Program: Clean Michigan Initiative – administration

Appropriation:

All from Special Revenue Funds:

$2,885,700

 

Total:

$2,885,700 [2]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the administration of the Clean Michigan Initiative (CMI).  This initiative is a $675-million bond fund for redeveloping contaminated sites, protecting and improving water quality, abating lead contamination, revitalizing community waterfronts, enhancing recreational opportunities, and cleaning up contaminated sediments in lakes, rivers and streams. By state law, CMI funds are not allowed to supplant General Fund appropriations, and administrative costs are supposed to be capped at 3 percent of expenditures.

Recommended Action:

These funds should be withdrawn. The use of CMI bond funds dramatically increases the state’s debt load. A recent study by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy found that taxpayers will repay about $1.60 for every dollar spent on CMI projects.[3] Thus, it is fiscally irresponsible to use CMI funds for administrative purposes, especially when the appropriation may be supplanting General Fund support in violation of state law.  In CMI’s case, funds for administration are being distributed among five different DEQ departments, only one of which (Surface Water Quality) is receiving new CMI program funds. Savings: $2,885,700.