Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2019
Gov. Whitmer Vetoes House Bills That Threatened Wildlife, Agriculture Industry, Equal Opportunity
LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governor Whitmer stood up for a strong agricultural industry, healthy wildlife, and equal opportunity for all Michigan counties by vetoing Enrolled House Bill 4687 and Enrolled House Bill 4120.
House Bill 4687: HB 4687 would have removed the Natural Resources Commission’s authority to regulate deer baiting and feeding, and instead would have allowed any person to engage in baiting and feeding during the open season for deer or elk, ignoring the will of Michigan voters, who overwhelmingly decided to give authority for wildlife management to the Natural Resources Commission. Per the commission’s order, baiting and feeding are currently banned in the Lower Peninsula and in the Upper Peninsula core Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) surveillance areas. Using bait to lure deer closer to hunters increases the chances of CWD or bTB spreading to other deer, as deer feed in groups and oftentimes nose-to-nose. As the number of cases of these diseases increase, so do the chances that domestic animals, including dairy cows and beef cows, are exposed to the disease.
“I remain fully committed to protecting Michigan’s wildlife, public health, and agriculture jobs,” said Whitmer. “This legislation would’ve increased the chance of spreading wildlife disease within wildlife populations and the beef and dairy industries, which are vital to Michigan’s economy. That’s not a risk we can afford to take. By vetoing this legislation, the authority to ban baiting and feeding will remain with the experts at the Natural Resources Commission, in accordance with the will of the overwhelming number of Michiganders who supported proposal G. Leaving the ban in place will allow the state to continue working to curb the spread of diseases like Chronic Wasting Disease.”
House Bill 4687 was opposed by the Michigan Cattlemen’s Association, Michigan Gun Owners, Michigan Bow Hunters, Upper Peninsula Bear Hunters Association, Cadillac Sportsman’s Club, Michigan Sierra Club, Michigan Environmental Council, and many others.
House Bill 4120: This legislation would amend the county road law to allow county road commissions a 30-year installment contract, instead of the current 15-year maximum. However, the bill limits this to counites with a population of 100,000 or less, which unfairly discriminates against larger counties.
“I believe that all counties across Michigan deserve access to the same contracts for their road commissions,” said Whitmer. “That is why I am eager to work with the Legislature to pass a bill that includes all 83 of Michigan’s counites so we can continue to improve infrastructure all across the state.”
Please see below for the governor’s signing statements on House Bills 4687 and 4120.