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Franz joins bipartisan sponsorship of measures for swift solution
The federal government needs to take immediate action to protect the Great Lakes from being overrun by the invasive Asian carp species now prevalent in the Mississippi River and Chicago canals, according to legislation approved today in the Michigan House.
Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama, helped sponsor House Resolutions 14-16 and House Concurrent Resolutions 7-8, to call on the U.S. Congress and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop the federal government’s plan to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes quickly, and support the Michigan Attorney General’s effort to accelerate the process.
“Michigan has been a leading watchdog to ensure the Great Lakes are protected from invasive species and we can’t stop now with the Asian carp right on the doorstop,” Franz said. “If the federal government doesn’t act quickly, maybe even closing the navigation locks or disconnecting the separate watersheds, all of those efforts will be useless and the Great Lakes destroyed.
“This is an issue all of Michigan is fully behind, regardless of what side of the aisle or region of the state you’re from.”
The package of resolutions calls on the U.S. Congress and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to take immediate actions to prevent the Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes and to develop long-term strategies to protect the $7 billion Great Lake commercial and recreational fishery and the $9 billion Great Lakes recreational boating industry.
The copies of the three House resolutions will be sent to the President of the United States, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, members of the Michigan congressional delegation, U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, Division Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, and District Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Chicago District.
The two House concurrent resolutions now go to the Senate for consideration.
Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama, on Tuesday helped approve legislation to turn the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program into state policy so farmers can voluntarily sustain high environmental standards and simplify the regulatory process they follow.
House Bills 4212-13 set clear standards approved by the state agriculture commission and the Michigan Department of Agriculture to provide meaningful incentives for Michigan farms to voluntarily and proactively become verified in the MAEAP to help improve environmental stewardship.
“Michigan farmers are first and foremost land managers for our state’s future and it’s in their interest to uphold environmental standards so their business can create jobs and feed people,” Franz said. “By making MAEAP part of our state’s agriculture policy there will be more incentives for farmers to participate in this proven program.”
Since 1999 the self-regulating program has worked with the MDA to help farmers identify and prevent environmental issues and work to comply with state and federal environmental regulations.
It has successfully reduced penalties and environmental risks through education, farm-specific risk assessment, and third party verification from the MDA that ensures the farmer has implemented environmentally sound practices.
To date, more than 1,000 Michigan farms have become verified or requested verification, and 10,000 more are in the process.
The bills were approved in the House on a 91-18 vote and are now before the Senate for consideration.
October 25, 2010
Ray Franz speaks at the “Calley Rally” held at Crystal Mountain Resort.
I am running for State Representative because I believe it is time to take a strong, conservative stance to Lansing.
While other states grow and enjoy economic prosperity, Michigan remains in a single state recession. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We have the people, the skills, the education system and the natural resources to make Michigan strong again. We need leadership in Lansing that is committed to making the tough decisions - not partisan finger pointing. We deserve better.
For me there is no other place as special as northwest Michigan. Thirty years ago, I chose to move to Manistee county; to raise my family here and to go into business. Owning two local grocery stores, I know what it takes to succeed. “Business as usual” will not attract new employers to our area.
I served on the Onekama Village Council for 29 years; the last six as Village President. During my tenure I made getting results a top priority. We cut taxes by 50%, paid off bonds 12 to 30 years early, and established a road re-surfacing program. When I left, there was approximately two years’ of fund equity in our account balances. I want to take that drive and determination to Lansing.
I am interested in getting results for our families and job providers in our communities. I hope you will support my campaign to get Michigan working again.