Legislature again tries to bar Michigan regulations from exceeding federal standards

    Michigan Capitol | Susan J. Demas

    A bill prohibiting state regulations from being more stringent than those in federal law is now on the desk of Gov. Rick Snyder, who vetoed similar legislation during his first year in office.

    Triston Cole

    House Bill 4205, sponsored by Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona), amends state rules to mandate that heads of agencies must not adopt any regulations that would be more strict than the federally mandated standard “unless the director of the agency determines that there is a clear and convincing need to exceed the applicable federal standard.”

    The legislation cleared the final hurdle in the Michigan House today, passing on 57-51 vote.

    First introduced in early 2017, the bill passed the House several months later. It had languished in a Senate committee for months until resurfacing last week as the year-end Lame Duck session got underway. HB 4205 passed the Senate on Dec. 5 on a 24-13 vote.

    Rick Snyder

    A report from Bridge Magazine yesterday noted that the legislation is somewhat inline with the ongoing trend of Lame Duck bills that would limit the power of incoming Democratic Gov-Elect Gretchen Whitmer, particularly with regards to addressing growing problems in Michigan such as PFAS contamination.

    It’s unclear whether Snyder will sign the legislation. He vetoed similar legislation in 2011, writing that while he supported the bill in principle, it “would inhibit the state’s ability to work with businesses and citizens to ensure that our regulatory structure fits Michigan’s unique profile.”

    Nick Manes
    Nick Manes covers West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels. His byline also has appeared in Route Fifty and The Daily Beast. When not reporting around the state or furiously tweeting, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Krista, biking around his hometown of Grand Rapids and torturing himself rooting for the Detroit Lions.

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