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Attorney General Schuette’s message, “Hands off the Trust Fund!”

MEC applauds opinion upholding fund’s intent
Apr 23, 2013
The Michigan Environmental Council today applauded an opinion by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette affirming that money from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund can not be used for regular maintenance needs.

The Trust Fund uses interest from royalties on the sale and lease of state-owned oil and gas rights to purchase and improve public recreational facilities in Michigan. Some lawmakers propose expanding the fund’s uses to include harbor dredging and other routine projects. It was constitutionally protected by Michigan voters in 1984.

“The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund cannot be used as an ATM,” said Schuette. “The voters enshrined the Trust Fund in our Constitution for a very specific purpose: to preserve and protect Michigan’s bountiful resources for generations to come. The message is straightforward — hands off the Trust Fund.”

Michigan Environmental Council President Chris Kolb said Schuette’s opinion is consistent with the law and the intent of the fund.

“The Trust Fund is designed to provide Michiganders with recreational opportunities close to home, and it has done just that – funding parkland acquisitions and improvements in all of Michigan’s 83 counties,” said Kolb. “It is a program, demanded by Michigan voters, that is working.

“We are pleased that the Attorney General agrees that voters intended the fund to create long-term opportunities to enjoy Michigan’s natural beauty.”
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Hugh McDiarmid Jr., 248-660-4300
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