Michigan Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski, alongside Michigan Chamber of Commerce President Rich Studley, announced their organization’s support for working with Gov. Rick Snyder and the legislature to advance two proposals that prioritize sustainable, fiscally responsible environmental and water infrastructure investments.
The “Renew Michigan’s Environment” and “Rebuild Michigan’s Water Infrastructure” plans within Senate Bill 943 and House Bill 5898, sponsored by Sen. Mike Nofs and Rep. Larry Inman respectively, focus on brownfield site clean-up, bolstering the state’s recycling and waste management programs, and investing in water, sewer and storm water infrastructure.
“Michigan farmers are the original caretakers of the land and water resources, and pride ourselves as being good stewards to produce a safe and abundant food supply,” MFB President Carl Bednarski said. “These are forward-thinking proposals that recognize the importance of public health and environmental protections…without being overly burdensome to Michigan taxpayers.”
The plans, if implemented, are projected to provide $69 million annually for environmentally-based investments and $110 million annually for water repair and replacement efforts through direct funding, creation of an emergency fund, grant and loan programs, and fee structure modifications.
“Focusing resources on contaminated and orphaned brownfield sites helps reduce development pressure on green space—including farmland,” Bednarski added. “Rehabilitating and reinvesting in these existing properties also increases the local tax base, facilitates job growth and allows better use of existing infrastructure.”
Bednarski also indicated the plans align with Michigan Farm Bureau’s member-developed policy.
“We look forward to working with our partners, the Administration and the Legislature to get these policies implemented.”