Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Alexander: Signed legislation rolls back input from local business owners, communities
RELEASE|March 6, 2024

State Rep. Greg Alexander, of Carsonville, today criticized a new law that will impact how local job providers can work with the state on regulations affecting them, including in Michigan’s vital agriculture sector.

House Bills 4824-26, now Public Acts 7-9 of 2024, eliminate a key transparency and accountability component in the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s rule-making process – known as the Environmental Rules Review Committee.

Established through law in 2018, the independent oversight committee allowed for regulated individuals and entities to get involved with the state for potential rules to ensure a final product was practical and not negatively impacting livelihoods through government overreach. The committee was made up of 13 individuals from various business, agriculture, environmental groups along with the general public. The 2018 law also created a separate Michigan Environmental Science Board that provided science-based recommendations on issues impacting public health and natural resources.

“The original law was a collaborative effort over several years to develop long-term, commonsense solutions to frustrations many had with a bureaucratic rule-making process that was out of touch. Rules made sense because there was careful consideration with the help of industry leaders and people who worked these types of jobs providing valuable input,” Alexander said. “This was government working as intended with the people and small business owners having a say. That has been stripped out under the guise of efficiency. Unfortunately, efficiency in this case will mean Lansing simply dictating rules without the sustainability or functionality of our agriculture industry in mind. That’s wrong.

“Our food and agriculture industry is estimated to support over 800,000 jobs – which is almost 20 percent of the state’s workforce. These types of rules have a profound impact on a large portion of people who call our state home. Big government will create big headaches by wiping out this committee – and our farmers and ranchers lose.”

A similar rules review committee has enjoyed longstanding success just across the border from Michigan. The state of Indiana has operated one for environmental rules since 1996, with positive reports from related state agencies, the regulated community and environmental interests.

“Our state is constantly seeking to compete with others for residents and jobs,” Alexander said. “Cutting employers in vital industries out of processes like this only makes our state less competitive going forward.”

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