2020 DNR and DEGLE budgets move closer to final approval

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jon Bumstead on Thursday joined his colleagues from both the House and Senate as the two chambers worked out their differences on the 2020 Department of Natural Resources and Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy budgets.

“We’re one step closer to getting a responsible budget on the governor’s desk,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “Both chambers have held discussions with the departments and worked out where the funds can be utilized most effectively and it’s time to get these and other measures finalized and to the governor.”

The plans approved Thursday afternoon include funding for a number of measures, most notably, water quality. It would add $120 million to address water quality issues such as PFAS and other contaminants. The funds will also help local municipalities implement the new lead and copper rules and provide grants to local health departments for private well testing.

Also included is funding to address the growing concern surrounding chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Michigan. The subcommittee recommendation included $2 million in one-time funding for research on the transmission, spread and prevention of CWD. An additional $300,000 is also included for increased lab costs because of the number of deer being tested.

Other measures include investments toward environmental cleanup and redevelopment, restoring dam management funding, invasive species research and continued strong support for parks and recreation.

Bumstead, who serves as vice chair of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, said Thursday’s action was a great step toward supporting Michigan’s environment and preserving it for generations to come.

“These budgets demonstrate our commitment to Michigan’s beautiful outdoors,” Bumstead said. “Our natural resources and environment are critical to our state’s continued success, and their well-being is a top priority. I believe the measures agreed upon today focus on accomplishing that priority and use taxpayer dollars responsibly where they need to be used.”

Thursday’s action moves both budgets before their respective chambers for final adoption.

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