Capital Catch-Up: January 30, 2023

Capital Catch-Up: January 30, 2023

Clean Energy and Climate Highlighted as Kitchen Table, Economic Issues in Whitmer’s 2023 State of the State Address

A sizable Michigan LCV contingent was in Lansing last week for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s fifth State of the State address last week, the first in-person address since 2020. 

Gov. Whitmer delivers her 2023 State of the State address.

The  speech prioritized economic development, and Whitmer highlighted the critical need to invest in clean energy and infrastructure in tackling the climate crisis.  Importantly, she spelled out the economic opportunity our clean energy future will continue to deliver. 

Read Michigan LCV’s statement here >>>

Michigan LCV executive director Lisa Wozniak was invited to be Rep. Jennifer Conlin’s (D – Ann Arbor) guest to watch the address from the House floor!

More Michigan LCV teammates were invited by lawmakers to watch from the gallery, including State Government Affairs Director Nick Occhinpinti (left) and Federal Government Affairs Director Bentley Johnson (right)!

Michigan LCV’s Rosyln Ogburn poses with House Energy Chair Helena Thomas and Regulatory Reform Committee Chair Tyrone Carter!

Ahead of the State of the State, a ‘supercharged’ government affairs team met with lawmakers to foster important relationships and to discuss an array of issues. Left to right: State Government Affairs Director Nick Occhipinti, Senate Leader Winnie Brinks, State Government Affairs Fellow Logan Vorce, and Michigan LCV Board President George Davis!

Michigan has an immediate and rare opportunity to invest a portion of its $9.2 billion state surplus dollars (in addition to existing federal funds) to expand access to clean energy, upgrade drinking water infrastructure, and deliver affordable rates for both.  Doing so will not only save Michiganders money and drive high paying job growth, but protect our health in the process. 

Government Affairs Director Nicholas Occhipinti Discusses 2023 Legislative Water Priorities

Last week, Michigan LCV state government affairs director Nick Occhipinti took part in a panel discussion as part of Bridge Michigan’s Great Lakes Conservation series. The panel also featured Michigan State University law professor Jeremy Orr, Herasanna Richars of the Michigan Municipal League, and Senator Sam Singh (D – East Lansing). 

Watch a recording of the panel discussion here>>>

Moderated by Bridge reporter Kelly House, the conversation revolved around advancing water priorities in Lansing in 2023. The panel highlighted critical MLCV water priorities including contaminated site cleanup and polluter pay, septic, contamination in our Great Lakes, water infrastructure, drinking water protection and affordability for all Michiganders.    

Quick Hits

Salting winter roads is  polluting Michigan waters

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy has found high concentrations of chloride located near highways and housing developments, which is directly impacting Michigan watersheds and damages the ecosystem. 

This graphic shows EGLE samples from streams showing relative concentrations of chloride from 2005-2014 (Source: EGLE). 

Michiganders support clean water, climate action 

New polling data shows that 65% of Michigan voters support clean energy policies in Lansing and 62% believe lawmakers should be doing more to combat the climate crisis. Additionally, 91% of Michigan voters support policies to ensure clean, safe drinking water for all communities, while 89% believe that lawmakers need to do more to protect drinking water from toxic pollution and chemicals like PFAS. 

Update From Washington

BLOG – What do Americans think about climate? The data might surprise you

There is also data that backs up what we have long believed: Clean water and climate action legislation are top policy priorities for Michigan voters. 

Polling from the Environmental Defense Fund found that 65% of Michigan voters agree that lawmakers should support policies that help facilitate more clean energy use while 62% believe Michigan lawmakers should be doing more to combat the climate crisis at the state level. Additionally, 91% of Michigan voters support policies that would help ensure clean, safe drinking water for all communities – especially communities impacted by drinking water contamination – and 89% believe that lawmakers in Lansing need to do more to protect drinking water from toxic pollution and chemicals like PFAS.” 

Read the full article here

Important Bill Introductions

Special Election Funding – HB 4033

Reimburses local governments for the cost of conducting special elections, ensuring local governments are not burdened with the cost – Rep. Veronica Paiz (D – Harper Woods)

Link to full bill

Presidential Primary Changes – HB 4029

Amends Michigan election law and move the presidential primary election to the fourth Tuesday in February – Rep. Noah Arbit (D – West Bloomfield)

Link to full bill

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