Posts Tagged ‘state parks’

State Park funding bills pass House; on to Senate

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

The last three bills — SB 389, SB 1057, and HB 4677 — in a four-bill package for state park funding have passed the House today with an 81 to 27 vote. They are headed to the Senate where they may be voted on as soon as tomorrow.

Please contact your State Senator and ask that they support these bills.

HB 5752 passed the Senate last week, was ordered enrolled and was presented to the Governor.

More information on this state park funding legislation, also known as the Recreation Passport, visit the web site.

Call your state representatives & support state parks

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Senate Bills 389 and 1057 and House Bill 4677 will come up for a final vote in the State House of Representatives tomorrow, Wednesday, March 24th! The first bill in the package, House Bill 5752 passsed last week.

If you care about Michigan’s state parks, forest recreation areas and trails and their contribution to Michigan’s tourism economy, today and tomorrow morning is the time to call your state representative and ask them to support this legislation.

The passport will drop state park annual fees by 60% and allow a convenient, individual option that people will be able to partake of when they register their vehicle every year. By having more people participate, it is expected that enough revenue will come in to maintain and improve our state park infrastructure and award small grants to local community recreation projects.

Thanks to the champions of this legislation: Senator Patricia Birkholz, Senator Raymond Basham, Representative Rebekah Warren, and Rep. Arlan Meekhof.

Let?s give this package one last push! Call your State Representative today! You can go to for contact information for your particular legislator.

For more information on state park funding, please visit the web site.

State Parks Recreation Passport Update

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

We reported earlier on the Senate passing the Recreation Passport legislation which should provide a stable, sustainable funding source for our state parks (including linear trails), state forest recreation, and more.

While the House speaker initially held up the House vote, it eventually went forward and passed. However, the House passed a different version of the legislation, which now much be reconciled with the Senate version.

According to a report in the Free Press, “Republican State Rep. Arlan Meekhof from West Olive tells The Muskegon Chronicle the bill has bipartisan support and should be passed in January by both legislative chambers.” That article incorrectly says that if passed by both houses and signed by the Governor, it would take effect in April.

If signed into law, the starting date would be October 1st, 2010.

The DNR provided this clarification:

We had several media outlets erroneously report on Monday, Dec. 28, that the Governor signed legislation to create the State Park Passport, the $10 fee added to Michigan license plate renewals that would take the place of the Michigan State Park Motor Vehicle Permit window sticker. This is not true.

Senate Bill 388 originally was a bill to create the State Park Passport; however, the Legislature substituted language in the bill to simply extend the expiration date on the Motor Vehicle Permits to the end of March 2010. This gives them more time to work on the agreement to create the State Park Passport – which has NOT been approved by the Legislature yet.

I would respectfully ask for a correction from any media outlets that reported this, as many DNR offices are getting calls from angry state park users who already purchased a 2010 Motor Vehicle Permit and want a refund. The State Park Passport ($10 license plate fee) has not been approved yet. And if it is approved, it would not take effect until Oct. 1, 2010. In order to enjoy a state park or state recreation area in 2010, people will need to purchase a 2010 Motor Vehicle Permit window sticker, as they have in the past. They are available at any state park, or online at

You can also keep on top of this critical funding issue at

Make the call for state parks

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Senate Bills 388 and 389, also known as the recreation passport bills have passed the Michigan Senate and reported out of House committee. They need to be voted on by the entire House. We believe we have the votes, but the Speaker Andy Dillon is not letting it go to a vote.

We need Michigan residents to call him, especially those within his district, annd ask that he call for a vote on Senate Bills 388 and 389. His phone number is 517.373.0857.

It might take a minute but it means preserving our state parks for generations to come.

State Park funding bills pass Senate!

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

The state park funding (aka Recreation Passport) legislation, Senate Bills 388 & 389 , were adopted by the full Senate this morning with a vote of 24-11 and? 23-12?respectively. Now both bills go to the full House for a vote in the near future.

This vote was a major step forward towards sustainable state park funding.

There’s no knowing how the House will vote, though we did seem to have good support for similar legislation in the House’s Great Lakes and Environment committee.