Governor signs bill allowing funds to buy additional Ludington State Park land.

June 5, 2018

Governor signs bill allowing funds to buy additional Ludington State Park land.

LANSING  – On Monday, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill that will add $49 million to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The increase includes more than $12 million to purchase 337 acres of land near the Ludington State Park.

The $12 million increase adds to $5 million previously recommended by the board for acquisition of the land, for a total of $12.5 million. The board made the recommendations for the purchase – which is still being negotiated – at its April 11 meeting in Bath.

The property, currently held by Sargent Minerals-Ludington LLC, has long been viewed as a high priority for the state to acquire to make part of Ludington State Park. The land has significant natural resource attributes such as critical dunes, inland water features, and overall connection with adjacent recreational amenities at one of the most visited state parks in Michigan.

“The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund has provided a variety of opportunities to Michiganders to experience our state’s world-class natural resources,” Snyder said.  “I’m happy to sign legislation that will help provide the resources needed to continue their work.”

Senate Bill 883 was sponsored by state Sen. Darwin Booher (R-Evart) of the 35th Senate District, which includes Mason County. It provides supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year 2018 budget to increase total spending for the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. An additional $49.9 million will go toward acquisition and development projects. The bill is now Public Act (PA) of 165 of 2018.

“Ludington State Park is one of our most popular state parks, with abundant recreational opportunities – including swimming in Lake Michigan, camping, hiking and boating,” said Sam Cummings, chairman of the Trust Fund board. “The board’s decision not only enhances the outdoor public recreation at this popular state park, but is an important conservation initiative, too, as it reclaims acres of Lake Michigan dune. I’m so proud that the dedicated and talented folks at the DNR and all our board members recognized such a unique and timely opportunity to add to the park’s – and our state’s – legacy for current and future generations.”

Snyder also signed five additional measures:

Senate Bill (SB) 551, sponsored by Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, establishes an advisory group to provide guidance to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board in determining the amount of money to be made available for annual spending and operations. The advisory group will be comprised of the Governor, State Treasurer, Senate Majority Leader, Speaker of the House or their designees and a member of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board. The bill is now PA 166 of 2018.

House Bills (HB) 5620-5621, sponsored by state representatives Pamela Hornberger and Sue Allor, respectively, amend the sales and use tax acts to allow a purchaser to request a refund directly from the Michigan Department of Treasury for tax paid on a retail transaction if the purchaser was entitled to an exemption. The bills are now PA 167-168 of 2018.

HB 5093, sponsored by state Rep. Beau LaFave, amends the MPSERS Act by mandating that employers match 100 percent of the first 3 percent of annual salary contributed by the member. This bill aligns these specific members with the options provided to new hires who have chosen to participate in the Defined Contribution plan. The bill is now PA 169 of 2018.

HB 5235, sponsored by state Rep. Steve Marino, allows an employer with a monthly pay period to be in compliance with the law if the employer paid an employee all wages earned during the pay period within 15 days after the end of the monthly pay period. The bill is now PA 170 of 2018.

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