- Weaken Michigan's ballast water standards
This bill would lower the state’s standards for ballast water treatment against aquatic invasive species. The bill would be a significant step backward from the state’s long history of leadership in protecting the Great Lakes from new aquatic invasive species.
SB 292 -- Decommission Line 5
This bill would put into law a process where a pipeline easement on the bottomlands of the Great Lakes would have to do a review of risks and alternatives under the GLSLA ultimately leading to the decommission of the line if it is found to present a high risk to the public trust.
SB 652 & 653 -- Delegation of State Rulemaking and Permitting Authority to Private Interests
HB 4051 -- Require lead screening test for at-risk children under 6 years of age
The department shall require that all Medicaid recipients under 6 years of age and all MIChild enrollees under 6 years of age receive an annual lead screening test. This is a solid step forward toward testing all Michigan kids under the age of 6 for lead poisoning and we support it with slight modifications.
Our View: MEC Health Policy Director appointed to Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission;
Advocates rally in Lansing to end lead poisoning;
With lead in the spotlight, MEC-lead coalition calls for more state funding to protect kids
Land & Conservation
SB 302 & SB 303 -- Attack on Michigan's Public Lands
These bills would make it easier to sell state-owned forestland and other public lands to private companies wishing to mine or develop land, while making it more difficult for the state to acquire more public lands for hiking and recreation. It would also remove policy tools the Michigan Department of Natural Resources uses to manage motorized access to create quiet areas and protect sensitive habitats on state lands.
SB 763 -- SJR O - MNRTF/SPEF -- Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund
This bill significantly changes the funding formula whereby revenues earned from extraction of oil, gas and minerals on public lands are invested in capital and land for public recreation. MEC wants to ensure that the “asset for asset” model of the original Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is preserved.
Cities & Hometowns
SB 123, 124, and 170 - Bicycle Safety
These bills would mandate a 5-foot passing lane for cyclists and more time in drivers education to be dedicated to teaching young drivers how to handle vulnerable roadway users and safely share the road.
SB 51 -- Michigan Infrastructure Council
This bill would create an infrastructure council charged with putting together a plan to manage public and private infrastructure updates in the state. This includes regional pilot projects and an infrastructure asset management database system.
HB 4266 -- Backyard Gardens
This bill would allow for fruit/veggies/livestock production at non-commercial scale and allows for transfer/sale of products.