We’re hoping that it is the time of year and the combination of March Madness and April Fool season that was just too much for some to resist. Although the idea of a legislative raid of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) is not a new one, the recently introduced House Joint Resolution EE goes previous attempts “one better” — this version also seeks to eliminate the Michigan Parks Endowment.
The specific language contained in the Resolution seeks lowering the existing cap on the MNRTF from $500 million to $200 million, and through the proposed elimination of the Park Endowment Fund would direct state-owned mineral revenue into a new Transportation Fund.
So much been said and written about the merits of both the MNRTF and Parks Endowment Fund in the past that there would seem to be little need to take your time to restate the obvious. Leave it to say that, to take funding from what has been described by many as being Michigan’s “best idea” and directing it into a local road improvement fund gives the term “pothole” a whole new meaning.
Although we remain hopeful that this will not gain sufficient support to move beyond the stage of “just a really bad idea,” it’s never too soon to contact your Michigan State House Representative. When you do, please remind them these funds have been given Constitutional protection by the voters of Michigan for good reason.