LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) - Michigan Attorney General and gubernatorial hopeful Mike Cox wants the state Legislature to block Gov. Jennifer Granholm's plan to create a new state agency.
Cox claims Granholm is using the state's budget crisis as an excuse to take control of the agriculture and tourism industries, while Granholm feels the new Department of Natural Resources and Environment will help streamline state government by eliminating two agencies.
"This executive order shares the same problems that her governing style has: it is incredibly short-sighted and moves in a haphazard, slapdash manner rather than using measured priorities to guide reform," Cox said.
"It sends the wrong message to two industries that are persevering despite the Granholm administration's lack of leadership."
Cox is seeking the Republican nomination in the race for governor next year. Granholm, a Democrat, is not running.
Granholm's new agency would assume the powers and functions of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), which are abolished by the executive order.
"The Department of Natural Resources and Environment is a new department for the 21st century," Granholm said in October. "Experience has shown us that conserving natural resources and protecting the environment go hand-in-hand. These efforts now will be coordinated under one department."
Cox said the Legislature should reject the order because the commissions have allowed the agriculture and environmental economies to thrive. The state's agriculture industry generates $71.3 billion per year, employs 86,000 and is growing, Cox says.
"The Governor's executive order puts jobs at risk and silences the voices of our farmers, hunters, fishermen and lovers of the great outdoors," Cox concluded.
"She should follow that simple yet accurate adage: If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at email@example.com.