Michigan Legislation Update, Senate Bill Package 1155-1158

On Tuesday each of the bills were moved to a second reading:

The Committee on Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation, by Rep. Foster, Chair, reported
Senate Bill No. 1155, entitled
A bill to amend 1994 PA 451, entitled “Natural resources and environmental protection act,” by amending sections 5201, 5202, 5203, and 5204 (MCL 324.5201, 324.5202, 324.5203, and 324.5204), section 5201 as amended by 2005 PA 257, sections 5202 and 5203 as added by 2002 PA 397, and section 5204 as amended by 2010 PA 232, and by adding sections 5204e and 5204f.
With the recommendation that the substitute (H-1) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
The bill and substitute were referred to the order of Second Reading of Bills.

Favorable Roll Call
To Report Out:
Yeas: Reps. Foster, Huuki, Wayne Schmidt, Damrow, Hughes, Johnson, Pettalia, Haugh, Stapleton, Bledsoe and Slavens
Nays: None

The Committee on Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation, by Rep. Foster, Chair, reported
Senate Bill No. 1156, entitled
A bill to amend 1994 PA 451, entitled “Natural resources and environmental protection act,” by amending sections 5301 and 5303 (MCL 324.5301 and 324.5303), section 5301 as amended by 2005 PA 255 and section 5303 as amended by 2002 PA 398; and to repeal acts and parts of acts.
With the recommendation that the substitute (H-1) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
The bill and substitute were referred to the order of Second Reading of Bills.

Favorable Roll Call
To Report Out:
Yeas: Reps. Foster, Huuki, Wayne Schmidt, Damrow, Hughes, Johnson, Pettalia, Haugh, Stapleton, Bledsoe and Slavens
Nays: None

The Committee on Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation, by Rep. Foster, Chair, reported
Senate Bill No. 1157, entitled
A bill to amend 1994 PA 451, entitled “Natural resources and environmental protection act,” by amending sections 5402 and 5406 (MCL 324.5402 and 324.5406), as added by 1997 PA 26.
With the recommendation that the substitute (H-1) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
The bill and substitute were referred to the order of Second Reading of Bills.

Favorable Roll Call
To Report Out:
Yeas: Reps. Foster, Huuki, Wayne Schmidt, Damrow, Hughes, Johnson, Pettalia, Haugh, Stapleton, Bledsoe and Slavens
Nays: None
The Committee on Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation, by Rep. Foster, Chair, reported
Senate Bill No. 1158, entitled
A bill to amend 1994 PA 451, entitled “Natural resources and environmental protection act,” by amending section 19708 (MCL 324.19708), as amended by 2010 PA 232.
With the recommendation that the substitute (H-1) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
The bill and substitute were referred to the order of Second Reading of Bills.

Favorable Roll Call
To Report Out:
Yeas: Reps. Foster, Huuki, Wayne Schmidt, Damrow, Hughes, Johnson, Pettalia, Haugh, Stapleton, Bledsoe and Slavens
Nays: None

COMMITTEE ATTENDANCE REPORT
The following report, submitted by Rep. Foster, Chair, of the Committee on Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation, was received and read:
Meeting held on: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Present: Reps. Foster, Huuki, Wayne Schmidt, Damrow, Hughes, Johnson, Pettalia, Haugh, Stapleton, Bledsoe and Slavens
______________________________________________________________________

A meeting has just been scheduled for next Tuesday (11/27), agenda is to include the public works financing bills discussed in our last post:

DATE: 11/27/2012
TIME: 9:00 AM
PLACE: Room 307 House Office Building, Lansing, MI

AGENDA:
SB 1155    (Sen. Kowall)    Water; quality; strategic water quality initiatives fund; modify grant and loan programs.
SB 1156    (Sen. Proos)    Water; quality; state water pollution control revolving fund; modify definition of disadvantaged community to be eligible for clean water assistance.
SB 1157    (Sen. Pavlov)    Water; quality; safe drinking water revolving fund; revise designation of disadvantaged community and modify points awarded for funding priorities.
SB 1158    (Sen. Hildenbrand)    Water; quality; transfer of money from the Great Lakes water quality bond fund; modify distributions.

HB 5897    (Rep. Stamas)    Natural resources; wetlands; permit exemptions for wetlands and inland lakes and streams; revise, and require more information from department justifying denial of any part 13 permits.

HB 5544    (Rep. Foster)    Crimes; weapons; prohibitions against carrying certain weapons; revise.

HB 5883    (Rep. Johnson)    Natural resources; fishing; netting of fish; allow department of natural resources to issue order.

SB 939    (Sen. Meekhof)    Environmental protection; permits; environmental leader program; establish in statute and provide incentives.

SB 940    (Sen. Proos)    State financing and management; purchasing; priority consideration; grant to companies in environmental leaders program.

SB 941    (Sen. Casperson)    Environmental protection; solid waste; public health code; make parts concerning medical waste and radiation control subject to environmental leaders program.

SB 942    (Sen. Green)    Environmental protection; other; safe drinking water act; make subject to environmental leaders program.

SB 1031    (Sen. Casperson)    Natural resources; forests; provision related to use of municipal forest property; expand to allow recreational activities on property.

Michigan Legislation Update, Senate Bill Package 1155-1158

Michigan State Revolving Fund Program Changes

A package of bills moving through the state legislature would create changes to the current SRF/SWQIF programs. Here is the complete fiscal analysis.

Senate Bill 1158 would amend Part 197 (Great Lakes Water Quality Bond Implementation) of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to revise the allocation of money from the Great Lakes Water Quality Bond Fund. Part 197 requires the State Treasurer to transfer money in the Great Lakes Water Quality Bond Fund as follows:

  • — In aggregate, a maximum of $710.0 million must be deposited into the State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund (SRF).
  • — In aggregate, a maximum of $290.0 million must be deposited into the Strategic Water Quality Initiatives Fund (SWQIF).

The bill would decrease the maximum amount transferred to the SRF to $90.0 million, and increase the maximum amount transferred to the SWQIF to $910.0 million.
Senate Bill 1155 (S-1) would amend Part 52 (Strategic Water Quality Initiatives) to do the
following:

  • — Include construction activities related to sewage treatment works, stormwater treatment, and nonpoint source projects among the activities eligible for a low-interest loan through the Strategic Water Quality Initiatives Loan Program, when identified through an asset management program or storm water project plan designed to protect water quality.
  • — Authorize the use of SWQIF money for grants to municipalities for sewage collection and treatment systems, and grants and loans for wetland mitigation banks.
  • — Require the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to report annually to the Legislature on the use of funds under Part 52 that were  received from the Great Lakes Water Quality Bond Fund.

The grant program would have to provide grants of up to $1.0 million to cover a maximum of 90% of the costs incurred by a municipality. For grants of more than $1.0 million and less than $2.0 million, the program could not cover more than 75% of the municipality’s costs. A municipality could receive a 100% grant if it were a disadvantaged community as defined in Part 53 (which Senate Bill 1156 (S-1) would amend); a municipality in receivership or under a consent agreement under the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act; or a municipality with an appointed emergency financial manager or under a consent agreement under the Local Government Fiscal Responsibility Act. No municipality could receive more than $2.0 million in total grant assistance.

The bill would require the Michigan Municipal Bond Authority, in conjunction with the DEQ, to establish a wetland mitigation bank funding program that provided grants and loans totaling a maximum of $10.0 million to eligible municipalities. Up to $500,000 of the total could be used for grants. The funding could be used for this program as long as funds remained available.
These grants would have to provide assistance to municipalities to complete loan application requirements for funding from the wetland mitigation bank funding program or other sources of financing. Grants could not cover more than 90% of a municipality’s costs to complete an application for loan assistance.
Loans under this program would have to provide assistance to municipalities to establish a wetland mitigation bank.
Senate Bill 1156 (S-1) would amend Part 53 (Clean Water Assistance) to require the DEQ to award up to 50 points to a proposed sewage treatment works, stormwater treatment, or nonpoint source project in a disadvantaged community, when developing its priority list for SWQIF project funding.
“Disadvantaged community” would mean a municipality in which both of the following conditions are met:

  • — Users within the area served by a proposed sewage treatment works project or stormwater treatment project are directly assessed for the costs of construction.
  • — The median household income of the area served by the proposed project does not exceed 120% of the statewide median annual household income for Michigan.
  • Additionally, the municipality would have to demonstrate that more than 50% of the area served by a proposed project is identified as a poverty area by the U.S. Bureau of Census, or that the median annual household income of the area served by a proposed project does not exceed specified levels.

Senate Bill 1157 (S-1) would amend Part 54 (Safe Drinking Water Assistance) to do the following:

  • — Provide that formal enforcement action points awarded to a proposed project in the DEQ’s development of a priority list for public water supply project funding would be in addition to the maximum points otherwise allowed.
  • — Revise the criteria used to break a tie between projects with even scores.

The bill also would revise the definition of “disadvantaged community” in Part 54. The revised definition would be similar to the one Senate Bill 1156 (S-1) would add to Part 53, except the term would refer to a public water supply project rather than a sewage treatment works or stormwater treatment project. All of the bills are tie-barred to each other.

 

 

 

Michigan State Revolving Fund Program Changes

Great Lakes Habitat Restoration/Conservation, Deadline Feb. 1, 2013

The goal of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is to target the most significant environmental problems in the Great Lakes ecosystem.  As part of this initiative, the two bird habitat joint ventures that are in the Great Lakes watershed – the Upper Mississippi and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture and the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture – will be working with the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration programs in the Midwest and Northeast Regions of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to competitively fund state and other partner projects for long-term habitat restoration, enhancement or protection, for conservation of native Great Lakes fish and wildlife populations, particularly migratory birds.  Preference will be given to activities that help meet the habitat goals of the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture Implementation Plan or the Lower Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Plain (BCR 13) Bird Conservation Region Plan, other relevant bird conservation plans, and State Wildlife Action Plans.

Ranking and selection of projects will be based on information provided in the application.  Highest consideration will be given to projects with several of the following attributes, in priority order:  1) Benefits to priority bird species, habitats and geographic areas identified in applicable Joint Venture bird conservation plans; 2) readiness to begin project (to ensure completion within one year of the grant award date); 3) long-term duration of resource benefits; 4) involvement of two or more partners including state partners; 5) higher ratio of non-Federal match to grant request than the required 25% minimum; 6) importance as a catalyst to future conservation actions or as part of a larger set of connected conservation lands or actions in the landscape and 7) documented benefits to federally-listed species, and/or those identified as highest priorities in the relevant State Wildlife Action Plan.  It is highly recommended that applicants consult with the appropriate joint venture coordinator prior to submitting an application to ensure that adequate and relevant information is provided.

Special Note:  GLRI Joint Venture funds will be targeted towards improving fish and wildlife habitat and their populations within watersheds of “Areas of Concern” (AOC; (http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/aoc/) wherever possible, as a coordinated effort between the Service’s Coastal, Joint Venture, and Partners for Fish and Wildlife Programs.  In addition, projects that will result in a reduction of excessive phosphorus inputs into a watershed should be highlighted.  Though proposals within AOCs and/or those that will reduce phosphorus are encouraged, it is not a requirement for funding.

Up to $1 million in funds may be available during fiscal year 2013.  Grant requests between $25,000 and $290,000 will be accepted.   We expect to announce the awards in May 2013.

Matching contributions may take the form of cash, goods, services, or land value and must equal at least 25% of the requested Federal funds; permanent, non-reimbursable, and dedicated to a project; and documented by a signed letter of commitment from an authorized representative of the match provider in the application.  The letter of commitment must detail the amount of matching funds or value of donated land and/or services. Land as match must have a current (less than 1 year) appraised value. This program uses grant agreements as the funding mechanism.

Eligible applicants for this competitive grant program include state fish and wildlife agencies and other non-federal conservation agencies or organizations that provide at least 25% of the grant request (Federal share) as non-federal match for habitat restoration, enhancement and protection activities.  (Note: grants cannot be awarded to outside entities for restoration or enhancement work on Federal lands).  Projects must be within the U.S. watershed of the Great Lakes as defined by the U.S. EPA (links to maps of the Great Lakes Watershed and Lower Great Lakes Watershed in NY and PA) within states bordering the Great Lakes (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin). A Federal interest will be attached to real property interests acquired with grant funds or contributed as match and must be titled to, or held by, either the Grantee or an approved Subgrantee.

An eligible proposal is a plan of action supported by grant and partner funds to conserve habitats for migratory birds and other wildlife through acquisition (including fee title, permanent conservation easements and donations of real property interests), restoration and/or enhancement that contains a grant request between $25,000 and $290,000 and matching contributions of at least 25% of total grant request (Federal share), with a target completion date within one year of the date of award.  Grant awards may only be used for activities that begin after the grant agreement is signed – this grant program is not eligible for reimbursement of completed or ongoing projects.

Contact us for more information!

Great Lakes Habitat Restoration/Conservation, Deadline Feb. 1, 2013

Fisheries Innovation Fund, Deadline Nov. 26

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has announced the third round of grants available from its Fisheries Innovation Fund.

The fund fosters the design and implementation of new and inventive approaches to ensure sustainable fisheries in the United States. The fund is made possible through a partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and additional support from the Walton Family Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

The fund will consider applications from all U.S. fisheries, commercial or recreational, looking to foster innovation as they strive to achieve sustainability. Successful proposals will develop innovative approaches to build capacity of fishing communities to improve their sustainability; promote full utilization of annual catch limits and minimize by catch of overfished and endangered species; or improve the quality, quantity, and timeliness of fisheries-dependent data used for science, management, and professional purposes.

NFWF is investigating the possibility of incorporating a loan-making component into the Fisheries Innovation Fund for future rounds so applicants can request capital to support activities or acquisitions that would lead to increased profitability for their sectors, with the understanding that these funds eventually will be paid back. To this end, project proposals to help NFWF develop this loan-making arm will be considered.

Applications may be submitted by individuals, organizations, and agencies (excluding employees of the U.S. Federal government) working on projects to ensure sustainable U.S. fisheries.

Applications for funding for land or easement acquisition, facility construction, political advocacy, lobbying, or litigation will not be considered.

In 2013, the fund expects to award $1.35 million to approximately fifteen projects. The majority of awards will fall in the range of $50,000 to $200,000. However, upper or lower limits to award size are not specified. Matching contributions (both cash and in-kind) are preferred but not required.

Fisheries Innovation Fund, Deadline Nov. 26

Business Incubator Grants, Deadline Nov. 26

At its October 24, 2012 meeting the Michigan Strategic Fund Board approved the RFP for the 2013 Business Incubator Program. The program will provide funding to business incubators/accelerators to stimulate the creation and continued growth of technology-based businesses and jobs by capitalizing on the State of Michigan’s growing base of high technology industry, its skilled labor force, its nationally recognized university system, its SmartZones, and its business incubators/accelerators.

Per Public Act 200 of 2012, Section 1034, the MSF is requesting proposals to award grants that total not more than $8,500,000.00 for business incubators and accelerators as follows:

(a) A high performance regional business incubator or accelerator that provides services in at least eight (8) counties and received funding as an auto technology business accelerator under section 88j of the Michigan strategic fund act, 1984 PA 270, MCL 125.2088j, shall receive a grant of not less than $2,000,000.00.
(b)  Funding of not less than $750,000.00 and not greater than $1,000,000 shall be awarded to one (1) high performance business incubator or accelerator in a city with a population greater than 650,000.
(c)  Funding of not less than $500,000.00 and not greater than $1,000,000 shall be awarded to one (1) high performance business incubator or accelerator in each of the following governmental units:
(i)  Houghton County
(ii)  Isabella County
(iii) Kent County
(iv) Macomb County
(v) Oakland County
(vi) Washtenaw County
(vii) Midland County
(viii) A Mason County business incubator that provides services to Lake, Mason, Manistee, and Oceana Counties
(d) Funding of not less than $275,000.00 and not greater than $1,000,000 shall be awarded to one (1) high performance business incubator or accelerator in Ingham County.

Application Process:

  • A proposal is requested with a limit of 20 pages for the Business Plan.
  • The RFP document (attached below) identifies the program criteria and requirements for the proposal.
  • The proposal must be milestone and metrics based with semi-annual reporting to the MEDC.

Timeline:

  • October 25, 2012 – RFP issued to the public
  • October 31, 2012 – Questions due from public
  • November 5, 2012 – Answers to questions submitted posted to web page
  • November 26, 2012 – Applications due
  • January 23, 2013 – Results presented to MSF Board for funding decisions

Applications Specifics:

  • Request for Proposals Guidelines click here
  • Complete Proposals (one pdf that includes Business Plan and other schedules, see Request for Proposals Guidelines above) should be emailed to 2013BIRFP@michigan.org. In the email subject line, please include: BI2013 – Location of Incubator or Accelerator (including City, County).
Business Incubator Grants, Deadline Nov. 26