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Final deeds

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Here’s further evidence of lame duck Gov. John Engler’s deep and abiding concern for Michigan’s environment. Thanks to his lackeys in the state Legislature, John Boy gutted the Department of Environmental Quality budget by 30 percent in last-minute negotiations last week. Apparently, there just isn’t room in a $39 billion budget for minor things like reducing industrial pollution and cleaning filthy lakes and rivers. In state budget negotiations that settled at 6 a.m. on Wednesday July 3, the Legislature agreed to Engler’s proposal to cut DEQ’s budget from $101 million to $69 million. So, when your kid cries because she can’t swim in area lakes and streams, and you read warnings against eating too many Great Lakes fish lest you start glowing in the dark, don’t blame the anemic environmental agency, which has been effectively disabled. Thank our generous governor for his woeful legacy.

Lisa M. Collins is a Metro Times staff writer. E-mail lcollins@metrotimes.com

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