Rep Roberts Slams House Republicans for Cuts to Great Lakes

House proposed budget would cut more than $4.2 million from executive proposed budget
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

LANSING – State Representative Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores), Democratic vice-chairwoman of the Department of Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee, is calling out House Republicans for their drastic cuts to Michigan’s Great Lakes funding programs.

“Too often we hear the rhetoric of Republicans on how we must protect and preserve the Great Lakes. Today, they had the opportunity to put their money where their mouth is. Once again they demonstrated a complete lack of commitment to the very things that makes us Pure Michigan: Our water and natural environment.”

The House Republicans’ proposed budget will cut roughly $500,000 from the governor’s recommended budget from the Office of the Great Lakes, which leads policy development, implements programs to protect, restore, and sustain the Great Lakes, as well as facilitates our responsibilities with the Great Lakes Compact. The budget would also slash $200,000 from the Surface Water Quality Program, which enforces the issuance of permits, compliance of activities concerning water quality, and the testing of surface water after sewage overflows. This cut puts at risk up to $500,000 in federal matching grant dollars. Roberts offered amendments that would have restored the money House Republicans cut, but both were voted down on party lines.

“This is the budget that provides the opportunity to truly protect our Pure Michigan way of life. Cutting funding from programs to protect our Great Lakes, our water quality and our environment is extremely shortsighted and is completely counterintuitive to promoting Michigan as a place to travel and live.”