Booher: budget right-sizes state spending, puts Michigan on road to recovery

LANSING―State Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, issued the following statement Wednesday after the Michigan Senate approved a state budget plan:

“Michigan faces very serious challenges, yet my outlook is positive.  This budget plan is historic in that it solves our state’s $1.6 billion budget deficit by right-sizing state spending and refusing to use one-time fixes or federal bailouts to cover our fiscal reality.

“This plan is founded on sound budget principles and improved efficiency in state spending. By holding every program and tax dollar accountable we are able to get the greatest ‘value for the money.’ This has enabled us to address Michigan’s true structural deficit while still providing basic services like public safety and protecting our natural resources.

“State government and its leaders must be innovative and restructure how the state operates if we are ever to resolve our economic and fiscal problems. This plan reduces spending by millions of dollars, and most importantly, it sets a foundation for long-term economic growth and job creation.

“Fostering a business environment that will help create jobs is critical to Michigan’s future.  That is why I continue to focus my efforts on improving our state’s economic climate; and this budget plan is a step forward in that process.”

Booher: budget right-sizes state spending, puts Michigan on road to recovery

LANSING―State Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, issued the following statement Wednesday after the Michigan Senate approved a state budget plan:

“Michigan faces very serious challenges, yet my outlook is positive.  This budget plan is historic in that it solves our state’s $1.6 billion budget deficit by right-sizing state spending and refusing to use one-time fixes or federal bailouts to cover our fiscal reality.

“This plan is founded on sound budget principles and improved efficiency in state spending. By holding every program and tax dollar accountable we are able to get the greatest ‘value for the money.’ This has enabled us to address Michigan’s true structural deficit while still providing basic services like public safety and protecting our natural resources.

“State government and its leaders must be innovative and restructure how the state operates if we are ever to resolve our economic and fiscal problems. This plan reduces spending by millions of dollars, and most importantly, it sets a foundation for long-term economic growth and job creation.

“Fostering a business environment that will help create jobs is critical to Michigan’s future.  That is why I continue to focus my efforts on improving our state’s economic climate; and this budget plan is a step forward in that process.”

Booher and northern Michigan lawmakers propose solution to state forest campground closures

LANSING – Twelve northern Michigan lawmakers, including Sen. Darwin Booher, are seeking an alternative to a Department of Natural Resources plan that is closing 23 more state forest campgrounds throughout the region.

The legislators, whose counties have been affected by the announced closures, have formed a coalition asking local units of government to consider owning the campgrounds.

“Closing these campgrounds without fully exploring all avenues to keep them open is irresponsible,” said Booher, R-Evart. “Recreation in the outdoors – including our state parks and campgrounds – is critical to the local economy and a cornerstone of life for many northern Michigan families.  This plan could keep some of these campgrounds open by giving the local units of government the ability to take over management of the facilities.”

The coalition includes Booher, and Sens. John Moolenaar, R-Midland; Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba; and Howard Walker, R-Traverse City; and Reps. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo; Frank Foster, R-Pellston; Matt Huuki, R-Atlantic Mine; Greg McMaster, R-Kewadin; Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan; Peter Pettalia, R-Presque Isle; Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac; and Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City.

The group is developing legislation that would transfer the management responsibilities of the state forest campgrounds as well as the land rights for $1, if the locals agree to keep the property open for campground purposes.

Casperson, who chairs the Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee, says the plan is a sensible, long-term solution.

“We know that local units of government could do a spectacular job managing these campgrounds,” said Casperson.  “This could be a great opportunity for them to create and enhance recreational attractions in their own backyard, while providing them with a potential source of revenue.”

Casperson added: “The closure of these campgrounds is a prime example of the DNR not being able to manage the property that it currently owns.  It speaks to the need for a better plan for state ownership of land.  If the state cannot afford to manage the land it owns, the state should not be adding to its acreages.  It is time to look at strategies to make sure the land is owned by someone who can care for it, increase recreation opportunities and help revitalize Michigan’s economy.”

Senate Appropriations Vice Chair Moolenaar, who represents the 36th District with counties along Lake Huron, said that the program is voluntary.  “It’s up to the locals. If they want to take ownership of the campground they can.  If they don’t want that responsibility, then there would be no obligation to do so.”

The coalition is working at several levels to seek input from the local governments affected.
 

 

Booher and northern Michigan lawmakers propose solution to state forest campground closures

LANSING – Twelve northern Michigan lawmakers, including Sen. Darwin Booher, are seeking an alternative to a Department of Natural Resources plan that is closing 23 more state forest campgrounds throughout the region.

The legislators, whose counties have been affected by the announced closures, have formed a coalition asking local units of government to consider owning the campgrounds.

“Closing these campgrounds without fully exploring all avenues to keep them open is irresponsible,” said Booher, R-Evart. “Recreation in the outdoors – including our state parks and campgrounds – is critical to the local economy and a cornerstone of life for many northern Michigan families.  This plan could keep some of these campgrounds open by giving the local units of government the ability to take over management of the facilities.”

The coalition includes Booher, and Sens. John Moolenaar, R-Midland; Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba; and Howard Walker, R-Traverse City; and Reps. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo; Frank Foster, R-Pellston; Matt Huuki, R-Atlantic Mine; Greg McMaster, R-Kewadin; Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan; Peter Pettalia, R-Presque Isle; Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac; and Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City.

The group is developing legislation that would transfer the management responsibilities of the state forest campgrounds as well as the land rights for $1, if the locals agree to keep the property open for campground purposes.

Casperson, who chairs the Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee, says the plan is a sensible, long-term solution.

“We know that local units of government could do a spectacular job managing these campgrounds,” said Casperson.  “This could be a great opportunity for them to create and enhance recreational attractions in their own backyard, while providing them with a potential source of revenue.”

Casperson added: “The closure of these campgrounds is a prime example of the DNR not being able to manage the property that it currently owns.  It speaks to the need for a better plan for state ownership of land.  If the state cannot afford to manage the land it owns, the state should not be adding to its acreages.  It is time to look at strategies to make sure the land is owned by someone who can care for it, increase recreation opportunities and help revitalize Michigan’s economy.”

Senate Appropriations Vice Chair Moolenaar, who represents the 36th District with counties along Lake Huron, said that the program is voluntary.  “It’s up to the locals. If they want to take ownership of the campground they can.  If they don’t want that responsibility, then there would be no obligation to do so.”

The coalition is working at several levels to seek input from the local governments affected.