Richardville votes to reject governors plan that could harm Michigan agriculture industry
LANSING — Sen. Randy Richardville today voted to reject the governor’s Executive Order that minimizes the responsibilities of the nonpartisan Michigan Commission of Agriculture.
“Contributing $71 billion to Michigan, the agriculture industry plays a significant role in the state economy,” said Richardville, R-Monroe. “The state should not make needless changes that could actually harm this important industry.”
Since 1921, the commission has provided public oversight for the agriculture industry in Michigan. The governor’s decision removes significant responsibilities, including selection of the director and review of rules and regulations.
Hundreds of agricultural and business leaders in Michigan oppose the governor’s proposed changes, including Doug Darling, a local farm operator in Monroe County and former commissioner from 1995 to 2007.
“I do not see any benefit to changing the role of the commission,” Darling said. “The commission oversees a wide range of issues, from food safety to protecting the environment, that affect state residents at all levels of their everyday life. It has been instrumental in advancing Michigan agriculture because of its emphasis on good government and nonpartisan policy making.”
Agriculture is Michigan’s second largest industry and employs more than one million state residents. Having a 12 percent growth rate, the industry is one of the few sectors of the economy that is expanding.
“I support government reforms that save dollars from eliminating unnecessary functions and making systems more efficient, but the governor’s changes to the agriculture commission do not achieve these goals,” Richardville said.
The House of Representatives must also vote to reject the governor’s Executive Order. for the changes to not occur.
Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2009
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