Environment Picture

Bell ringers! Environmental successes won in recent weeks

Lead safe
Lawmakers allocated at least $1 million in the 2012–2013 state budget for programs aimed at eliminating lead poisoning in Michigan. The money will reduce the number of children whose brains and nervous systems are permanently damaged. The Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Housing, which MEC helps lead, helped secure the funding. The downside is that the money was siphoned from a fund for cleaning up contaminated sites. We would have preferred a general fund allocation and will continue to work toward that goal.

Voter support
Michigan voters are willing to pay a modest increase in taxes if it improves roads and public transportation, according to a poll commissioned by MEC. The results are good news for public officials who support transportation upgrades but are hesitant to stoke the ire of anti-tax advocates. Majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents said they would pay $10 more per month for roads and transportation. See our story on page 9.

Jobs, energy
More than 50 Michigan businesses have signed on as supporters of Michigan’s renewable energy ballot initiative as of early June—even though it hasn’t made the ballot yet! The proposal—which MEC supports—would let voters decide whether to require utilities to generate 25 percent of the state’s electricity by 2025. Ballot signatures are due July 9. For more information, visit www.mienergymijobs.com

Difference makers
How could we profile our award winners on page one without a “Bravo” to Rosina Bierbaum and Blair Miller? Each year we are re-energized when we see the nominations roll in of Michiganders using talent, passion and relentless energy to make their world and their communities better places. Blair and Rosina are two of those difference makers.
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