When the leaves begin to turn colors each autumn, the wardrobe around the MEC offices also undergoes an unmistakable change.
Friends, the glorious days of t-shirts, jeans and flip-flops are coming to an end. Now begins the season of the necktie. The Legislature is coming back to town.
Our summer dress may have been casual, but we’ve been working hard behind the scenes on issues we expect to make some waves in the next few months. There’s no time to waste; lawmakers will only be in session for nine days in September, three days in October and a smattering of lame-duck days after the November election.
Some of the fall’s meatiest environmental debates will be hammered out quietly through the administrative rulemaking process, not in the Legislature. And what follows certainly isn’t the only important legislation that will see action in the House and Senate chambers. But for our money, here are a few of the most interesting issues to watch in the new legislative session that begins Tuesday.
Oil and gas.
As oil and gas operations have moved beyond rural parts of the state to more populous residential areas, citizens have begun organizing to call for greater local control over drilling regulations.
A crowd of those advocates will greet lawmakers on their first day back in Lansing. The rally is in support of legislation introduced by a pair of Republican state senators from Macomb County—Jack Brandenburg and Tory Rocca—that would restrict drilling in townships with more than 70,000 residents. Read more