News Story

Whitmer axes Environmental Rules Review Committee

Snyder-era committee was designed as a check on state regulators

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this week signed bills that eliminated a government committee. Sort of.

Gov. Rick Snyder created the Environmental Rules Review Committee in 2018 to let businesses in Michigan have some say about the regulations that would affect them. Eliminating the committee will cut red tape and make government more efficient, Whitmer’s office claimed in a press release Tuesday.

But a state senator who worked with the original champion of the committee, the late Tom Casperson, is pushing back against the idea that this is a step toward smaller government.

“The whole purpose of (the bills creating the committee) was to force the department to listen to the voices of the public, science, and those being regulated by the department,” Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Waucedah Township, said in a statement. “The committee was created by (Casperson) 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.”

Supporters of House bills 48424, 4825, and 4826 of 2023 — now Public Acts 7, 8, and 9 of 2024 — described them as a way to eliminate a bureaucracy. They also portrayed the committee as “corporate polluters.”

McBroom called that a misrepresentation. The administration, he said, is already pushing new regulations even though the laws take effect in 2025.

“They are already putting a new rule set on our small, local butcher shops,” McBroom said. “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.”


Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.