Booher works with Midwest state leaders on natural resources issues

LANSING —Sen. Darwin Booher worked with lawmakers from 11 states to adopt two natural resources policy resolutions at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Legislative Conference (MLC) of the Council of State Governments held in Cleveland on July 15-18.

“I was honored to represent Michigan at the Midwestern Legislative Conference, and I was proud that we were able to find agreement on two issues important to northern Michigan and our entire region,” said Booher, R-Evart. “The fishing and timber industries provide good jobs for thousands of Michigan workers and contribute billions of dollars each year to our economy. Our lakes and forests also support a vibrant tourism industry and add to our excellent quality of life.

“Unfortunately, all these are threatened due to ineffective management of our forestlands and the double-crested cormorant.”

Booher served on the MLC’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and helped draft two resolutions adopted by the conference members: one on regulations governing management of cormorants and the other on national forestland management.

“The management of our national forests should be directed toward long-term sustainability that promotes healthy forests and maintains or improves the forest’s recreational and aesthetic benefits,” Booher said. “The forest products industry can play a role in both of these goals while also providing jobs and supporting local communities and schools.”

The forest management resolution noted that the forest products industry in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin employs more than 100,000 people, with a combined payroll of nearly $6 billion. The MLC urged Congress and the U.S. Forest Service to take immediate action to redirect forest management toward long-term, multiple-use management systems.

“The double-crested cormorant continues to pose a threat to the Great Lakes fishing and tourism industries,” Booher said. “Thankfully, Michigan is a leader in the fight against this destructive bird, and regional officials agree that Michigan should serve as a model to other states to develop similar coordination efforts for cormorant management.”

The MLC recommended that states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service consider a statewide coordination group that guides cormorant management, such as what has been done in Michigan.

The Council of State Governments is a nonpartisan association of state officials that promotes excellence in state government. The regionally based, national organization fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. The Midwest region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

###

Booher to co-chair Senate Oil and Gas Task Force

LANSING— Sen. Darwin Booher announced today that he will serve as co-chair of the newly created Senate Oil and Gas Task Force, which will look at and discuss various issues surrounding the oil and gas industries and their impact on Michigan’s economy.

“I look forward to examining the current deterrents and incentives to increased access to Michigan’s oil and natural gas resources,” said Booher, R-Evart. “My goal as co-chair is to help develop solutions that will help meet our energy needs by bringing local resources to market more efficiently – and do so while striking a smart balance between job creation and environmental protection.”

Joining Booher on the bipartisan task force are: co-chair Sen. Howard Walker, R-Traverse City; Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba; Sen. John Moolenaar, R-Midland; Sen. Mark Jansen, R-Grand Rapids; Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor; and Sen. Steven Bieda, D-Warren. 

“The recent energy emergency in the Upper Peninsula due to temporary shortages of gasoline and diesel fuel caused by a shutdown of a pipeline in Wisconsin illustrates the need to look at home for our energy needs,” Booher said. “We must take a comprehensive look at our oil and gas industries, their impact on our economy and their potential to safely increase production.

“Our evaluation will include examining our state’s natural gas infrastructure and what we can do to encourage conversion to natural gas for power generation. All this will be done with an eye on how we can energize our economy and also safeguard Michigan’s great natural wonders.”

The task force will hold hearings to learn about and discuss various issues involving the oil and gas industries and then report its findings and possible policy recommendations to the Senate.

###

Sen. Booher announces August office hours

LANSING – Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, announced today he will conduct office hours throughout the 35th Senate District in August. The office hours are open to residents to express their opinions or request assistance with a state issue.

Date                      Time                         Location    

Tuesday, Aug. 7      10 a.m. to 12 p.m.      Kalkaska County Building
                                                                605 N. Birch St., Room #114, Kalkaska

                               3 to 5 p.m.               Benzie County Chamber of Commerce
                                                                826 Michigan Ave., Benzonia
                                                                (with Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama)

Thursday, Aug. 16   9:30 to 11:30 a.m.      Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce
                                                               222 Lake St., Cadillac
                                                               (with Rep. Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac)

                              2:30 to 4:30 p.m.        Manistee County Chamber of Commerce
                                                               11 Cyprus St., Manistee
                                                                (with Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama)

Booher and Potvin are planning additional joint office hours in Mecosta and Osceola counties in September.

For more information, please contact Booher’s office toll-free at 1-866-305-2135 or via email at:  sendbooher@senate.michigan.gov. Residents unable to attend office hours may also write Booher at: Sen. Darwin Booher; P.O. Box 30036; Lansing, MI 48909.

Booher represents the 35th Senate District, which includes Benzie, Clare, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mecosta, Missaukee, Osceola, Roscommon, and Wexford counties.

###

Sen. Booher announces August office hours

LANSING – Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, announced today he will conduct office hours throughout the 35th Senate District in August. The office hours are open to residents to express their opinions or request assistance with a state issue.

Date                      Time                         Location    

Tuesday, Aug. 7      10 a.m. to 12 p.m.      Kalkaska County Building
                                                                605 N. Birch St., Room #114, Kalkaska

                               3 to 5 p.m.               Benzie County Chamber of Commerce
                                                                826 Michigan Ave., Benzonia
                                                                (with Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama)

Thursday, Aug. 16   9:30 to 11:30 a.m.      Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce
                                                               222 Lake St., Cadillac
                                                               (with Rep. Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac)

                              2:30 to 4:30 p.m.        Manistee County Chamber of Commerce
                                                               11 Cyprus St., Manistee
                                                                (with Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama)

Booher and Potvin are planning additional joint office hours in Mecosta and Osceola counties in September.

For more information, please contact Booher’s office toll-free at 1-866-305-2135 or via email at:  sendbooher@senate.michigan.gov. Residents unable to attend office hours may also write Booher at: Sen. Darwin Booher; P.O. Box 30036; Lansing, MI 48909.

Booher represents the 35th Senate District, which includes Benzie, Clare, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mecosta, Missaukee, Osceola, Roscommon, and Wexford counties.

###

Sen. Booher and Rep. Rendon announce joint Missaukee County office hours

LANSING – Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, and Rep. Bruce Rendon, R-Lake City, today announced they will conduct joint office hours in Lake City on Tuesday, July 31. The office hours are open to residents to express their opinions or request assistance with a state issue.

Date & Time               Location    
Tuesday, July 31        Lake City Chamber of Commerce
1 to 3 p.m.                   107 S. Main St. 
                                       Lake City

For more information, please contact Booher’s office toll-free at 1-866-305-2135 or via email at:  sendbooher@senate.michigan.gov. Residents unable to attend office hours may also write Booher at: Sen. Darwin Booher; P.O. Box 30036; Lansing, MI 48909.

Rendon may be contacted toll-free at 1-888-347-8103 or by email at: BruceRendon@house.mi.gov. Residents may also write Rendon at: S-1387 House Office Building; P.O. Box 30014; Lansing, MI 48933.

Booher represents the 35th Senate District, which includes Benzie, Clare, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mecosta, Missaukee, Osceola, Roscommon, and Wexford counties.

Rendon represents the 103rd House District, which includes Iosco, Missaukee, Ogemaw and Roscommon counties.

###

 

Sen. Booher and Rep. Rendon announce joint Missaukee County office hours

LANSING – Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, and Rep. Bruce Rendon, R-Lake City, today announced they will conduct joint office hours in Lake City on Tuesday, July 31. The office hours are open to residents to express their opinions or request assistance with a state issue.

Date & Time               Location    
Tuesday, July 31        Lake City Chamber of Commerce
1 to 3 p.m.                   107 S. Main St. 
                                       Lake City

For more information, please contact Booher’s office toll-free at 1-866-305-2135 or via email at:  sendbooher@senate.michigan.gov. Residents unable to attend office hours may also write Booher at: Sen. Darwin Booher; P.O. Box 30036; Lansing, MI 48909.

Rendon may be contacted toll-free at 1-888-347-8103 or by email at: BruceRendon@house.mi.gov. Residents may also write Rendon at: S-1387 House Office Building; P.O. Box 30014; Lansing, MI 48933.

Booher represents the 35th Senate District, which includes Benzie, Clare, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mecosta, Missaukee, Osceola, Roscommon, and Wexford counties.

Rendon represents the 103rd House District, which includes Iosco, Missaukee, Ogemaw and Roscommon counties.

###

 

Natural Resources Trust Fund plan clears Senate

LANSING—The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved a Natural Resources Trust Fund spending bill that will provide funding for six projects in the 35th District, said Sen. Darwin Booher.

Under House Bill 5364, $3.66 million would be provided for projects in Leelanau, Kalkaska, Roscommon, Manistee and Lake counties.

“The trust fund provides funding for local development projects that will improve outdoor recreational opportunities,” said Booher, R-Evart. “While I am supportive of these local projects being funded, there are parts of the Natural Resources Trust Fund process that need more accountability and transparency to ensure that proper legislative oversight is happening.”

Booher said he supported the bill because of the local projects that will provide outdoor recreational opportunities for local communities, but he wants to reform the process used by the department, referred to as ecoregions, that creates an account for unidentified state land purchases.

“The department has been asking for funds for ecoregions without specifically identifying what land would be bought and for how much,” Booher said. “I oppose that process because I believe that giving the department a blank check to buy more land however it sees fit is a failure of our role as lawmakers to oversee state spending.

“I am working on legislation to provide much-needed changes to the trust fund system. This is especially important as I continue to hear from constituents that the state cannot afford to pay locals payments in lieu of taxes for the land it currently owns and residents continue to have access issues on public lands.”   

The bill now heads to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.

###

 

Natural Resources Trust Fund plan clears Senate

LANSING—The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved a Natural Resources Trust Fund spending bill that will provide funding for six projects in the 35th District, said Sen. Darwin Booher.

Under House Bill 5364, $3.66 million would be provided for projects in Leelanau, Kalkaska, Roscommon, Manistee and Lake counties.

“The trust fund provides funding for local development projects that will improve outdoor recreational opportunities,” said Booher, R-Evart. “While I am supportive of these local projects being funded, there are parts of the Natural Resources Trust Fund process that need more accountability and transparency to ensure that proper legislative oversight is happening.”

Booher said he supported the bill because of the local projects that will provide outdoor recreational opportunities for local communities, but he wants to reform the process used by the department, referred to as ecoregions, that creates an account for unidentified state land purchases.

“The department has been asking for funds for ecoregions without specifically identifying what land would be bought and for how much,” Booher said. “I oppose that process because I believe that giving the department a blank check to buy more land however it sees fit is a failure of our role as lawmakers to oversee state spending.

“I am working on legislation to provide much-needed changes to the trust fund system. This is especially important as I continue to hear from constituents that the state cannot afford to pay locals payments in lieu of taxes for the land it currently owns and residents continue to have access issues on public lands.”   

The bill now heads to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.

###

 

Booher bill to help ensure fair elections vetoed

Booher: ‘It is a common-sense solution to the problem of noncitizens voting’

LANSING—State Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, issued the following statement Tuesday after Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed Senate Bill 803, Booher’s measure to help ensure fairness and accountability in elections:

“On the eve of the Fourth of July, when we celebrate the land of the free—where people from afar can make a home and enjoy democratic elections—I am disappointed the governor did not sign this simple and straightforward bill that would have made Michigan’s elections process more secure and just for all residents.

“All that my measure required was for registered voters to answer whether they are U.S. citizens before being allowed to vote. It is a common-sense solution that corrects the problem of noncitizens voting.

“This problem not only threatens the democratic process, but it also could lead to penalties, including deportation, for noncitizens who end up accidentally voting in an election.

“Governor Snyder has missed an opportunity today to protect the integrity of our elections process. This reform idea enjoyed bipartisan support in the Legislature, and a majority of senators cosponsored my bill.

“Because of the critical nature of our elections, I will be talking to my colleagues and evaluating our next steps as we work to ensure fair elections in Michigan.

“I look forward to better understanding the governor’s viewpoint on this matter and potentially making future changes to the law. I remain committed to the aim of my legislation and making sure Michigan is a leader in the electoral process.”