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Mayes Supports Proposal To Combine DNR, DEQ

Cost-Saving Measure Could Save Taxpayers About $2 Million

June 19, 2009       Leave a Comment
By: MyBayCity Staff

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State Representative Jeff Mayes (D-Bay City) today called on fellow lawmakers to support a plan that would combine the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) generating significant savings to taxpayers by creating one entity called the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. The plan, which passed the House Environmental Quality and Natural Resources Appropriations subcommittees, could save taxpayers about $2 million.

"Michigan has some of the most beautiful natural resources in the world, and has a crown jewel in our Great Lakes," Mayes said. "We must ensure that even as we face an unprecedented budget challenge, we continue to protect these treasures that so many of our residents enjoy them every day. Merging these two agencies will save money and promote better communication between the departments, and placing the DEQ under the authority of the Natural Resource Commission will provide the department with some sorely needed oversight."

The DNR and DEQ were split by former Governor John Engler in the 1990s. The budget for the combined department would be $626 million and will fund only one director.

"We're facing some hard choices here in Michigan, but we must always keep in mind that millions rely on Michigan's abundant natural resources for their livelihoods," Mayes said. "Agriculture, tourism, these industries support thousands of Michigan jobs. We need to be sure that as we move forward on this consolidation plan, we protect these jobs and look at ways we can grow our economy."

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