Michigan budget panel OKs cut to environmental cleanup

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – A Michigan panel has approved a $15 million cut to environmental cleanup spending as work continues to finalize the state budget.

The Republican-led conference committee Thursday rejected Gov. Rick Snyder’s request to shift $15 million from a fund used to address leaking fuel tanks and instead clean up polluted sites. Snyder made the proposal because Michigan has spent almost all of its money raised from bonds authorized by a 1998 ballot measure.

The Department of Environmental Quality’s overall budget would be cut $9.7 million, or nearly 2 percent, under the bill negotiated by lawmakers without Snyder’s input. General fund spending would drop 7 percent.

Environmental groups call the cuts “drastic” at a time the Trump administration is proposing federal cuts. But the panel chair says it’s a “good budget.”

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