Michigan House Republicans
Gov. Whitmer Repeals Tom Casperson Bills
RELEASE|March 1, 2024
Contact: David Prestin

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday announced she signed bills to repeal laws the late Sen. Tom Casperson had passed in the final days of his service in the Legislature. The laws created the Environmental Rules Review Committee made up of 13 individuals from various business, industry, agriculture, and environmental groups, along with the general public. The committee’s job was to review environmental regulations posed by the Department of Energy, Great Lakes, and Environment (EGLE) and offer input and revision before implementation.

“I was working for Tom when these bills passed,” said Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Waucedah Township. “The whole purpose of them was to force the department to listen to the voices of the public, science, and those being regulated by the department. The committee was created by Tom in response to innumerable instances of the department promulgating rules that then created frustration and confusion across the board — treating spilled raw milk and dirt from sugar beets as ‘industrial waste.’ Rules were forced upon citizens and businesses — even after they attempted to show the department how ineffective, non-scientific, or impossible the goals were.”

Many supporters during floor debate claimed the repeal would speed up the regulatory rulemaking process.

“The governor, Rep. Hill and other sponsors claimed the committee added bureaucracy to the process,” said Rep. Dave Prestin, R-Cedar River. “How does explaining what the bureaucrats are planning to a group made up of citizens with expertise on the issues, presence in the community, and who represent the public — including environmental organizations — get slandered as a ‘committee of generalists,’ ‘bureaucracy’ and ‘red tape’? This is simply disingenuous and implies people like you and me are too dumb to know what’s really happening.”

Rep. Hill, sponsor of one of the bills, said, “By eliminating this panel, we’re allowing EGLE to more effectively do its critical job,” in the governor’s release.

“The administration and Rep. Hill first did away with our local abilities to stop huge wind and solar installations over local environmental or community concerns in the name of the environment,” said Rep. Greg Markkanen, R-Hancock. “Now they eliminate panels made up of experts and members of the public in the name of expediting the rulemaking. It’s less and less voice for us and more power for the government over our land, employers, farmers and businesses.”

“They are already putting a new rule set on our small, local butcher shops,” said McBroom. “Owners argue these rules are not just unsustainable to their businesses, but counterproductive for the growing desire to obtain affordable food from local farmers and butchers. Repealing this committee may speed up the process, but more rules faster doesn’t make it better for the people. Tom Casperson never would have written bills to make more bureaucracy or to make it harder for people or employers. Those claiming repeal is better for the people didn’t know Tom.”


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