99 Trust Fund Projects Clear First Legislative Hurdle

Capital outlay projects for the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) totaling more than $39 million for fiscal year 2011-2012 were approved today by the full House Committee on Appropriations with a vote of 25-1.  The only committee member voting against House Bill 5364 (H-1) in committee was Representative Dave Agema (R-Grandville), who continues his opposition to the MNRTF in his desire to divert the monies for other purposes, like the transportation and aeronautics fund.
For the upcoming fiscal year, there were 22 land acquisition projects—seven of which were State of Michigan projects and the remaining 15 will be acquired by local units of government. These 22 land acquisition projects will receive $23,610,800 from the Trust Fund. All of the project descriptions are available through the bill link above.
There are also 77 land development projects, four of which are on state public land and the remaining 73 by local governments. These land development projects will receive $16,054,400 from the Trust Fund.
Any un-obligated balance in an appropriation for a project will not revert back to the Trust Fund at the end of the year, but will continue to be used for its appropriated purpose up to three years from the date of appropriation. Also contained in this bill, there are a few funding source shifts from federal to state monies. The Department of Natural Resources received permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to utilize $4 million in federal Dingell-Johnson funds for operations and maintenance of boating access sites, freeing up Michigan State Waterways Fund money for capital outlay boating access projects which often require a longer time frame than the federal funding allows.
MUCC thanks Rep. Eileen Kowall (R-White Lake) for her sponsorship of HB 5364 and thanks to the House Appropriations Committee for taking swift action on this important bill. We encourage our members to contact your State Representative and urge them to vote Yes when this bill comes up for action on the House Floor.

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