Update: SB 78 "Anti-Biodiversity Bill" passes full Senate
SB 78, the "Anti-Biodiversity Bill" passed the full Michigan Senate on March 5.
It was approved on what appeared to be a strict party-line vote of 26-11.
Notably, Sen. Rebekah Warren took a courageous stand against SB 78 on the Senate Floor, arguing eloquently on behalf of Michigan's history of science-based natural resource management. You can watch her statement here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
She also offered several helpful amendments including language that would have reinstated the original, science-based definition of biodiversity; another to keep original language saying that human activity is the primary cause of biodiversity loss; and a substitute bill that would have ensured humans could access any designated Biodiversity Stewardship Areas -- an attempt to address an unfounded concern about "locking up land' often reiterated by the bill's Republican sponsor. All amendments were rejected on what again appeared to be party-line votes.
The fight for biodiversity will next move to the House Natural Resources Committee.
We will alert you when a bill is up for consideration there, but feel free to reach out to House Committee members about this issue now. They are:
- Andrea LaFontaine (R) Committee Chair, 32nd District: (517) 373-8931, AndreaLaFontaine@house.mi.gov
- Bruce Rendon (R) Majority Vice-Chair, 103rd District: (517) 373-3817, BruceRendon@house.mi.gov
- Ken Goike (R) 33rd District: (517) 373-0820, KenGoike@house.mi.gov
- Joel Johnson (R) 97th District:(517) 373-8962, JoelJohnson@house.mi.gov
- Ed McBroom (R) 108th District: (517) 373-0156, EdMcBroom@house.mi.gov
- Roger Victory (R) 88th District: (517) 373-1830, RogerVictory@house.mi.gov
- Charles Smiley (D) Minority Vice-Chair, 50th District: (517) 373-3906, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Scott Dianda (D) 110th District: (517) 373-0850, email@example.com
- John Kivela (D) 109th District: (517) 373-0498, firstname.lastname@example.org
For complete background on this issue, we recommend the following links:
"State Senate bill puts forests at risk of disease, pests, environmentalists say." Detroit Free Press.