Senate approves Richardville bill to increase protection of state waterways funding
LANSING - The Senate unanimously approved legislation today sponsored by Sen. Randy Richardville that will further protect Michigan’s Waterways Fund by ensuring the money is used for appropriate projects.
As a state representative, Richardville authored a ballot proposal to restrict spending of the state’s recreational funds, such as money paid by residents for hunting and fishing licenses or registrations for snowmobiles, off-road vehicles or boats. Proposal 1 of 2006 provided constitutional protection preventing dollars in the Marine Safety Fund, Waterways Fund and Harbor Development Fund from being used for non-related expenses.
“Voters across Michigan overwhelmingly approved Proposal 1,” Richardville said. “They sent a clear message that such funds should be used for specific projects that focus on maintaining our waterways as well as the structures, equipment and facilities that are necessary for watercraft usage. This legislation provides even more certainty that the funds will be spent appropriately.”
Senate Bill 34 outlines specific uses of the Waterways Fund that are consistent with the 2006 constitutional amendment. The bill is supported by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan United Conservation Clubs and Michigan Boating Industries Association.
“This legislation lists appropriate uses for money in the Waterways Fund,” Richardville said. “It will help prevent state departments from shifting money that should be spent on maintaining our waterways to other programs within the departments.”
The measure will now go to the state House for consideration.
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2009
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