Environmentalists concerned about lame duck legislative session agenda | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

Environmentalists concerned about lame duck legislative session agenda

Nov 26, 2018

Michigan legislators return to their seats in the state House (see here) and state Senate chambers this week.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Environmentalists are warning that state lawmakers leaving office in December may act on a wide range of legislation affecting water quality and other issues during their lame duck session.

Legislation on renewable energy taxation, PFAS and other environmental issues are among the bills on the lame duck session fast track. Michigan lawmakers are expected to act on bills related to building a tunnel for an oil pipeline in the Mackinac Straits.  

Sean Hammond is the deputy policy director for the Michigan Environmental Council. He says many of the bills are tied to lawmakers leaving Lansing, either because they are term-limited or because they lost elections.

“With all the term-limited folks in Lansing, I don’t know if it’s very surprising to see a lot of these last-minute priorities go in,” says Hammond.

Other legislation lawmakers are expected to act on during the compressed lame duck session includes regulation of coal ash, wetlands and even tree removal. 

Environmentalists are concerned that many of these bills will have a negative effect on Michigan’s environment.  

“The legislature in terms of what they got on their agenda for lame duck is really putting forward a lot of proposals that would weaken protections across the board for lakes, rivers and streams … and our groundwater,” says Charlotte Jameson, with the Michigan Environmental Council.  

The lame duck session ends December 20.