DNR Funding in Senate Appropriations
Department of Natural Resources funding – including Gov. Snyder’s license proposal – will be the subject of a Senate appropriations subcommittee on Thursday.
In the House of Representatives version of the DNR appropriations bill, the approximately $11 million expected from license restructuring during the 2013-2014 fiscal year was included (it will be approximately $18.1 million in the first full year of implementation). However, the House subcommittee did not include general fund recommendations from the Governor including:
- $2 million one-time funding to replace the 65-year old Great Lakes research vessel, the Chinook;
- $3.7 million in ongoing funding to operate Belle Isle as a State Park, if the City of Detroit concurs;
- $3.5 million in ongoing funding to support the hiring of 25 new Conservation Officers, and $600,000 in one time funding to fund the academy (there will still be some money dedicated to increasing CO’s in the license fee package, approximately 16 could be hired if revenues come in as projected);
- An additional $150,000 for Aquatic Invasive Species prevention and control; and
- $9.7 million from the Waterways Fund for emergency dredging and other boating projects.
If the Senate includes some of these items in its bill, then they can still be included in the final budget through a joint conference committee to resolve the differences in the two versions.
Gov. Snyder’s license proposal would restructure hunting and fishing licenses by simplifying them from over 230 license types to about 40. The Department created a list of outcomes from the $18 million per year it would generate which includes almost $7 million for habitat work, spread across the Fisheries, Wildlife and Forestry divisions, $4.5 million to hire more conservation officers and just under $2.5 million to improve the license retail system and increase recruitment and retention efforts.
Contact your legislator and the members of the Senate appropriations subcommittee to tell them you support the license proposal and the habitat work, game law enforcement and natural resources investment it will create.
Michigan Senate: Contact Your Senator
Please also contact those on the Senate Appropriations:
- Senator Roger Kahn, Appropriations Chair (R-32-Saginaw) 517-373-1760 orSenRKahn@senate.michigan.gov
- Senator Mike Green, Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee Chair (R-31-Mayville) 517-373-1777 or SenMGreen@senate.michigan.gov
- Senator Darwin Booher (R-35-Evart) 517-373-1725 orSenDBooher@senate.michigan.gov
- Senator Howard Walker (R-37-Traverse City) 517-373-2413 orSenHWalker@senate.michigan.gov
- Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-8-Taylor) 517-373-7800 or SenHHopgood@senate.michigan.gov